Posted by: Ele Quigan | August 26, 2014

Truck days & Books reviews part 2- The search for more books…

Book reviews and truck days part 2 – the search for more books.

Again it’s been another month of long drive days, with music this time which has helped!

City of Djinns – William Dalrymple (prob about 300 kindle pages)
Reading this about Delhi has just made me more excited about India. I read it super quickly as it’s an easy read, he’s written a heap more so will probably try a few. I’d like to see a few of the places he mentions, but I’m unsure since the 80’s if these places are around or destroyed.

Cyber sexism: Sex, Gender and power on the internet – Laurie Penny. (about 200 pages)
This is a must read for anyone working within Digital/social or has passing interest in Online communication dynamics. She cops a lot of flak but I really appreciate Penny’s writing and columns, even if I don’t always agree with her. (Kate Butterfield & Bec – def a book for you two)

For whom the bell tolls – Ernest Hemingay (409 pages)
Incredible book that is roughly a fictionalised version of his time in the Spanish Civil war. Shocking, sad, incredible, made even more interesting by the version I read that had all the swearwords marked as “unprintable”. One of the most interesting accounts of war I’ve read.

The girl who saved the King of Sweden – Jonas Jonsasson (420 pages)
Similar to his other one (the hundred year old man) I didn’t really enjoy this, even more fantastical than the last. I got more and more frustrated by the story, but still managed to finish it…

Heretics of Dune (5th Dune novel)– Frank Herbet (508 pages)
After hating the 4th one, this one starts to make it all make sense again? It’s building up to a massive finale. Incredibly complicated (I still feel half lost at times with it) but a tale on the scale of Lord of the Rings really.

God Emperor of Dune (4th Dune novel) – Frank Herbert (421 pages)
I HATED this. Hated it with a passion. Nothing was explained, there seemed to be no reason for being. I got more and more frustrated by it. Blrgh

The Husbands Secret – Liane Moriarty (402 pages)
A sort of strange read really – reminded me of The Slap from a few years ago? Close families with stories that cross and weave together. Again unbelievable in some ways, but written well and I did enjoy it. In fact couldn’t really put it down.

Live at the Brixton Academy – Simon Parkes (421 pages)
This is one of the most fun books I’ve read on the trip, a history of the Brixton Academy, one of my favourite London venues. A lot of it quite surprising? And really shows the change in the music scenes in the UK & how the Dance scene really was below the surface. Made me miss London… Any Londoner who has been there should read it!

Perfect- Rachael Joyce ( 386 pages)
This took me by surprise, it was a book club book that I attended the event for but hadn’t read. Incredibly sad it imbues a loneliness or a coming of age that’s dark and genuinely sad. It’s surprising too? A lot of anger bubbling below the surface across all the characters interwoven throughout.

Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo (185 pages)
Yes this is a “youth” book, but mum suggested I read it after we went to War Horse last year. Being a bit of a softie this left me in buckets of tears (embarrassing to try and hide on a truck of 25 people…) A slightly different view of WW1 warfare, and the horrors of war. Speaking of which if you haven’t seen the INCREDIBLE memorial at the Tower of London “Blood Swept Lands
and Seas of Red” – check it out. http://poppies.hrp.org.uk/about-the-installation/#section–video

Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse (about 300 pages?)
An interesting “spiritual book” in the same sense of The Way of the Peaceful Warror and a few more – how not to find life in the pursuit of wealth, or I guess how you’re in control of your own journey to inner nirvana. Interesting, a good book to read on the backdrop of travelling really.

A tale of time being- Ruth Ozeki (422 pages)
I LOVED this. Such an interesting read, so sad in parts – and incredible intertwining story lines. It’s a particular style of Japanese fiction that name escapes me (“I fiction” is a near translation I think). It’s beautifully written, again sad, but honestly the best book I read on this leg of the trip.

We need new names – Noviolet Bulawayo (276 pages)
I read this soon after leaving Zimbabwe – which put it in a bit more perspective. Sadly it does feel full of a lot of messages or even cliché – trying to acknowledge every single point which sometimes felt a bit forced, but I still loved it.

I have tired 100 years of solitude again but had to put it down, I just find it SO frustrating. It’s turning into another War & Peace frustratingly.

whoops forgot one – Into Africa – The epic adventures of Stanley & Livingstone – Matin Dugard 377 pages.
I really really really enjoyed this, and want to read more about both. What an incredible journey in the hardest region to travel within, with both different backgrounds and hugely different personalities!

– damn another one – The Testament of Mary – Colm Tobin – 104 pages.
This is the view of the death of Jesus from his mother. I dunno, it’s not a story that hasn’t been told? I didn’t really think it was worth a booker nomination – I’ve read far more interesting and in my opinion better books than this? Fairly disappointed to be honest.

So in this 30 days that’s been another 15 books & 5130 pages – across the full 72 day journey 16457 pages & 32 books – a book every 2.25 days…

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