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.

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