Rating: 3.5 stars
I was itching to read Washington Black as soon as it made the long list for the 2018 Booker Prize. Its strapline “Escape is only the beginning” carried an air of intrigue and adventure with it, and the premise of a young black slave plucked from the horrors of plantation life to assist an inventor in his flights of fancy promised something a little different in approach to the usual telling of the story of slavery. The book mostly hits its mark and is worthy of its place on the Booker short list, the thing that prompted me to pick the book off the New Stock Just In shelves at the library. Continue reading
Rating 4 stars
The first book in Virginie Despentes’s trilogy about a down-on-his-luck former record dealer is a domino effect romp through the music world and its parallel den of vainglorious excess, the French film industry. The title character, Vernon Subutex, has in his possession a set of video tapes in which Alex Bleach, a recently deceased rock star, interviews himself and shares his wisdom with the world. Continue reading
It has been a while since I last did a Six Degrees chain. Life got a lot busy over the summer, and I haven’t been reading as many books as usual, never mind keeping up with my fellow bloggers. But here I am, only five days late (what do you mean, more like four months late?), and to celebrate, I’m going to do things properly this time, and not count the first book in the chain as part of my six. Hooray!
The Outsiders by S E Hinton is the start of this month’s Six Degrees book chain. I’ve never read it or seen the film, so let’s see where I end up. Continue reading
Rating: 3 stars
Sharlene Teo’s debut novel won a prize before it was even published and was the subject of a bidding war between publishers. Usually, I steer clear of books that have this kind of hype around them because I’ve been disappointed by Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome before. I decided to reserve this one at the library, though, because the debate on Twitter around an allegedly biting review in the Observer intrigued me. Continue reading
Rating: 4 stars
This time two years ago I read Goodbye to Berlin, Christopher Isherwood’s collection of short stories that describe life in Berlin in the years leading up to Hitler seizing power. Mr Norris Changes Trains is an earlier novel that deals with the same period. It’s part comedy of manners, part espionage thriller. Continue reading
Rating: 5 stars
Read for the Reader’s Room European Backpacking Challenge.
Years ago my friend Sharon lent me Peter Høeg’s novel Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow. I loved it.
I read Borderliners as well. I didn’t love it as much as Miss Smilla but it was still good.
I haven’t read anything by Peter Høeg since then. I needed a book set in Denmark or written by someone Danish for the reading challenge I’ve been doing this summer. Looking around online I discovered that Høeg’s latest book was out in paperback. I read the blurb and it sounded like fun. Continue reading