Not a bad year but could have done more…

Last year I clocked 120, so it is much lesser but I have been reading Morse and Inspector Battle series from the library and physical books takes twice the time when compared to their kindle counterparts. I am enjoying them very much, so I am going to go with them until I can finish the series, by next year.

As long as I keep reading that is all that matters, to me.

I am Pilgrim

Nope, it ain’t me. It is just the title of the book that I recently completed. It took me more than 2 weeks to complete this massive 900-page paperback. I got it for 3£ on a second-hand sale. Since the half-term break was coming up, I decided to finish it just before then. Thankfully I gave myself two weeks time to read this. And it took just a couple of days more than that and some extra reading time to complete it before we went on our short half-term holiday break.

I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes is a book I never thought I would enjoy. I have read this book’s blurb so many times and have passed it because of the sheer size and magnitude of the story. But this time I decided it was time and since it was on second-hand sale I didn’t want to miss it. Terry Hayes is a screenwriter and it is very evident in this book. It goes back and forth with memories, with people, with pov’s etc. It needs getting used to such randomness, but the imagery it creates is very captivating. It is a very heroic story (heard that Brad Pitt was being considered for the movie?!!?) akin to the Mission Impossible ones. Very patriotic, very dramatic, very gruesome… I thoroughly enjoyed it.  My only gripe was that I couldn’t read the book lying down. It is too heavy and my wrists started to hurt after a couple of minutes. And towards the end, I spared no time (small breaks between classes, while having my food, any spare time I got I used it) to complete the book and just in time for my half-term break and my journey to Swansea.

Mission Accomplished!

I gave it 4 stars out of 5 (I am not a very generous person with respect to marks…my students would vouch for that 😉 )

 

It has been a mad week…

but I still managed to complete a book. The first week of school is always chaotic. Thanks to all the new students, the new rota, the missing teachers, the new teachers trying to find their way in the maze of stairs in our school, the lack of books, stationery, misplaced orders, confused timetables, … anything and everything that can go wrong goes wrong. Not just that, I have been shuttling between buildings (school has almost 5 different buildings). Among the chaos, my kindle was a constant companion trying to keep me sane in the insane world. I recently read a book which was on my to-read list for quite a while. The time was right and I finally finished it.

I started with The Elephant Keeper’s Daughter by Julia Drosten (Goodreads Author), Deborah Rachel Langton (Translator) because this is a culture I am slightly aware of. It is much closer to my home. The story is based in Sri Lanka and is about this girl who is the daughter of the Elephant Keeper and the story unfolds during the British invasion of Sri Lanka in the 1800’s. It was very well written and translated to bring the essence of the culture and the nativity to the reader’s mind. I enjoyed the story very much. It took a while to finish it due to the various day to day distractions but I took it slow and steady. Once I was done with the book, I decided that I will take up the one on my to-do list and finish that too.

The Lioness of Morocco by Julia Drosten (Goodreads Author), Christiane Galvani (Translator) was on my list for way too long now to ignore it. So I started on that next. Thanks to the Kindle Unlimited option, I was able to get my hands on this book. This book took me to another world which is totally alien to me. It is, as the book title describes, set in Morocco. I have no idea of the culture or the lifestyle of the people. In a way, this book transported me to a new place even without me making a trip. I love it when books can do that. It is almost 200 pages more than the first book I read by this author and so it took almost twice the time for me. But, I enjoyed it very much. I finished it just today on a much needed lazy Sunday.

I gave 5 stars for both these books which is a rare thing for me to do.

A Rising Man – * * * *

A Rising Man – Sam Wyndham Series by Abhir Mukherjee. Mr M read this some time ago and recently before our trip to India, he found out that the second book’s paperback edition was out so we went book hunting and he was lucky the second time. Foyles usually is our go-to bookstore. At least it is his. When he had finished almost 3/4th of the book, he turned to me and said that this series was TV series material and it would be good to see it in a TV series. I haven’t heard that from him for other books (maybe because most of them are non-fiction) so I told him that I will give it a try after we come back from our vacation to India.

I started the first book, A Rising Man on a Saturday and completed it by Tuesday. It was a detective series but set in a very different background. A background I have had the opportunity to read at length but from a different perspective and a different angle. The story is set in Kolkotta (earlier known as Calcutta) during the British regime. That in itself is a tricky thing because you don’t have a choice but to add the history that took place during that time and it involved a lot especially in a place like Kolkatta which was the hotspot at that time. The story ends when the Jalianwala Bagh incident happened in Amritsar. The turning point of Indian Independence history, as we have read about it.

A murder takes place and the victim is a British officer. The newly transferred Sam Wyndham is appointed to investigate. Surrender-not (actual name: Surendranath, but simplified for easy pronunciation) is the Watson to Sam’s Sherlock. To be honest, I kind of guessed who it might have been halfway through, but I couldn’t figure out the why or the how. It was just pure guesswork and I got lucky. Mr M was trying to put me off the scent but I knew it in my heart that I was kind of right in my guess (and maybe the small bits of information that weren’t there also helped)

There is no Sherlock-ism in here. Lot of legwork, travelling around gathering information battling against the humidity of the country and the city, not less the antagonism against the British empire. It is very interesting to read and brings forth a lot of the cultural elements of the City (and the Country). It was a good choice by Mr M to recommend it to me (and I wonder how he got to know of this in the first place). Thank you, Sir and I will definitely get on the second book shortly.

I would definitely give it 4 stars (as I did in my Goodreads) and it will be very very interesting to see if it was made into a TV Series. It is historical and so it would need a lot of work in the Arts department to recreate the atmosphere. Good luck, if anyone wants to try.

DI Nick Dixon – ****

Finally, I finished the last book (at least for now) of DI Nick Dixon’s series by Damien Boyd. Once I started the first book, I decided that I will finish the series. It was only 8 books. It wasn’t that difficult even though I had to slow down on School days. Each story was unique and different characters were involved in solving the crime and the team with Nick was very efficient. I also loved the small backstories that went into each of these novels. The subtle humour is amazing 😉

If you fancy murder and detective series situated in Somerset and Avon area, try Nick Dixon. I thoroughly enjoyed it.