Welcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers, writers and readers to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles, new authors and new bloggers.
Today’s guest is Tracey from A Book Sanctuary.
Tracey is from New Zealand but lives in London. She is a PA for an accountancy company by day and a blogger by night.
“I discovered blogging in 2009 when I accidentally stumbled across a reading challenge and the amazing world of book blogging and was instantly hooked,” she tells me.
“I especially enjoy books from around the world and recommendations from other readers. The one good thing about my daily commute is it gives me plenty of reading time!”
Without further ado, here are Tracey’s Triple Choice Tuesday selections:
A favourite book: The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
I was introduced to The Bronze Horseman about 10 years ago during a trip through Russia. A girl on my bus was reading it; I read it soon after and have never forgotten it. It is chunky at more than 600 pages long, an against the odds love story and a story of survival, set in Leningrad during the siege of 1941. I have a soft spot for books set in Russia and the characters just come to life in this story. The main female character, Tatiana, is a wonderful heroine and the author ended up naming one of her daughters after her. A Bronze Horseman is the first in a trilogy but is by far the best of the three books. Paullina Simons, who was born in then Leningrad before moving to the US with her family as a child, portrays Russia in what feels like an authentic way.
A book that changed my world: South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami (translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel)
This was the book that opened my eyes to the amazing world of Japanese literature — I had no idea beforehand. I’ve read a few more of Murakami’s books since, but this is still my favourite and a great one of his to start with, I think. It’s not as long as some and isn’t too surreal. It follows the life of the narrator, Hajime, through his childhood in post-war Japan through to his 30s, his love of music, his insecurities which he is open about (an aspect of Murakami’s writing I love) and his relationship with his childhood friend Shimamoto — magical.
A book that deserves a wider audience: This Blinding Absence of Light by Ben Tahar Jelloun (translated from the French by Linda Coverdale).
This novel had a real effect on me when I read it back in 2009. It is based on true events. In 1971, the failed coup against King Hassan II of Morocco, resulted in the imprisonment of several of the military officers involved. The narration was based on the testimony of an actual junior officer and tells his story of being sent to Tazmamart Prison (a place that never officially existed) and being virtually buried alive in an underground dungeon. Every problem we think we have pales into insignificance when we consider how these men were kept for many years. No light, minimal air, water and food and not enough room to even stand up straight — severe physical, mental and sensory deprivation. And yet an incredible story of mental strength and the power of hope — very inspirational. This book has some beautiful passages and is a reminder of how little we really need in life to be happy, as well as highlighting the appalling real life story of these prisoners — not all of whom survived.
Thanks, Tracey, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!
These all sound like fabulous reads, and I’m particularly intrigued by This Blinding Absence of Light, which was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2006.
What do you think of Tracey’s choices? Have you read any of these books?