Tuesday, 3 June 2014
Bibliofile - May
Another month, another 10 books. So far this year I've read 43. Books are such a great escape. Each one takes you away to a different world and with my eclectic tastes I get to visit many and varied different worlds.
I started out the month with a trip to India and two detective novels by Tarquin Hall featuring Dehli Private Eye Vish Puri. Both had a good balance of mystery and humour. I'm not sure how I came across them but I thoroughly enjoyed them both.
I also travelled to the Netherlands in The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden. Jonas Jonasson is the same author who brought us The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared which I just loved. "The Girl" was equally good following the travails of a young South African girl who comes into possession of an atomic bomb and travels to Sweden with it. Sounds bizarre, I know, but the book is delightful and uproariously funny.
Perhaps the most bizarre book I've read in a long time was the collected writings of deceased storied 60s and 70s rock critic Lester Bangs: Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung. When you read this book you often wonder did he write this when he was stoned or am I stoned reading it. A psychedelic stream of consciousness that often has little to do with the concert or LP (remember those?) of a group being reviewed can be a difficult read. But he's a fascinating writer. I like to think of him as the Hunter S. Thompson of rock critics. You can imagine reading these reviews in his monthly Creem column or from the Village Voice but when you sit down and read them all at once at times it can be tough slogging.
I closed out the month with a return to form - a detective novel - returning to Jo Nesbo and the third in his Norwegian cop Harry Hole series. Very satisfying.
Here's the full list of my readings from May, along with my ratings:
The Case of the Missing Servant - Tarquin Hall ****
The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing - Tarquin Hall ****
Persona Non Grata - Tom Flanagan **
The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden - Jonas Jonasson *****
Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung - Lester Bangs ****
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin *****
Frog Music - Emma Donoghue ****
Normal Family - Don Trowden ****
Bellweather Rhapsody - Kate Racculia *****
Nemesis - Jo Nesbo ****
So that's what I was sticking my nose into in May. How about you?