September 2013 reads

>> Tuesday, October 01, 2013

This is going to be pretty short this month; unsurprising, given that I was travelling for a lot of the time. I did read more than it shows there, though. Much of the first 10 days or so of the month were spent on books I was still reading at the end of last month (including that massive doorstopper The Kills), and even my one DNF this month I abandoned after reading 400 pages.

1 - A Tale For The Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki: A-
review coming soon

On the Man Booker shortlist. Ruth, a writer, finds a diary in a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up to her Pacific island in Canada. It turns out to have been writen by Nao, a 16-year-old Japanese schoolgirl. The book is as much about Nao and Ruth's stories as about Zen Buddhism and quantum theory, and I loved every minute of it.

2 - The Arrangement, by Mary Balogh: B-
review coming soon

The hero is a veteran who was blinded in battle, and whose family is determined to find him a wife, whether he wants one or not. After a couple of close calls, he ends up in an arranged marriage to the young woman who helped him get out of one of them. Nice, but not particularly exciting or involving, unfortunately.

3 - Deadly Decisions, by Kathy Reichs: C-
review coming soon

Audiobook. Forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan investigates deaths related to an all-out war between rival motorcycle gangs. Too much willfully stupid behaviour in order to drive the plot in the directions Reichs needed it to go.

4 - The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton: DNF
review coming soon

On the Man Booker shortlist. The plot revolves around mysterious gold lost and found, and is set in the 1860s, in a remote corner of New Zealand. It's set among gold prospectors and the community that has grown around them. I read half of this 800-page book and decided that although a lot was going on, I hadn't the slightest interest in any of these characters or what on earth was the deal with the gold.

5 - A Monstrous Regiment of Women, by Laurie R King: still listening
review coming soon

Audiobook. Second in a series about Mary Russell, a young woman who becomes Sherlock Holmes' colleague, friend, and then something more. The mystery is centred on a feminist religious community, and there's also Holmes' and Russell's relationship coming to a critical point. So far, as good as the first one.

6 - The Crown of Embers, by Rae Carson: still listening
review coming soon

Audiobook. Second in a series, would probably not make much sense without reading book 1. Elisa is now queen, but before she can settle into her role, it becomes clear the danger is not over. I'm liking it so far.

7 - Married To A Bedouin, by Marguerite van Geldermalsen: still reading
review coming soon

The author visited Petra in the late 70s and fell in love with a man she met there, a Bedouin. They married, and she lived there with him and his family until his death, 24 years later. Interesting to read having just visited Petra, especially how it's changed over the years, but so far the writing itself is not that great, and I've sort of abandoned it as I race to finish the Man Booker books before the winner is announced.


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