What I read in July and August 2009

La petite pièce hexagonale and La Mer by Yoko Ogawa. Reading these two books and discovering this author was one of those moments when you think “Wow! That’s what writing is all about.” I absolutely adored these and am really looking forward to reading La formule préférée du professeur. I’ve read all these in French, Actes Sud published them and my respect for this publishing house increases all the time. If I ever try and learn Japanese, one of the major reasons would be to read these books in the original version (and if I ever learned Russian, I just wouldn’t know where to start: Gogol, Tolstoy or Turgenev??)

A Harlan Coben, Long lost I think. Good holiday read. Enough said.

The one about stealing eggs in Leningrad in WWII and a few other things. A page turner but I hope/trust all the atrocities of that awful time were concentrated in one story…

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates – my book of the summer. Loved, loved, loved this. For once I’d seen the film first and I must say that the film was a very faithful adaptation and that the lead actors both did outstanding jobs. I’m very grateful to this film (despite having chosen a Valentine’s night to go out with my husband on one of our rare cinema trips – I can’t think of a less suitable Valentine’s night out, really… All the disillusionment of broken dreams in one fraught couple and a tragedy…) because I’d never heard of the novel and it really is wonderful.

Hoped to be as enthused by The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, on the grounds that Kate Winslet might have starred in two films based on exceptional books. I enjoyed it but nowhere near as much, mostly because I guessed what the heroine’s problem was early on, and I thought it a little unbelievable that the hero/narrator hadn’t. I haven’t seen the film, so can’t compare it with the novel.

Mal de pierres by Milena Agus. This was highly recommended to me but I was a little disappointed. I think that by this point I was a little fed up with neurotic women…