The Golden Legend

“The Golden Legend” by Nadeem Aslam (Pakistan) Review Distinctly historical fiction or with a clear taste of history both past and present, the four shortlisted books for this year’s Summer Reading Group were all of excellent calibre making it tough to settle on just one favourite. Our readers also noticed a recurrent theme in all…

A Fine Balance

“A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry (India) Synopsis Set in mid-1970s India, “A Fine Balance” tells the story of four unlikely people whose lives come together during a time of political turmoil soon after the government declares a ‘State of Internal Emergency.’ Through days of bleakness and hope, their circumstances – and their fates –…

No Man’s Land

“No Man’s Land” by Duong Thu Huong (Vietnam) Synopsis Set in a hamlet in the countryside of central Vietnam immediately following the end of the war in 1975, the novel’s plot is set in motion when a young woman, happily married to a successful farmer, comes home one day to find a throng of villagers…

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…