I think I’ve mentioned before that when I take a trip abroad, I like to read a book set in the country I am visiting or at least written by an author from that part of the world.
If Mishima’s novel was an unexpected delight so also were two other books I’ve read in December: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by the Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid and John Steinbeck‘s 1945 novel Cannery Row. I loved the direct style of the narrator in Hamid’s book and the somewhat mysterious nature of his meeting with an American visitor at a cafe in Lahore.
Steinbeck was someone I did not expect to enjoy but this story about a motley collection of individuals who live on a street lined with sardine canneries in Monteray, California, was something remarkable. I read it after listening to the author Bill Patterson talk on a book podcast about this being his favourite novel and one he re-reads almost yearly. I had expected it to be somewhat doom and gloom post depression stuff so was completely unprepared for its warmth and humour. I can see why Patterson loves it so much.
So what’s next in the final few weeks of the year?
I’ll be reading Graham Greene’s The Power and The Glory for the Classics Club spin a long and also dipping into Alice Munro’s Dear Life collection of short stories which is January’s book club selection.
What will you all be reading in the next few weeks?