August 31, 2011 31 Comments
In August I read 15 books, the same as last month. Now that the summer is over I’ll be busy with “things”, but then, I never read much during working hours, anyway.
The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark was my favorite book this month. India in the 1940s, old letters from the 1850s and the difficult and interesting lives of people in both centuries. Actually, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson was a very close second.
Books I read
(Hover over the covers to see their titles and authors).
Titles in orange link through to their reviews.
Major Pettrigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. Major Pettigrew is a widowed Englishman of the old kind. He’s trying to win over Mrs. Ali’s heart, a widow from Pakistani origins who runs the corner shop. Really good! 5 stars.
Baby Be Mine by Paige Toon. Nice chick-lit about a woman with a baby son whose father is a famous rock star and not her current boyfriend. But how long can she keep quiet about it? Nice read, 4 stars.
The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson. English Eve moves in with her much older and wealthy boyfriend to live in a run-down farm in Provence. He’s been there before, but won’t tell her about it. And there are secrets hidden in the old house too. Great read. 4.5 stars.
This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman. Upheaval in the life of a family when the teenage son forwards an email with a porn video that was meant for his eyes only. 5 stars
One Day by David Nicholls. Over a period of twenty years, the book describes one day in July for every year. The lives of the two main characters Emma and Dexter are thus followed through two decades. 5 stars
The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark. A wonderful, atmospheric story about an American woman moving to India in 1947 with her family who finds some old letters of the previous occupants of her house. 5 stars
Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson. Robots are taking over the world and a group of humans try to stop them in their tracks. 4 stars
Duma Key by Stephen King. A man who was badly wounded in a car accident moves to Florida to start a new life. It was OK but I wasn’t impressed by the sea ghosts. 3 stars
The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle. South California, a rich man with an open mind becomes annoyed by the illegal Mexicans he keeps coming across. 5 stars (re-read)
The Obscure Logic of the Heart by Priya Basil. While Lina’s parents still dream of a suitable boy for their eldest daughter, she engages in an intricate game of deceit to hide her blossoming relationship with a man who is very different from herself. 4 stars
Hamlet’s Blackberry by William Powers. Non fiction. In this digital age, we’re connected all the time and we’re almost afraid of downtime in case we miss something. Powers compares our time to the of several old philosophers (from ancient Greek to more modern) who were dealing with similar problems. What can we learn from them? 4 stars
The Surrogates by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele. A graphic novel about a future in which most humans have bought a surrogate who goes out and works and socializes for them while they themselves are connected to the surrogate from home. 4 stars
De tuinman van niemandsland [The Gardener of No-mans Land, Dutch] by Guus Bauer. A story taking place in rural Czechoslovakia, about 7 brothers. 3 stars
Het graf van de voddenraper by Bart Vercautere [Dutch]. A grave digger who is going to retire soon thinks back on his life. 5 stars
De geboorte van een wees [The Birth of an Orphan] by Maaike Gerritsen [Dutch]. About a woman whose father died a while ago and her mother is about to. She needs to look after her children as well as her mother and ends up in an identity crisis. Rather boring, 3 stars.
Other Books Reviewed (click on the title to read the review):
The Quarry by Johan Theorin. A film studio is burned down and the owner has had a stroke and can’t say what’s going on. Meanwhile, on the island of Öland, some people are settling in their new houses near a quarry. 5 stars
The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb. A Vietnamese-born American woman goes to Vietnam to find evidence of her artist father having worked there. 5 stars
The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards. Lucy has recently returned home from Japan and at her old family home, finds some objects that are related to her family’s past, a past that she never knew about. 4 stars
Changeless by Gail Carriger. The second episode in the Parasol Protectorate series, in which Alexia is left to her own devices and ends up travelling to Scotland. 4 stars
Other happenings on my blog:
I announced the Ugly Covers Competition. It actually starts tomorrow (Thursday)!
There’s a guest post by me on Stiletto Storytime’s Blog, a review of a Georgette Heyer book.
I answered 20 questions about me and my books.
What was you favorite book this month?