Just to balance out the previous post in which I declare an abject lack of stamina for science books, here are some books I have finished recently and can thoroughly recommend:
Scarlett Thomas “PopCo” and “The End of Mr. Y”: I read PopCo a few months before going to Totnes (where much of the story is set) and staying at Dartington Hall which is where I think some of the story is set. Mr. Y is a nice little fantasy based on the weird and wonderful places that homoeopathy can take you. If you can suspend your disbelief enough to let the story take you on a journey then both are well written and enjoyable.
Curtis Sittenfeld “American Wife” and “Prep”: I picked up American Wife (based loosely on Laura Bush) as part of a 3 for 2 offer and couldn’t put it down! Prep I bought to read more of Sittenfeld’s work and found the lead female character to have a lot in common with the lead female in American Wife. Still, both were great stories with compelling characters. Prep’s set at a boarding school and is described on the cover by the Independent on Sunday as ‘Sweet Valley High as written by George Elliot”.
I finally bit the bullet and read “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger. It was good, and also beautifully written. I’ll probably order “Her Fearful Symmetry” once it comes out in paperback.
Richard Aaron’s “Gauntlet” was a fairly compelling story of international terrorism, with various threads of the story coming together in a predictable manner in a page turning conclusion. I’m not quite sure how predictable story threads turn out to be page turning – perhaps I just wanted to know if I was right or not!
I’ve also polished off quite a few action movie style novels a la Clive Cussler and similar authors. Good escapism that requires little intellectual input – perfect term-time reading. And a number of Jeffrey Archer’s short story anthologies (about all I had left to read in his back catalogue).
Currently on my to read list are the following books (all due to be published/republished in the next 2 or 3 months):
Patrick Robinson “Intercept” (probably not Arnold Morgan, one of the key characters of Robinson’s first 10 novels about the US military, but if its as good as Diamond Head was, I’ll be very happy. I’ve been buying Robinson’s submarine stories every year since discovering Nimitz Class at the channel tunnel terminal bookshop in 1997. It isn’t summer really without a Robinson to take on holiday)
Quintin Jardine “A Rush of Blood” (I can’t believe that this will be the 20th Bob Skinner novel until I realise that I have been reading them for about 15 years and looking forward each year to the next one being released)
And I’ll probably pick up a Sittenfeld’s “The Man of My Dreams” and Jeffrey Archer’s “And Thereby Hangs a Tale” to complete the summer reading.
Based on a twisted mixture of American authors, submarine and military tales and detective novels set in Edinburgh (but not really Rebus if I’m being honest), any suggestions?