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?