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:
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.
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.
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?