Best Reads 2016: Kornelia Santoro

KORNELIA SANTORO

Reading in bed is my favourite past time. I can spend days diving into the world of my fantasy, forgetting everything else. On average I go through two to three books a week. However, I do prefer paper. I do not derive the same pleasure from reading on my tablet. I think it has to do with the screen and its light flickering. Letters on a screen are just not as relaxing as reading a book. Give me a book anytime!

 

The 100 Rupee Shelf at Broadway Bookstore

 

As I am not rich, I usually buy my books in my favourite bookstore, Broadway in Panjim. It has a huge section of second hand books for 100 Rupees. One or two times a month I pass by and stock up on everything that mildly attracts my curiosity. Many times these books are only entertaining, but sometimes I find real jewels.

 

Here is my hitlist from 2016:

 

The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger,

Published by Vintage in 2005

 

This wonderfully human and inspiring love story combines elements of science fiction with the pains of human existence in a way, that made me cry. I immediately had to get the film with the same title. Like in most cases, the film does not do justice to the book, but is entertaining enough.

 

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Antonia Fraser,

Published by HarperCollins Publishers in 1998

 

This historical biography paints a vivid picture of a strong woman in a time, when ladies were supposed to look pretty, dabble in needlework and keep out of the affairs of gentlemen. It also shows the mad obsession and addiction to gambling – an interesting read how the rich and famous lived a long time ago.

 

The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris,

Published by Doubleday in 2007

 

The author of Chocolat is one of my favourite writers. I cannot get enough of her. Like Blackberry Wine, The Lollipop Shoes tell a compelling story without bloodlust and world threatening drama. The story revolves around a small family living in Montmatre, Paris. Lollipop shoes play a major role in the shattering to pieces of the lives of a small group of people.

 

Pure by Andrew Miller,

Published by Paperback in 2012

 

This novel also plays in Paris, recreating the time before the revolution. It deals with the harrowing task of cleaning up an overflowing graveyard in the heart of the city. A young man gets the task to bring millions of bones into underground tunnels. Although the subject is rather morbid, the author frames it in a wonderfully enchanting story. If you have been to the catacombs in Paris, this is a must-read.

 

Foreign Fruit by Jojo Moyes

Published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2003

 

This deliciously candid novel describes two love stories separated by 50 years. The place is Merham, a little seaside town in the United Kingdom. Towering over the town on a steep cliff rests Arcadia, a remarkable Art Deco Villa. This villa attracts a group of bohemians that shake up the provincial spirits of Merham for a long time.

 

Lucky by Alice Sebold

Published by Scribner in 1999

 

The author of The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon describes in this book how she survived rape. As an 18-year-old freshman she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. Her hard-won wisdom culminates in the sentence: “You save yourself or you remain unsaved.”

 

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith,

Published by Abacus in 2005

 

For light entertainment with dry humour and a twinkle in the eye, all the books from Alexander McCall Smith deliver. The creator of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series picks in 44 Scotland Street subjects in Edinburgh, the heart of Scotland. Although born in Zimbabwe, he taught Medical Law at the university of Edinburgh before he focused on writing witty novels. I can recommend all his books. He never fails to make me smile.

 

An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears,

Published by Vintage in 1998

 

This novel plays in Oxford in the 1660s and tells the same story through the letters of different persons. Only slowly by slowly you begin to understand what is going on and you understand the heartbreaking finale.

 

The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

Published by Penguin in 2014

 

This little book gives a wealth of practical information about social media of all kinds, especially about the hard to understand Google+. If you want to deal with social media efficiently, this is a very useful book. It tells you exactly when to do what.

 

Kornelia Santoro

Kornelia Santoro

GERMAN WRITER KORNELIA SANTORO follows the cutting edge of food knowledge since teenage years. After completing her education as a certified journalist, she worked for a decade as news editor for radio and political journalist for a newspaper in Bavaria. She also coached young journalists in Poland during a program of the European Union, shortly after the opening of the Iron Curtain. Then she met her Italian husband while riding an Enfield Bullet through India. The couple settled in Goa. After the birth of her son, Kornelia Santoro started writing cookbooks. As a creative spirit she loves to experiment in the kitchen and to explore the human relationship with food in a profound way. Her three cookbooks, Kornelia’s Kitchen – Mediterranean Cooking for India, Kornelia’s Kitchen 2 – Cooking for Allergies and Cooking for Happiness have all won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for India. She also writes for magazines and websites in India and Europe. Kornelia Santoro believes that “everything is possible and happiness is a moment of bliss.”