This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:
- What they’ve recently finished reading
- What they are currently reading
- What they are planning to read next
The last book I finished reading was The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda ahead of the blog tour later this month.
On a stormy summer day the Aosawas, owners of a prominent local hospital, host a large birthday party. The occasion turns into tragedy when 17 people die from cyanide in their drinks. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer’s, and the physician’s bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only person spared injury. But the youth who emerges as the prime suspect commits suicide that October, effectively sealing his guilt while consigning his motives to mystery.
The police are convinced that Hisako had a role in the crime, as are many in the town, including the author of a bestselling book about the murders written a decade after the incident, who was herself a childhood friend of Hisako’ and witness to the discovery of the murders. The truth is revealed through a skilful juggling of testimony by different voices: family members, witnesses and neighbours, police investigators and of course the mesmerising Hisako herself.
The Aosawa Murders takes the classic elements of the mystery genre but steers away from putting them together in the usual way, instead providing a multi-voiced insight into the psychology of contemporary Japan, with its rituals, pervasive envy and ever so polite hypocrisy. But it’s also about the nature of evil and the resonance and unreliability of memory.
Part Kurasawa’s Rashomon, part Capote’s In Cold Blood.
I’m currently reading The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker.
Imagine a world where sleep could trap you, for days, for weeks, for months…
Karen Thompson Walker’s second novel tells the mesmerising story of a town transformed by a mystery illness that locks people in perpetual sleep and triggers extraordinary, life-altering dreams.
One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her room and falls asleep. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster.
Written in luminous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking and beautiful novel, startling and provocative, about the possibilities contained within a human life if only we are awakened to them.
I’m not sure what I’m going to read next. It might be Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik, but who knows – my previous few This Week in Books posts have shown that I’m incapable of sticking to a plan at the moment! 😀
History takes flight in the second book of Naomi Novik’s deliciously addictive series which captures the Napoleonic period perfectly and skillfully layers the timeline with imagination by adding a Dragon Air Force to the battle for England.
Captain William Laurence of the British Air Corps and his dragon, Temeraire, begin their slow voyage to China, fearful that upon landing they will be forced to part by Imperial decree.
Temeraire is a Celestial dragon, the most highly-prized of all draconic breeds; famed for their intelligence, agility and most of all for the Divine Wind – their terrible roar capable of shattering the heavy timbers of war ships, shattering woodland and destroying other dragons mid-flight. Temeraire’s egg was captured and claimed by the British at sea, but he was meant to be the companion of the Emperor Napoleon and not captained by a mere officer in the British Air Corps.
The Chinese have demanded his return and the British cannot refuse them – they cannot afford to provoke the asian super-power into allying themselves with the French – even if it costs them the most powerful weapon in their arsenal and inflicts the most unimaginable pain upon Laurence and his dragon.
And that’s my week in books! What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments! 😎