Tag: Reading Lolita in Tehran

Five Must Read Memoirs from Bibliophiles

Posted October 23, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Top 5 / 26 Comments

As a book lover, I found that I get a lot of pleasure out of reading books about books. There is something about a book that revolves around other books that really works for me. Judging by the popularity of books like The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and more recently The Collected Works of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin I know I am not alone. I made a conscious effort to read more non-fiction this year and I quickly discovered a whole new genre that I enjoy; the bibliophile’s memoir. What could be better (also meta) than reading about someone reading, but be warned, it could also be damaging to your TBR list. So I thought I might offer five memoirs that people should read about reading and the reading life.

Memoirs from Bibliophiles

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Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Posted February 10, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 0 Comments

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar NafisiTitle: Reading Lolita in Tehran (Goodreads)
Author: Azar Nafisi
Published: Hodder, 2003
Pages: 347
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Reading Lolita in Tehran is a memoir of books read by Literature professor Azar Nafisi’s literature class during the revolution (1978-1981) up until her departure in 1997. Divided into four sections “Lolita”, “Gatsby”, “James”, and “Austen”, this memoir explores the lives of the students in a private literature class and the books that brought them all together. This is an inspired blend of memoir and literary criticism, and a moving look at the power of art and its ability to change and improve people’s lives.

I really enjoyed this book; the blend of literary criticism and memoir was really what hooked me. I especially loved the first part that focused on Lolita and the themes of oppression, authority figures trying to assert their dominance through events and a runaway convict. It was just an interesting insight from these Iranian students. It really made me want to read Lolita again and try to see what more I can get out of the book; luckily for me I might get that chance soon with the Literary Exploration book club.

I didn’t feel as strong of a connection with the other parts of this book, but I think I was just blown away by the insights into Lolita that the others didn’t have the same impact. The Great Gatsby looked at dreams and adultery all from the Iranian prospective. While Gatsby is about the American dream it was interesting to see it from a totalitarian mindset. James looks at some works of Henry James during the time of the Iran-Iraq war and the government who wants to control the liberal-minded. Lastly Austin looks at Jane Austin novels as well as the idea of abusive husbands, blindness and empathy.

This book comes together really well; you get to know these Iranian students and as well as explore some interesting ideas about the books from a perspective completely different to your own. While I would have preferred more literary criticism, I really got a lot of joy from reading this. There is a strong feminist theme throughout this book (since most of the students were women) that I suspect was the main draw card for many of the female readers of this book, and rightly so, this was an interesting look at these women. But for me, it was all about the books

Monthly Review – January 2013

Posted January 31, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 0 Comments

As the first month of 2013 comes to a close, it has been amazing to see how much excitement people are having towards both The Shadow of the Wind and the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge. For those who don’t know about the reading challenge, there is still time to join in the fun, so check out my introductory post here.

I’ve been off to a flying start this year, I’ve read twenty books, a feat I’m not sure how I managed, but I’ve had so much fun doing so. Nine of those books go towards the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge and you can find my own record of the challenge here. I’m thinking about trying to read two books for each genre this year and I’m keeping a record of every book and which genre it best fits into on that page as well, just to see which genres need more attention in my exploring.

Highlights of the month for me include; the highly talked about Wool by Hugh Howey, the bittersweet Big Ray by Michael Kimball and the existential The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. But the one I really thought deserves high praise is Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, a novel of great beauty, decorum and love lost. I haven’t reviewed these books yet but keep an eye out, they will come. So what have you been reading this month?

Monthly Reading

  • Big Ray by Michael Kimball
  • Black Vodka: Ten Stories by Deborah Levy
  • Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis
  • Gangster Squad: Covert Cops, the Mob, and the Battle for Los Angeles by Paul Lieberman
  • In the Midst of Death by Lawrence Block
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
  • Revenge: Stories by Yoko Ogawa
  • The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
  • The Dark Winter by David Mark
  • The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Silver Linings Play Book by Matthew Quick
  • The Sins of the Fathers by Lawrence Block
  • The Toe Tag Quintet by Matthew Condon
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  • Wool by Hugh Howey