Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wrapping up 2009

I always revel in the week between Christmas and New Year as a time diverge from routine, and welcome the New Year in with a change in what I usually read throughout the year, which are books on Interior Design.  One of the ways I make a choices on what I want to read, is to leaf through several books and read the jacket covers or page through the book randomly to see if anything speaks to me.  That is how I choose, What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell. I had previously read his book, Tipping Point, and then saw him interviewed on a talk show on his third book - Outliers.  While paging through his most current book, What the Dog Saw, I was immediately hooked on his article entitled: The Ketchup Conundrum.  This book, What the Dog Saw, contains Malcolm Gladwell's favourite pieces that he has written over the last several years for the pages of The New Yorker.  "Good writing," Gladwell says in his preface, "does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade.  It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head."  It is a fascinating read.

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Another favourite way to choose a book is to ask people what is their favorite book they have read.  Usually they are so enthusiastic in recounting the highlights of the book that it gets me excited to read it.  The outcome of my most recent enquiry was - the New York Times Bestseller by Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  This book is set in Paris, which immediately attracted me, but the real focus of the book is about a woman who is a concierge at a bourgeois building in a posh Parisian neighborhood.  She (Renee) has a secret: she is a ferocious autodidact who furtively devours art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. Renee hides her true talents and her finest qualities from a world that she suspects cannot or will not appreciate them.  It is a story about living out her life in obscurity to hide this fact about herself, and how she reconciles herself to owning her brilliance. 

Last night on Charlie Rose I watched a fascinating interview with the brilliant Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish novelist and winner of 2006 The Nobel Prize in Literature, on his new book: The Museum of Innocence.  The story, which takes place in Istanbul between 1975 and today, is about obsessive passion and the great question: What is love, really?, as well as a look into the minds and culture of the Turkish society.  I am off to purchase this book tomorrow to wrap up my reading for these last few day left of 2009.

What is your favourite book that you have read lately?
Please leave a comment here, and let me know.

Patricia Gray is an award winning Interior Designer in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada who blogs about "WHAT'S HOT"
in the world of Interior Design: New and Emerging Trends, Contemporary Design, Modern Architecture and Travel,
as well as how your surroundings can enhance the world around you.
© Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™ 2009