Thursday, May 24, 2007

I've joined Amanda's Summer Reading Challenge (thanks for pointing me in that direction Danielle) largely because it is a challenge with no rules and no specific genres. This works well for me in that I want to read anyway, and it focuses my reading a bit over the summer months.

I wandered around my bookshelves and pulled a few books off that I’ve been meaning to read for a while. The result is a bit of a strange mix, but I’m looking forward to them. Since the challenge lasts two months, I thought it would be realistic for me to select a book a week (bearing in mind that I’ll be reading other African titles alongside this selection!). So, here are my choices in alphabetical order:

ALLOTTED TIME - Robin Shelton
The subtitle reads "twelve months, two blokes, one shed, no idea" which just about says it all really! Here's hoping it inspires my own vegetable growing efforts (don't talk to me about slugs).

THE BLUE TAXI - N.S. Koenings
I've never heard of this author before, but the book is set in East Africa (cover blurb doesn't say where). I always find it interesting to compare how Africans write about our own countries and how outsiders write about them.

EXTRA VIRGIN - Annie Hawes
"amongst the olive groves of liguria" is lent to me by a friend and so obviously needs a bit of prioritization in order to read and return it. The proliferation of books on settling in Italy as a foreigner is amazing, but I seem to enjoy most of them.

JANGO - William Nicholson
Second in the Noble Warriors Trilogy. I've loved his books for teenagers and look forward to this immensely. If you haven't read him yet, start with his Wind on Fire series, beginning with THE WIND SINGER.

PITCHING MY TENT - Anita Diamant
I adored THE RED TENT and enjoyed (but less so) GOOD HARBOR. This is a collection of Diamant's essays. If I get it done before my folks arrive in June, my mum can take it home with her - good incentive.

RESTORATION - Rose Tremain
Another loan from Francofinn - I always feel guilty if I've borrowed a book and yet not read it. This one has been gathering dust for some time. More than a year ago I started it, was loving it, then I'm not sure what happened, but I stopped and now I don't remember the plot at all. So, here's to starting over.

" exquisite homage to Islam" apparently. Never read anything by her and suppose I should. The story is split between Thatcher's London and Haile Selassie's Ethiopia - an interesting contrast.

VERA - Elizabeth von Arnim
Von Arnim is someone I've discovered through the blogosphere and been wanting to read for some time. It is usually a case of living in hope that a copy of one of her books will appear in a secondhand bookshop. However, luckily for me, Elaine at Random Jottings has taken pity, and kindly sent me a copy and I'm really looking forward to getting my teeth into this, especially since I found THE ENCHANTED APRIL in the Oxfam bookshop yesterday, and ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN on bookmooch. Yes, I know I said I was only buying African books, just ignore me.

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Anonymous Ann said...

'Jango' I thought realy good, much better than the first in the trilogy, so I'm going to be very interested in what you think. Williamson is, I feel, very much a writer for the cinema who just happens to write novels. This trilogy owes a lot to the original Star Wars.

8:31 am  
Blogger equiano said...

Ann, you do feel the "grand scale" approach in his stories, don't you? I've enjoyed his work thoroughly so far, so am looking forward to this new installment.

8:31 am  
Blogger emasl said...

I look forward to hearing your thoughs on E von A. If you read Enchanted April first that will really get you going but Vera is a different kettle of fish altogether. EvonA called it her 'serious' book. Happy Reading

4:57 pm  
Blogger equiano said...

Elaine, a little bell just went "ding!" in my brain as I read the cover blurb of ENCHANTED APRIL - I went to see a film with my grandmother years ago with the same title. I don't remember all that much about it except that I enjoyed it very much, but I'm convinced it is based on EvonA's book.

9:49 am  

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