Red Strangers by Elspeth Huxley
Africa has a lot going for it as a continent – like elephants – but somehow it doesn’t often feature among my readings. (That could be because I don’t keep re-reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.)
I read Red Strangers for a reading challenge a couple of years ago and boy, was it a challenge!… But the last paragraph made up for it all.
(Do let me know what you think of it!)
War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy
This is where I rub shoulders with Nobel Prize winners. Besides, it’s such an epic…
⇒ Tolstoy, Mario Vargas Llosa, My Grandmother & Me ⇒ The World According to Tolstoy (El mundo según Tolstói)
Death in the Andes by Mario Vargas Llosa
This book introduced me to Mario Vargas Llosa and converted me into his faithful reader… Perhaps you should give it a try?
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima
Yukio Mishima is one of those writers who is remembered for the wrong reason: the way he died (he committed seppuku after a failed coup d’état). It would have been better if he was remembered for being a great writer. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is one of his best books and it’s based on a real incident (which I will not name here – the idea is the you read the review!
The Conquest of New Spain by Bernard Díaz del Castillo
There will be pedants who’ll say that I shouldn’t have listed North America and South America as separate continents here and further those who will point out that Mexico is in Central America rather than North America, but this is not their blog. New Spain as it happens did cover territories up in California among others (there’s a reason for city names like San Francisco and Los Angeles).
Anyhow Bernard Díaz del Castillo was one of Hernán Cortes’s foot soldiers and took part in the conquest of Mexico in 1519-21. The Conquest of New Spain is an eye witness account and one that reads very well. Enjoy the following excerpt:
Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Reilly
Well, on this blog you don’t often get book reviews of authors who are not only alive and kicking but are also on the New York Times bestseller list… so even if you read none of the book reviews recommended above (I know you didn’t, you’re looking shifty), you do want to read this one: