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 Sakura from Chasing Bawa. I know Sakura personally as we belong to the same book group here in London.
Sakura studied astrophysics and the history of science, but has a deep and abiding love of books which is apparent if you have ever read her blog. Her special interests lie in literature from Sri Lanka and Japan — she is half Sri Lankan and half Japanese — but Sakura also covers a diverse range of fiction, literary and genre, from other parts of the world, too.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s Sakura’s Triple Choice Tuesday selections:
A favourite book: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
This is the first volume in the Gentlemen Bastards sequence which re-ignited my love for the fantasy genre. I wish a lot more readers would give fantasy and science fiction a chance, because there are a lot of intelligent and well-written novels with emotional depth out there.
Locke Lamora is a conman who extracts money from the undeserving with his tightly-knit group of friends. This isn’t as heavy as Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series, but it’s very clever and the mechanics and detail of Lynch’s world-building is dazzling. However, what I love most is the characters, and you come away wanting to be a part of Locke’s group. The highly anticipated release of the third volume, The Republic of Thieves, is expected later this year.
A book that changed my world: The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This is, and remains, my favourite book of all time yet I’ve only read it once. Richard is a student at a small New England college, a misfit amongst the privileged, who enrolls in an ancient Greek course and becomes entangled with a select group of students under the tutelage of a charismatic professor. When a bacchanal goes wrong and a student is killed, things slowly unravel as the cracks in their friendships are exposed.
I read it in between revising for my first year finals at university and so was a little in love with the mysteries of academia, or maybe it was just the beauty of Tartt’s prose and the charisma of her flawed characters. Even though Tartt reveals who killed the student at the beginning, the book remains gripping throughout. A beautiful and haunting book about belonging and longing that changed the way I saw how novels could, and should, actually be written.
A book that deserves a wider audience: A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
This is probably one of the best debut novels in South Asian literature that has been published in recent years. Anam, who trained as an anthropologist and writes in English, tells the tale of a young mother and widow, Rehana, as she witnesses the conflict as East and West Pakistan break apart, giving birth to Bangladesh through the experiences of the people she loves. Like many, I’m more aware of the history of the Partition than the Bangladesh Liberation War, so this was a fresh and new story told in an understated, brutal yet beautiful way. The sequel, The Good Muslim, has just been published and is equally brilliant.
Thanks, Sakura, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!
I don’t read fantasy novels, but I’m tempted by the Scott Lynch series. Similarly, A Golden Age sounds very good — I do need to read more South Asian literature. I read The Secret History many years ago and have fond memories of it. Funnily enough, this book has been selected a few times by participants in Triple Choice Tuesday as “a book that changed my world” — so if you’re in need of having your reading life shaken up a little, perhaps this is the novel to go for. All those nominations can’t be wrong!
What do you think of Sakura’s choices? Have you read any of these books?
11 thoughts on “Triple Choice Tuesday: Chasing Bawa”
Yay, I love Sakura (and her blog!). We chose the same book for one that changed our world!!!
I have been on the look out for A Golden Age ever since you mentioned it – I really must look harder!
I had the first one in my hands recently and was tempted, I really liked the Secret History and the third book sounds like something I need to look out for.
I’m now reading the Lies of Locke Lamora and also loving it. Looking forward for the enxt two in the series.
Boof: Yay! I remember reading you loved The Secret History too:) And you must look harder for A Golden Age!
Caroline: All three are wonderful! And go on, you know you want to read about Locke Lamora;)
Alex: I really enjoyed the second in the series too and am eagerly awaiting the third:)
Thanks for having me on Triple Choice Tuesday, Kim. It was surprisingly hard to choose just 3!
I haven’t read any of these very diverse books but they all sound interesting.
I have been meaning to read The Golden Age for a long time. I just listened to an interview with the author about her latest book and that sounded interesting too.
I have not read any of your favourite books, Sakura. I did study the sociology of science though, which was VERY interesting. Astrophysics, huh? I’m practically innumerate, so GAH! that sounds deeply scary. I think I’ll scuttle back behind the Classics shelf now. Heh! X
I have read ‘The Secret History’ three times and every time I begin the book I fall in love with it and forget everything that it is about. That’s rare for me.
I’m definitely in need of having my reading life shaken up, so I’ll try to make sure The Secret History is on top of my mental pile! Also sakura has recommended me the book for a while now!
Oh yes, I remember this is one of your favourites, but didn’t know you’d read it three times.
PS> What you reading at the moment?
The Secret History also changed my world. It’s one of my top three favorites of all time. I read it when I was the same age as the characters but even after rereading it through the years, I still love it. I even the audio book. I think Sakura put it right when she said it changes the way you view novels and what they’re capable of. The Secret History was indeed a turning point in my reading life.