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Friday Finds -- Apr 16, 2010 (Actually Apr 15)

Friday Finds Hosted by MizB at Should be reading, this meme asks you what great books did you hear about/discover this past week?

No, this post was not put up in error. I have a review scheduled for tomorrow, and so decided to put up my week's finds a day in advance. I could have burdened you with 2 or more posts tomorrow but that would be mean of me, and I'm not mean, trust me! :-) I could have forgone this meme for just this day, but then I LOVE ogling at my massive TBR shelf and choosing the ones that really impressed me! How narcissistic, I know!

Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Russell Rich

As an Indian, I am very interested in the experiences of visitors, to understand a different perspective about the people, the languages and the customs of this country. I myself was a "visitor" briefly, when I grew up in Dubai, but became "native" once I adapted. So I find it funny when I come across opinions similar to my "visitor" opinions. I found this book through Swapna's review at her blog, S. Krishna's Books

On a free-lance writing assignment to go to India, Rich found herself thunderstruck by the place and the language. Before she knew it she was on her way to Udaipur, a city in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, in order to learn Hindi. In this inspirational memoir, Rich documents her experiences in India ranging from the bizarre to the frightening to the unexpectedly exhilarating using Hindi as the lens through which she is given a new perspective not only on India, but on the radical way the country and the language itself were changing her. Fascinated by the process, she went on to interview linguistics experts around the world, reporting back from the frontlines of the science wars on what happens in the brain when we learn a new language.

May be, I'll be able to understand why I am so slow at learning new languages while my ex-roommate learned new words in a jiffy!

 
The Walk by Richard Paul Evans

I love reading about characters who bounce back strongly, especially through inspirations found in the least expected places, after losing something major in their lives. Don't we all go through the rough times, and then just want to chuck everything? I am thrilled to have come across this via Shelf Awareness.

Once-successful Seattle advertising executive Alan Christoffersen loses everything important to him: his beloved wife dies after being thrown by a horse, his business partner steals all their clients for himself, and lenders re-possess Alan's home and cars. Anchorless, Alan decides to take a walk to "the furthest point reachable by foot," Key West, Fla., in search of new meaning. Surrendering all of his possessions, Alan embarks on his incredible hike, and he encounters a series of strangers who remind him that life's most profound lessons can sometimes only be written on a clean slate.

What a beautiful idea, especially considering that most of the times, I feel weighed down by my past through the "I am like this" or the "I never did this before" symptoms. It would be satisfying not to walk around with excessive baggage.


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

During a discussion recently in one of my Goodreads groups, this book about a rape was suggested by a member. Soon, a lot of ladies confessed deeper emotional connections with the subject matter, having been victims themselves at some point. The stats in that 30-odd member group was horrifying - justice was not even served in some of the cases. Why does this unspeakable act recur?

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

Comments

Ash said…
Dreaming in Hindi looks awesome. I must read.

Now, for Speak. I read Speak at a really young age, 12, and in my opinion it is not really geared towards the right age group. It's funny, I recently had this exact conversation with a friend who read it when she was 13. I remember the book vividly though, and I would definitely recommend reading it. I mean, at 12 I didn't have a great grasp on "good" books but I still think this is one worth checking out.
The1stdaughter said…
The new cover for Speak looks wonderful. I haven't read it, but I did see the movie. Sadly, it's something I've dealt with on a more personal level and I don't think I could handle the book. But brilliant though, she's an amazing author who's doing wonderful things for women everywhere who struggle with this.
bermudaonion said…
I've read Speak and it is fantastic! I think you will love it. I have a special post for tomorrow too.
Tales of Whimsy said…
Seriously awesome choices. I LOVE the cover and concept of the first one. I'm obsessed with all things Indian even though I'm a Latina.

My favorite director is Mira Nair. Need I say more? ;)
Stephanie said…
These look great, especially Dreaming in Hindi.
Excellent picks! My friend read Speak and really liked it. I've been meaning to read it, too.
Great finds...Dreaming in Hindi sounds great and I did received The Walk recently (like Evans a lot) enjoy Aths
Lisa said…
My daughter read "Speak" and really liked it. I hope she also took a message away from it. Did you know it's been made into a movie?
Mary (Bookfan) said…
I've read good reviews for The Walk - it's on my list :)
Alayne said…
These are great finds. Speak is so good. My Finds are at The Crowded Leaf.
atla said…
Ooh, I put Dreaming in Hindi on my TBR list awhile back and forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder.
Andrea said…
I read Speak several years ago and enjoyed it!
Carina said…
Both Speak and Dreaming in Hindi look really interesting! They're going on my wishlist right now. My picks are here.
Ana S. said…
Speak is an absolutely amazing book! And yes, the stats for rape are absolutely horrifying :\
Becca said…
Dreaming in Hindi looks really interesting! I only know how to say one thing in Hindi (I'm not going to butcher it here by pretending I know how to spell it) but it means "I'm hungry" because that is the first thing my brother-in-law taught my sister because even though she is skinny as a rail, she can eat like a horse! LOL

I have Speak in my TBR pile. I am hoping I have time between all of my review books and challenge books to get to it soon!

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