So here it is:
This morning I awoke early to the sound of rain (in June!) and couldn't get back to sleep. I glanced over at my nightstand and realised I had no less than twenty-eight books sitting there gathering dust. I am actually reading about four of them. I then looked over at the dresser and saw another thirty or so volumes; the bedroom, much like every other space in our home is beginning to resemble a makeshift bookshop, one good reason to own one I guess. Another rationale for our latest venture is that I can't actually pass a bookshop without entering... and purchasing.
I tend to judge the ciites I visit and remember them by their bookshops. Shakespeare and Co in Paris, Books and Books in Miami, The Book Lounge in Cape Town and Daunt in London are among my favourites. It is exciting to think that we might create a similar space of our own. When I enter bookshops, subconsciously perhaps, I am looking for the theme or the essence of the place. This is written not only into the selection on offer, but also into the decor, the ambience and, of course, the people who own and run it. I want to know what they like, in effect, who they are. Just as clothes, cars, homes reveal the identities of their owners, so too with books. For what's it's worth, following are a selection of books that have moved or struck me over the past few months.
An Unfinished Business by Boualem Sansal, banned in his native Algeria for his criticizing the government. This book is about two Algerian brothers living in Paris who discover some disturbing truths about their father's Nazi past and undertake a foreboding journey home. I read it in two sittings.
Everything is Connected, a memoir on the power of music to speak to all aspects of the human being: the animal, the emotional, the intellectual and the spiritual by conductor Daniel Barenboim.
Love Begins in Winter, heartbreaking stories about people for whom chance meetings with strangers force them to face responsibility for lives they believed had continued on without them, by Simon Van Booy.
The Armies, about the violent life of a small, fictional Columbian town by Evelio Rosero
Last Night on Earth, a chronicle of the life and experiences of choreographer Bill T. Jones
and my favourite -- Wandering Star, the moving story of two women, one Jewish, one Palestianian, caught up in the turmoil of the Middle East, but who aspire for peace by J.M.G. Le Clezio.
Reading through these I am aware that they are all by male writers. Not intentional, I promise. - Shivaun