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Monday, October 01, 2007

Weekend 9/29-9/30

Last week Jojo caught the flu and had to miss work to get over a really bad cold. I did my best to take care of him but at the same time was taking extra precautions to immunize myself from catching the flu. Between Jojo and me, I’m the one with a weaker immune system and have never been able to avoid getting sick right after he does. This time, with extra doses of Airbone, eating healthier meals, and trying to get more rest, I actually was on my way to avoiding catching the virus. Last Friday night, as I was talking to my mom, I was pre-maturely congratulating myself. As always, it was a classic case of speaking too soon. I woke up Saturday morning with sore throat, a runny nose and aching joints. I couldn’t believe it. Apparently my “taking extra precautions” spared me from catching the cold for two whole days … but beyond that … well, I still caught it.

Getting sick during the weekend is both a good and bad thing. Good, because, you don’t miss work and are able to relax with your hubby there to take care of you. But bad, because, you are stuck at home on a perfectly good weekend where you could be out doing so many other things! As was the case, I spent most of Saturday and Sunday sleeping, resting, and trying to get rid of my cold.

Since we don’t have a t.v. it our room (something that our fung shui-approved-room-layout discouraged), I would lie in bed and alternate between states of being asleep and awake. During my awake times, I indulged in catching up on my reading. I finally got to read the two books I bought last week. The first book “The Jane Austen Book Club” by Karen Joy Fowler was enjoyable. Based on the lives of 6 individuals who gather together to read and discuss Austen’s works … they find their lives parallel that of the fictional characters they discuss. It is a light, summer-reading type of book. Nothing too intriguing and is the type of book you would read just to while away the time. Perfect book to read in between naps.

The second book I read was “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini which was the exact opposite (of the Jane Austen Book Club). It was extremely powerful, rich, intriguing and really an eye-opener. It is an incredible book. Hard to put down (which is why I read the whole novel all Sunday without stopping to do anything else!). The book is the first Afghan novel written in English it tells the tale of two very different men as they come of age during the years of Afghanistan’s political turmoil. The story tells us of how their lives changed from being carefree boys to men who have to go their separate ways to follow their destiny only to be reunited in the most unexpected way in the end. Throughout the story, the backdrop showcases the societal, political, and economic struggles the Afghan people went through and are still enduring. This was the author’s first published novel but despite that Mr. Hosseini’s writing style and storyline kept me captivated with every page. And even beyond reading the book, I found myself so drawn to the plight of Amir and Hassan that I would spend much time thinking of their story. It is truly one of the best books I have ever read.

I remember an article I read a couple of weeks ago where the author was talking about how Americans do not read enough books. There are many who have not read a book (outside school and work) in years. And of those that do read, the average number of books read is 1 or 2 (a year!). This is a sad, sad state to be in. There are so many fascinating and wonderful stories out there … and I think we should all make an effort to turn off the t.v., shut down the computer, put away the Playstations/Wii/X-Box, and pick up a book again. And for those who are trying to decide what book to start with … I would really strongly recommend The Kite Runner.


Sareet said...

Funny, I just read The Jane Austen Book Club. I thought it good, solid writing. I wasn't blown away, but I enjoyed it.

I got Kite Runner as a present last year, but I actually couldn't finish it. Too glum and sad for me. I felt like every chapter ended sort with a gloomy foreshadowing sentence (sort of about how things wouldn't ever be the same, that was the last time I was happy, etc) and I couldn't really bring myself to be excited to continue. It's sort of like when someone tells you "this movie will totally make you cry" and then you have to decide if you're in the mood for it.

Have you read "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy? That's great. Also, I think you would really enjoy reading Ruth Reichl's books. I've only read one - "Garlic & Sapphires" It was very fun and entertaining.

Junarakasa said...

Hi Sareet. I agree that The Kite Runner is heavy reading. And yes, Hosseini's writing style bordered on the dramatic ... and even sad. But on the other hand, I was actually actually drawn to it because of that. The story does not have an instant "happy ever after" ending and although I'm typically a sucker for that, it was ok with me. I think it had to end that way since not everything has a happy ending. And the story ends with a tone of hope which I think helps the character (and the reader too) to not feel so defeated in the end.

No, I have not read "The Road" and "Garlic and Sapphires" - but will look them up some time :) I'll let you know ... I'm starting another "summer reading" type of book "Eat, Love and Pray" by Elizabeth Gilbert - this looks promising too.

jml said...

It is wise to nourish the mind, body and soul.

jol said...

You must really love reading to be able to read while you are sick. It sure is an excellent way to spend your time in bed.