Owing to the seductiveness of the local library, I did not read the Millenium Trilogy last month. I am still working my way through the huge bag of library books I borrowed! Since the start of November I have read these three. In case that looks like a lot, (a) I do read a lot and (b) the top one was short and I read it in two nights, the middle one is huge and I am only halfway through it, and the bottom one was mostly read in October but finished on November 1.
Can I strongly recommend Leanne Hall? This is Shyness is a Young Adult book that gripped me totally and utterly. It is quirky and funny and sinister and completely believeable. One reviewer described it as an urban fairytale and it really is, in the genuine sense that fairytales aren't pretty in pink, but are much more sinister and visceral than that. Rumour has it (I can't find the reference, but Baby Bear, who got me onto it in the first place, found it somewhere) that a sequel is in production, and I will be extremely happy to read it. Such wonderful characters and such a great setting deserve more stories!
The Half Brother is the one I am halfway through at the moment. It is by the apparently highly famous Norwegian author Lars Saabye Christensen. I'm afraid I have never heard of him. He's won all sorts of prizes. He's a bit like a Nordic John Irving, I think. It's the twisted tale of four generations of Norwegians, mostly unmarried mothers. They live an unconventional life, there are episodes of muteness and circuses and alcohol, physical disabilities (the narrator is very short, his father is also very short and has a peculiarly crippled hand), death, love and mystery. I am personally thinking that I have guessed a big twist in the tale, quite early on, but I will have to finish reading the book to see if I am right! And if I am not, then I want to wring the author's neck for apparently planting an obvious clue and then doing nothing with it. I think it is a bit overwritten, but on the whole it is quite engrossing.
The Life of Pi won the Booker Prize in 2002, plus other prizes, after inevitably having been rejected by several publishing houses. I love a story like that!! It's an odd little story about comparative religion, zookeeping and survival at sea. I have read that various people have tried to make it into a film. I'm not sure about that. I wonder if a film would lose the spiritual aspect and make it all about animals? Would it end up more Madagascar than the book deserves. The author has a robust attitude to this - apparently he has said something like, if people don't like the film they should buy the book and read it instead, and if they do like the film, they should buy the book and read it to compare!!
My handbag book recently has been a Nevil Shute. I read masses of Nevil Shute when I was a teenager and young adult, and even experienced my own An Old Captivity-style hallucination shortly after reading it when I had a raging temperature and a dose of flu and was reading a book about King Arthur. Good old-fashioned thrillers. I finished that the other day and have replaced it with another Victor Canning, but I haven't started that yet and can't remember the name.
For the rest of the month - well, I would still like to read the Millennium Trilogy, but I still have several (and a half) large library books to read through. Plus as soon as they are read I am reading Towers of Midnight, Book 13 (!!) in the Wheel of Time series, which I started reading before even conceiving Baby Bear, who will be finishing school as the final book appears next year.