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.

4 thoughts on “Novels worth reading (or not)

  1. This is the first time I’ve gone all-electronic in the field as well. I’ve been using the iPhone Kindle app and love it. As for the books, well, my expectations were low. Brinkley’s biography of Henry Luce starts off strong, but gets slow.

  2. Thanks for the post. I wasn’t sure weather Thousand Autumns was going to make the cut in my up coming Amazon binge but you have persuaded me otherwise!

  3. I can’t help but notice the Hardy Boys series didn’t make your list. Let’s just be thankful that Frank and Joe Hardy are probably too busy solving mysteries to read your blog and realize that such a loyal boy-hood reader has cast them aside for lesser works like Wicked. With those same 6 hours back you could have solved the Mystery of the Swamp Monster at least four times over.

  4. I was also quite disappointed with Wicked. I saw the musical first and loved it though, so I highly recommend the Broadway production, if you get the chance.