Book Recommendations; Columbia and Making a Murderer (The Two Aren’t Related, Just To Clarify)

Do you remember in days long ago when I used to get sent queries from people about book recommendations? I haven’t had any for ages and am now suddenly feeling bereft about it. Well not too bereft actually as the reason I am bring this up is that I have two readers who are in slight dilemma’s and one of them is me.

First though is my lovely colleague Jane who is going off to Columbia on Friday for three weeks, yes three weeks. I am not jealous at all, to the point where I am weeping at my desk hourly. Like many of us, though not all, Jane likes to read about the countries she gallivants (sorry, it’s the jealousy) off to while she is there as well as reading books by authors from the places she visits. So I was wondering if any of you have any recommendations of books written by Columbian authors or indeed set there so that Jane can read them when she is bored of all the stunning views or more realistically on the flight or transport between places. (Update she would love some poetry recommendations too!)

As I mentioned the second recommendation is for me. Tonight I will be watching/have watched the final two episodes of Netflix’s brilliant documentary Making of a Murderer. I will not spoil it for you if any of you have yet to read it, suffice to say it is ruddy marvellous and not just because you have no idea who has committed the crime but also, even more horrifyingly in some ways, because of the light it shines on how the justice system does and doesn’t work in America, as well as how some people can abuse it.

If you haven’t watched it do, it is quite something. Like a TV version of Serial, which I think may have made me ask a similar question about reading around cold cases or unclear crimes before, maybe. Speaking of Serial, I haven’t really caught up or got into series two yet, have you?

So there we go two book recommendations needed. Books set in Columbia or written there and some true crime (not grisly for the sake of it please, I have had a debate about some true crime recently here) for me. Jane and I are very grateful, even if I am flicking the v’s at her behind her back constantly with envy… over to you!

21 Comments

Filed under Random Savidgeness

21 responses to “Book Recommendations; Columbia and Making a Murderer (The Two Aren’t Related, Just To Clarify)

  1. Well, there is the obvious one: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, For more contemporary takes on this country, Juan Gabriel Vasquez looks at the origins of violence and cocaine trade in Colombia in his crime fiction novel The Sound of Things Falling and The Informers, while Colombian writer Santiago Gamboa sets his novel Necropolis in Jerusalem but has a very Colombian approach to literature.

  2. pam

    what timing! i just watched the first episode of “making a murderer” last night. can’t wait to watch more.

    • I’m on the last episode. Can’t even speak.

      • pam

        i finished the series last night. my heart is broken. i am SO embarrassed that our criminal justice system is so broken. what an amazing series, though. i was completely sucked into it as every episode it just got worse and worse and when you think they are at rock bottom they get out the digger and go deeper.

        on a related topic, i’m not much of a tv watcher (i don’t have cable tv) and occasionally watch a film. but i’m SO enjoying this long-form story telling that has emerged the past few years. i enjoy a meaty series that has a beginning, a middle and an end. hopefully we will continue to see these projects emerge – like breaking bad and making of a murderer. they are much closer to reading a novel than any other visual format we have.

        have a great weekend, simon!

      • I think it’s an incredible and important show. Will be interesting to see if it brings any change. Apparently The Jinx is must watch too b

  3. Val McDiarmid (MacDiarmid? )has a new book out about forensics and lots of info in that area. Was reading a review of n it yesterday though don’t know if n it’s available in UK yet though I would think so. No idea about Columbia books. Would need to google.

  4. I second the recommendation for Juan Gabriel Vasquez, but I wouldn’t recommend reading The Sound of Things Falling while on an airplane.

  5. quinn

    just finished (couldn’t put down even though i was quite familiar w/ details of story) ‘in cold blood’ truman capote…yes as good as every one says….better…effortless read, groundbreaking format. best true crime story..best story.
    happy new year and many thanks as always for your efforts and humor and u just being u…
    quinn

  6. @tothesoup

    For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke.
    It is fiction but based on the story of the first convicts sent to Australia by Mother England.
    A part of history both confronting and terrible. But a beautiful novel.
    Doesn’t entirely fit your criteria, but almost.

  7. @tothesoup

    I have not read it, as it is a genre I am not particularly interested in, but I have also yet to watch ‘making a murderer’, so maybe that will change.
    This house of grief by Helen Garner is a book which fits your genre but perhaps in a slightly skewed way. I have heard good things.
    Something for you to ponder.
    http://www.readings.com.au/products/20657940/this-house-of-grief-the-story-of-a-murder-trial

  8. julikins

    For Colombian novels, I recommend “The Armies” by Evelio Rosero (an extremely dark but powerful read), “Delirium” by Laura Restrepo, and “In the Beginning Was the Sea” by Tomás González. For a non-fiction read, “Oblivion” by Héctor Abad is fantastic, very moving.

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