Thursday, 1 September 2011
Below are the ones I did read.
Now, to make sure you all pay attention, there is a nifty quizz:
Which of these books helped preserve my sanity on the tiresome charter airline flight to
It may help if you imagine the following scenario:
"We are sorry but we have identified 2 suitcases without labels which are unaccounted for, so 2 very surly members of the groundcrew will now unload all 304 pieces of luggage from the hold, chucking the cases from a great height onto the tarmac (ha! that'll show you); after a couple of hours we will only have to spend another hour or so trundling along the airfield while the Captain grovels desperately for another take off slot, meanwhile, sit back and relax as the Man Mountain in front of you whacks his seat back against your knees and you wonder if you really did turn the iron off at home.."
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo - this was a stonking good read, Nordic detective Harry Hole in a serial killer saga, gripping;
Hunting Unicorns by Bella Pollen - this was a very entertaining story about an American journalist sent over to England to make a documentary about the aristocracy; I can imagine it filmed back in the day with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts;
Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale - this was heavier, more serious than I had expected; it explores the links between artistic talent and mental illness, and the tension for a woman in reconciling her role as a mother with her need as an artist to create; brilliantly constructed it goes backward and forward in time and swaps between the viewpoints of different characters;
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - this was a book everyone raved about a few years ago; I was reluctant to read it as I thought it sounded heart-breaking - the story is narrated by a young girl who has been murdered by a neighbour and looks at how her family is affected by her death. I did find it very sad but it was well done;
Twelve by Nick McDonell is a book I had hanging around the bookshelves for quite a few years; the author was heralded as the new Bret Easton Ellis/Jay McInnery; it follows a few eventful days in the life of White Mike, a yuppie drug dealer in New York; I liked it, it had some really good characters, including two guys who try to talk like black dudes (they are white) and of course come off completely ridiculous;
Finally, there was Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith - if you have read the 44 Scotland Street books by him and liked them, you will also like this; like Scotland Street, it also began life as a newspaper serial. It is based in Pimlico, London. One of the characters is a wonderfully odious MP called Oedipus Snark, whom even his own mother cannot bear.
* no, it wasn't the onboard shopping brochure or the snack menu; I'll tell you next time if you're good!