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.