Sunday, December 29, 2013

"The Housekeeper & the Professor" by Yoko Ogawa

This book was recommended to me by the same friend who also recommended "The Rosie Project", "The Book Thief" and "The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas" - all of which I have loved! So I had fingers crossed this would be another wonderful book.

According to wikipedia "The story centers around a mathematician, "the Professor," who suffered brain damage in a traffic accident in 1975 and since then can produce only 80 minutes' worth of memories, and his interactions with a housekeeper (the narrator) and her son "Root" as the Professor shares the beauty of equations with them."

This book was recommended to me by Shelley, who also recommended the Book Thief, the Rosie Project, and the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - all of which I have loved.

I'm not quite sure why I loved this book so much. It is not action packed, no big dramas take place, nothing much actually "happens" in it. If I try to describe it, I'm sure it will sound dull. But it's not. It's very different to many other books I've read. It is written by a Japanese author and translated into English..I think it's the first book by a Japanese author I have consciously read. It's also quite short, so if you are unsure whether to read it or not, you might as well take a chance.
Anyone who knows me knows I struggle with maths (despite being a scientist), it is not one of my strong points and it doesn't interest me...I prefer to give the maths issues to people who have talent in that area. Sometimes I am forced to use maths as a tool, but it is not beautiful. However, reading this book ignited a tiny spark about how cool and beautiful maths can be. I was fascinated by the excitement and beauty of some of the maths puzzles brought up in the book, and the way the beauty of maths and human love evolved and existed between the Professor, the housekeeper and her son and that it has no pretentiousness and is simply wonderful. It is sad and uplifting. It's not exciting, but I think if you read it you will have a new perception of another aspect of life which you might not have otherwise. At least that's what I felt.

Started reading on my kindle: 30th December 2013
Finished: 5th January 2013
My score: 8.5/10

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