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Our Favourite Books at Nefeli Nine

For as long as I can remember I have loved reading, my grandmother made me books as a young child that she would read to me, as soon as I learnt how to read I devoured Tin Tin books (which also helped me to learn French), Enid Blyton guided me through my teenage years, and this love for reading still remains. I wanted to share a couple of my favourite books with you here.

The Sports One

Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Sports have always played a big role in my life, from both a physical and a mental standpoint. They have helped to me get fit, but also have taught me many life lessons. These include confidence, friendship, leadership and even how to deal with loss. I always gravitate towards stories about sports. I read Boys in the Boat last year and absolutely loved it. It fuses history with storytelling and gives fascinating facts, it tells of hardships, joys, losses and celebrations.

”Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.”

If you have already read The Boys in the Boat: Read Friday Night Lights

The Graphic Novel

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Having roots in both Lebanon and Palestine, I have always had a fascination with the Middle East. Persepolis was recommended by one of my favourite lecturer’s at university. It tells the story of a young girl during the Iranian Revolution. Marjane Satrapi cleverly uses a graphic novel to tell her tale, making it much more accessible and giving her more freedom to speak.

“In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.”

If you have already read Persepolis: The Yacoubian Building

The Story

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The best thing a book can do is totally capture you. This book did exactly that for me, I had very vivid pictures of all of the characters (particularly Fermin who loves Sugus!) and was totally encapsulated. I couldn’t put it down! I have since read a number of his other books and loved all of them.

“Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out 'La Sombra del Viento' by Julian Carax.

But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.”

If you have read Shadow of the Wind: The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk


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