Who else out there is a book worm?
I thought I would start a post on some of my favourite books about Nepal; intercultural relationships; hardship and some general books about culture for those wishing to expand their book case and their knowledge!
I find reading a book is a way to escape into another world, a chance to see through someone else’s eyes and walk beside them on their journey.
I tend to enjoy non-fiction and biographies over fiction however I am still trying different styles of reading.
I am one of those people who say “this is my favourite book”, then the next minute, “no actually this is my fave”, “oh wait, this is my real number 1”.
There are still a lack of books about intercultural relationships out there and I am yet to find a book about an intercultural relationship with a Nepali man so please let me know if you know of any!
I am also on the lookout for a good book about the Maoist war in Nepal and what the ordinary people went through at the time (after all Rabindra lived through this war). Let me know if you know of any.
So I am not going to give you my favourite book but I’ll give you a list of some of my best books as well as what books are on my “to do” list.
If you are not much of a reader, may be start with one of the books below and see what you think! Get ready for your mind to open and your heart to melt 🙂
Please feel free to share your reviews of any of the books below and add some of your favourite books so the rest of us can see what you are reading.
Thanks and Happy Reading!
“Not without my Daughter” by Betty Mahmoody.
Whilst some might say this book is biased, I found it to be a very interesting read from the perspective of a Westerner married to an Iranian Muslim man. Betty’s true story was made into a movie. It made me think a lot about my relationship in the future. What if Rabindra wanted to go back to Nepal and no longer live in Australia. What would I do? Would I let our children go? Although her situation is very different and her story is dark and dangerous, it is a great read, I loved it!
“Little Princes” by Connor Grennan.
This book inspired me to do more volunteering in Nepal and to never give up on the people. I will always be grateful for this book because no matter what happens in my life, helping people like he did, will always be what I truly love. I cried nearly every single page because I could relate to the Nepalese children. This book is not for everyone but because it’s almost wholly based in Nepal, I couldn’t put it down.
“The Thirty Six” by Siegmund Siegreich
This book has nothing to do with Nepal, culture or intercultural relationships but it is a book that really resonated with me. This man’s true story shows how people from privileged, good families can have their lives uprooted all because of greed, war and corruption. This book really inspired me to learn more about history and wars. I really want to travel to Poland and visit the Nazi concentration camps when I go to Europe. This book is a heart-starter from start to finish!
“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini.
I am very close to saying this book is my absolute favourite book but I won’t! It is so amazing and has been read by millions of people around the world and also been made into a film. I am interested in reading about Afghanistan so that’s what drew me to this book but the basic threads of life- friendship and family- are actually what this book boils down to. Please read it!!!
“The People Smuggler” by Robyn deCrespigny.
This is the true story an Ali Ali Jenabi, an Iraqi asylum seeker who came to Australia by boat. He told the story of living under Sadam Hussein’s regime in Iraq and the tragic life his family faced as a result. You can’t help but feel his pain and suffering. The story has some bad parts and I don’t like how it ends with no real conclusion (I guess because his story is still ongoing) but this is certainly a powerful read.
What I am reading now
“Henna for the Broken Hearted” by Sharelle Cook.
Sharelle also runs a popular blog “Diary of an Indian Housewife”. You can find her blog in my blogroll to the right. I have just started reading this book about Sharelle, a Melbourne woman who moves to India and finds love. Only a chapter in and I am feeling very connected to her story and how material things in life just do not bring happiness like many think it does. I have also become friends on Facebook with Sharelle and I hope we can continue to share our different stories! I will update everyone on this book once I’ve finished!
Books to read next
The Gurkha’s Daughter by Prajwal Parajuly.
I cannot wait to read this book! First of all Rabindra is the from the Chettri caste in Nepal and many of his family members have served in the British and Indian armies as Gurkha soldiers so I have a bit of a connection there to the Gurkhas. This story is about Nepali people, their identities and their origins. Will be buying this very soon!!!
A Black Englishman by Carolyn Slaughter
The blurb states “India, 1920: exotic, glamorous, and violent, as the country begins to resist England’s colonial grip. In the midst of this turmoil, Isabel, a young British military wife, begins a passionate liaison with Sam, an Indian doctor and Oxford graduate who insists, against all odds, on the right to be both black and British. Their secret devotion to each other takes them across India in a terrifying, deadly race against time and tradition.” Looks like a good one!
The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi
This story is about an Indian man falling in love with a European girl and his family don’t accept. I have heard really good reviews about this book!
Shiva’s Arms by Cheryl Snell
Another story about an intercultural relationship with an Indian woman and the girl’s struggle to be accepted by the family. The blurb says it “evolves into an exploration of cultural identity, the power of reconciliation, and the meaning of home.” Can’t wait to read it.
Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse: The True Story of a Woman Who Risked Everything to Bring Hope to Afghanistan by Suraya Sadeed, Damien Lewis.
I want to read this because of my interest in Afghanistan. This woman is quite remarkable!
The other books I have heard decent reviews about are these:
Calcutta Exile by Bunny Suraiya
The Magic of Saida by M G Vassanji
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The Rug Merchant by Meg Mullins
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
Saffron Dreams Shaila Abdullah
Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India by Miranda Kennedy