Tuesday, February 4, 2014

You Have Got To Read This Book

A lot of the time I find it hard to really get into books everyone recommends. The books that "completely changed how I see things". One aspect of it is definitely that the expectations are too high. Such is the story of all amazing things, whether it is a book, a band, a movie, a store or a place. If it turns out to be good, it's usually still the same good you are used to, not that new feeling you wanted, of something better than good. 

Another part that is very important to me, is privacy. When I read a book, listen to song, or go somewhere, I want to feel that I am the only one reading that book, listening to that song, or discovering that place. How can a song be personal for me if it's personal for other people too? It would be like finding out your lover is not yours alone.

Still, there are some exceptions. When I read White Teeth by Zadie Smith, I knew it was very popular. Perhaps it helped that I had picked up another book of hers in the library before, a book called On Beauty. It was not as popular, but I felt her writing as very personal. It has made me admire her immensely. 

I recently finished reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It is a wildly popular book, with even the American President sending a letter to mr. Martel, complimenting his work. If the recommendations didn't build expectations, the Author's Note(which I later found to be deceiving) certainly does the trick. It is made to sound like a true story, told to him by chance while trying to write a book in India. He supposedly meets a man who has a story that "will make you believe in God"(is that a challenge?). The book is that story. How very strange. I still do not understand why his book is set up this way. I had some problems with the ending, too, but that is another story. Now that I have finished this book, I can say that it did not change my religious views in any way, and it probably won't be one of my favorite books.

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