Tuesday 27 September 2011

Tesco Books Review: The Book Seller of Kabul

I’m a huge lover of books, as most of you probably know by now, so when Tesco launched their new books blog I was very excited. As part of this Tesco are running an experiment and what they are looking at is grouping books by how they make you feel.....so ‘books to carry you away’ or ‘books to turn your heart in somersaults’.

I was sent a list of books to choose from and having read every single book in my usual category (books to turn your heart in somersaults *ahem*) I thought that I would strike out in a different direction and choose from the ‘books to make you think and talk’ list. Radical, huh??!

I chose the ‘Book Seller of Kabul’ (see my first post here). I posted about some of this over on my review blog but it made me feel so strongly I thought I’d post the main review here!!!  The task from Tesco was to read the book (obviously) and to figure out how the book made me feel to make sure they’ve got it in the correct category. Well all I can say is that this made me think and talk without a shadow of a doubt. In fact it made me think so much that I had to have a break half way through the book to enable my brain to untangle my emotions!!!

The blurb on the back of the book says: For more than twenty years, Sultan Khan defied the authorities to supply books to the people of Kabul. He was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned, and watched illiterate soldiers burn piles of his books in the street.

In Spring 2002 award winning journalist Asne Seierstad spent four months living with the bookseller and his family. As Seierstad steps back from the page and lets the Khans tell their stories, we learn of proposals and marriages, hope and fear, crime and punishment. The result is a unique portrait of a family and a country.

If I’m honest it’s not a book that I would normally have chosen but I’m glad that I did. It made me think......

It made me think how lucky I am to live in the UK and live the life I lead.

It made me thank god that I’m not under the control of the males in my family.

It made me realise the freedom that I have in actually having a choice in music, men, clothes, make up.

Actually it made me think about how precious freedom is and how much we take it for granted.

It frustrates me that there are still women in the world that have no choices. No access to education and live for their men.

I have talked about it with anyone who will listen.

I have ranted to anyone who will listen and sometimes to myself.

I have wished that I could do something to help, make a change, give one girl a chance but it’s their way of life and there is nothing I can do.

Most of all, I will just never understand the Afghan way of life, mainly because it’s so different from my own and trying to imagine it and get my head around is the same as trying to imagine living on the moon or being Queen Victoria.

So does Tesco have the category right? I would suggest so, yes!!! They could also place it in 'books to break you heart' or 'books to infuriate you' ;-) I would be interested to hear opinions from anyone else that's read it.

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