Reading is a journey, an escape that sometimes makes us dream, awakens our curiosity to discover. Reading is learning and understanding other cultures, it is also a time for relaxation and leisure. I have compiled here a list of my readings that I have really enjoyed and some of them read twice.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Lin escaped from a prison in Australia with a fake passport and fled to Bombay. Improvised himself a doctor and set up a free clinic in one of the poorest slums in the city to contribute to the community and then found himself involved in the Bombay mafia. Adventure, betrayal, violence, friendships, love, and grief, but also laughs.
Untouchables by Narendra Jadhav
Based on her father’s diaries and family stories, Narendra Jadhav tells the moving story of their lives as they dedicated themselves to helping their children break free from the chains of India’s caste system. A remarkable book that finally gives a voice to India’s voiceless.
The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall
The Indian Hercule Poirot offers us an immersion in India. I read this book on my return from a trip to India and it takes me back there. Funny and suspense skillfully led.
I also read in the series, The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken, just as funny and entertaining.
The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love by Per J Andersson
Would you/ I bike 7000km for love? PK an Indian artist and untouchable did it.
Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick
My first reading on this secret country cut off from the world and I admit that I came across the right book. A journalist takes us to meet the daily life of these suffering people. An absorbing book.
The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee
Another book on North Korea, an incredible true story. Hyeonseo and his family because of his father’s military career lived in relative comfort, by North Korean standards. She grew up believing that leaders were gods. The curiosity of the outside world pushes her to take the risk of crossing the border river but it was clear that her life will be in danger if she tries to return, and at 17 years old finds herself alone in China. I recommend it all the more than I had the pleasure of meeting the author.
If you like reading about this country, other very interesting books, Escape from camp 14 by Blaine Harden and Dear Leader by Jin-Sung, Jang
Golden Bones by Sichan Siv
A clearly gifted man who escapes the Khmer Rouge – who then proceeds to become the U.S. Ambassador to the U. N
Another good read about this sad period in Cambodia, In the shadow of the banyan tree by Vaddey Ratner who admits that the story is pretty much her own.
Sky Burial by Xinran
First I learned what Sky Burial is, and also about Tibet. A Chinese young bride is separated from her husband (a doctor at the People’s Liberation Army) who was sent to Tibet. She was informed shortly after that he had died, without further information. Convinced that he is still alive, she goes looking for him.
The story of this woman who lived in Tibet for thirty years is written by Xinran a Chinese journalist based in London. It is after receiving a phone call that she goes to Tibet to meet her, and will spend two days interviewing her.
A beautiful and captivating story.
The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan
In this book, Peter Frankopan wants to give an alternative insight into the history of the world by describing the history of the Persian region which has shaped and still shapes the world we live in today. Interesting.
The Boy who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
Life in a village in Malawi. A boy who likes going to school, but who has to give up when famine brings poverty. He discovers a library and learns by himself and with the help of some textbooks a broken bicycle and finds in a scrap yard he builds a windmill and radios that have changed the lives of many people. A truly African voice.
The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah
Tired of the London fog, Tahir Sha literally fell under the spell of a Moroccan riad in Casablanca. Without hesitation, he bought it and settled there with his pregnant wife and their little girl. Abandoned for many years, he then undertook to restore it to its former glory. But nothing is as easy as it seems. Very funny, all those who know Morocco will not be able to help but laugh.
The Boy Who Said No by Patti Sheehy
Based on a true story told to the author by the person who lived it. Life in Cuba under Fidel Castro in the early 1960s. A child whose grandfather teaches him to fish, sail at sea and above all to think for himself. He reluctantly joined the army and was quickly promoted to special forces and discovered important military secrets. But the thirst for freedom, the hatred of the regime set up by Fidel Castro, and above all the desire to join his girlfriend who left Cuba for the United States. Romance, adventure and suspense.
Coppermine by Keith Ross Leckie
An incredible voyage to Canada’s far north to meet the Inuit, based on historical facts, adventure, suspense, humor, and a love story.
Jungle Child by Sabine Kuegler
The true story of a 7-year-old girl who grew up in the jungle of West Papua (Indonesia) among a tribe. Hunting, climbing trees, swimming in rivers full of crocodiles, killing poisonous spiders with your bow and lighting a fire without matches, eating roasted insects and chewing bat wings as chewing gum. Nature is her playroom, the jungle her homeland, but at 17 years old, she finds herself in a boarding school in Switzerland! to read.
In the Sea There Are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda
In 2000 after Afghanistan fell under Taliban rule, a mother who feared for the future of her ten-year-old son took him to Pakistan and abandoned him. From there begins a long journey of more than five years from Iran, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. He just needs to find out how to survive. Based on the true story.
Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich, 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature
With only a tape recorder and a pen, Svetlana Alexievitch collected testimonies from ordinary people throughout the former Soviet empire between the Years 1992 and 2012.
“I don’t ask questions about socialism, but about love, jealousy, childhood, old age. On music, dancing, haircuts. Thousands of details of a life that has disappeared. This is the only way to put the disaster in a familiar context and try to say something. Guess something… History is only interested in facts, while emotions always remain on the margins. It is not customary to
let them enter history. I look at the world through the eyes of a literary woman and not a historian.”
The shock of “equality for all” in the face of “everyone for himself” and the appearance of “the king’s money”!
A masterpiece that took me from the first page, impossible to put down. I read the French version
Hawaii by James. A.Michener
Years ago a friend of mine recommended and loaned me this book to read. I didn’t know absolutely anything about this famous paradise islands. A Thousand pages where I learned a lot and took me through the Polynesian islands. I enjoyed it and I thank you, my friend, now is my turn to recommend this long but rich book.
Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk, 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature
Memory of the author’s childhood. Melancholy, nostalgia, history. Pamuk takes us for a visit to Istanbul, which has mostly disappeared. Nice black and white pictures.