So, I had grand plans of finishing ALL of these books by the end of August so I could tell you how great (or not) they are, but I've only managed to make my way through two and a half of them. Epic fail, Louise. But I figure that Indonesia Etc is probably only going to be of great interest to those of you who are living or visiting Indonesia. Right?
Read on to see what I've been reading this month.
Gone Girlby Gillian Flynn: A couple of years late, but just in time for the release of the film in October, my friends and I all passed this around one-after-the-other this month. From about halfway through we were all absolutely hooked on the story of Nick Dunne and the disappearance of his wife Amy Dunne. Reading this was particularly interesting to me as a high-profile case with eerily similar circumstances had just passed down a guilty conviction in my hometown.
It's a really hard book to write about because....well I don't want to give it away! Just read it. It might take you a while to get into it but if you persist, I'm sure you will soon be hooked just like we were.
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica: A friend had recommended this to me in my post-Gone-Girl haze, saying that it was being hailed as 'The Next Gone Girl'. The Good Girl tells the story of Mia, who goes missing, and is split into short chapters from the point of view of various characters close to the case, both 'before' and 'after' the kidnapping. It's a really interesting concept, but unfortunately I found it super predictable so spent most of the book waiting to see if I was right. I was.
That said, it's well-written and a good book to pass some time. Perhaps if I'd read it before Gone Girl I would have enjoyed it a lot more, but I was hoping for more excitement and twists in the plotline than it had to offer.
And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini: The latest book by the author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns was hotly anticipated and so far, does not disappoint. The book explores the idea of family and the ways that we nurture, love, betray and sacrifice for our loved ones.
I'm only halfway through the book but already have been drawn into the familiar yet foreign worlds that Hosseini builds with his well-crafted words. I'm getting my tissues ready for the end, expecting the same tears as have flowed after reading his previous books.
Indonesia Etc by Elizabeth Pisani: I haven't started this book yet but I must read it before the 6th of September! Why? Because author Elizabeth Pisani will be speaking at TedXUbud and I will be attending!
Indonesia is home to 300 ethnicities spread across over 17,000 islands and is considered the world's 4th most populous nation. Elizabeth Pisani's Indonesia Etc was born out of over 30 years of travel through this wide and splintered nation, which is one of the richest upcoming countries in the world but also houses some of the poorest communities. Within its pages, she has recounted a 26,000km journey around the country trying to find the links that tie the dispirate people of Indonesia together.
Here's a few stats from the book:
- 1 in 30 people on this planet live in Indonesia
- 64 million Indonesians use Facebook
- Jakarta residents tweet more than any city on earth
- 80 million people live without electricity
- 110 million live on less than $2 day (almost 1/2 the population)
- Hundreds of thousands of people live without electricity AND earn less than $2 day but they still have access to and use Facebook!
What books have you been reading this month? I'd love recommendations!