Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mount TBR: June Checkpoint



It is time for the second checkpoint in the Mount TBR challenge hosted by Bev @ My Reader's Block. I find to my delight that I have made some progress. From April to June, I read three more books from my shelves: Alexander McCall Smith's Espresso Tales, Donna Tartt's The Secret History, and Tarashankar Bandopadhya's Aarogyaniketan. Combined with the two books read in Jan-March, this means I have read five books in all, which is almost halfway to my ultimate goal of 12 books. Of course, I am woefully behind in my reviews, having managed to review just two of them.

Of the books read so far the one on my shelves longest was Aarogyaniketan (since 2006). It is also the one I enjoyed the most. It was a book that I wasn't too enthused about and yet it turned out to be such a gripping read. Perhaps this year was the right time to read it because for all I know I might not have enjoyed it this much had I read it earlier.

Brief Notes: Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

A few years back, Alexander McCall Smith was all over the place. Everybody - but everybody - was talking about his No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Eager to try the author, I not only borrowed  the first in the Ladies' Detective Agency series but also bought four of his books. However, the adventures of Mma Precious Ramotswe left me cold. I expected something like an Agatha Christie, all I got were some vignettes of life in Africa. Of the other series, The Sunday Philosophy Club started well but by the second book in the series, Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, I was tired of it. 44 Scotland Street was so boring that I had to push myself to read it. The result of all this was that Espresso Tales, the second in the 44 Scotland Street languished on my shelves. This year, however, I decided to read it so that I could be over and done with all the books bought.




And was I in for a surprise! I actually enjoyed the book. The adventures of the residents of 44 Scotland Street: Pat Macgregor, Domenica Macdonald, Bruce, and six year old Berie Pollock caught between his father Stuart and mother Irene not to mention Dr. Fairburn, made for some very pleasant reading. And I am quite eager to know what has transpired in their lives since this book.

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First Line: It was summer.

Title: Espresso Tales: A 44 Scotland Street Novel

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Series: 44 Scotland Street

Publishing Details: London: Abacus, 2008

First Published: 2005

Pages: 342

Other books read of the same author: The No. 1 Ladies' detective Agency; The Sunday Philosophy Club; Friends, Lovers, Chocolate; 44 Scotland Street.

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The book can be easily purchased on the Net. I bought it from a book shop at South Ex.

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Submitted for the following challenges: 52 Books in 52 Weeks, 2013 A to Z (Authors), 2013 A to Z (Titles), 2013 TBR Pile, British Books, European Reading, Let Me Count the Ways, Mount TBR, What Countries Have I Visited.