Hello, I’m back from blog hibernation. So what’s up? Well, I was recently featured as a guest from Merrative, a community of avid readers and writers on their live session about being a reader. So, here are some of the highlights and my introspection to My Journey Being a Reader.
When it all began….
Started during my teenage years; Sweet Valley High, Sweet dreams, R.L. Stine, and Christopher Pike. Romance and mystery thrillers are my early reads. I remember saving my allowance and head to the bookstore once a month. Well, there isn’t much material craze during that time. We also do book swaps with my classmates. If it’s a hot book, opps there’s a queue. Meanwhile, I frequented the library and my card was filled with Nancy Drew list.
I’m not a book worm..
Evolution of My Readings
I barely notice that my journey being a reader is evolving. During my senior year, I am reading adult romances, a classmate of mine has a gazillion collections from her sister – Mills and Boons, Harlequin Romance, and Loveswept! It is such a crime reading them, whilst studying in an all-girls Catholic School. In one of my breaks, a nun passed by while reading is in progress of a sensual romance. What a swift reflex of mine, the book ended from a trajectory beyond her gaze!
I think my teachers have no idea, of my book genres then….
All I know, reading is just a hobby.
I was out and about during UNI days and only a few occasions I read. Yet, I remember I fancied espionage plots of Robert Ludloom, some Stephen King, Dan Brown, and devoured vampire books of Anne Rice.
Am I weird?
Moving on, got bitten with the so-called travel bug; my readings shifted to the historical fiction and non-fiction of the places I dream to visit, Thessaloniki, Crete, Barcelona, Africa, and Israel. For the love of travel, it has definitely molded my journey to being a reader.
Checking bookstores is also a part of my itinerary when traveling. Or I spend time in airport book shops, WH Smith, sounds familiar?
Vinn’s Top Reads
Part of the live session is to share my top reads. This is not an easy task and after pondering, here they are!
The Accidental Apprentice by Vikas Swarup
” In life, you get what you negotiated, not what you deserved.”
A story about Sapna, the family’s breadwinner with big dreams. One day, during her break, a rich man offered her to become the CEO of his company but she has to pass seven tests.
Practical, relatable, humorous, and value-based book, your textbook for life. The very first Indian author book I read, and lead me to other Indian authors like Chetan Bhagat’s entertaining and easy reads. Try to explore these books!
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
“Zendagi Migzara” – Life goes on!
“For you a thousand times, over.”
Set in Afghanistan with its caste system, a tale about father and son relationship, friendship, and betrayal. Most of the readers agree that Hosseini’s books will expand your horizons. For me, this is one of the tearjerker stories, and if you find the chance to watch the movie, do so.
Other good reads of Hosseini are A Thousand Splendid Suns and When the Mountains Echoed.
Because of this read, I learned about Afghan culture and I found a story about women in Kabul, The Little Coffeeshop in Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez.
The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk
Set in Istanbul, a story of a man, suffering from heartache, to a woman whom he dearly loves. The thoughts of a man in anger, frustration, remorse, and humiliation, and he developed an obsession with collecting things that reminds him of her. Thus, the Museum of Innocence is an existing museum that contains these memorabilia.
Is this about the life story of the author? No one knows…
This novel dives into the emotions of a man, which isn’t talked about much. We know how a woman suffers in love, this time the coin is flipped.
Other books of Pamuk are Snow and My Name is Red.
The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop
A story about a ghost town here in Varosha, Famagusta in Cyprus, the tourist haven in the early 70’s, fine sand and sparkling blue waters. By 1974, following the Turkish occupation, the island was divided. Since then, Varosha remained untouched and shut off from the world.
The novel is a story of two families – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, before, during, and after the invasion. A story about relationships and effects of war.
I visited this place and I never felt so moved to be in the exact setting of the novel. Surrounded by derelict buildings no longer the vibrant atmosphere it once had.
Have you been to a place from your readings?
Check out Hislop’s The Thread (Thessaloniki, Greece), The Island (Crete, Greece) and The Return (Granada, Spain)
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon
A mystery thriller set in Barcelona in the early 19th century. Daniel picks a book from the Cemetery of Forgotten books, only his father, and the keeper knows about this. Curiosity lead to his exploration of the book’s author along with the Gothic mysteries he will soon find out. This book pulls me page by page.
The Prisoner of Heaven is the first book that lead me to Zafon’s works, with a story related to the Shadow of the Wind, Angel’s Games and my current read, Labyrinth of the Spirits. Yes you can say, I’m a Zafon fan.
What Else to Explore?
A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz about Israel opened another path to my next reads – Israel’s history, literature of Jabotinsky and Tchernichovsky, and other Jewish authors. Also, the exploration of non-fiction reads. It can be any genre!
I’m pondering whether to add book reviews in this blog. But for now you can find me in merrative community since I prefer discussions in various topics. You can expect my book reviews on how it affects me as a reader or why I love reading the book not in the context of literature structure or thorough analysis of the plot.
From now on, I will be sharing my love of books and looking forward to where this journey takes me. A long road out there full of surprises!
I think I am a bookworm….Yay!
How many books have I read to date?
I think I have underestimated my answer: more than 50, close to a hundred. Too conservative right? What’s your guess?
Keep on reading and grow. Expand your knowledge. For those who haven’t read for a long time, just pick up a book or visit your bookstore.
Don’t you love the scent of the pages of the book? I do! It’s therapeutic.
There you go, my journey being a reader! How about you, what’s your story?
Your thoughts, let’s hear them!
Feel free to post your top book recommendations too!
P.S. Live session of my journey as a reader can be accessed at Merrative’s Instagram and be a part of the community.
Don’t forget to follow me at flipboard!