Even though it’s my birthday today and I knew I would be unwrapping some bookish presents (well what else would you buy an avid reader??), I couldn’t resist the temptation yesterday to add to my TBR pile. When you find a title that so many people have recommended and its at the incredible bargain price of £1 (roughly equivalent to 75 US cents) it would be madness to leave it on the shelf wouldn’t it? Particularly when the proceeds are going to a good cause (heart disease research in this case) and I’m making a contribution – admittedly small – contribution to the British economy.
So I am now the owner of a very good condition copy of Rohinton Mistry‘s A Fine Balance, a novel that won the 1996 Commonwealth Writers Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker prize in the same year.
Here’s what else I acquired.
Having seen the film 84 Charing Cross Road at least a dozen times, I’m hoping the book will be just as brilliant. Helene Hanff as portrayed by Anne Bancroft comes across as a wonderfully dry-witted character that would be a tremendously entertaining dinner party guest. Wonder if that comes across in the book?
Maggie O’Farrell is an author whose work I was introduced to when I friend bought me The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox which I found riveting with its interwoven narratives whose connections only slowly become apparent. The Hand that First Held Mine was just as good so I’m looking forward to reading O’Farrell’s third novel The Distance Between Us.
There’s been a lot of media attention recently for The Reluctant Fundamentalist which has just been released as a film featuring Kiefer Sutherland and Riz Ahmed. This story of a Pakistani man whose life in the U.S. changes dramatically after the 9/11 attacks, won acclaim from several quarters and was also Was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
The last book in my pile, Edward Marston’s The Railway Detective, is a wild card for me. I’ve not heard of this author before or this series but the cover just appealed to me. Maybe there was also a subliminal connection to the reading I was doing earlier this week about the connection between railways and novels for a posting as part of my history of the novel challenge. Hope it proves to be a lucky coincidence.
As for what delights lie in store as birthday gifts, I have to wait unfortunately until Mr Booker Man can drag himself out of slumberland so I can open them…