Happy New Year everyone! What better way to start off 2018 than with a Calendar Girls post? I’m particularly looking forward to this one because I read SO MANY books set in America and England, but I’m super interested in books about other countries. Especially when they are written by people FROM those countries!
First of all, I read a LOT of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, but it seemed like kind of a cop-out to choose one of those, so I’m ignoring them. Similarly, England also seemed a bit of a cop-out as it is so similar to America. In fact, I avoided everywhere with white people almost altogether for the purposes of this post. I only considered Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
Once I started thinking about it, I realized that I have read SO MANY good books that take place in non-North American settings! The trouble is, these books are often heavy, so they don’t end up being favorites. Here are a few examples that came to mind:
- The Kite Runner
- Love in the Time of Cholera
- The Iliad and The Odyssey
- The Alchemist
- The Good Earth
Like, all brilliant novels, but none of them will I probably ever re-read. However, I highly recommend all of them, and most of them (keyword MOST) were written by folks from the countries they were writing about, which is part of what makes them so amazing.
But after I briefly struggled with thinking I was going to have to pick The Bear and the Nightingale AGAIN, one book sprang to mind. A book that completely changed my life and the way I look at books. I can only be talking, of course, about ….
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Oh. My. Gosh.
You guys, this is without a doubt one of the best books I have ever read. It’s a little slow at first, with quite a bit of philosophy, religion, and character development rather than story, but it’s GOOOOOOOD philosophy, religion, and character development. If you’ve never read it YOU HAVE TO. Just be careful not to read any spoilers. The end is so mind blowing. Don’t watch the movie either. READ IT FIRST FOR MOST IMPACT.
Life of Pi starts in India. Pi is a precocious and intelligent young man who lives at (or very near?) a zoo which his family runs. To the bewilderment of his parents and everyone involved, he adopts three religions and science simultaneously. Hilarity ensues.
However, his family’s zoo shuts down, and they must move with the Animals to Canada for a new start. While they are voyaging across the ocean something goes wrong and the boat sinks. Only Pi makes it into the lifeboat. Well, Pi and a very large, very hungry Bengal Tiger. In order to stay alive, Pi has to keep the tiger alive as well.
I love everything about this book. It makes me laugh, cry, gasp in shock, everything a good book should do. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Especially if you avoid spoilers.
Calendar Girls Books is a monthly discussion hosted by Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile and Melanie at MNBernard Books based on Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl. We pick a theme together and then choose a favorite book from the theme, and later have a nice twitter chat about it. To find out more about the Calendar Girls, visit either Flavia’s or Melanie’s info pages.
Our chat will be on Twitter on Sunday January 21st at 8 EST.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone else picked, and maybe adding some more books to my TBR!
P.S. Do I get bonus points for choosing a book that takes place both in India AND on the Pacific (Atlantic?) ocean? But maybe I loose points since it also partially takes place in Canada…