No Pictures, But Plenty of Books…

I’m back from the holidays and I haven’t got the pictures to prove it. Suffice it to say that Crete was beautiful, hot but not unbearably so, full of history as well as good food and long beaches… and that it was lovely to spend time with some of my dearest friends. Yet, despite all these distractions, I also managed to get quite a bit of reading done. All with a holiday theme (or, at the very least, a beautiful location suitable for holidays).

  1. ZouroudiAnne Zouroudi: The Bull of Mithros – well, how could you go to Greece and not opt for the mouth-watering, sensuous descriptions of Greek landscape, food and way of life… oh, and crime too?
  2. Paul Johnston: The Black Life – also a Greek setting, but much more sombre subject, dealing with the deportation of Jews from Thessaloniki and its present-day consequences
  3. Takagi Akimitsu: The Tattoo Murder Case – intriguing glimpse of life in post-war Japan in the floating world of kinky-ness, tattoo artists and dubious bars
  4. Murakami Haruki: Kafka on the Shore – reread this novel of magical realism and permanent search set in Shikoku, Japan – this time in translation, hence with a lot more comprehension
  5. Melanie Jones: L’Amour Actually – fun, farcical but not terribly realistic portrayal of the transformation of a Louboutin-touting London gal into a French farming enthusiast
  6. EmeraldCathy Ace: The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb – corruption, death and intrigue in Mexico, with a lesson in tequila-making for an engaging, feisty middle-aged heroine
  7. Nicola Upson: Fear in the Sunlight – another installment in the murder mystery series featuring Josephine Tey, this one is set in the purpose-built fake village of Portmeirion in Wales and also features Alfred Hitchcock – yet it’s much more thoughtful and darker than it sounds
  8. Marissa Stapley: Mating for Life – a mother and her three daughters struggle with love, secrets, family and fidelity in this charming but not quite substantial enough tale set largely in the family vacation home on an unspecified lake in the United States.
  9. KellaGraeme Kent: Devil-Devil – the first novel I’ve ever read set in the Solomon Islands just before independence, this is not just an interesting crime story, but also a lesson in anthropology, featuring the delightfully unlikely detecting duo of Kella, a native policeman with tribal peacemaking responsibilities and Sister Conchita, a Catholic nun with a penchant for breaking the rules.


24 thoughts on “No Pictures, But Plenty of Books…”

  1. I love to do what you did when I travel…find books that deal with places I’m visiting. They give such insight into the culture. I like to read them ahead of time, during and after my visit!

  2. I am going to try the two series set in Greece (Anne Zouroudi and Paul Johnston) and the Graeme Kent. I envy your reading speed. I could never read that many books in 2 weeks, regardless of circumstances.

    1. The two Greek series are very different – one is more cosy, the other more noir, but both aspects of Greece are true. I’ve got a few more of each lined up, plus the next Graeme Kent. But I may not get such uninterrupted reading time again…

  3. Delightful to see you back, Marina Sofia! I’m very glad you enjoyed your well-earned holiday. You read a terrific variety of books, too! Wow! I’m glad there was more to like than not like among them.

  4. Welcome back! An interesting bunch of books – I still have an Anne Zouroudi waiting on the TBR to try, and Devil-Devil sounds most intriguing…

    1. I can’t resist an exotic setting, even though some of those books can be thinly disguised travel guides and nothing else. This one certainly was not. I also enjoyed Pago-Pago Tango set in Samoa.

  5. Welcome back, Marina – glad you enjoyed your holiday! I’m impressed by the number of books you managed to get through. The Anne Zouroudi series sounds great and very fitting for your summer break.

    1. Absolutely delightful series. I also enjoy Jeffrey Siger’s series set in Greece – the Paul Johnston is darker, while Petros Markaris is very dark indeed.

  6. Happy to see you back in action Marina ~ Will check out the books though reading now is precious between writing & renovating the house during weekend ~ Have a good day ~

    1. You do sound like you have a lot on your plate right now. I suppose my reading tends to happen when I should be doing other things (like writing or admin work).

  7. I’m amazed that you managed to read so much on hols. I nearly always get severe reader’s block due to exhaustion of being a tourist.

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