FEBRARY 2018 READING ROUND UP

index

Ratings: 5* – Outstanding! 4*+ – Good to very good; 3* – average; 2* – run-of-the-mill; 1* – dismal; zero * – no comment. DNF – did not finish . NF – non-fiction

Two books with the word Mountains in the title. Two books which could not have been more dissimilar – one a beautifully written book about nature & landscape (reviewed on this blog) , the other a somewhat surreal novel set in Portugal. I wrote a review of Part One on this blog. The remainder of the book was surreal in parts – particularly Part Two – but the final Part Three was wonderful, culminating in one of the most dramatic endings I have ever read. I have already added the novel to my 2018 Best Books list, under the heading of Most Original Novel.
Another huge contrast: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows – Balli Kaur Jasmal. Quite a read! Funny, shocking, erotic – plus – as a sub-plot, the solving of a murder. There’s also a romance on the go, so the book has plenty to offer. Those who dislike erotica should leave this book well alone!
I’m including a mention of a poetry book I read this month : The Heart of the Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra – Thanissara, but I haven’t star-rated it. It’s a wonderful epic poem – see review on this blog – and perhaps some of you may be encouraged to try it? At one point I read (and wrote) poetry, but not so much these days. So Thanissara’s poem made a refreshing change to my reading month.
I spent an enjoyable Quick Dip (QD) half hour with Maurice Kibel’s collection of Rhyme & Reason; another TBR bites the dust! At the opposite end of the Spectrum to the Bitter Almond Hedge collection – but there’s room in my life for a limerick and a smile, alongside the serious reads.

5* Mountains of the Mind – a History of Fascination – Robert Macfarlane. NF A wonderful rich read – spellbinding, actually. Reviewed on this blog.
5* The High Mountains of Portugal – Yann Martel. Dazzlingly original. A Must Read for me. Reviewed on GR: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2308999253

4* Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows – Balli Kaur Jasmal . Southall, London and the Punjabi widows with erotic stories to share; growing sisterhood and overturning prejudice. Reviewed on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/review/edit/32075853

3* The Right Way Up – Paige Nick. Light, fun read. Family drama at its breathless best. Reviewed on this blog.

The Heart of the Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra – Thanissara . Poetry, Buddhism, San stories and Buddhist Heart Sutra. Reviewed on this Blog.
General Tso’s Chicken and the 7 Deadly Sins : A Collection of Rhyme and Reason by Maurice Kibel. Limericks, light verse. Fun!

 

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