This time, we’re visiting two very different places. Macao was sponsored by my parents and Antarctica by the brilliant volunteers of Project Gutenberg. Thanks all!
174 Macao: The Bewitching Braid by Henrique de Senna Fernandes
I’m generally not a fan of love stories, and as far as this book is concerned, the development of plot was fairly predictable. But I enjoyed how the writer created the atmosphere in the different parts of the city. I had a craving for wonton soup and jiaozi several times during my reading experience.
175 Antarctica: The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910 – 1913 by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
This book was an odd one. A lot of it was excerpts from people’s diaries, like Scott, Shackelton or the author’s own and a huge part of that was ‘it was cold, it was windy, it was cold and windy’ (paraphrasing only slightly), the repetition of which made for rather dull reading. Having said that, I enjoyed the parts about the Adelie and Emperor penguins and thought the final chapter really touching (when they found their dead companions just a few miles from the next depot). The analysis of why so much had gone wrong was full of insights into the dangers of a polar journey and the necessity of planning for as many eventualities as possible.
The next places (hopefully): Kazakhstan (yes, still reading) and probably Grenada.
Yep, still reading and still posting. The books in this post were all sponsored by my parents – thank you 🙂 . On the nightstand at the moment are Kazakhstan and Antarctica.
171 Suriname: Surinam by Cynthia McLeod
I thought this was a fascinating historical insight into that particular part of Suriname’s history, especially the relationship between Jewish and Christian settlers. However, there was not enough voice given to the slaves but too much white perspective. On the whole, a somewhat flawed page-turner with good female characters.
172 Uzbekistan: The Devil’s Dance by Hamid Ismailov
This book requires undivided attention with its immersive frame story and core story, which become more and more intertwined as you read on. The mix of Stalinist prison with kings and queens and all the murderous plots are captivating and gruesome. Even more so, when you remember that the main character actually lived through this (although I don’t know how much artistic freedom the writer made use of).
173 Curaçao: Doppeltes Spiel by Frank Martinus Arion
I’m not a fan of dominoes, so this book had a slow and awkward start – a story about a day when four friends meet for a game. Having said that, the pace picked up a few chapters in and it turned out to be immensely enjoyable and gripping. You’ve got to read all through the end to understand the dedication to ‘brave women who fight’, and it’s totally worth it, I think.