Snapshot of August

Day 1 of a new month and it’s time to take a snapshot of what I’m reading, listening to and watching



I finished The Parachute Drop by Norbert Zongo a few days ago. This was the book I chose to represent Burkina Faso on my book journey along the Prime Meridian. It wasn’t a brilliant novel but I am glad I read it purely because of the bravery that lay behind its creation. Zongo was a writer who died because the regime under which he lived was afraid of the power of his pen to challenge their authority. The Parachute Drop led to his arrest, torture and imprisonment. As I said in my review of The Parachute Drop  this is an important book rather than a memorable one.

I’m now in that space where I need to decide what to read next. My request for The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt which was long listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize came through at the library so I started that. But it’s too heavy for me to take on my travels tomorrow to USA. My choices will be between Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (it seems appropriate to read him in the month when his newest novel – Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki – is published) and Maggie O’Farrell’s Instructions for a Heatwave which has lingered on my TBR shelf for way too long.  Maybe I’ll end up with both


I’m steadily working my way through all the audiobooks of Peter May’s Chief Superintendent Roy Grace crime series that are on offer via the library system. They’re perfect for the short drive time to work or to help me through the dreaded task of ironing. The latest one I heard was Not Dead Enough, in which our detective is confronted with a doppleganger mystery as he tries to solve a double murder.


The BookerTalk household has been enjoying Philomena and The Railway Man though the film version doesn’t bear a lot of relation to the book which I found harrowing. We’ve also been allowing to pass before our eyes, some old episodes of the crime series Lewis which was born out of the success of Morse. Lewis is nowhere near as good because although the lead actor is perfectly skilled in his craft, he just doesn’t have the calibre of John Thaw. It’s ok however if you just want something at the end of the night that isn’t too taxing.


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

6 thoughts on “Snapshot of August

  • I have a one track mind. I saw the word August and immediately thought I’d be reading about The guns of August by by Barbara Tuchman which I picked up yesterday. But I still enjoyed your comments. I loved Instructions for a Heatwave – a tale which lingers in my mind. And I always look forward to Lewis. Since the first episode I found Lawrence Fox’s character kept up the appeal of the original Morse.

    • I am almost at the end of Instructions for a Heatwave unfortunately because i have loved this book. Lawrence Fox is indeed the gem of that series, I wouldn’t be watching it if it was just Kevin Whately

  • I bought The blazing world on kindle over £9 read 18% and gave up. I hope you do better.

    • That doesn’t auger well Ali. I have on,unfit as far as page 59.

  • But ‘Lewis’ does have Lawrence Fox who is, I think, a fair way on to becoming as interesting an actor as John Thaw was. Do take the O’Farrell with you. It is a really interesting read and one that had me in tears at some points. I hope we get a new novel from her soon.

    • Lawrence Fox is what keeps me watching this series in fact. And I did follow your advice. This O’Farrell is as good as the previous ones I’ve read by her


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