I found myself gleefully putting on hold a ton of books on the library's website one night late in February, and this month is the result of that nuttiness.
1. Middlemarch, George Elliot - Several months ago I listened to 3/4 of the book, but oddly never finished. Started from the beginning, listened to the whole thing. Whew. Glad that's over with. I enjoyed it, but admit there were parts I had trouble focusing on. At one point I even looked up the Spark notes online to make sure I hadn't missed anything. It wasn't an ideal listen.
2. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy - I loved every minute of it! Tolstoy's characters are phenomenal, and his storytelling abilities are superb.
3. The Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks - I have grown to appreciate the historical fiction approach that Brooks takes. I enjoyed it more than Caleb's Crossing, but less than People of the Book. It was a nice departure from the classics, even if the story in question (the plague in a small English village) was quite naturally depressing. Brooks has a tendency to project some modern sensibilities on her female protagonists, and so at times I question the narrative when I probably should just let it wash over me.
1. The Redbreast, Jo Nesbo, 2. Nemesis, Jo Nesbo, 3. Devil's Star, Jo Nesbo - The first three of the Harry Hole novels, now available in the US. Still lots of fun. Still not for the faint-hearted.
4. Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo - This is absolutely my must-read recommendation for the month. Boo's book is the story of a period of time in a Mumbai slum - carefully researched and then rendered into a book that read like an extremely engrossing novel. I knew of the abject poverty and corruption in the slums...but I also didn't know, and really had no idea. Honestly, please read this book. It was eye opening and heartbreakingly beautiful.
5. The Sex Lives of Cannibals, H. Maarten Troost - Completely agree that Troost comes across as a younger Bill Bryson. Enjoyed it, but was done about 3/4 of the way through. I think his sense of humor just got old...and very predictable. The cool thing is that I looked up Tarawa (the small south Pacific island Troost and his girlfriend moved to for a time) on Google Earth, which made the story even more real and cleared up some geography questions.