Thursday, May 03, 2007

What I have been reading

For a long time I got stuck on the Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. This is a doorstep of a book about three generations seeking the grave of Dracula. It sounds trashy, but it's not. Kostova grounds the narrative in excellent historical research and has a fine sense of place and time. She is particularly good at behind the iron curtain stuff in the height of the cold war. There are three love stories here intermingled with quite graphic terror and the inevitable supernatural seems quite believable in the primitive village communities in Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. I was put off from reading it by the Stoker stuff, but I'm glad I persevered.

Before that I read the Righteous Men by Sam Bourne. This is an unusual thriller set amongst the Hascidic comminity on the lower east side of New York. A bit of a puzzle book like Da Vinci Code, but much better written. It doesn't rattle along at Da Vinci pace, but all the better for that.

Then the latest two episodes of the Bernard Cornwell King Alfred series. Sharpe a thousand years before his time if you like, but a rattling good read.

2 comments:

justme said...

My husband agrees with you about Stoker's Dracula...but I, on the other hand, really like it! (There's just no accounting for taste...)

Ruth Bosman said...

Hello Dr. Hamblin!

I just finished reading The Historian about one month ago. I really liked it. I like to read historical novels and biographies. This book is not what you would expect of a "Dracula" book.

I am now reading a biography on Chiang Kai-Shek. I read a biography on the Soong Dynasty, which has triggered a great curiousity of how modern China has developed in the last 150 years. Next are biographies on the "Dragon Lady", Chiang's wife, and Mao.

Greetings from an American in Germany!

Ruth Bosman