Summer Reads

About 5 weeks to go before my month long holiday begins and I can hardly wait. This weekend I’ll be preparing myself for one lovely week in Berlin and three weeks in England. My main priority is ensuring that I have enough reading and writing material. I had a few books planned to bring along, but unfortunately the list has slimmed down the past few weeks. So I’m open to suggestions!

Here are the books that I had planned to take with me but which I just couldn’t resist reading earlier:

Aaronovitch: Rivers of London

Last December, at Waterstone’s I was about to pay for my new books when my eye caught Aaronovitch’ Rivers of London. I liked the jacket and skimmed the blurb. I didn’t have much time to weigh the pros and cons and thus decided to go for it. Worst case scenario would be me wasting 5 pounds. Luckily this was not the case. If you like Harry Potter-like books and police stories you might be interested in this one, too. It’s set in contemporary every day London in which a copper, who’s about to specialize, discovers there’s something like magic and that he has a talent for it, too.

Murakami: 1Q84

There have been mixed feelings about Murakami’s last trilogy 1Q84. And yes if you want an explanation for everything that occurs in a story, this might be one book (or three actually) you want to stay clear from. In this trilogy two individuals are trying to find the meaning to their lives and trying to find each other. Like in all Murakami’s novels this is complicated by unreal happenings: parallel worlds, Little People, creepy religious communities where small children are raped and there’s a second greenish moon. The thing about this story is that not everything is explained. The fact that I as a reader am kept in the dark, just like the protagonists is something I liked, but I can imagine this might bother other readers. Despite not knowing what exactly was happening, I couldn’t stop reading this book. I finished it almost in one week. (Losing your voice and being forced to stay at home for a week can really benefit one’s reading.)

le Carré: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

It’s not the easiest read I’ve had. I’m not entirely at home with spy language or the Cold War. There are a lot of flashbacks in this book, the protagonist Smiley is trying to figure out who the mole is and therefore he does a lot of reflecting on the pasts of the suspects.  After watching the movie earlier this year I couldn’t wait getting my hands on this book. And luckily the book was no disappointment. Sure, bits and pieces of the film filter through while reading, but I discovered that I can accept the book after watching the film. To me they are two different entities that happen to share the same background. The other way around, however -first the book then the film- is most of the time a huge disappointment.

To Read

Till today my reading list is awfully short. I had planned on reading Murakami during the summer holidays but that one is already off the list. But I was in luck earlier. Both Samir and Vanessa had some books that caught my interest:

Cormac McCarthy: The Road

A must read according to Vanessa, I like the cover and title so this book might not make it to my book backpack.

 Neil Gaiman: Stardust

I heard a lot about him and I’m a great fan of young adult literature so I can’t wait.

Diana Duane: So You Want to Be a Wizard

Her writing style and my own are said to be similar, or so I’m told. A young adult book which reminds me of the books of Aaronovitch, Rowling and Jones (Howl’s Moving Castle) can hardly go wrong.

J.V. Jones: The Book of Words 1-3

I don’t really know what it’s about. But after reading the blurb it feels like a classical fantasy book. Good v. evil; a boy who finds out he can work miracles; a princess who’s not very keen on marrying a sinister prince and an evil wizard who’s been preying on the thrown for far too long. Maybe not the most exciting read, but an enjoyable one nonetheless and perhaps my expectations will be proven wrong.

Hannah Tinti: The Good Thief

The title reminded me of The Book Thief (Markus Zusak) a novel I really loved. After reading the blurb, the link I had made between the books was gone, but my curiosity was aroused.

Nadine Gordimer: Get a Life

To be quite honest I just went for the book because of the title. Covers like the one this book has usually make me put it back on the shelf. After reading the blurb, I’ve got my doubts whether this book is really something for me.

Experience tells me that even though it might seem like a lot of books I will get through these quite quickly. And like I said, I might not be able to keep them stacked away in my book backpack until the holidays. If you’ve got a must read book on your list, please share it.

Cecile

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3 Responses to “Summer Reads”

  1. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver was great and I’ve heard good things about The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman

  2. The old TV series of Tinker Tailor with Alec Guiness as Smiley is even better than the film. I recommend it.

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