Archive for 2011

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami doesn’t lend himself to easy categorization. Though his prose is spare, almost styleless, it’s more supple than muscular, and though his stories are often occupied with mundane domesticities, they’re also often founded in the surreal. It’s no surprise, then, that Murakami’s long-awaited latest, 1Q84, isn’t easy to shelf –it’s at home among either fantasy, thriller or hard-boiled noir – but one thing’s for sure: this book is grotesquely Murakami. That is, quiet domesticity punctuates adventures tenuously connected to reality, and yet for all its faults – and some have argued there are many – this is a book that haunts you long after you’re done, a book that, like a jealous lover, won’t let you move on.

December 31, 2011 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Literary, Noir, Scifi, World Lit

THE FIFTH WOMAN by Henning Mankell

I first read this 1997 novel (the sixth in Henning Mankell’s Inspector Wallander series) in 2004, and saw the television adaptation starring Kenneth Branagh last year. So the general outline was familiar; I even knew who the murderer was going to be. All the same, I read the book this time with just as much enjoyment as on the first occasion, and with even more appreciation of detail of its texture.

December 18, 2011 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Sleuths Series, Sweden

BOLTZMANN’S TOMB by Bill Green

“This is not a book about the great Austrian physicist, Ludwig Boltzmann, nor, despite its importance in my life, is it about Antarctica. It is more about time and chance and the images and dreams we bring with us from childhood which shape who we are and what we become. It is about science and atoms and starry nights and what we think we remember, though we have made it up.”

December 18, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Non-fiction, y Award Winning Author

THE DROP by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch is the real deal. Michael Connelly’s THE DROP is another superb entry in this outstanding series about an L. A. cop who is cynical and battle-weary, yet still committed to doing his job.

December 17, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, California, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author

A STUDENT OF WEATHER by Elizabeth Hay

Elizabeth Hay centres her superb, enchanting and deeply moving novel around Norma Joyce and sister Lucinda, her senior by nine years. Set against the beautifully evoked natural environments of Saskatchewan and Ontario, and spanning over more than thirty years, the author explores in sometimes subtle, sometimes defter, ways the sisters’ dissimilar characters. One is an “ugly duckling,” the other a beauty; one is rebellious and lazy, the other kind, efficient and unassuming… I

December 15, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Canada, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Giller Prize, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author

QUEEN OF AMERICA by Luis Alberto Urrea

Like its predecessor, THE HUMMINGBIRD’S DAUGHTER, Urrea’s sequel, QUEEN OF AMERICA is a panoramic, picaresque, sprawling, sweeping novel that dazzles us with epic destiny, perilous twists, and high romance, set primarily in Industrial era America (and six years in the author’s undertaking). Based on Urrea’s real ancestry, this historical fiction combines family folklore with magical realism and Western adventure at the turn of the twentieth century.

November 30, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: California, Facing History, italy, Latin American/Caribbean, Mexico, NE & New York, New Orleans, New York City, Texas, United Kingdom, US Southwest, Washington, D.C., Wild West