December 2013

Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)
A classic contemporary murder mystery in the Mickey Spillane tradition: hard-boiled private investigator in London with a fabulous name – Cormoran Strike. He is an amputee from Army service, and is investigating an apparent suicide. Excellent context of London, usually Soho in the rain.

The Secret History – Donna Tartt
A psychological story about 6 self-absorbed college students in the 1980s: alcohol, drugs and murder.
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
A really excellent, multi-faceted book. The first 1/4 is an exceptional description of paralysis due to grief. The book then described a self-absorbed and self-destructive life style. Then the final 1/4 becomes a thriller and the end is perfectly philosophical. Overall, excellent story telling and highly recommended.
The Bell – Iris Murdoch
Beautifully written, especially in the beginning of the book. Dora is an annoying ditz, someone who acts without thinking.

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud

the-woman-upstairs-by-claire-messudIntrospective book about relationships (my favourite topic); a single woman teacher and a Lebanese-Parisian family of three. The “woman upstairs” is a female construct – quiet, polite and causes no trouble; because of putting oneself down, becomes invisible and discounted. There is a terrific section describing the difference between longing and desire.