Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The First Heap of Books

The perfect way to start a new year is of course with a good book! So here are the last three books I finished last year - gosh, only yesterday... - and my personal reflections. Two collections of short stories - one wonderful, the other far from - and a budding brick novel. I hope you find something interesting to read here;

Heavenly Date and Other Flirtations by Alexander McCall Smith - you might know by now that McCall Smith's Sunday Philosophy Club-series is one of my favourite books ever. I'm not a huge fan of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency-series, but it is a nice, harmless, relaxing series of books if you want to pass some time and get into a good mood, from all its celebration of kindness.

You might also recall that I really didn't like his other collection of short stories Folk Tales from Africa: The Girl Who Married a Lion. At all. But I gave this one a go anyway. He might have improved his short stories-writing skills... Alas he hadn't. I guess some writers forte lies in novels others in short stories, and some has a knack for both. These stories were just silly nonsense with no end twist. Only great disappointment teamed up with a big sigh. Don't bother reading.

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - I hadn't even heard of this book before heidikins reviewed it *thanks for that tip!*, but I then found the plot so very interesting I immediately bought it online. And yes it was a book well-worth reading, with a time-travelling plot at least I hadn't read about before. I do like a bit of paradox in my reading, and in life I suppose, and this book very much had you thinking all the way through.

Sometimes a bit too much perhaps, and since I read it in Swedish I'm not sure the unevenness in certain passages, and the brilliance in others, might have something to do with the translation and not the writing itself. What I do think was more than slightly annoying, and I totally blame that on the translation, was the numerous weird choices of prepositions. And the plethora, even for a book this size, of spelling errors and sentence construction oddities. *Rather* annoying indeed.

But, other than that, I think it was a lovely and unusual love story, although I would have liked to know even more about Clare's (the Wife) background and choice of education and occupation.

It is a budding brick novel, but still quite an easy read, and I felt rather compelled to continue reading it all the way through at once. So of course I recommend it!

I Wish Someone Were Waiting For Me Somewhere by Anna Gavalda - seems like I never ever get disappointed by anything I read by Gavalda. Oh how I love her way with words! And just the title of this book is simply wistfully wonderful. A collection of short stories and she, unlike McCall Smith, really masters this genre too. Delightful, witty, funny, sad, 12 stories in one book. My favourites being the two last and the first ones.

If you want to know my views on her book "Hunting and Gathering" - one of my favourite reads ever! - you find it here. And "Someone I loved", here

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