It is time for an update, I know I’ve left some out, but this is the rough latest list, and I make no excuses for starting off with three books generally set in countries I was travelling through, or about to arrive in…this time I’m going to attempt a mini review as well…initial thought was a haiku approach, but damn, there are beaches to get to tomorrow, and we only have a few weeks left before we return to reality, so I’ve settled for max 3 lines…
A Cook’s Tour – in search of the perfect meal – Anthony Bourdain
- Salivating, not just due to my random crush on Bourdain, he gives you a taste of the food, place, people; yes it helps having watched numerous ‘without reservations’, but the book is still stand-alone delicious, puns now over, foodie word heaven.
The Quiet American – Graham Greene
- The ‘Shantaram’ of Vietnam, I found it a slow and quiet read, and I’m a Greene fan, just didn’t live up to Brighton Rock for me, just how I felt, maybe the less than subtle introduction to Saigon’s sex tourism in the backpacker zone twisted the tale?
In the Empire of Dreams – Dianne Highbridge
- A quaffer read that was a little more, short stories, expats in Tokyo, cultural anomalies, celebrations, evocative, relatively well written, found the swap a week before flying into Narita, so freely and perfectly set the scene before arrival.
The Museum of Innocence – Orhan Pamuk
- A tome to divide in two; obsession and collection. I personally preferred the latter, and the social history lesson of Istanbul in the 70s, there are truly stunning moments, combined with stretches of studious monotony, if you get to the other side you’ll think.
The Ancestors’ tale – Richard Dawkins
- A guest entry from Loc, who has been wittering about separated lizards, aye-aye’s eyes and the beaver’s tail for weeks now, judging by how much he remembers and can regurgitate as an advanced species after 10 tiger beers, it’s worth the commitment.
Golden Fox – Wilbur Smith
- Picture him, 6ft and more of gorgeous hunk, add an evil left wing twist, the usual Courtney family bonds, baby, beauty and resources; you have another mildly addictive Wilbur tale, this time set in a much closer time zone.
Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
- See I’ve always seen this as a point of no return, when out; that extra wafer thin mint that sends you over the edge, the last shot you really shouldn’t have ordered, but you need to expand, apply it to the bigger picture, thoughtful book, still prefer blink.
13 reasons why – Jay Asher
- Technically smart, topically needed, as page turning as a Dan Brown and so so much better written, aimed at young adults, should be read by all, did you smile at them? no?…well you know what that could just be their tipping point, so re-act.
Sound of Thunder – yet another Courtney saga
- Second guest appearance, not even finished, so hot off the reading press, has the usual rollicking Courtney dramas, nice guy is bad, good guy is evil, but funnily enough, not as exciting as the others is the word straight from the other reviewer’s mouth…yet.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – John Le Carre
- Back to me, another one of those lucky swaps, love Le Carre, however Philistine this sounds, suffice to say I am so far completely befuddled, occasionally bored, know more about propping up caravans than spies, and can’t wait for the home run (or film?)
And so I leave you with the latest best location to read, if you can’t be on La Vela pier, a hammock does rather well, next instalment I hope will be my Dad’s latest picks for me as I’m back in Rome home soon!!!! And for those that missed the first instalment: