Life of Pi by Yann Martel

When a member of our book club first suggested that we read Life of Pi by Yann Martel, I was lukewarm about the choice. Although I had heard of the book, I did not know much about it.

For a long time the ‘Pi’ in the title made me think this was a book about mathematics and somehow that wasn’t enough to grab me.

In the event, I’m glad the book club prompted me to read it. And what a surprise and what a delight it turned out to be. After a slow start, albeit interesting and readable, the action kicks in when the protagonist, Pi, is marooned at sea with a Bengal tiger for company.

It is exciting, unputdownable, astonishing and truly entertaining. I strongly recommend it and defy you not to enjoy it!

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri knows how to spin a good yarn. And don’t you love it when you open a book and it holds you from the very first paragraph? Lahiri achieves this effortlessly in The Namesake, a novel about a family of immigrants living in the United States.

Lahiri has a tremendous gift – exploring sensitively the tensions between family loyalty and individuality. The Namesake is a human story that will resonate with everyone who has grown up in a family. But more than that, it is an exploration of cultural identity. The characters seem effortlessly sketched, are utterly believable, and wonderfully sympathetic.

This is very engaging and warm novel. Recommended.

 

The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch | Book club choices

Iris Murdoch was on the Philosophy curriculum when I was at college and I’m ashamed to say that somehow that put me off reading her again until now. I’ve changed my  view.

And, if your book club is looking for a novel that will provide plenty of themes for discussion when you meet, then Iris Murdoch might be a very good choice.

I will be reading more of Iris Murdoch – and soon!