Friday Finds -- Apr 02, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Finds

This meme is hosted by MizB at Should be reading. What great books did you hear about/discover this past week?

This post was supposed to have gone up last week. But for some unearthly reason that I can't quite fathom, it didn't. I think it has to do with using Blogger Draft, which did that to me twice! So instead I'm putting up that same post.

My finds

Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan

I found this interesting book at Black-Eyed Susan's blog in her Girl Power List. She also has some more exciting books up at her blog, which you should check out!

Jameela and her family live in a poor, war-torn village in Afghanistan. Even with her cleft lip and lack of educational opportunities, Jameela feels relatively secure, sustained by her Muslim faith and the love of her mother, Mor. But when Mor dies, Jameela’s father impulsively decides to start a new life in Kabul. Jameela is appalled as he succumbs to alcohol and drugs, then suddenly remarries, a situation that soon has her a virtual slave to a demanding stepmother. After she’s discovered trying to learn to read, Jameela is abandoned in a busy market, eventually landing in an orphanage run by the same army that killed so many members of her family. Throughout it all, the memory of her mother sustains her, giving Jameela the strength to face her father and stepmother when fate brings them together again. Inspired by a true story, and set in a world far removed from that of Western readers, this powerful novel reveals that the desire for identity and self-understanding is universal.

 

Did you know what a Googlewhack is? I didn't, and I was surprised to know what it meant. Here's what Wikipedia has to say: "A Googlewhack is a kind of a contest for finding a Google search query consisting of exactly two words without quotation marks, that return exactly one hit, no less no more." Interesting, huh? Emidy at Une Parole reviewed this book and I couldn't resist adding it!

If someone called you a 'googlewhack' what would you do? Would you end up playing table tennis with a nine year-old boy in Boston? Would you find yourself in Los Angeles wrangling snakes, or would you go to China to be licked by a performance artist? If your name is Dave Gorman, then all of these things could be true. Fuelled by a lust for life and a desperate desire to do anything except what he's supposed to be doing (writing that novel and growing up), Dave falls under the spell of an obscure internet word game - Googlewhacking. Addicted to the game, and gripped by obsession, Dave travels three times round the world, visiting four continents and the unlikeliest cast of real life eccentrics you'll ever meet in what becomes an epic challenge, a life-changing, globe-trotting Googlewhack adventure.



This one is set against the war in Sri Lanka and the 2004 tsunami. The tsunami is quite a captivating topic for me, that especially has to do with where I was when it struck. We all probably remember things like that, right? I was sitting at a Chennai beach, with my parents, brother and some relatives, only 5 miles away from another beach, where the tsunami wrecked havoc. Spooked me totally when I realized it! I saw this one at Kristen's BookNAround.

An in-depth look at a beautiful island paradise devastated by a thirty-year war and the  tsunami. Weaving together reporting, travelogue, and personal narrative, debut author Adele Barker brings American readers with her to experience Sri Lanka, “the resplendent island” that seems to hang like a teardrop from the tip of India. Barker’s account of the year and a half she spent living and teaching there moves deftly from the daily, personal details of Sri Lankan life and culture to reports on the war between the government and the Tamil Tigers, and the 2004 tsunami in which forty-eight thousand Sri Lankans died in the space of twenty minutes. 

Life on the island is complex for a Westerner, and Barker does not miss any of the nuances: the beauty and the bugs; the peaceful, Buddhist pace of life; and the explosive ravages of civil war.  Barker acquaints us with the history of the place, the literature, and the traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, missionary Christianity, and ancient myths. Not Quite Paradise offers a comprehensive, eye-opening account of the “pearl” of the Indian Ocean and a rare perspective on the massive devastation of the tsunami of December 26, 2004.

10 comments:

Diane said...

Wanting More, and Not Quite Paradise sound just awesome; thanks

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Fascinating choices :)

bermudaonion said...

I've never heard of a Googlewhack. It sounds like some people have a lot of time on their hands! Great finds this week (or last week)!

Helen's Book Blog said...

Wanting Mor sounds terrific and I've added it to my list (you know the list!) and I've been to Sri Lanka (and a friend's relative died in the tsunami) so I must also add Not Quite Paradise. Thanks for the suggestions!

StephTheBookworm said...

I've always been intrigued by Googlewhacking... I didn't know there was a book about it too! I have to add that to my TBR.

Carina said...

Wanting Mor is definitely being added to my TBR list!

I've seen the filmed version of the stand-up for Googlewhack Adventures, and I bought the book for my boyfriend a couple years ago ... but I've never read it myself yet. I hope you enjoy!

My post is here. I've changed the format to a simpler version starting this week. :-)

Amanda Leigh said...

Great finds! These are all new ones for me! Here are my finds: Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick

Christina T said...

Wanting Mor looks really good. Not Quite Paradise is on my TBR list too. Even though I grew up in the States my parents are from Sri Lanka so I really want to read more about it.

Great finds!

Emidy said...

Oh yay, you included Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure! It was really good, I think you'd enjoy it.

The other books sound excellent, too. Very emotional!

Emidy
from Une Parole

Stephanie said...

These all sound wonderful!