Hot Milk – Deborah Levy

Hot Milk - Deborah Levy
Hot Milk – Deborah Levy

I’ve been slogging my way through this for a good few weeks now. Podcasts and more recently Jessie Burton’s The Confession on audiobook took precedence over bedtime reading.

And today I picked up a bunch of new books from the library all of which I actually want to read rather than feel I ought to. So I’m putting Hot Milk to one side, probably never to return.

Publisher page: Hot Milk – Deborah Levy

The Past – Tessa Hadley

The Past - Tessa Hadley
The Past – Tessa Hadley

The Present: Four siblings, plus children, partners and plus ones, meet in the former family home-cum-holiday home for a summer holiday and to decide what to do with the house.

The Past: Their mother returns to her parents, bringing her three children with her in an attempt to leave her husband.

Nothing happens, and everything happens.

 

Publisher page: The Past – Tessa Hadley

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundhati Roy

The Ministry of Utmost Joy - Arundhati Roy
The Ministry of Utmost Joy – Arundhati Roy

I loved Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and have vivid memories of devouring it on a wet afternoon in a guest house in northern Laos many moons ago.

Twenty years later, and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is equally wonderful, albeit a long novel with difficult themes: Insurgency in Kashmir, Indian Army torture and murder, the rise of Hindu nationalism in India, ethnic and religious conflicts between Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities, the extremes of poverty and wealth.

But there’s plenty of love and joy in there too, revolving around the outcast communities of Old Delhi.

Publisher page: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundhati Roy

Anita Felicelli puts it far better than I can in her review: Outside Language and Power: The Mastery of Arundhati Roy’s “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” – LA Review of Books, 21 June 2017

Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata (Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori)

Convenience Store Woman - Sayaka Murata (Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori)
Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata (Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori)

A very short novel (novella?) about a not-so-young woman working in one of Tokyo’s many convenience stores.

She’s very literal and has never seen the world “as normal people do”. Working in the shop, with its rules, routines and procedures suits her very well. So well that she’s been there 18 years.

And then the arrival of a not-so-compliant co-worker brings changes, both good and bad, depending on your perspective.

Publisher page: Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata (Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori)