Category Archives: Irving John

Filling the gaps

When I recently added the A-Z Index (above) I noticed that the only letters of the alphabet not to be honoured with a review so far were I, Q, X and Y.  Up to that point, I hadn’t been making any attempt to review all letters of the alphabet, but now that I have noticed how close I am, I feel a certain compulsion to be completist about the project (although in no particular hurry).  After a little brainstorming and research, I have added 4 books to my TBR.

I was determined not to select a title just because the author’s name rose to the challenge (heart sinking at the thought of Anna Quindlen or Sheila Quigley – no offence to either of these authors or their readers; simply not my personal cup of tea) but am satisfied that those I have added are ones I would have read at some point regardless.  I was especially pleased with my eventual Q decision, as it is an author I had not previously heard of but is definitely something I would have picked up if I had ever stumbled across it in a bookshop.

How long it takes me to get around to reading the new additions remains to be seen (I will definitely not be self-imposing a schedule!), but anyway, here they are:

  • The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
    I actually read this 15 years ago, but a re-read is definitely required before reviewing!
  • Shot by Sarah Quigley
    I know nothing about this beyond the Amazon reviews but it looks very promising
  • Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong
    I think I may have bought this for my dad some years back, so need to scour his bookshelves & see if I can dig it out.  Chinese mystery with poetry – sounds original, at least!
  • Amrita (or N.P.) by Banana Yoshimoto
    I read Goodbye Tsugumi some years back and although I did not love it, enjoyed it enough that I thought I would like to read more.  Never got around to it, so this is my motivation.  I have a 2nd hand copy of Amrita on the way, but NP looks appealing, too.  We’ll see which happens first…

* All of the above subject to change if I stumble across something else equally appropriate and enticing!

* I may, of course, read more than one book by an author with one of the missing initials – no limits here! 😉


The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall

DATE FINISHED: September 4th, 2011

RATED: *** 

SYNOPSIS:  Golden – as a member of a small Mormon sect – has 4 wives, 28 children, and a growing feeling that his life is out of his own control.  While working away, he embarks upon an affair with the wife of his boss, which becomes the catalyst for the world as he has known it falling apart.  Can he glue it back together again, and does he really want to?

THOUGHTS:  Golden as a character is good-natured, world weary and physically tired.  He allows his wives to schedule his life, yet with being forced to work 200 miles away barely sees any of his enormous family, even in the brief times he is physically present.  It is easy to feel sympathy for him.  Yet as the 600-page story progresses and the wives and (some of) the children are fleshed out, sympathy for Golden wavers Read more of this post