Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Favorite Books of 2017. Part 2

Here is the second part of my Favorite Books of 2017. You can read the first part here.

The Road Goes into the Distance Trilogy by Alexandra Bruschtein

My rating ★★★★

This autobiographical novel is about Russia just at the rising of the communist revolution. If you don't mind the pro-communism anti-capitalism propaganda, it's a nice children's story about friendship and family, honor and responsibility. It's told from the point of view of little Sasha as she grows up, goes to school and meets new friends.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

My rating ★★★★

Just as the title suggests, this story is one day in the life of a labor camp prisoner Ivan Denisovich. Solzhenitsyn's style makes it very easy to read which may result in a cognitive dissonance because the themes of the book aren't that easy to swallow. The worries of labor camp inhabitants may seem simple, even primitive, but behind them, there's the tragedy of a human being that isn't even living but barely surviving.

Do You Want Me to Be Your Mother? by Olesya Likhunova

My rating ★★★★

This book is a diary where Olesya Likhunova writes about her experiences of adopting five children and being a mother of 7 (as of now 8) kids. It's very insightful. Olesya writes a lot about children's psychology and how children who grow up in the system are different from children who have a stable family right from birth. I really hope that one day this book will be translated into English because it's a must-read.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

My rating ★★★★

This is a collection of vignettes about the author's childhood years from the moment when she and her family moved to a house on Mango Street. It was a quick read but very enjoyable.

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

My rating ★★★★

(on Goodreads)

I love Murakami. In fact, I'm listening to one of his audiobooks right now. His style is simple and engaging. The more of his books I read the more familiar I am with his characters. It's as if I'm visiting old friends.

This book is yet another love story. The narrator tells us about the love life of the girl he himself is in love with. There's even a mystery, and some magical realism is intertwined in the later chapters. And as always, the title of the book has a special symbolism what is mentioned all throughout the book. I've heard that Sputnik Sweetheart is usually recommended for those who are new to Murakami. I think I rather agree with this statement although my first Murakami was Norwegian Wood of which I still have very fond memories.

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