The months since January have been filled with work projects, making the moments I could escape into a book even more of a pleasure. Here, an overview of the books I have read over the past five months, with the addition of two from my recent holiday:
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. An escaped convict flees Australia for India to start a new life. Adventure ensues as he enters a life of crime and philanthropy in Bombay, while providing insight into the penal system he fled.
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. Actually a book for young adults, a quick read about 15-year-old Daisy who departs from New York to visit her cousins in England. War breaks out, the adults disappear and the children must learn to survive on their own.
Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier. A non-fiction account weaving together the stories of past travelers to Siberia and Frazier’s own experience exploring the vast region and its history.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. A young girl from a poor family and her stories of growing up in Brooklyn. Just beautiful.
The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. A psychologist explores the secrets that keep a patient, renowned artist Robert Oliver, in a vow of silence. His search leads him into an exploration of the lives behind French Impressionism. An interesting read, but not as captivating as Kostova's The Historian.
Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay. Journalist Julie Jarmond's investigation into Vel d'Hivs, a round up of Jews in Paris, unveils unexpected links to her own life. I fail to see how this could be a New York Times bestseller.
Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson. A novel inspired by Lucy M Montgomery's tales of Anne Shirley, which imagines the years of childhood that formed the girl who first appeared in Anne of Green Gables. Lovely, full of imagination, and exactly the Anne I expected.