This month I finished two fiction and one non-fiction book. Woohoo! Let’s go!
The Night Tiger has all the delicious elements that I enjoy and seek in historical fiction. Written by Malaysian Yangsze Choo, The Night Tiger is set in 1930s Malaysia and is essentially about a missing finger.
The story follows a young dressmaker, Ji Lin, a houseboy, Ren, and even a British doctor. Choo does an amazing job of describing Malaysia, the culture, folklore, and characters, all the while guiding you along to reveal how the characters will connect.
It’s a slow burn, but I read it quickly. I loved learning more about Malaysian culture and discovering similarities between Thai. Highly recommend.
“A galloping good read that’s blessedly free of political polemics and post-colonial self-righteousness.”Patricia Schultheis, The Washington Independent Review of Books
It took me over a year to read this because I’d read only a few passages (or comedic bits) every morning. Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld became part of my routine of starting my day with laughter — and now I need something else to replace it.
Organized by decade, Is This Anything? is Seinfeld’s favorite standup material, and only for those who, like me, enjoy the comedian, and funny writing. Blogger Jeremy in Hong Hong shared how he bought the audio only to learn it was read by someone else (!) and I can totally see how this is not the kind of book you’d read like a normal one.
“It almost looks like a book of poetry…It made me realize a joke is a precision instrument, every word is a beat.”Susan Morrison, The New Yorker
After reading such a great story as The Night Tiger, it’s always a challenge to find a follow up. For this reason, I like to have some tested classics on hand, like The Name of the Wind, a well-loved fantasy, by Patrick Rothfuss.
Of course, the problem with dipping into “the best fantasy novels of all time” type lists, is you simply may not be in the mood or it may not suit your tastes. Luckily, The Name of the Wind was a good read — because these fantasy books for some reason like to run long, like over 700 pages long!
“It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing…with true music in the words.”Ursula K. Le Guin
This is a two book series, but I decided I needed a break, so I’m reading a light mystery at the moment. But I will return! And I’m happy to see that the second book has strong reviews just like the first one.
How was your July? Did you read any good books?