Book rich, time poor

MfB Great excitement at Petrona Towers as the postman has been busy in this past week – I think my recent meeting with Karen must have had something to do with it! In rapid succession I have received Tell Tale by Sam Hayes; Hit by Tara Moss, the impossibly attractive Australian author who has been signed up for the new imprint MaxCrime ; and Complicit by Nicci French, the pen name of the excellent writing team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. All marvellous temptations, and I am totally unsure which to read first (all suggestions gratefully received!).

I also see to my mock-horror that Robert Crais's new novel, The First Rule, is (apparently impossibly but true) £5.84 on Amazon for the hardback – irresistible. (Ian McEwan's Solar, eagerly awaited by me, is now down to £8.54 on Amazon, a better deal than the £9.50 being offered elsewhere.) I have not quite bought these two books yet, but am teetering on the brink.

Despite all these temptations, the book I have just started reading on the train home tonight, and am enjoying tremendously (I am up to page 55) is The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell. I am very much enjoying this novel which so far has a cast of interesting 50- and 60-somethings! The translation is by the marvellous Laurie Thompson, who as ever produces a naturalistic account, so in tune with the material.

Here is a brief extract from p. 37, from the thoughts of Judge Birgitta Roslin:

Staffan Roslin had been a year ahead of her at Lund, where they both studied law. Their first meeting was at a party given by mutual friends. Immediately Birgitta knew he was the man for her, swept off her feet by his eyes, his height, his large hands, his inability to stop blushing.
But, after completing his studies, Staffan did not take to the law. he decided to retrain as a railway conductor, and one morning he appeared in the living room dressed in a blue-and-red uniform and announced that at 12.19, he would be responsible for departure 212 from Malmo to Alesta, and then on to Vaxjo and Kalmar.
He became a much happier person.


7 thoughts on “Book rich, time poor

  1. Maxine – Oh, a taste of reviews to come : ). I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Menkell one. As I said before, I am very eager to read your review of it. The others look quite good, too.

  2. You have got lots of fun ahead. I know it’s somewhat traiterish to say it but I can’t get into Tara Moss’ books. Though I can attest that she is impossibly attractive in the flesh and quite charming and intelligent with it – she did some fundraising work for a charity I’m involved with and behaved in a very un-celebrity-like fashion so I wanted to enjoy the books but couldn’t.
    I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts on Solar as I’ll be waiting a while for mine – the cheapest I can get it here is equal to about 20 of your pounds so I’m watching prices on book depository which have been fluctuating quite a bit but are still about $12 cheaper than if I buy it locally. Madness.

  3. That is crazy, Bernadette, I agree. I just saw that Sophie Hannah’s latest (see previous post) is on Amazon for £5 something as well as the new Robert Crais. Why are brand-new hardbacks on sale with a cover price of £13-£17, yet you can get them for £5? Why have a cover price? (These are probably rhetorical questions – it is probably some deal with the publisher.) I think by the way that Amazon and the Book Depository use a tracker program that searches for the cheapest price available elsewhere and offers you that. (Bit like supermarkets). But certainly postage can be a factor, as well as international rights sometimes limiting one’s ability to order books from another country’s website (eg Amazon UK and Amazon US, if you are based in the “wrong” region).

  4. “I have not quite bought these two books yet …” LOL.
    A clear indication that I have been busy in March: I haven´t had time to spend my book budget yet! McDermid´s The Distant Echo is a must, though, as my children will also enjoy it.
    I am looking forward to your Mankell review – what I have heard about it so far has been very contradictory. Re what Bernadette says: Mankell´s hardback costs c £ 30 in Denmark right now which is why I´ll buy it in Swedish (if your review is favourable, that is). A Swedish paperback is less than five pounds.

  5. I’m up to page 130-ish, and loving it 😉 Yes, buying in Swedish sounds like a good move, Dorte. It has only just been published in hardback here, so will be a year or so before it is available in pb in English.

  6. I’ve gone to talks on book selling and I still don’t get this pricing scheme. I can only think they are what supermarkets call ‘loss leaders’ (at least I think that’s what they call them) – and yet all the popular books seem like this…nope, still don’t get it.
    I love the sentiment of the quote – that Staffan was happier being a railway conductor. It seems brave, and also eminently sensible to me.

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