My first read in June was a small collection of Indian stories – I was seduced by the writer’s wonderful name: Twinkle Khanna. It was okay, but not among my best Indian reads. I am a fan of Indian themed fiction, chiefly for the colour and the vivid characters. If you’ve never tried Indian themed novels, give yourself a treat and try one. But not this book. Try one of Vaseem Khan’s Inspector Chopra’s series for a lively introduction.
I tried a Tony Hillerman Western crime novel but I’m a committed Craig Johnson fan, so I’m afraid the book ran a poor second best. The Hillerman crime novel had a heavy focus on the anthropology & cultural aspects of the case, which didn’t interest me hugely. By contrast Jassy Mackenzie’s South African crime novel was a gripping, one-session I-can’t-put-it-down read.
All in all, a pretty good month’s reading. It’s winter: chilly, damp, grey days are perfect for reading. A warm blanket, a hot cuppa and a book – what better combo could there be? Don’t answer that – I can think of several, but this is a sedate bookish blog!
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
5*The Sudden Appearance of Hope – Claire North. The poignant life of a living ghost; and an expose of a sinister marketing scheme . Reviewed on this blog.
3.5* The Lost Empire of Atlantis – Gavin Menzies. NF. Fascinating account of research into the lost Minoan civilisation in the Mediterranean. Reviewed on this blog.
3.5* The Music Shop – Rachel Joyce . A delightful story of middle-aged love against a background of music. Reviewed on this blog.
3.5* Bad Seeds – Jassy Mackenzie. South African crime novel, featuring feisty female PI Jade de Jongh, solving theft of nuclear material. A real page turner. Reviewed on this blog.
3* The Solitude of Prime Numbers – Paolo Giordano. A study of loneliness. Original concept for a novel, but bleak and frustrating characters. Not a happy read! Reviewed on this blog.
2.5 Touch – Claire North. Original, intriguing, but overlong. Reviewed on this blog.
2* Talking God – Tony Hillerman. Crime novel featuring two Navajo Indian detectives.
2* The Legend of Lakshmi Prakash – Twinkle Kahnna. 3 short stories & a mini-novella. Strong feminist themes in an Indian setting. Reviewed on Goodreads.