I had the first choice of book for our newly established Book Group, so I was determined to choose a good one. According to my own random set of criteria, it had to be thought-provoking, well-regarded and something a little out of the ordinary.
I skimmed down the extensive spreadsheet from the library of book club kits and spotted The White Tiger. (Side note – if you’re into book groups, see if your local library supplies kits. Saves so much money and effort in tracking down the latest blockbuster. Highly recommend.) A copy of the book had been sitting on my bookshelf for many years, gathering dust. Not quite sure why I never picked it up, yet it seemed to tick all the boxes:
– the blurb sounded thought-provoking (“coruscating wit, blistering suspense, and questionable morality, told by the most volatile, captivating, and utterly inimitable narrator that this millennium has yet seen”)
And yet… we had an incredible discussion! The book painted a vivid picture of the excesses of the wealthy and the stark contrast to the poor. Aravind Aviga’s descriptions were embued with sensory details – we could smell the animals on the farm and see the glistening lights in the exclusive shopping district. We felt every bump on the road and were frightened by every footstep. He built up the suspense with such skill that I was compelled to turn the page, even though I was reluctant to see what devastation lay beyond.
It packed a punch for the first book in a book group, and yet I’m really glad that I finally read it. I have a much greater insight into Indian culture, and the hardships endured just to survive. It was certainly thought-provoking, but I was in great need of a ‘cleanser’ book to follow – something light, fluffy and which didn’t require much thought at all.
Please find here an assorted mix of what I tend to read - new books, old books, birthday gifts, gifts to myself, books from my to-be-read pile, Book Group books, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs - basically a weird assortment of goodies!
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