Novels worth reading (or not)

This marks the first field trip I managed with only a Kindle. Not a paperback in tow.

The highlight was David Mitchell’s new novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. He chronicles the lives of an honest Dutch clerk and a Japanese midwife in the island prison off Nagasaki that, in 1800, was the West’s only trade and diplomatic link to Japan. The novel is unusually conventional for Mitchell, especially compared to his less linear Cloud Atlas, but just when you think the story’s descending into sappy predictability, it broods and surprises. Highly recommended.

I also got talked into reading Wicked. I appreciated something light, especially on a Sunday afternoon after a hectic Liberian week. I just can’t shake the feeling I’ve lost six hours of my life I will never get back.

Finally, if you simultaneously loved and loathed the Stieg Larsson novels, you will certainly enjoy this.