Sunday, 24 May 2015

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

A woman (Cheryl), after her mother's death and the resulting series of unhappy turns her life will take, decides to start a long solo hiking over the Pacific Crest Trail to find a new dimension and a new strength. Cheryl has no experience, no training for such an adventure and this would clearly be a big problem on the hiking, but her strong will and motivation, will help her to eventually keep on hiking, step by step.
Will she find herself? Will she find the inner strength to get her life back?

An engaging memoir that flows quite well, however nothing wowing.

I decided to start to read this book in a week I knew I would travel quite much, to feel a bit more the experience. So the book has been with me in 3 countries, on plane, bus, train and by walk, from 6 degrees to 20, with rain, wind and sun: I did my personal "hiking" as well.

An adaptation of the book has become a movie.

Friday, 8 May 2015

The extraordinary journey of the fakir who got trapped in an Ikea wardrobe by Romain Puertolas

I bought this book caught by the title, a clear reminder to The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.
If you need a nice, quick reading, this might be the book for you.

Ajatashatru the fakir lands in Paris with a specific mission: to buy a new bed of nails from Ikea. So when he asks the taxi driver at the airport to bring him directly to Ikea, the shock of the driver would be ours: Ikea? Really? You are in f***ing Paris and the first thing you want to visit is Ikea?

Oh well, like the driver, we would think that after all it is not our business, and indeed it is not, so let's bring him to Ikea.
Filled with curiosity we will just follow him to see what he is up to (the taxi driver will leave for the moment, at least till he realises that the fakir had tricked him).

We will discover that the fakir is planning to sleep in Ikea, where, to avoid to get caught, he gets trapped in a wardrobe: it will then start his funny, absurd, definitely-atypical trip around Europe and more, that would put his life in danger but would also bring a personal growth and maturity.

The book reads very fast, it is funny, at times sparkling and it also carries a very serious and sad meaning, although not so original, as it recalls, a lot, ‎Jonas Jonasson's books.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Geisha of Gion by Mineko Iwasaki

Last week was the "World Book Day" and there was this tag going on on the networks #Ireadbecause. I don't think I would be able to describe this in one sentence, but I can tell you that one of the reason I read is 'cause it makes me travel without moving from my chair.
And it is not that I don' t travel, I do, a lot, but travelling with a book is like being hosted by a local who shows you around, the secret corners, the little spots.
This book will definitely make you travel, of course to Japan, but in particular to Gion Kobu, the Geisha homeland.
You will be sent first class to the life of Mineko, and her "struggle" to become the perfect and most influent Geisha. In this memoir we will discover the reason for this "choice", and all the efforts and giving up that this will bring to her life.

I found the book quite sad, as if you are waiting all the time for the next bad thing to happen, but despite that this book is full of courage and lots, but lots, of passion and dedication.

I got so interested and fascinated by the life of Geisha that started surfing for a bit more. I actually discovered that the famous book "Memoir of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden was inspired by the life of Mineko but that Golden apparently had told a lot of lies about the life of Geisha. This is why Mineko finally decided to write her own memoir, to tell the truth about Geisha and, especially about her life. You can understand more in this interview.

Here you can find a traditional dance of a Geisha and here a traditional Geisha's make up.