From Rags to Riches to Nirvana

My project to read a book from each country & territory continues, and along the way I’m making some great discoveries. One of them is the excellent blog Biblibio, reading which has encouraged and enlightened me to include more female authors, who will appear here in due course. At the moment, I’m still working on a many-months-old pile of books. Many thanks to my friend Meg for recommending the book of choice for Bhutan.

62 Bhutan: Doji Dhratyul – Escapades Awakenings

Self-publishing might free an author of some restrictions that come with the publishing industry, but in my experience it also comes with a lack of editing. In this particular case, I think, the rags-to-riches plot would have gained a lot if some more editing had happened. Having said that, this book is a brave introduction to Bhutanese society, in particular when it comes to issues like sexual exploitation of rural girls and women or child labour both in rural and urban areas. The land of Gross National Happiness is so much more than mountains and temples, and this book shows that on every page.

63 New Zealand: Eleanor Catton – The Luminaries

This book was a totally unexpected page-turner. I completely ignored all the astrological stuff (I’m more on the astronomical side of things). Apart from that, it was a welcome challenge to travel so far in space and back in time. Quite often, I felt as if I was really there in the endless rain, searching for gold and answers.

64 Russia: Victor Pelevin – The Sacred Book of the Werewolf

A woman who is a fox who is a prostitute who … no. The best thing I can say about this book is that it was a critique of modern Russia – to which I can’t add anything because I lack the knowledge. Otherwise, I found it pseudo-philosophical or pseudo-buddhistic waffle.

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