Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Indignation - Philip Roth

I love philip roth. Bought this in salzburg airport, it's a relatively new novel by him and it's pretty short. It's about a Jewish boy going to University in the States in 1951. The politics and environment are very saddening. What's interesting is Roth manages to make a sympathetic story about a rather disagreeable main character (similar in a strange way to his book everyman). I found it incredibly readable (finished in a day) and it left me feeling rather bleak but moved.


another world - Pat Barker

Thought this was brilliant, although I was a bit scared. The family relationships are really well done and the feeling of a plot or life on the edge of disaster was compelling. Thought the character Geordie was great. I think I still liked the trilogy more, but this was a great development.


Cat among the pigeons - Agatha Christie

Set at a girls' school, but with an international politics plot and priceless jewels too. Hercule Poirot comes along and saves the day but he's not in it for the first half and he's not as funny as in Styles. Interesting to read a book from this era that centres almost entirely on women.


The secret of chimneys - Agatha Christie

This one comes before The Seven Dials and is about the same characters - jolly good fun all round!


Friday, September 25, 2009

The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith

His second book (see earlier review of Child 44). Another big, longish action book about a family in the post Stalin era in Russia, this time about Gulags, Khrushcev and the Hungarian revolt. Good to read if you have read his first book. But I hope he writes a very different book next!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Facing the Light by Adele Geras

I got this as a swap on read it swap it and didn't know anything about it. It's a very easy read and a bit mindless. It's about a woman's 75 birthday party and of course family secrets unfold as the family prepare for it. An easy read that isn't a life changer!

The Reluctant Fundamentailist -Mohsin Hamid

Very good read...quite a quick book. The story is told by one side of a conversation and explains why a man gave up his financially successful life in USA to return to his homeland. Found the end rather strange...I'm still not sure what happened but maybe that was the clever part and it left you thinking!

Morven Callar by Alan Warner

Strange book written with a strong Scottish accent or vernacular, set around the time of rave clubs - 1980? You know that someone (in our family) said that you read Ian McEwen books waiting for the explosive incident. In this book it happens in the first sentence. Seven words. and yet the book has lots of tension and twists in it, and even in the slow passages keeps you occupied and turning pages. Wierd but a very good read. SPEAK NOW if you want to read it - mum is about to put it on readitswapit.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Pompeii by Robert Harris

A good novel if you like them based on excellent historical research. A fast read because it is a good, tense story line with believable characters. It's about a young (30s?) engineer who is sent from Rome to fix the massive aquaduct which supplies water to the whole bay of Naples. . . . whilst Vesuvious seems, to anyone who can read the symptoms, to be behaving strangely! A good story with a page-turning end.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

On loan from Sarah. A monologue covering 200 pages. Surprisingly it never flags - keeps you reading as quickly as you can. Very unusual style and equally unusual ending.


The Brain Dead Megaphone by George Saunders

A gift from Patti, our snowbird. A series of essays by a critic/reveiwer/TV personality/author. He is the opposite of US TV ranters like Nancy Griffiths and Glenn Beck. Insightful and entertaining essays on life, people, politics in the US and the wider world.