I have neglected my book blog (and my other blog), and I haven’t been reading a lot lately. But I’ve heard a couple of wonderful audio books and am watching the HBO series based on The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books. I signed up for HBO only to watch this series, and it has not disappointed. More on that in a minute.
Isabel Allende published a new memoir last year, The Sum of Our Days. This was my first read/listen to non-fiction by the author, and I’ve moved on to an earlier memoir, My Invented Country, as my latest listen.
Audio book fans, you’re in for a treat with this one! The reader is wonderful. For those of you who prefer reading, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, either. The Sum of Our Days is sure to go down as one of my favorite memoirs.
Talk about interesting families – Allende sure as hell offers up in abundance. She comes across as spunky, funny, and sometimes admittedly overbearing. I love her politics, religion, and overall view on life. Far more than a survivor, she is someone I wish were my best friend.
I’ve just begun listening to My Invented Country, and right away, I missed the reader from the previous book. Just goes to show what a difference a voice makes – a pitch, an intonation, just the right accent. But I’m interested in hearing Allende’s memories of Chile, especially since I’ve read Inez of My Soul.
Another audio memoir I most recently heard is Soryteller’s Daughter by Saira Shah, who co-produced Beneath the Veil about life under the Taliban. The documentary was shown on CNN a bazillion times after 9/11. Shah is of Afghan descent, but she grew up in Kent, England, and went to her father’s native country when she was 21 – during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. She did a wonderful job with this book, IMHO. I was inspired to rent it after listening to Three Cups of Tea, a life-changing book for me.
I also began reading the book (yes, I still do read books) The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie. So far, it’s intriguing.
Can you tell that I like books – especially memoirs – about and by women in other cultures?
Speaking of which, The No. Ladies’ Detective Agency pilot was fantastic. It was Anthony Minghella’s last film, made in Botswana, location of the series. I could tell a difference last night with the second installment – more music, for one thing, which Tim enjoyed. But I think Minghella got the books right, and I’m sorry he didn’t live to finish filming. These stories of daily life in Botswana somehow remind me of our favorite island, although I don’t really know much about daily life there, having stayed only two weeks at the most. But still, I love the basic goodness and integrity of the characters. And I can always pretend. That’s what movies, books, and audio books are all about, right?