Monday, September 28, 2009

Expats & Books: Angela Rhodes

I am starting today a new series: expat bloggers are going to tell us about their favourite books. Aussie Angela Rhodes from blog Amsterdamned tells us her preferences.

What is your favourite genre?

Fiction and some popular science.

An important book in your life is....

Paulo Coelho's ‘The Alchemist’. It is about a young boy named Santiago who sets out to live his dream instead of settling down into mundane everyday life like so many of us do. The book is written simply in the style of a fable, it is full of fantasy, symbolism and adventure similar to what we find in fairy tales but the message is beautiful. I know some people who have read the book and hated it, mostly because they missed the point - to live your dream. They missed this because as atheists they were too caught up in the references to destiny and took the metaphors literally. I find this a little sad, because I as an atheist myself found the message inspiring regardless of its fairy tale qualities.

What are you reading at the moment ?

At the moment I am reading 'The Beijing Coma' by Ma Jian. I've only just started on it, so I can't really comment on it just yet.The last book I read was 'The New York Trilogy' by Paul Auster. On the surface The New York Trilogy is three detective stories, however the theme is just a base for a much deeper exploration into the nature of identity and the multiple selves we encompass, which is a theme Auster is well known for.Paul Auster is one of the most eloquent writers I have come across. And I would definitely recommend The New York Trilogy. Having said that though, I have heard you either love Auster or you hate him - his novels are often dark and leave you a little chilled, because of this he is not for everyone.


Aledys Ver said...

Great idea, to start a series about books, Anita! Count me in, books are my favourite things in the whole world! :)

As for "The Alchemist" - it took me years to get a copy of this book and it also took me some more time to decide to read it. :o) I don't like this kind of literature, with life-changing messages and therefore, I was afraid I was not going to like it. On the other hand, I was embarrassed to admit that I hadn't read one of the most popular books in the history of literature.
Well, I read it. And I was right, I didn't like it. :o)
I also read "The Witch of Portobello" and "The Zahir". I found these better, though I can understand that their "message" can be less powerful for most people.

On the other hand, I think I might like "The New York Trilogy" after reading Angela's comments. Thanks for the recommendation!!

Lu_Russa said...

que blog lindo!
nossa..vou te linkar e te visitar sempre.
EStou planejando ir à Holanda neste final de ano, nunca estive aí.



A Touch of Dutch said...

Doing some more catching up with blogs and just read this coincedentally on Angela's blog! I have been pondering about books to get with some gift certificates I received. Thanks for sharing :-)

~Lopa said...

The Alchemist is my favourite too...
I also read some other books of Paulo Coelho.
The Zahir - i didn't like it much.
Eleven Minutes - Ok type

Have Brida and The winner stands Alone on bookself. But havent got started with it, as now i doubt if i will really like it after reading The Zahir, i got a feeling sometimes story is too much stretched and it goes into so much of human nature, characteristics, philosophy, more than i would like to. Alchemist was good, a short story and simple messege, making me buy other books.

I love reading Dan Brown and yesterday only i got copy of his latest The Lost Symbol, and i am so looking fwd to that one... but ya i have 3-4 on going books project so better i finish them first !

Angela Rhodes said...

I'm looking forward to the next set of books I buy, there will definitely be more Paul Auster in there, not sure about trying another Coelho fiction just yet though i've also heard The Zahir and some of the others aren't very good...

Anita said...

Angela, I have heard that "Veronika decides to Die" is a good one. It became a movie starred by Sarah Michelle Gellar.