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Monthly "Reads" > Shomeret's Not So Numerous November Reads 2/3

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message 1: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 1366 comments 4)Garment of Shadowsby Laurie R. King (historical thriller) 266 pages. Source: Independent Bookstore Started: 11/9 Finished: 11/11

Why Read: This is part of the Mary Russell series. I love Mary Russell though not always the particular novels written about her. I had my doubts about this one because it starts out with Mary Russell having amnesia. I really don't like amnesia plots, but I very much wanted to read a book taking place in Morocco for the Around the World challenge. So I bought it at the LRK reading that I attended at a local bookstore. This was the second time I met LRK. The first time was at a bookstore that no longer exists.

Comments: This book is definitely a spy thriller, not a mystery. There is a missing person case, but the majority of the book deals with spies. There were some expository lumps about the history of Morocco. I've never seen expository lumps in anything by LRK before this. It means that she either didn't spend enough time on this book or became too enamored of her research. The amnesia aspect wasn't as tedious as I thought it might be and I liked a couple of favorite characters from Justice Hall showing up again. The resolution was interesting and unexpected, but I gave the book a B-.

5)The Garden of Evening Mistsby Tan Twan Eng (historical fiction) 335 pages. Source: PBS
Started: 11/11 Finished: 11/17

Why Read: I loved Tan Twan Eng's first novel The Gift of Rain which was nominated for the Booker Prize. So was this book. I thought that this second novel might be very similar to the first because both books are about the interaction of a Chinese descended Malaysian with a Japanese man during WWII when the Japanese had invaded Malaysia. The main difference is that in this book the MC is a woman. That interested me even with the plot similarity.

Comments: They're not really that similar,but it occurred to me that these are both books by a Malaysian author taking place in Malaysia but the focus is on Japanese culture. The characters are very interesting. One of the most interesting is a real historical personage. On the other hand, I thought it was kind of distanced and lacked dramatic intensity. Rating B+

6)The Iguana Speaks My Nameby Roberto Moulon (magical realist anthology) Source: Net Galley Started: 11/13 Finished: 11/17

Why Read: There was a wonderful review from Kirkus which I saw on the book's page on Net Galley. I also needed a Guatemala book for the Around the World challenge.

Comments: These stories all have the same MC who is not well-developed. Some of the stories seemed like fragments. I did enjoy the cultural content though. I gave it a C+. See my November blog post "A Storyteller of Guatemala" at

To Be Continued...

message 2: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14273 comments ahh Mary Russell. I am starting Pirate King again. I lost my place from where I started it once before. Catching up with Russell and Holmes is one reading goal this year. I need to read books 2,3,7, 11, and 12. Luckily, thanks to a very good online friend, I have books 11 and 12 on the tbr shelf to tempt me to start them next. To RIO is the question... why not with book 11. ;)

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