The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom

The Case of the Missing Books: A Mobile Library Mystery (Mobile Library Mysteries)
I laughed out loud (and made other embarrassing noises of glee) several time while reading this book. The main character was a bit unlikeable, so you could see how the other characters wouldn’t take to him. But they weren’t so easy to get along with either.

Israel Armstrong takes a job as librarian in a tiny town in Northern Ireland. When he gets there, the library has been closed. He is told he will be driving the bookmobile. Then he finds out all the books have gone missing. All 15,000 books. He also has to live in a chicken coop and deal with all the locals who know his entire history from the articles that have been in the paper.

It was very much fun. I can’t wait to get to the others in the series.

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon

The Yiddish Policemen\'s Union: A Novel

This is the first book by Michael Chabon I’ve read. It was lots of fun. The premise is an alternate universe in which Sitka, Alaska is a Jewish city-state which revert back to US rule in a few months. A young heroin junkie is shot in the head and Meyer Landsman is strangely drawn to the case, even after he was told to back off.

The tone is 40′s noir and everyone is a tough-talking Jew. There is even a Jewish mafia.

I did need a Yiddish dictionary.

Bad week.

I have tons of book reviews to post, but we were in a hit and run accident last weekend, and I’m trying to get over a concussion. Not to mention the virus I also managed to pick up.

Needless to say, looking at a computer is a little difficult right now. I’ll have to owe you those reviews. Since I can’t do anything else, I’ve been reading lots of great books!

Signed Mata Hari by Yannick Murphy

Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel This slim novel jumps around in the life of Mata Hari from her childhood to her imprisonment and death in France for espionage. It posits that she didn’t actually do any spying. She was set up by the Germans to make it look like she had leaked secret information to them.

I think it took some pretty big liberties with the facts, but it was an interesting read nonetheless.

Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra

Sacred Games: A Novel (P.S.) This is the 900 page book I mentioned in a previous post. It took 10 days to read it. Now, I know you’re asking yourself, what would possess me to pick up a big old doorstop of a book like this. Well, I read a good review of it in Bookmarks Magazine, and I was between books, so I grabbed it from the library.

Now, obviously, I wouldn’t have kept on reading a 900 page book if it wasn’t any good, no matter how big a feather I could put in my hat for reading it. I will also say I am not about to go around telling everyone they need to read it. If you happen to be fascinated with Indian culture, and/or need to build up some muscled in your arms, this may be the book for you.

Sartaj Singh is a police inspector in Bombay. At the beginning of the book, he gets an anonymous tip leading him to the hideout of the elusive gang leader Ganesh Gaitonde. When he finally gets in the building, Gaitonde has killed himself and the woman who was with him.

The rest of the book is actually two stories. One is the story of Sartaj’s investigation into why Gaitonde was even in Bombay and why he killed himself and this woman. The other is the story of Ganesh Gaitonde’s life up to his suicide. There are also a few subplots. Like a couple of other investigations that Sartaj works on. Also, there are about 300 pages worth of “Insets”. These are the stories of some of the really, really, really minor characters in the book. In fact, one of the insets is about a guy whose name was mentioned toward the beginning, but who didn’t ever actually appear in the story. These are interesting, but add more bulk to the book than weight to the story.

Warning: If you like Indian food, be sure you have a supplier close before you read this. You will be hungry.

March Stats.

Yes, I know it’s April 8, but I’ve just remembered I haven’t done this.

Number of Books read: 11
Fiction: 5
Non-fiction: 5
Juvenile: 1

Library Books: 6
Books from my shelf: 5

Best books of the month: W.A.R. The Unauthorized Biography of William Axl Rose and Then We Came to the End.

Total pages read: 3327