When asked why she started a book club, Oprah replied: “Because I love books and the community that’s created when people share them.”
Books do more than just take you on journeys and make you experience the unknown world. They create communities, new ideas, and most importantly create opportunities that make a difference in people’s lives.
In each issue, the BTB book club will feature an eclectic group of people with their recommendations on what to read. We hope you enjoy being a part of our book-loving community.
Owner- Operator of Bookazine, Partytime & Sweet World Arti is no stranger to many of us. Running her fabulous chain of stores keeps her incredibly busy. This family-run chain has now grown to 13 stores and branched out from books to party needs and sweets. Despite her busy schedule, she is an avid reader.
Educated – by Tara Westover
“Educated” is the true story of Tara Westover’s journey from her orthodox, unschooled childhood to a Ph.D. in history from Cambridge University.
Tara grew up in a fundamentalist Mormon household with a Father who believed whatever happened was God’s plan. She was made to work in a junkyard and suffered verbal and physical abuse from her brother and home schooling was limited to infrequent sessions with her mother. At age 17, she bravely decided to go to college, teaching herself subjects required to pass the ACT and set foot in a classroom for the
first time in her life.
I think this is truly a remarkable story of courage, strength, and determination. It’s thought-provoking and inspiring and I cannot recommend it enough.
Mayura Yadav Graphic Designer
Originally from Mumbai, Mayura enjoys working as a freelance visual artist in Hong Kong. She specializes in digital & new-age art & has exhibited her artwork in group shows in India & Hong Kong.
The God of Small Things – by Arundhati Roy
“If you’re happy in a dream, does that count?” I particularly love this book for the beautiful quotes that make you smile, even though the story could be a bit heavy & heartbreaking.
I love the lush style of writing of the author, it is almost picturesque. I may not read the whole book again, but I flip through the pages & stop at parts that are vividly beautiful.
“And the air was full of thoughts and things to Say. But at times like these, only the small things are ever said. Big things lurk unsaid inside.”
Swati Ray Educator
Swati has been a math instructor for 23 years, having taught in schools in India and HK. In her words, she feels, that rather than teaching, it is she who has learned more from the young minds she has taught.
“Do You Suppose it’s the East Wind?”
This is a collection of short stories translated from Urdu by Muhammad Umar Memon.
A book that I finished reading recently and completely loved. Some of these stories were written before India’s independence and the stories are set in the backdrop of the independence movement across the Indian subcontinent. It was easy to relate to the characters and their values even though they were set in a different era.
My favorite stories are :
- “Gulab Khas” by Abul Fazl Siddiqi- the story of the battle for that best mango, and the magic in the hands of the gardener’s daughter, and
- “ Banished” By Jamila Hashmi, another one that I loved reading – It is the story of the Bhai(brother) that begins in the setting of Ram Leela. An emotional yet fun read at the same time.
At my age when I try to add to my collection of books only the ones that I am sure I will read again; this one is an absolute keeper.
Karen Linker Professional singer and vocal coach
A resident in Hong Kong, Karen performs at private events here and overseas. Her overseas engagements often require many hours spent on planes, and she uses this quiet time to read.
Book: “I am Malala”
by Malala Yousafzai and journalist, Christina Lamb.
This book is an extremely powerful account of a young girl’s fight, with the unwavering support of her father, for her right to be educated in Pakistan, under the Taliban rule.
The initial chapters deal with a synopsis of her country’s history, her family background, and her childhood. One also gets to experience the depth of her longing for an education, and her passion for protecting the right for education for all women.
Malala takes us into the dark world of extremism and violence and shares with us the Taliban attack on her life in October 2012, when she was just 11 years old. It is a haunting account, and yet the horrific detail of the extremist regime and its attack on this child somehow made less of an impression on me than the account of her extraordinary bravery. She carries a message of hope in her story through all her pages.
An essential read for anyone, like myself, enjoying privileges that we regard as basic rights, but which are denied to some of our sisters around the world.
Editor’s Pick :
Shikha S. Lamba
Jewelry Designer and Gemologist
Daring Greatly – By Brene Brown
If I had to choose one author to recommend (not an easy task), it would be Brene Brown. Her books are insightful, inspiring, encouraging and will definitely give you many of those “Aha” moments that Oprah describes.
She is far from your average self-help guru. She is an educator, a researcher, and her messages are nothing short of powerful.