Week #3: The birthday list
It’s my birthday week so and I usually use that as an excuse to buy myself some books. Here are the books I’m going to buy/have bought me this year:
Already waiting in my shelf:
The Blind Goddess (Anne Holt): This is the first of the series starring the Norwegian detective Hanne Wilhelmsen. Last year I read 1222, the first to be translated to English—oddly, the eighth in the series—and was quite taken with the paraplegic, acerbic Wilhelmsen. When Kobo had a sale recently, I decided to nab The Blind Goddess, the book that launches Wilhelmsen’s fictional career. Needless to say, I quite enjoyed 1222 and look forward to finding out how Wilhelmsen career developed, how she lost the use of her legs, among other things. Scandinavian crime fiction has been elbowing for space in recent years, some of it good, some quite ordinary. It’s too early to make up my mind about Holt, but I can say this with certainty: Hanne Wilhelmsen is certainly different and definitely interesting. I won’t give anything away.
The Ring of Solomon (Jonathan Stroud): I had no idea there was a fourth Bartimaeus book, so when I saw this at Blossom, Bangalore, I literally fell on it. Anyhow, it’s next on my list to read and I can’t wait to have the footnoting djinni back in my life.
Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman): I don’t believe you can go wrong with Neil Gaiman, but I was also fascinated by the title of this book. Amazon describes it as “a fable that reshapes modern fantasy” and I’m willing to bet it is going to be a fun read.
The Screaming Staircase (Jonathan Stroud): Yep, another Jonathan Stroud, the first of a new series about a ghost-hunting agency called Lockwood & Co. If Stroud can pull off the dry humour of the Bartimaeus books this could be the start of something just as engaging.
The ones that’ll have to wait
Cross and Burn (Val McDermid): I’ve railed and ranted about the ups and downs of the Carol Jordan/Tony Hill relationship, but the events at the end of the previous book, Retribution, left me flabbergasted. What happens next? That’s the big question. Unfortunately, the book isn’t available in India yet (unless one is willing to pay four figures to have it imported or pay a ridiculous amount for an ebook). I don’t like it, but I’ll have to wait.
Saints of the Shadow Bible (Ian Rankin): “Rebus and Malcolm Fox go head-to-head when a 30-year-old murder investigation resurfaces.” Need I say more? Once again, I’ll have to cool my heels for a paperback edition to be available in India—or a reasonably priced e-edtion.