1. Shantaram– My husband read this book about one year ago, and said it was one of the best books he ever read. He is much more particular about books that interest him, than I am, so I knew I definitely wanted to read Shantaram. However, it’s nearly 1,000 pages long, and I had a hard time deciding when to make the time commitment to it.
I started this book on the plane back from Europe, and was quickly caught up in the windy story of an Australian escaped prisoner, who begins making a life for himself, in Bombay, India. The story takes so many twists and turns that it quickly captivates the reader. It also gives a pretty amazing tour of Indian and outsider analysis of the culture, that I found very interesting.
The novel is based on a true story. The author did in fact, escape from prison and spend time in India. Much criticism about the book lays in the embellishment of the story and facts. You can read an interesting response the author wrote here.
Embellished, exaggerated or made up, Shantaram still makes for a unique and interesting story. I highly recommend it if you have any interest in the Indian culture.
2. Poser: My Life in 23 Yoga Poses-This was this month’s pick for my book club. The author goes about telling her life story by choosing a yoga pose, each chapter and relating it to a particular time in her life. Sometimes…that was a little bit of a stretch (poor yoga pun, intended). Every once in awhile you wonder how in the heck this anecdote relates to that certain pose.
The author really started off annoying me. She seemed whiny and approached yoga too goal-oriented and for aesthetics sake. However, eventually, she did begin to approach yoga from a more practical and even spiritual perspective, and the manner in which she describes some of her struggles with anxiety and the need to be perfect, definitely resonated with me, and how yoga has helped me address these issues.
3. The Green and The Red (Le Vert Le Rouge)-This book was sent to me by Ashland Creek Press for FREE for review. This book was about a vegetarian restaurant owner who begins to date a distributor of pork products, and all the drama that can potentially ensue.
The book definitely threw in all the possible cliches that can be heard about vegetarian and vegans, but it was interesting to see them addressed and how the characters dealt with these conflicts. It also brings up the lingering question of should a vegetarian/vegan date a omnivore, and takes the reader through the potentially disastrous scenarios.
I also liked that the book addressed the vegetarian v. vegan conflict. It puts all these taboos out on the table and they are finally worked out in a respectable manner.
This book was a fast read, and overall, very charming. It was nice to read a novel where the main character was a vegetarian.