The Long Ships

rec’d by Wobuffat (Metafilter) based on Michael Chabon’s review Acclaimed as one of the best historical novels ever written, this engaging saga of Viking adventure in 10th century northern Europe has a very appealing young hero, Orm Tostesson, whose story we follow from inexperienced youth to adventurous old age, through slavery and adventure to a […]

Fatelessness

On the 31st March 2016 Imre Kertész died. I hadn’t heard of him before I saw the post on Metafilter marking his passing, but in the thread his first book, Fatelessness was mentioned. It is a fictionalised account of Kertész’s own experiences as a teenager in Hungary and then Auschwitz and Buchenwald. He was fourteen […]

The Three-Body Problem

Remembrance of Earth’s Past : book 1 Translated by Ken Liu Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, […]

A man called Ove

Ove is a man who knows what is right, and what is wrong. The rules are there for a reason, and just because every body else in society seems to have stopped following them is no reason for him do break them. It is the right way to live. He owns a Saab. He will […]

Seeking Whom He May Devour

Reread in April 2015 and it was just as good as I remembered. Original review from 22nd April 2006. ISBN: 0098461560 Trans from the French: David Bellos Yes again a cover influenced purchase, so I am glad to report that a good cover can lead to a good read too. I really enjoyed this book. […]

The Siege

Sometime in the fifteenth century, an unnamed Albanian citadel is under siege by the Ottoman army. Among the besiegers is Mevla Celebi, the chronicler or historian. He will record the events for posterity. His job is to compose the story of the Ottoman’s campaign. He is the reader’s main viewpoint, among others, including two or […]

The dog

One day, in the depths of a Swedish winter, a little grey puppy gets lost in the woods. He had followed his mother as she followed the snow ski, but he couldn’t keep up. The owners searched for him. But they didn’t find him, and gave up, believing that he couldn’t have survived a night […]

Italian shoes

Translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson Fredrik Welin, our first person narrator, lives alone on an island he inherited from his grandparents. His only regular visitor is the postman, Jansson, even though Welin rarely receives any letters. Still Jansson calls more than once a week for a medical consultant. Frederik may no longer be […]

The chalk circle man

Author: Fred Vargas ; trans from the french by Sian Reynolds
An Adamsberg novel

Chief Inspector Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg has recently been transferred to Paris. His police methods aren’t exactly standard procedure and his inspectors have a lot to get used to. But they can have no doubt that he is a born policeman, and while even he is unable to explain how he arrives at his conclusions he is usually correct. In this case he thinks that there is something strange about the blue chalk circles that have been appearing in the Parisian streets. He is convinced that there is something sinister about them.