Listening to the BBC got me interested in a a whole different group of books than I would normally read..
Tom Keneally's (author of Shindlers Ark) The Daughters of Mars
, follows two sisters who as nurses sign up to serve with the Australian army medical core during WWI. Its a fiction based on historic events and and I enjoyed it a lot.
Nguyen Thanh Nhan - Away from Home Season
, follows a Vietnamese soldier fighting in Cambodia. I found this really hard going, probably in part due to the translation and gave up.
Boulalem Sansal - Harraga
, Set in post independence Algeria follows a secular woman doctor trying to cope with the country around her falling apart, when a pregnant teenager from the conservative countryside falls into her life. No idea why I picked it up except that the author is anti-establishment and has been banned in Algeria. I found it slow to read but interesting none the less, I suspect that some nuances were lost in translation.
James Salter - The Hunters
. James Salter was a fighter pilot during the Korean war and this novel follows his experiences. It is required reading in the US Airforce and offers a good insight into the boredom and excitement of war and air to air combat. At least in the early jet fighter days.
Olivier Truc - Forty Days without a Shadow
, a crime thriller set in the Norwegian Arctic circle following the exploits of the Lapland Reindeer Police (Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish agency set up to manage herd and grazing disputes between Sami reindeer herders). Easy read, if somewhat predictable/linear, still I enjoyed it.
Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
- I think this is a classic young adult story? Good, quick read. Interesting to get a little bit into the mind of an autistic young person, rituals and rules they form to cope with the world and how the world doesn't cope with his literal, honest approach.
Paul E Hardisty - The Abrupt Physics of Dying
. Paul is a geologist working in the oil business in the middle east, and some of his experiences inspired him to write this book about corruption and exploitation in that business. Loosely based on his experiences it is a work of fiction. Again a fun read, well paced and not challenging in technical details they story carried on further than I expected and there will be a second book. The main character reminds me a little of Lee Child's Jack Reacher, a little too perfect in his capabilities but not quite that bad.
I'm currently reading Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman which is back in line with my normal reading tastes (made harder for having already seen the Golden Compass