Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Very Poignant Book

How do you write a review on a book that left you with poignant thoughts and feelings? I do not know if my review to this next book will surmount to what I have learned and realized from my current read. But never the less I will try.

I think it has been two years since I saw this pocket book on the shelves of a bookstore, but I always ignored it. I try to go with eccentric reads, books that most people might think boring but certainly has so much appeal to me. Yes I was once one of the few who went with the band wagon and picked the best sellers as well but when you grow as a reader you tend to know which books call you. This book has been calling my attention for two years but I ignored.....till now. I ignored it since I thought it might be a mediocre read and media attention to the author just made it interesting to some readers and I was not planning to get all my good reads from the “best seller list.”

Before I reveal it I want to give a brief background about my journey towards getting this poignant book. I have been drawn to books that I know I can learn something spiritually either fiction or non-fiction. The first book perhaps that left me to ponder is a classic, Pearl S. Buck’s “The Good Earth” and then I read into the pages of Tolle’s “A New Earth” years after which is truly enlightening.

A week ago I was back on a bookstore, I was about to pick a novel with story surrounding a cellist and lovely Spain, who wouldn’t want to read about that? But then I saw this pocket book again and yes it called to me once more. I picked it up for the first time and read the review at its back

“How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves---even if we are unsure of who we are?”

That statement itself made me want to read the book----- “The Witch Of Portobello” by Paulo Coelho.

I thought the book would tell a tale about an oppressed witch who came out and won over life and love which might sound like the novel “Wicked”. But I was wrong because it is so much more. A witch might have negative connotations today which was a way to abolish “paganism” but in this novel a witch is sacred because through her love, life, wisdom, reality, time, and so much more flows and though everyone is invited only few responded, afraid to break away from the norm and structured life that the so called modern society expects them to follow.

More than that the book evokes the reader to be conscious with his life stop complaining and celebrate each PRESENT moment, as present means gift we should be thankful that we have today. If you read the book with an open mind you will clearly realize things that you might not realize before. I already know that being spiritual has more essence and life than being religious and this book only reassured my faith. It won’t be radical to say that I believe in my faith that I was brought up to being a Christian but I don’t believe in the institution that it is in which I believe is slowly crumbling. Today I don’t want to associate myself with any sect and religion because in truth spirituality begins from within and not in four corners of a temple, church, mosque, or synagogue. I want to cultivate my own faith which will help me grow as a person.

I believe the core question that “The Witch Of Portobello” has left me after reading its few pages is

“Why am I here?”

I am blessed in a way that I waited for two years to read this book because if I have read it two years ago I would not be able to grasp its essence as much as I understood it now. I hope I have today, I pray that I have.

I evoke anyone who is challenged to know more about life’s mysteries to grab this pocket book. This book won’t demand anything from you at all, in fact it is listed in FICTION. But it will really leave you to think as much as it left me with poignant thoughts.

I think it would be understatement to rate this book because what I have learned just by reading a few pages will always be priceless.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Growing by Reading

Reading for me has become a very good teacher. I know everyone learned through reading but at present after leaving all textbooks that I need to read to pass a subject in college I devoted myself in reading books that help me grow as a person.

You might think I indulge myself in “self help” books but not really. Yes I admit that I am one of the people who went with the band wagon in reading books like “A New Earth” by Tolle which for me is very awakening and a book that I would recommend as well.

I realized quite recently that I have evolved as a reader. Books before has become a scapegoat for boredom but today I treasure reading because as cliché as it might sound you do get valuable lessons just by reading a story. I think if you contemplate on the book that you are reading you do get something valuable from it. Also I know how to be open minded in so many ways just by reading. It exposes me different values, cultures, beliefs and faiths but more than that if you pick the right book you will find not only find knowledge but wisdom as well.

When you evolve as a reader do you become more particular with books that you are reading? I think evolved readers are not bothered with book genres, authors, or titles. I think you go beyond that part and you are open to a certain point of learning.
I also learned that readers are always subjective to books that one is reading or have read. A particular book might be substantial to me but not to you. We all have personal choices even on the books that we read no doubt but at least the books that we reading can communicate with us. I hope they do, and if they don’t get another one. The book should speak to you and able to bring you to its pages because I believe that is one of the essences of reading and of books.

The message/knowledge/wisdom whatever you want to call it, that I have learned through reading is like the sea, vast, mysterious, colourful, unchartered, beautiful, serene, and so much more.
I believe I am lucky that I have the chance to read and to grow from reading. I hope it has for you as well.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Two Caravans: A Book Review

I am glad that I picked up this book by Marina Lewychka entitled “Two Caravans” since I really needed a book that I don’t have to concentrate and keep track on everything. There is nothing wrong with that in fact I find it a therapy. When I just finished reading a heavy book I always balance it by reading a light one afterwards, if you know what I mean.
It is about two caravans, immigrant workers mostly Polish and Ukrainians in England to pick strawberries. But instead of picking strawberries they all ended up in a whirlwind joy ride of their life with a very heroic dog (not to forget dog since I am a dog lover myself). So what can ever happen to them and their joy ride?

Alright for my review I shall give it three out of five stars. The author certainly knows how to hook her readers right away and so you just want to read on and humour is her cup of tea. The book as I mentioned is an easy read so don’t expect too much. There is no depth to the story an advantage if you just don’t want to bother but a disadvantage if you are searching for a book with substance. Clearly not much can be learned from a joy ride except the adventure. In short if you want to read something interesting, no stress reading, read this book but if you want a “meaty” book get yourself something else. Mind you after reading the book.......made me think twice of eating not strawberries but chicken. If you want to know why READ THIS BOOK for the author certainly took her time on how dressed and “undress” chickens are treated.
Reading book in paradise-