Armchair BEA 2014 – Beyond the Borders

Design by Amber of Shelf Notes
Design by Amber of Shelf Notes

I might do a couple of themes on my blog in the future on this subject. Not all my books are American Mystery and Thrillers, I do spread out into other countries. I read, on occasion, books from Africa, India, China, Japan etc.  For some reason I cant recall reading books either from the Middle East or Australia and I have no idea why.

I’ve just flicked through some of my reviews, and found that I’ve got very few reviews up for the countries mentioned above, even though I know I’ve read quite a few. I can only think that whilst I did read them, the reviews I wrote were so poor or non existent that I decided not to port them over to my blog. That’s bad, and another thing I need to rectify.

I have  recently tidied my bookshelves and have found quite a few books from the far east and these are now in their own pile, ready for reading and review!

Books I would recommend:

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. A large tome, covering a cast of near thousands, set in India. Not a book I would recommend to complete novices, but still worth the effort if you can work your way thorough it.

Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi. Written and set in 1940s Japan, it hasnt dated and has a definite modern feel (only a single reference to “the war” made me go check the publication date to find out which war.

Out by Natsuo Kirino. Set in modern Japan, it has a strong group of 4 women at its core, but has a bleak story line of what people will do when they’ve reached their breaking point.

Shogun by James Clavell,  Another historical Japanese story, a fictional account of the first western sailor to train into the Daiymo (and Shogun) elite

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. One of the few “Russians” I’ve actually been able to finish – and want to read again! Transports to a Russia in the early 20th century, when private passions reflect the turmoil outside

Other Blogs

I’ve become more aware recently of some bloggers that have worked on their horizons much better than I have, such as jhohadli who recently took part in the literary safari organised here

BookerTalk is one of the blogs I follow and she is currently on a journey to read more World Literature, and whose progress can be followed on her book blog


9 thoughts on “Armchair BEA 2014 – Beyond the Borders

  1. I haven’t read ‘Anna Karenina’ yet but I’m going to read ‘War & Peace’ this summer! All the books you mention are new to me but they all sound amazing! I’m definitely going to have to put some of them on my list! Great post 🙂
    Juli @ Universe in Words


    • tip with any of the Russians – keep a notepad near by for keeping track of who is who. Everyone seems to have at least 3 different names (formal, friends, family) so that someone who is Rudy to his mother is Rudolph to his next door neighbour and Rassalov to his commanding officer (and a completely different person to Rossolov)


    • I’ve learnt the hard way that the narrator of Shogun is dire – read the book, or at a push – get the TV miniseries with Richard Chamberlain.

      I have AK on my list to read again, as the one “Russian” I’ve actually got through!


  2. great tip about reading russian lit. i have anna karenina on my Classics Club to read list. Stopping by from ABEA!


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