This month was an even split between fiction and non-fiction. In total I managed six books. Here they are:
This is the first Booker book that I have read in my Booklitzer Challenge 200. It is the 1973 prize winner, set in India during the 1857 mutiny. It is a bit slow to start with, but on the whole I feel that I can reasonably recommend this if you are looking to expand your reading. I would probably go so far as to say that I may try to find another J.G.Farrell book to read once my Booklitzer 200 is finished. For my full review you can browse back here at my post The Siege of Krishnapur.
This is the fourth book in the 44 Scotland Street series. It once again follows the stories of Bertie Pollock, Angus Lordie, Domenica MacDonald, Pat and Matthew.
As usual I am horrified at the personality of Bertie’s mother, Irene, but the wit with which she and her family are drawn is irresistible. Without giving anything away, it is also nice to see two separate storylines come together at the end of the book. I am wondering if a previously minor character is going to be bumped up a notch. I must take the time to get the next installment – The Unbearable Lightness of Scones.
I chose this book because it sounded interesting, for chick lit. A woman gives up her high-powered life as an executive in London to have a baby and move to Paris with her much younger French husband. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t a view of infidelity and supposed French marital mores. While the writing was light, the characters didn’t grab me and frankly neither did the tit-for-tat affairs. But then again perhaps I have an old-fashioned view of marriage. You know, that there should only be the two of you and that being faithful is important. Obviously I was never French in another life, nor Bohemian, nor Hippy. Oh well. Can’t say that I would look for another by this author.
Following up from last month’s Carolyn 101, I spotted this at the library and decided to take The Don for a test drive.
The book was extremely easy to read, full of anecdotes and ego. Considering the fortune that the man has made, he is probably entitled to gloat over his achievements.
Love him or hate him, he certainly takes his business seriously and if we are to believe many of the comments repeated throughout the book, he is also big on improving things. Certainly not a business classic, it does still give common sense advice as well as an insight into a larger than life personality.
Yet another in the Anita Bell series of financial advisory books. I whipped through this one at light speed because we already have a mortgage, while the first half of the book is dedicated to saving for one, estimating what you might reasonably want to pay in order to do as the title says, and structuring that said loan with an institution of your choice.
My interest was in any advice for those of us already up to our ears in home ownership. Briefly, it goes like this…
Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice and budget like a demon. (And I thought I was bad about paperwork!) Still, I can heartily recommend this to anyone not yet encumbered by a loan, especially if you don’t want to flounder about for the normal 25-30 years of repayments.
Why Mars And Venus Collide
This is another in the Mars and Venus series by John Gray. I thought it was time to see if Dr Gray had anything new to say, and apparently he does. Unlike the original (which I am dredging my memory about), this effort introduces testosterone and oxytocin to the explanation for the differences in gender response to stress and therefore interaction. He also has two new techniques to deal with these responses and the communication problems they can generate. If like me and you have wondered if he was sitting outside your house pressing a glass up to the wall while reading the original Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, then you may enjoy this updated version. Get it from the library first though.
That’s it for September. I will see you back here at the end of the month for a review, hopefully, of some Pulitzer prize winners and the odd BBC Top 200 entry.