Good books and authors allow our minds to escape from reality for a period of time. It can be an easy read that leaves no trace in the mind after you finish the last page. Or it can be an intellectual one that challenges existing mindset & helps to open up new neurological pathways. While I love and support local bookstores, I also direct my gaze from time to time to the book curation by online platform Boxwalla. The husband and wife team – The Boxwallas – offer both bi-monthly subsription boxes and individual title selection, which you won’t necessarily find at your closest bookstore – and at times even online on platforms like Amazon. A secret club of people in the know, if you know what I mean, which has enhanced my actual, rather than virtual, book shelves over the years.
Lavanuya very kindly recently sent me a trio of books by quite diverse authors & I lost track off time on occasion by immersing myself in the stories woven by each author.
Dutch author Thomas Bernhard is often compared to Kafka & Beckett. His acclaimed novel “The Loser” charts a course of the fictional relationship between a piano virtuoso and two of his fellow students, who renounce their own music ambition for someone they consider to be a musical genius. A nuanced, intense and at times painful read, it also feels strangely mediative in places, as well as a little humorous in a self-depreciating kind of way, especially if you studied music yourself at some stage of your life. I can also highly recommend his other book, “Extinction”.
Japanese author Yoko Tawada hits close to home with her invisible ink pen writing about a climate disaster and a refugee crisis in “Scattered All Over The Earth”. A mesmerising read that envisioned japan’s disappearance from the map and the search that ensues by one of its former citizens, Hiroko, for someone, anyone, whop speaks her mother tongue and allows her to have a semblance of being connected to the land and culture that no longer is. I absolutely loved this book & plan to read more books by the wonderful author.
Ukranian writer and photographer Yevgenia Belorusets lives between Kiev and Berlin. “Lucky Break” is her first book of fiction. it vibrates with the voices of women, culture, history & fragile poignancy of human life. It also magnifies the importance of listening and talking, ability to appreciate how different, yet similar humans are and how simple words can be strung together into rows akin to a tapestry. Each story allows you to draw what you want from it, with Yevgenia’s black & white images adding their own visual imprint to the storytelling. Translated from Russian into English, this book is an invitation pause, reflect and appreciate the power of the language and its ability to build bridges between the people.
And one more thing to further tempt you to explore Boxwalla book selection – recently I read Leila Slimani’s article for the NY Times, in which she recommends books that will help you understand Paris and Parisians a little bit better from afar. In it she mentions French icon feminist and writer Annie Ernaux – and guess what book Lavanya recently selected for the latest Boxwalla book box? Annie Earnaux’s “Happening”, reading which will feel painfully devastating to too many women around the world, particularly American women who recently drew their breath in disbelief upon hearing the US Supreme’s Court decision regarding Roe vs Wade.
Top learn more about Boxwalla book box subscriptions and titles, please click here