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?

6 replies on “July 2022 Reading Roundup

  1. I’m definitely going to check out The Night Tiger, as I love historical fiction, especially if I learn more about another country, as it also soothes my travel loving impulses.
    Where the Desert Meets the Sea by Werner Sonne was my July read and makes for interesting reading as it deals in novel form with the founding days of modern-day Israel, and sheds light on why there is so much conflict, and most probably always will be. I’m following it up with a book that has been sitting on my bookshelf for years. Jerusalem – The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore is not for the faint at heart, and will take me a while to finish, but it is a fascinating account of the history of a city that has been the centre of conflict for as long as it has existed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have you ever been to Israel? Or is this part of your general interest in the Middle East?

      I’d be curious about the Wener Sonne book. To be mentally filed away. 🙂

      And I’m glad to hear you are interested in The Night Tiger. Yeaaa! xo

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      1. I’ve never been, Lani, and it really is just part of my general interest of the Middle East. I enjoyed how works of fiction when they are well written can open up a better understanding of different parts of the world.

        I’ve just finished The Night Tiger – and absolutely loved it. So engaging and interesting. I liked the why she wrote it and how she weaved the different threads connecting the characters through the plot.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s what I figured, and wow, you finished TNG fast! I’m thrilled that you liked it. xo

        Like

  2. I read one I think you’d like, Lani! It’s what I’d call a literary thriller, translated from Korean. THE OLD WOMAN WITH THE KNIFE–about a 65-year old female assassin. Have you read it? It’s short and really interesting. I finished it in a few days. Yours sound good, too!

    Liked by 1 person

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