Around the World in 80 Books discussion

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Random Travel Challenge > Sarah's Random Travel Challenge

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Sarah | 9 comments Complete: A House in the Sky for Somalia

I almost never read nonfiction, but I'm really glad I chose this one. It was an absolutely harrowing story that I couldn't put down - finished it in one day! I actually think this was a great way to start my reading travels (despite the horror of Amanda's story), because the first hundred pages or so are dedicated to her love of world travel, and she describes some truly beautiful places.


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 9 comments Complete: An Unnecessary Woman for Lebanon

This was another book far outside my usual comfort zone of genre fiction - I tend to shy away from books that are "too real," just following an ordinary life. Though this was a relatively slow read, I found it really enjoyable. I felt absorbed, completely immersed in the narrator's setting, history, and way of thinking. There is beautiful descriptive writing here, but what really stood out to me were the many passages about literature, creative people, and art in general.


message 4: by Sarah (last edited Oct 19, 2018 12:57PM) (new)

Sarah | 9 comments Complete: Shame for Pakistan

This was my first Salman Rushdie, but it definitely won't be the last! A strange, wandering story, drifting between realism and fairy tale, full of overwhelmingly rich language and sentences so lovely I kept stopping just to read them out loud. One of the elements I was most impressed by was that for a book with so, so many characters, I had no trouble remembering who was who. Everyone was so well-drawn and detailed that there was no chance of mixing them up--and some of them were completely unforgettable.


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Sarah | 9 comments Complete: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle for Japan

Reading a lot of firsts for this challenge, which is a great feeling! This one was my first Murakami, and 600 pages later, I'm still not sure how much I enjoyed it or not. I read a lot, and a lot of what I read is pretty weird, but this one was a challenge for me. I think the lack of any real narrative drive for most of the novel contributed to my slow progress through it - most of the time, I felt like I was drifting, lazily wandering from one near-random short story to the next, following the protagonist through a series of strange events that were left largely unexplained by the end. Some of my favorite parts were the war stories, which is very unusual for me. Plenty of lovely writing throughout, and I certainly had a lot of feelings in many directions as I read. I think I will be a long time processing this one.


message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 9 comments Complete: Salt Houses for Kuwait

What a wonderful read! This novel tells the story of a family over multiple generations as they live among the political turmoil of the Middle East. The multi-generational family saga has never been a genre I've been particularly drawn to, but this book is so well written and the characters so compelling that I found myself absolutely transported. By the end, I actually teared up a few times. Highly recommended for its gorgeous writing and deep emotional resonance.


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