Tag Archives: Janice Y.K. Lee

Tube Tales – The Return Journey

So yesterday I discussed adverts for books on the tube. I also set you a quiz to see if you could guess how well you know me sort of an also asking had I bought any of the books advertised in the last four weeks since noticing the book adverts on the underground and if any of them have made it into the top reads I have seen on the tube. Believe me from my nosey parker behaviour on public transport in the last few weeks I have noticed people do read in trends.

So which books did I buy that were advertised on the tube, if I bought any at all? Well clearly advertising works a little bit for me as I now own two of the books in the adverts. The first of which may come as a bit of a surprise…

I actually bought not one but two copies of Linwood Barclay’s ‘Too Close To Home’, the other copy was for Novel Insights as on her trip round the world we had made a pact to read four books together though in different parts of the world and one was ‘No Time For Goodbye’ which we absolutely and utterly loved. If you like fast plots, punchy dialogue, a complete page turner and a book that is difficult to put down then Linwood Barclay’s last novel is a must, seriously. Now I would have bought his new novel anyway but if it hadn’t been for the advert on the tube I wouldn’t have been aware of it being out in paperback. Novel Insights hasn’t been able to hold back from reading this one and is already in and loving it. With the premise being “when the Cutter family’s next-door-neighbours, the Langley’s, are gunned down in their house one hot August night, the Cutters’ world is turned upside down. That violent death should have come so close to them is shocking enough in suburban Promise Falls, but at least the Cutters can console themselves with the thought that lightning is unlikely to strike twice in the same place. Unless, of course, the killers went to the wrong house...” I can see I am going to be completely gripped again. 

The other book that I bought, though I will admit second hand not new, was ‘The Piano Teacher’ by Janice Y.K. Lee which has very dangerously been labelled ‘this season’s Atonement’. This is a very careless statement as it implies a book as good as that is written every three months and they aren’t, plus what if people hated that book? However it did actually intrigue me and then once I found out it was set in Hong Kong in the 1940’s I knew I had to have a copy. I then happened to be in a store just the other day and there it was. I think this might be a book to take on my travels to be read on the beach so will report back after my trip away in the first week of September. Here’s the blurb though in case you fancy it… 

 “Ambitious, exotic, and a classic book club read, ‘The Piano Teacher’ is a combination of ‘Tenko’ meets ‘The Remains of the Day’. Sometimes the end of a love affair is only the beginning! In 1942, Will Truesdale, an Englishman newly arrived in Hong Kong, falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their love affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese, with terrible consequences for both of them, and for members of their fragile community who will betray each other in the darkest days of the war. Ten years later, Claire Pendleton lands in Hong Kong and is hired by the wealthy Chen family as their daughter’s piano teacher. A provincial English newlywed, Claire is seduced by the colony’s heady social life. She soon begins an affair only to discover that her lover’s enigmatic demeanour hides a devastating past. As the threads of this compelling and engrossing novel intertwine and converge, a landscape of impossible choices emerges — between love and safety, courage and survival, the present and above all, the past.”

It could actually be a perfect escapist tube journey read, speaking of which, what are the most common books that I have seen (this isn’t official just my observations) on the tube at the moment and did any of the above get in? Two did actually as you will see in italics… 

  • New Moon – Stephenie Meyer (9 copies)
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson (6 copies)
  • Twilight – Stephenie Meyer (6 copies)
  • The Girl Who Played With Fire – Steig Larson (4 copies)
  • The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (4 copies)
  • Armadale – Wilkie Collins (3 copies)
  • Eclipse – Stephenie Meyer (3 copies)
  • The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga (3 copies)
  • My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Piccoult (3 copies)
  • Too Close To Home – Linwood Barclay (2 copies)
  • The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (2 copies)
  • Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer (2 copies)
  • This Charming Man – Marianne Keyes (2 copies)
  • Scarpetta – Patricia Cornwell (2 copies)
  • Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith (2 copies)
  • The Host – Stephenie Meyer (2 copies)
  • The Secret Scripture – Sebatien Barry (2 copies)
  • Dear Fatty – Dawn French (2 copies)
  • Secret Life of Evie Hamilton – Catherine Elliott (2 copies)
  • The Return – Victoria Hislop (2 copies)

So there you have it, it shows a very small slice of what people are reading and yet as my journeys are at peak commuter time its interesting to see so many people in one carriage on one journey over 4 weeks reading so much in common. I was thrilled by the copies of ‘Armadale’ and that just goes to show the power of people looking hooked by a book on the tube as I have been hankering after it ever since!

 Have you read any of the twenty I most commonly saw? Are you surprised by the results? Will any of you be reading ‘The Piano Teacher’ or ‘Too Close To Home’? What book does everyone seem to be reading when you look around on your travels?

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Housekeeping & Other Bits & Bobs

So I have had rather a belated spring clean at Savidge Reads and changed a few bits and bobs. One of the things I have changed is finally putting up links to other book blogs that I like, which you should see on the top right. This was actually down to two other bloggers; one was Novel Insights who has now moved, the other was after receiving a lovely award from Matt at A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook who wrote some very nice stuff. I will be keeping this updated as I discover new lovely book blogs. 

I have finally updated the About Savidge Reads section as some people mentioned thanks to your feedback the other week. I like to add blogs every now and then about me as well as all the books that I read and bookish things that I think about. So that is all up. I will be adding a ‘Savidge Reads Grills’ links once I have some more author interviews up in the next few weeks. 

I have also added the final twenty books into the Savidge Reads – Great Reads page so now you have forty of them, I think this will be changing quite a lot as the year progresses and new books and some classics get read from my never ending TBR pile. Speaking of which a few more second hand books have somehow appeared in Savidge Reads Towers, rather than write all the blurbs I will pop a list of them below and if you have read any of them do let me know. At work a huge pile of books for all the staff for free turned up and I managed to collect…

  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery
  • Mystery Man – Bateman
  • Guernica – Dave Boling
  • A Start in Life – Anita Brookner
  • Girl With A Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
  • The Aristos – John Fowles
  • The Electric Michelangelo – Sarah Hall
  • Down River – John Hart
  • I’m The King of the Castle – Susan Hill
  • The Piano Teacher – Janice Y.K. Lee
  • Something Might Happen – Julie Myerson
  • From A View to a Death – Anthony Powell
  • Precious Bane – Mary Webb

Now when I have this many new books I shouldn’t be asking you about more books… but I am going to. I am looking for books that are based in Tel Aviv as I am off there with ‘The Converted One’ for a week of beaches, reading and sunshine in September and I would love to read something that was written by someone from there or something set there, so you have your mission.

This trip sadly means that I will be missing out on Septembers Book Group which of course will have its page updated after tomorrow when we all meet to discuss ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath. I will still read the next months chosen book by Armen and email one of the fellow book groupers with my thoughts and pop them up here the day after.

Phew that’s been quite an event, I don’t think there is anything else. Do let me know what you think; I do love your feedback. What have you all been up to lately? Don’t forget your thoughts on my new additions to the TBR and any Tel Aviv books that you can think of. Right I am off to catch up with the final few chapters of A.S. Byatt’s ‘The Children’s Book’ which I am still loving, more on that later in the week.

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