Thursday, July 07, 2005

Summer fiction reading

One of the odd realities of trekking is that it allows quite a lot of time for reading, if you are not too tired and are willing to risk running down the batteries on your head lamp. Consequently in three weeks I read more fiction than I expect to touch for another year. Here's the run down on my summer reading.

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. Apparently this was a run away bestseller a few years ago. If you are lucky enough NOT to have read it, all I can say is, don't. Detective Stephanie Plum is a tedious looser.

Gone Fishin' by Walter Mosley. This is a prequel to Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries, set in pre-World War II rural Texas. It is a slight effort, but grippingly descriptive of aspects of African American life that are certainly gone today -- if they ever existed. Recommended. Now I better get around to reading Mosley's main dish, the mysteries set in Los Angeles.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, an epic of Afghanistan and a father and sons, the country and the men torn apart by invaders, occupiers and their own weaknesses. This is hugely ambitious and not entirely successful but absolutely recommended. I particularly appreciated the vignettes of the Afghan refugee community in Fremont, California. If Hosseini writes another novel, I suspect it will be tighter and even more compelling.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. What a pleasure! A novel about an African country, Botswana, that doesn't make its setting seem like a basket case and which isn't some angst ridden story of horror. Yes, yes, yes!

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