POC Challenge: January
January 31, 2010 § 6 Comments
So this is January.
I started the year with Junot Díaz and his book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It was a little difficult to read this book, because of the very many sci-fi references, and also the more than generous splattering of Spanglish. But all-in-all, it was a good read about the Dominican Republic. One that I quite enjoyed.
Then I read Fan Wu’s February Flowers not too long after. Set in modern day China, this book explored much about relationships between women, about growing up, and also touched a little on LGBT issues in a very conservative country.
Five by Endo is a short story collection by Shusaku Endo, a Japanese author. I read this as part of the Japanese Literature Challenge, but also as a form of introduction into Endo’s work. His other books explore issues like Christianity in Japan, where most people practise Shintoism.
Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel, Embroideries, also managed to make it into my hands this month. In this book, Satrapi reveals to us that women in Iran are actually not that much different from women elsewhere, in their love for talk and gossip.
Handpicked by Siew Siang Tay followed shortly after. Written by a Malaysian, the story follows the journey a young girl as she travels from her village in a rural part of Malaysia to Australia. Not quite enjoyable for me, but then again, I was expecting a lot.
I also read I Am A Cat by Soseki Natsume, a story told from a cat’s perspective as it observes the lives of his master and the friends who come visit him. The story gives some very wonderful insights to how a traditional Japanese family and society might function.
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa was a book read for Tanabata’s Japanese Literature Book Group. A beautiful story that explores not only the magic of mathematics, but also the beauty of relationship between people, all written in a very quiet and subtle way.
The last book on this list would be Interpreter of Maladies, a collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. In her stories, most of the characters are immigrants to a new country. As with all collections, some stories were better than others.
I also read Xinran’s Miss Chopsticks, but have yet to post my thoughts on that book. So I guess it will go into the February list.
So that’s it for January. What POC books have you read this month?