This is a book about border life, football (or soccer if you prefer) and dead bodies. Lots of dead bodies. This Love is Not for Cowards uses the team dubbed ‘Mexico’s worst’ as the backdrop as it delves into the dangerous drug world of Ciudad Juarez, where nobody is safe. The football team provides a semblance of hope to many of the local people and the dream of living in the USA (just metres away sometimes when the writer goes running near the border) is constant.
When your favourite author brings out a trilogy – lauded as his defining work to date – it’s got to be done. Pretty special some Japanese. Love how Murakami weaves the story of two characters in 1Q84 (he uses the tool of alternating chapters following each of their lives) together towards the inevitable conclusion of them coming together (again) via some sort of time tunnel. Think Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Must admit I was grateful for a thread of a third character introduced in Book 3 but maybe that’s my fault for devouring the books?
Love this extract from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho… That was what made traveling appeal to him – he always made new friends, and he didn’t need to spend all his time with them. When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. Set against the backdrop of India post-Independence, four characters battle on, showing the great character of the human spirit (or utter futility of it if you’re that way inclined). It explores the country’s caste system but really it’s a story where the strong and rich impose their will on the weak and poor.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Marquez. Fast-paced classic, charting the growth of a Colombian town and one family’s impact on the country.