Sunday, August 15, 2010

summer books

Tana French, Faithful Place, July 2010. First book read on an iPad. It's good but I think I liked her other two books better. Still, a good mystery, but I get tired of reading about drunks and the fallouts from alcohol.

Listened to Stone's Fall by Iain Pears, June 2010, in the car. Very long book. Would have preferred the print version, needed to go back and check dates and can't do that with the audio book. He's a good story teller though, interesting to move backwards in chunks in time. The prologue is set in 1951 and the first part is set in 1909, the second in 1891, and the last in 1867. Good plot, interesting characters, he keeps the question of Stone's Fall running in the background no matter which tale he is side-tracked on.

I am half way through David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet June 2010, and like it very much. I know nothing of the Dutch East India Company, nothing of Japan's history at all so it's interesting to read about. Good writer. Novel is set in 1799, on the island of Dejima in Nagasaki Bay. The Dutch East India Company is the sole trading point between Europe and the isolationist Japanese and Jacob de Zoet is a clerk given the task of finding corruption.

The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore, 2010, is on the Booker long list and I was inspired to read it because it's the only book on the list that looked interesting, or approachable, and Ian Rankin mentioned in a tweet that he had not read one of the long list Booker books. Me either, until now. This one is good. Set in 1952 in Leningrad, tells the story of the mobster government dominating everyone's lives. Andrei, a young hospital doctor and Anna, a nursery school teacher, are trying to live after nearly starving through the war. Good characters, good book.