Thursday, March 14, 2013

On my reading list

The paradoxical luxury/tedium of enforced house-arrest since ankle surgery has given me lots of time to read (and shop online and start a blog).
Back in the days before children and online shopping, I used to read far, far more than I do now. It always amazes me how much time spare time I had, even when the children were little. Now they are school age they seem to take up far more time than when they were under 5.

Since surgery, I've read more than I have in ages. A book that annoyed me intensely was Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan. I found his female character very unbelievable. So much so that I dumped it and decided to have a break from fiction. I have a low tolerance of poor character development, so sometimes it's safer if I stick to reading journals and non-fiction.

I've just finished this book:

I really enjoyed it. I have a bit of a train fetish - spent a lot of time travelling around Europe and India by train in my 20s and early 30s. The author is a British journalist with Indian parents who returns to her roots and travels around India. Although it's not quite as packed with adventure as some travel books, I enjoyed her focus on the journey aspect of her travels rather than the places.

I love Christopher Hitchens. He was/is on my fantasy dinner party guest list. I heard him speak in 2010 and he was an amazingly inspirational man. This book was written when he was diagnosed with cancer, and is a truly wonderful read.

William Dalrymple is another of my favourite authors. He has written extensively about India and the Middle East (Check out 'City of Djinns', 'The age of Kali', 'In Xanadu', 'White Mughals' and 'The last Mughal'). He's a historian and travel writer who manages to make history super relevant and engaging. This is his most recent book about the first Afghan war in the mid 19th Century. I'm about to start this.

For a bit of escapism, I love a bit of Scandinavian Crime. I'm totally addicted to Danish crime on TV (The Bridge, The Killing, Unit One and The Eagle), and the Wallander thrillers get my vote of approval, too.

What are your favourite reads? Do you get impatient with bad characterisation in Fiction?


  1. This is terrible, but when I don't like a character, I sometimes read faster in hopes that the character will get their due in hopefully an untimely fashion. ;o) If they turn me off too much, the book might go unfinished.

    I hope you're recovering well!

    1. Thanks Lisa, the recovery seems to be progressing well.
      I agree about annoying characters. In this case, I think it's the fact that the female character is so obviously a slightly misogynistic male's fantasy. It makes it impossible for me to finish reading it. I guess Ian McEwan just isn't the author for em, although I've enjoyed some of his other books.

  2. You are quite the reader, thanks for the suggestions!
    I don't want to be bossy but I have to remark on Sweet Tooth, keep reading it, there is a reason you are finding the character oddly written which will all become clear at the end, it's not his best work but it's worth the finish I think!
    So you had ankle surgery, I hope you are healing really quickly.

    1. If you think I should persevere, I shall. I just could not continue, but perhaps if I return to it now ill be more patient. I've enjoyed some of his other books, so I'm not sure why this one is annoying me so much. It could be the ankle making me more crotchety than usual....