Pieces of Beauty

Over the last week (2 weeks now! My site was down *cries*). I started and finished two very amazing and also very different books. Which is no surprise, considering one was a young adult novel and the other a memoir.

A few weeks back I was about to check out all the books I was carrying and ‘The life of Akmal’ caught my eye. Mainly because I had seen Akmal Saleh on a few shows and comedy festivals and figured it would be a fun ride of a book. I was actually very surprised though! In a good way. It was funny, he has a great voice in telling stories from his life but it was also finding out about his upbringing that I ended up finding the most interesting.

The first part of the book is about his upbringing in Egypt and the customs and traditions that good religious people must follow. It then moves to their migration to Australia. The difficulties in learning and his need for popularity. Mainly, his struggle to find himself and enjoy that person.

Unfortunately, the book didn’t keep going in this way and as he found himself getting more involved in the comedy the less we found out about his family. I think this was a major let down in the book. I wanted to know more about his mother and brother and, most importantly, his wife! He mentions her in the acknolwedgements at the end of the book but never discusses her throughout the book. I really would have preferred more about him than his career.

That being said, the beginning was so wonderful and his narration kept me interested. So interested that I read the book in less than a day.

Funnily enough, the other book which I expected to finish so quickly took about about 4 or 5 days. It was pure agony. I couldn’t believe a book I had anticipated for so long could be so hard to read and yet not. I don’t know what it was but reading Melina Marchetta’s “The Piper’s Son” took me a really long time… where Marchetta is concerned – although I never did finish Finikin of the Rock – because I love every word she writes. And really The Piper’s Son was no different.

One thing I wish were different though? That this book had been about Jimmy Hailer instead. The Piper’s Son is a sequel of sorts to Saving francesca and focuses on one of the characters from that book and his struggles after his life as he knows it falls apart. I love the coming together of all these characters again and the akwardness because so long (5 years) has past but wounds haven’t been healed.

I felt though, that it was too similar to Saving Francesca except with a different main character. Very formulaic, very Sarah Dessen (not that there is anything wrong with that. I love Dessen! Her books are all very similar though). Maybe it is because I had always wished this book would happen but I always wished we would be delving into Jimmy’s life instead.

I know this isn’t sounding overly positive but it really was a wonderful experience. Even if just to read something new from Marchetta. She has an excellent style and her characters feel so real.

All in all, I hope for more from Marchetta and perhaps a third out of this series… ABOUT JIMMY! Please.

More information on these and more of the books I’ve read this year can be found on my 210 of 2010 page. I’m really doing it!

One response to “Pieces of Beauty”

  1. Yay! I love reading! I’ve been doing a 50 books in a year challenge. I failed but I’m still going with it to see how long it actually takes me to complete. I even started a book review on my website for the books that I read. I just need to actually write up my reviews & opinions of the books. Thanks for the inspiration.

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