Welcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers, writers and readers to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles, new authors and new bloggers.
Today’s guest is Boof from The Book Whisperer.
Boof is based in Yorkshire and has been blogging for about 17 months. Her name is a pseudonym used on Goodreads and Amazon. “It’s actually the name of my cat, who’s name we shorten to Boof, as her name is Phoebe Bouffay,” she explains. “I called myself that originally and it’s sort of stuck and followed me round.”
Her real name is Rebecca, and while she reads everything she can get her hands on, her favourite genres are crime fiction and Victorian classics.
Like most bloggers, myself included, she claims to “have a very serious book-buying habit that shows no sign of being cured anytime soon”.
Without further ado, here’s Boof’s Triple Choice Tuesday selection:
I read this book years ago and it just blew me away. It is a great meaty doorstopper of a book, but don’t be put off by the size as it is one of the most gripping and page-turning books I have ever read. Most of the book is set on a Greek Island where an English graduate undertakes an English teaching job at a local school. While there he meets wealthy Greek recluse Maurice Conchis and there begins a game of psychological warfare that turns darker and more twisted at every turn. Honestly, every time I thought I had it all sussed, the rug was ripped out from under me and had me gasping in amazement. This book seriously toys with you and messes with your head — it is utter genius!
I picked this book because it was responsible for turning me back into the book monster I am now. As a child and teenager I read loads; I could always be found curled up with a book in my hand if someone was looking for me. Once I hit my college, uni and travelling years books tended to fall by the wayside in favour of partying, and throughout my twenties, although I still read, I probably only got through 20 or so books a year.
In 2003, when in a book shop planning what books to take on holiday with me, I fancied something a little different from the normal beach type books. I could see The Secret History in the corner of my eye and it was almost like it was calling me to pick it up; it wouldn’t leave my peripheral vision. I picked it up on a whim, knowing nothing about it. That holiday in Egypt is when I fell back in love with reading.
The Secret History was almost like an epiphany for me — I devoured the book, barely coming up for air. The story is narrated by Richard Papen, who is one of six former friends from the University of Vermont, looking back on an incident that changed all their lives. In the opening chapter the reader learns of the death of one of the friends, Edmund “Bunny” Corcoran. Although few details are given initially, it sets the scene for what is to come. The book almost plays out like a Greek Tragedy, and it is not only clever, but it is brilliant!
One of my big passions in life (other than books, of course) is travel. For years I have been fascinated by China and Chinese culture and I have read a lot of books set there, but River Town is one of the best, in my opinion, and woefully neglected on the whole.
The book is written by Peter Hessler, an American journalist who, after graduating, went to China as part of the Peace Corps. He was posted to a town called Fuling, where the River Wu meets the Yangtze. Fuling becomes his home for the next two years and the book follows Peter on his journey to adapt to a very different way of life and to be accepted by people who have little or no experience of foreigners.
The story is vibrant, compelling, fascinating and a real eye-opener. The characters Peter introduces us to are so brilliantly drawn that I felt I knew them as well as he did. If you’re interested in China or culture then this is a great book to read. I couldn’t read it quick enough, yet I didn’t want it to end.
Thanks, Boof, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!
I’ve only read The Secret History, and agree that it’s a terrific story. I read it back in the days when I worked in a book shop, and this particular title got passed around all my colleagues, who loved it as much as me. River Town has been on my radar for some time, especially since I went through a Chinese reading phase late last year. I believe the author, Peter Hessler, is married to Leslie T. Chang, who wrote an amazing non-fiction book called Factory Girls, which I highly recommend…
What do you think of Boof’s choices? Have you read any of these books?