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Personal Lists 2017 > Tanya - 2017

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message 1: by Tanya (last edited Feb 19, 2017 09:06PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments Toddling along yet again - hopefully I'll maintain a little more focus this year - last year was a little dismal! However, rather than making grand plans that never quite eventuate, I'll just to continue to attempt to fill in the gaps from my ongoing Read List.

Read List (view spoiler)


1. Ireland The Good People
I enjoyed this, but it didn't have quite the same impact as her debut, Burial Rites.


2. Angola The Book of Chameleons
Story of a man who invents genealogies for those who want to reinvent themselves. Set just after the Angolan revolution nothing is ever quite what you think and you're left wondering what is real. This was a little hard going in parts, possibly as its narrator is a librarian reincarnated as a gecko, but imagery is vivid and writing beautiful.

3. Serbia / Bosnia Country of Red Azaleas
This was my second book from this Romanian author. It tells the story of childhood friends, one Serbian and one Bosnian, living through the fall of Communism in Yugolavia and the subsequent Balkan wars. Difficult subject matter, and strong themes of survival and guilt have been told in a straightforward, non-sensationalist way.


message 2: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 4. Sudan The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur
Powerful memoir of a tribesman who translates and guides for journalists in Dafur. Along with the horrific stories of war and genocide there are some remarkable insights into the culture of an ancient people.


message 3: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 5. Nigeria Oil on Water
Thriller set against the environmental and cultural devastation of the oil industry in the Niger delta.


message 4: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 6. India The Lives of Others
I had a positive response to this book even though it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize (I haven't had a great experience with others).

Set against a backdrop of Naxalite (Maoist) activity in West Bengal in the late sixties it centres on the life of an upper-middle class family whose fortunes are on a downwards slide. Unlikable characters, feuding sisters in law, secrets, superstition and strong themes of family obligation, betrayal and class make for thought provoking and interesting reading.


message 5: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 7. Uzbekistan The Railway
I've been meaning to read this since I first joined this group. It is a series of interconnected stories of the people from a small town centred on the railway station. The book is chaotic and slightly confusing but full of interesting characters during a time of significant changes in Central Asia.


message 6: by Tanya (last edited May 10, 2017 10:05PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 8. Jamaica A Brief History of Seven Killings
I'm starting to revise my opinion of the Booker Prize as this was a winner and was amazing. A complex and detailed story of crime, drugs, politics, and Bob Marley's legacy. It took a while to get into as there were so many characters and points of view. Luckily, I listened to the audio version which made the most of the colourful patios, as I'm sure my understanding would be limited if I had to read it. Fairly violent, so not for the faint of heart.


message 7: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 9. South Africa The Satanic Mechanic
Cozy'ish mystery set in the Karoo. Pleasant, but not overly exciting.


message 8: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 10. India Midnight's Children
Born on the same time India gained her independance, Saleem Sinai's life is entwined with India's history. Full of historical detail and magical realism and beautiful writing.

11. Nigeria The Fishermen
Story of 4 brothers whose lives are destroyed after the prophecies of a madmen.


message 9: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 12. India The Year of the Runaways
Intertwined stories of desperate Indian's making the dangerous trek to the UK and and trying to survive in the UK. Quite bleak, but a powerful book. Extensive use of slang - spent a lot of time googling. Worth reading


message 10: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1866 comments Mod
My TBR list is groaning now,Tanya - added a few of your reads!


message 11: by Tanya (last edited Dec 20, 2017 08:00PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments Lilisa wrote: "My TBR list is groaning now,Tanya - added a few of your reads!">

I happily managed to achieve quality over quantity this year and had a couple of standouts.



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