A book that I wish more people had read

This turns out to be the answer to one of the later questions as well, but I do wish more people had read Ali and Nino by ‘Kurban Said’, the great romantic novel of the South Caucasus. Set in the time period straddling the First World War, it’s the story of the love between Azeri boy Ali Khan and Georgian girl Nino Kipiani, culminating in the collapse of the British protectorate of Azerbaijan (which I’m sure you have all heard of) in 1919-20. Of course, it’s steeped in the cultural background of its author, an extraordinary character who was an Azeri-born Jew who converted to Islam and wrote Ali and Nino five years before his bizarre death in Italy in 1942. It’s really short and actually quite cheap from The Book Depository (and elsewhere) – go out and buy it!!!!!

>Day 01 – Your favourite series of books (with more than 3 in the series)
Day 02 – A book that you wish more people had read
Day 03 – Your favorite recent book
Day 04 – Your favorite book ever
Day 05 – A book you hate
Day 06 – Your favourite writer
Day 07 – A writer you don’t like
Day 08 – Your favourite work in translation
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you
Day 12 – An book you’ve read more than twice
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book
Day 14 – Favorite male character
Day 15 – Favorite female character
Day 16 – Your guilty pleasure book
Day 17 – Favorite trilogy or tetralogy
Day 18 – Favorite book cover
Day 19 – Best ensemble of characters in a book
Day 20 – Favorite kiss or love scene
Day 21 – Favorite fictional romantic relationship
Day 22 – Favorite ending/climax
Day 23 – Most annoying character
Day 24 – Best quote
Day 25 – A book you plan on reading
Day 26 – OMG WTF? plot
Day 27 – Favourite non-mainstream writer
Day 28 – First book obsession
Day 29 – Current book obsession
Day 30 – Saddest character death

One thought on “A book that I wish more people had read

  1. Ah, I read this at school around the age of 9-10, and thought it was marvellous! I don’t remember being in the least bit thrown by the Geman-ness of it, or even being aware of how long ago it was written. I think the world of childhood doesn’t date as dramatically as the world of adulthood – yes, there are Playstations and the like now, but children have always spent a lot of time playing with their friends, going to school and having imaginative adventures, so I don’t think cultural or temporal gulfs are so strongly felt (quite apart from the fact that many children’s books are deliberately archaising – e.g. Harry Potter – so that children quickly come to expect a slightly quaint, otherworldly feel from all their reading material). Anyway, I can’t remember very much about the Emil books now, except perhaps for something at the start of this book about them all riding a go-kart they have built down a hill? But I do remember having heated arguments with friends about which books were better – the Emil books or the Just William books. I was firmly on the side of Emil.

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