Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Two Quick Reviews

After my reading drought I seem to be suddenly racing through books, having finished two since Sunday evening - and its not even the holidays!

Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun is a book which has sat on the tbr pile for a good year and a half, I was sent it from a Korean bookcrosser along with Korean sweets and socks back at christmas 2009.
The novel is based on the life of a young Korean street girl who has abandoned her abusive father and destructive mother for a life of uncertainty, poverty and danger on the streets of New York.
With a fast paced style, a young voice and a cast of teenage street kids this reads like a YA novel. The friendships with Knowledge, a non-using drus dealer, Benny; the boyfriend who takes everything he can get and Tati the dramatic friend we meet a whole host of characters showing the various ways an abusive/unloved childhood can shape a persons view. A novel I'd recommend to those who like the YA style and are looking for a break from vampires for a while.

Pereira Maintains by Javier Cercas was another quick read but completely different to the one above. Set in 1930's Portugal, Pereira has escaped from political reporting to the cultural page of a small less read newspaper. Despite being a journalist we quickly see that his head is buried in the sand, and the political disruption and upset of Portugal passes him by, whilst his head is stuck in books and art.
Despite his attempts to keep out of the way of the censors, corrupt police and political underground he manages to step on peoples toes through his choice of literature, his friendship with a young radical journalist and his meetings with frinds.
This book was a really easy read which I enjoyed, however I think it would have had much more impact had I known any thing about Portugese history. It was nice to read a 1001 book which I enjoyed after my recent run of poor choices.

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