I Am A Cat

“I Am A Cat” by Soseki Natsume (Japan) Synopsis ‘I am a cat. As yet I have no name.’ So begins one of the most original and unforgettable works in Japanese literature. Richly allegorical and delightfully readable, “I Am A Cat” is the chronicle of an unloved, unwanted, wandering kitten who spends all his time…

Burnt Shadows

“Burnt Shadows” by Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan) Favourite Extract War is like disease. Until you’ve had it, you don’t know it. But no. That’s a bad comparison. At least with disease everyone thinks it might happen to them one day. You have a pain here, swelling there, a cold which stays and stays. You start to…

Island of a Thousand Mirrors

“Island of a Thousand Mirrors” by Nayomi Munaweera (Sri Lanka) Review Readers were unanimous in their appreciation of this book. They described the writing style as beautiful and of high calibre for a first novel. It awakened all their senses, drawing them into the story and bringing the people and places vividly to life. They found…

Sleeping on Jupiter

“Sleeping on Jupiter” by Anuradha Roy (India)  Review From a classic plot-driven novel to an unusual collective ‘novel-essay,’ the four shortlisted books for this year’s Summer Reading Group varied greatly in structure, style of writing, and point of view. Our summer readers also noticed a recurrent theme in all four of dreams and their many…

Parade

“Parade” by Shuichi Yoshida (Japan) Review From a first novel to a first attempt at a new genre by a well-known writer, this year’s Summer Reading selection of crime fiction covered a wide range of writing styles. Readers’ opinions varied from book to book, so it was no surprise that “Parade” won the Best Summer…

Questions of Travel

“Questions of Travel” by Michelle de Kretser (Sri Lanka)                           Review Members of our Summer Reading Group liked the differences in writing styles and themes of this year’s four shortlisted books finding most of the stories highly enjoyable. “Questions of Travel” has two parallel narratives, one set in Sri Lanka, the other in Australia. With over…

The Solemn Lantern Maker

“The Solemn Lantern Maker” by Merlinda Bobis (Philippines) Favourite Quote Foolish men. Not for a moment do they think of their wives who will be widows or their mothers who will be childless, but about country and integrity, the bigger picture. Always the home is too small. The heroic resides somewhere else. If not the…

The Devil I Know

“The Devil I Know” by Claire Kilroy (Ireland) Synopsis A thrilling novel of greed and hubris, set against the backdrop of a brewing international debt crisis. Told by Tristram, in the form of a mysterious testimony, “The Devil I Know” recounts his return home after a self-imposed exile only to find himself trapped as a…