March 29th, 2011


(no subject)

Black Mamba Boy

Nadifa Mohamed

Jama is a young Somali boy, living the life of a street urchin in Yemen/Aden in 1935. His mother's death is the catalyst for his odyssey across North Africa in search of his father, who had left the famnily in order to find work.

This is more than the quest for Jama's father. It is also very much the story of Jama's journey to manhood.

I love how the character of Jama was so completely rendered. I loved how he grew as a person as his world expanded. Each new experience seemed to change him and become a part of him.

This book caused me to reflect on how our experiences change us, become a part of the fabric of who we are.


# 20 The Sandalwood Tree

The Sandalwood Tree

Elle Newmark

It is 1947. Americans Martin and Evie have come to India because historian Martin has won a Fullbright scholarship to study the Partition. Evie has insisted on coming along in the hopes of bridging the distance that has grown between them ever since Martin returned from the battlefields of Europe.

Things don't go as Evie had hoped, however, as the distance between them seems to widen as they try to settle into their new surroundings.

One day, as Evie is cleaning the bungalow in which they've been staying, she finds a tidy little packet of letters that had been hidden away behind a loose brick by one of the bungalow's long-ago tenants.

In her loneliness and isolation, Evie becomes obsessed with the story of the two unconventional Victorian ladies who were the letters' correspondents. Adela and Felicity had come to India during the 1850's, ostensibly as part of the Raj's "fishing fleet", but in reality, in an effort to escape strict Victorian societal constraints.

I loved The Sandalwood Tree. The writing flowed beautifully. The two stories were masterfully interwoven together with the backdrop, creating a gorgeous, luminous tapestry.

I definitely give The Sandalwood Tree two thumbs up!

  • cat63

Book 21 for 2011

Skulduggery Pleasant - The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy. 395 pages

Third book in the series and yet again, Skulduggery and Valkyrie are up against someone trying to bring back the Faceless Ones. To be honest, I"m getting a tad fed up with that, but this book redeems the constant harping on the ancient gods who'll destroy the world by being much better plotted and paced than the last one.

There's a minor continuity error in this one - Valkyrie loses her coat at one point and then is described as putting it on before she's had a chance to replace it, which is mildly annoying, but on the whole this book hangs together much better than the last one.

I can't say much more about it for fear of humungous spoilers (who could easily be a character in this series) but I'm looking forward very much to seeing what happens in book four.
  • gerbie

Nick Hornby – Juliet naked


Nick Hornby – Juliet naked

Annie and Duncan are a couple. They have been since 15 years. Annie has learned to like the music of Tucker Crowe, Duncan is the biggest fan possible. In the days before the internet that was a lonely job. Nowadays one can communicate with fans all over the world. And therefore it is possible to analyze the lyrics of his latest album for the 28th time. Not much options either, as Crowe hasn’t been seen or heard of for years now.

And then suddenly the world changes. Is this newcomer on the forum really Tucker Crowe, their hero? And what about the new album that is soon to come?

Hornby again writes a great book. Which looking back is actually quite weird. I didn’t recognize anything as in Fever Pitch or High Fidelity. I didn’t laugh out loud like I did when reading How to be Good. Nor was I fascinated by the curious mix of characters that appeared in Long way down.

The book is like a movie your girlfriend is watching, when you read the paper. By the time the movies has ended, you realise you’re still on the same page as when you looked up to notice what she is watching. You have been watching the movie all along, even though you thought it wouldn’t be something for you.

This automatically implies that this is not his masterpiece. Not necessary either. Not every book can be the essential one in one’s oeuvre. But given the fact that the masterpiece needs to be accompanied by several great books, to confirm that the author has actually written this one book that everyone will remember, this book will be the confirmation, one of those great books you also want to read.

I have certainly enjoyed reading it and I will buy the next Hornby book without any hesitation, regardless what the critics will say about the book.

Quote: “He’d be the first to write about the album, if he were quick. Better than that: he’d be the first to alert the Crowe community to its existence even! He’d listened to Juliet Naked four times, and he had already thought of a great deal he wanted to say about it; in any case, to wait any longer would be to risk his advantage.” (p.30)

Number: 10-062
Title: Juliet, naked
Author: Nick Hornby
Language: English (UK)
Year: 2009
# Pages: 250 (11689)
Category: Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-141-04774-4

More Hornby:
How to be good
Otherwise Pandemonium
31 songs
The complete polysyllabic spree
A long way down