jeudi 14 juillet 2011

Bookish Club

How I wish I could lounge on a bed, or by the pool to read during the bright summer days - but since I am working during most days, my only reading time exists through the fleeting moments when I am travelling to and fro around town, squeezed between commuters. I did try to embark on Kafka's The Trial but it got too dark and heavy for a leisure read - and mostly, I felt like I am undergoing metamorphosis myself, being squashed in the densest city in the world and transformed into an anonymous being in yet another black skirt and heels.

I have so far read two volumes of Kafka's short works, which I would share next time. Meanwhile I would like to list a few favourite books of mine for your reference - they all employ illness as a metaphor for the human condition, and has transcended the emotions pertaining to the illnesses into something more macroscopic, poetic and illuminating.

Blindness By José Saramago

The Plague by Albert Camus

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

I especially recommend The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a beautiful and poignant memoir by the former editor of French Elle editor who had a stroke and was locked inside his own body. He painstakingly dictated the memoir by moving the only possible body part - by blinking his eyelids. Only through his perseverance in breaking the silence of the diving bell could we finally hear the fluttering wings of the butterfly.

What are your favourite books?


23 commentaires:

Samantha a dit…

I will have to look into 'The Diving Bell and The Butterfly'. Sound beautiful. Some of my favorites are 'The Virgin Suicides', The Hunger Games trilogy, 'The Mission' by Jason Myers, 'The Giver', 'The Perks of Being A Wallflower' and 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. I've got so many on my list to begin reading though. :)

amy w - over and under a dit…

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is possibly the saddest book I have ever read. Well, one of. When I watched the movie I was in sobs, more because I was perceiving it through the book than from just the film itself, although they did a good job with it. 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' is one of my favourites and a great leisurely read, as is I Capture The Castle.

cloudo3 a dit…

lovely, the most recent book i've read is "The Happy Prince and Other Tales" a set of 'fairytales" by Oscar Wilde, I highly recommend it :)

Kim Filipinas a dit…

Funny that you mention Blindness and Love in the Time of Cholera - I've just read these two in the past couple months, and both were really nice. As for my favorite books, I'd have to echo the Hunger Games trilogy (a fast read but with a depth and complexity that belies its "young adult" status - not that young adult novels cannot be deep), the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami for its surreal images, Rebecca because I read it enraptured and could see myself in the main character's place even though I consider the book a bit trashy... just a couple I like off the top of my head.

Dianne a dit…

I feel exactly the same at the moment. I've been reading various diaries and memoires of various Antarctic explorers and I'm totally wrapped up in it. Being at work is so distracting, I sit at my desk and find myself gazing out the window thinking about penguins all day. I just want to be in my bed, reading books and eating biscuits. Oh how decadent!

I love the Diving Bell and the Butterfly its a wonderful book I haven't read for many years but might have to try and find a copy to re-read. I loved the film as well.

xx Di

lin a dit…

I loved the film of "The Diving Bell and The Butterfly", and really should read the book. I really enjoyed "Blindness" as well - interesting that you've selected all these books with illness metaphors, especially since you're in medical school right?

It's too difficult to name favourite books, but my all-time favourite authors are Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan, Orhan Pamuk and Virginia Woolf. I also really love "The Bell Jar" - it really hit me powerfully when I read it; I hadn't read anything quite like it before. I'm also a bit of an LOTR nerd, though I never quite got into fantasy as a genre.

I also really love Siri Hustvedt's "What I Loved" - it's one of those books where I feel like the characters are alive and I know them - it's so vivid. I feel the same way about "Possession" by A S Byatt.

I really wish Jeffrey Eugenides would write another novel - The Virgin Suicides was lovely, Middlesex was amazing, and I've been hoping for more.

I've been in a adventure/historical phase lately so I really liked Peter Carey's "Parrot and Olivier in American" and David Mitchell's "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet".

I could really go on, but I should stop.

Sean a dit…

just discovered your blog and I love it! following you on bloglovin' (and tumblr as well) so keep the good coming :)

lin a dit…

And I don't mean to hog the comments section, but I can't let go of the fact that I left out Cormac McCarthy as one of my favourite authors...Ok I will stop now.

Kamilla a dit…

love that picture (:
my favorite book is "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold, it's so moving and amazingly written. Ad I can cry to it everytime, and after the last page I'm always filled with so many different emotions. Love that book (:

addy a dit…

-a chronicle of a death foretold by gabriel garcia marquez.
-the diary of anne frank
-the stranger by camus
-never let me go by kazuo ishiguro

you have lovely taste in books. i'm going to try to reread the diving bell and the butterfly now. thanks for the inspiration!

Anna a dit…

Not too long ago, I read the English translation of 'The Frozen Heart' by Almudena Grandes. It was a book unlike any other I've read before. Powerful sentences, often lyrical; extremely real and vivid descriptions that I found myself overwhelmed and so deeply saddened time and time again that I had to put the book down for a moment or two to remind myself that none of the characters had ever existed beyond the pages!

Another book that has a special place in my heart is 'For Whom The Bell Tolls'. I really did feel like I was there, part of the story. I was very upset when I finished it because I didn't want it to end!

danica a dit…

- white teeth and on beauty by zadie smith
- the history of love by nicole krauss
- mrs dalloway by virginia woolf
- extremely loud and incredibly close by jonathan safran foer

...and so many more :)

Ginta a dit…

I really love Russian authors - Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Bulgakov. I'm fortunate also to be able to read them in original. My favorite book though is Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy.
Also I love how Zadie Smith writes, I've read everything she has written! Her essays in Changing My Mind are so good!
For entertainment I'd suggest A Song of Ice and Fire series.

hannah-rose a dit…

I love the secret history by donna tartt, possession by a.s byatt, brideshead revisited and vile bodies and a handful of dust and really pretty much every evelyn waugh book ever, and also sophie dahl's novel playing with the grown ups because I think her prose is quite lovely...

i've read the diving bell and the butterfly. it is magnificent. magnificent. I cried!! (And i normally save my tears for really important things, like harry potter 7 haha).

K. a dit…

Hello misses! Thank you all for the most wonderful recommendations - Right now I have started on Bertrand Russell's The Conquest of Happiness... and the conquest of books continues :)

Welcome to my blog! a dit…

The Glass Castle by Janette Walls I think it's the best book & everyone can relate to it in some kind of way. Hope you read it sometime.

miss sophie a dit…

i really love The Great Gatsby and EIleen Chang's essays and novella, 'Love in a Fallen City'.

have you seen the film for Diving Bell? it's beautifully done as well.

Anonyme a dit…

i have to read more
my fav book is the dreamers

hila a dit…

just a few of my favourites include:

-Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
-Sixty Lights by Gail Jones
-Ulysses by James Joyce
-Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

and so many others ...

Brooke W. a dit…

if you liked "Blindness" you must read "The memorial of the convent". it's absolutely beautiful and one of my favourite books :)

Anonyme a dit…

My favorite book is Kafka of the shore by Haruki Murakami. I love to drift of in his surreal world of wonders.
The next book to read on my list is Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. Heard a lot of great stories about it!

Just found your blog a couple of days ago and i truly love it! :)


Our Youth a dit…

Great book list :)

amourette a dit…

i too loved the diving bell and the butterfly. i also love these kinds of posts with great reading suggestions!