The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - the novel by Deborah Moggach
For anyone who enjoyed the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, here's the novel it was based on:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
by Deborah Moggach
find it under it's original title
These Foolish Things
Summary: When Dr. Ravi Kapoor's cousin sets up a retirement home in India, Ravi's father-in-law is one of its first guests, but what the renovation lacks in promised amenities and luxury, it makes up for in adventure, stunning beauty, and unexpected love.
Read the book review in The Guardian.
Here is an excerpt:
Moggach, a prolific novelist, makes it her priority to deliver thoughtful, satisfying stories leavened with wit and humanity, peopled by ordinary characters and packaged in excellent unpretentious prose. One often hears the term "a writer's writer". Moggach is one of that much more welcome breed - "a reader's writer".
One Day by David Nicholls
It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself. Synopsis from Amazon.ca
This is one of the recent picks from NoveList in the Fiction category
"Out of Africa"
I Do Not Come To You By Chance (2009)
In this highly entertaining novel about Nigerian Internet scammers, Kingsley Ibe is an engineering school graduate who can’t find a job and still lives at home with his family. After his girlfriend rejects him and his father dies, Kingsley is taken on by his Uncle Boniface (aka Cash Daddy), who is in the business of Internet scams, otherwise known as 419s. Soon, Kingsley is writing e-mail solicitations to the gullible of cyberspace, and any qualms he may have had about ripping off innocent people evaporate as he steps into the good life with a big new house, a Lexus and a new love interest (who doesn’t know how Kingsley “earns” his money). Meanwhile, Cash Daddy develops political ambitions and gains some ruthless enemies bent on crushing him. As the plots converge, Kingsley must decide whether to sell his soul to build a 419 kingdom. Although the narrative follows a somewhat predictable trajectory, Kingsley’s engaging voice and the story’s vividly rendered setting prove that while crime may not pay, writing about it as infectiously as Nwaubani does certainly pays off for the reader.
Kirkus: "an entertaining and promising debut from a Nigerian native."
* * * * *
Click here to read an interview with the author, Adaobi Nwaubani, on the website African Writing online. She tells the story of wanting to write humorous fiction, and being told "there is nothing to laugh about in Africa".
Great new fiction character!
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
In this debut title from English-born Simonson, we meet widower Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) and an assortment of other residents of the quaint village of Edgecombe St. Mary in the south of England. As one might expect, Major Pettigrew is the kind of old-fashioned, stiff-upper-lip Englishman who holds the moral high ground on just about every issue, and is not afraid to speak his mind. With a wickedly wry sense of humour and an opinionated approach to the dilemmas of modern life, he leads a quiet and decorous life. But the death of his brother Bertie leads to an unexpected encounter with a local Pakistani shopkeeper, Mrs. Jasmina Ali, a widow herself. There is an instant chemistry between them, and they are soon discussing Kipling over tea. But this is, after all, a socially conservative milieu, and Mrs. Ali's "foreigness" does not escape the judgements of others in the community. As their friendship intensifies, other complicating issues arise. Plans are underway for an annual function at the very class-conscious golf club. The Major's son and girlfriend solicit his help in finding a cottage in the neighbourhood. And Mrs. Ali's nephew, a young man who teeters on the edge of being a fundamentalist Muslim, and with whom she shares the running of the shop, is thrown off balance when a young woman and her son enter the life of the village.
Simonson deftly navigates the serious issues of aging, immigration and class while maintaining generosity for and humour in her characters. Readers who have enjoyed McCall Smith's Ladies Detective Agency novels and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society will hope the Major makes another appearance.
It Will Come to Me: A Novel by Emily Fox Gordon
From Publishers Weekly
Memoirist Gordon ventures into fiction with this mixed academic comedy set at a Texas university. Ruth Blau, a once-promising novelist married to philosophy professor Ben, achieved some acclaim years ago, but she never got around to following it up. When celebrated memoirist Ricia Spottiswoode and her protective husband, Charles Johns, are added to the faculty, Ruth hopes this will give her a chance at the literary life she's dreamed of. In the meantime, Ben suffers when a flaky, fairy-obsessed woman replaces his longtime secretary. Ruth and Ben also try to juggle the demands of their mentally ill son, Isaac, whose only contact with them is through his therapist. The central characters, unfortunately, are too passive and spend most of their time observing each other and what happens around them, and though Gordon's prose is sharp—she particularly excels in scene-setting—the overall effect is one of disconnection: from character to character and writer to reader.
--The Library Technician
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley
This title is the first in a new series - The Buckshaw Chronicles - by Canadian journalist Bradley.
Our heroine is a precocious eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry who lives with her father and her nasty older sisters in Buckshaw, a crumbling family seat situated in a small English village during the 1950s.
Flavia's world is turned upside-down when she discovers a dying man in her father's cucumber patch.
With no help from her academic father Colonel de Luce, or her snarky and skeptical sisters Ophelia and Daphne, Flavia sets out to discover the truth behind the man's life and death.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a delightful confection, filled with witty dialogue and amusing asides. The characters are quirky without becoming caricatures, and the plucky Flavia allows us to follow her mental processes and deductions to determine why and how the murder was committed, as well as by whom.
The twists and turns of dialogue and events, and snippets of information on such diverse subjects as stamp-collecting, botany, and poison, make for a delightful romp of a read. This book will appeal to those readers who enjoy the literary antics of Jasper Fforde or Connie Willis.
Find out more about Flavia de Luce at http://www.flaviadeluce.com/
Fool by Christopher Moore
From Publishers Weekly
Here's the Cliff Notes you wished you'd had for King Lear—the mad royal, his devious daughters, rhyming ghosts and a castle full of hot intrigue—in a cheeky and ribald romp that both channels and chides the Bard and all Fate's bastards. It's 1288, and the king's fool, Pocket, and his dimwit apprentice, Drool, set out to clean up the mess Lear has made of his kingdom, his family and his fortune—only to discover the truth about their own heritage. There's more murder, mayhem, mistaken identities and scene changes than you can remember, but bestselling Moore (You Suck) turns things on their head with an edgy 21st-century perspective that makes the story line as sharp, surly and slick as a game of Grand Theft Auto. Moore confesses he borrows from at least a dozen of the Bard's plays for this buffet of tragedy, comedy and medieval porn action. It's a manic, masterly mix—winning, wild and something today's groundlings will applaud.
I have never read King Lear, nor do I intend to. However, by reading this novel I've got the general idea of it all and in a hilarious manner as well. Although I did sometimes find it, as is forewarned, bawdy and vulgar I enjoyed it immensely. Moore's sharp, quick wit overcame any instances where I was shocked and appalled at language and/or activities. In actuality, once I got past the first 'shagging' instances etc. it just became part of the norm and I barely noticed. Also, it was pretty hilarious.
I truly adore Christoper Moore, although I only really came into his books with Blood Sucking Fiends I have enjoyed everyone since and have plans to circle around to the older ones eventually!!
--The Library Technician
A life-affirming story with a big heart
I Am the Messenger
by Markus Zusak
I have fallen in love with Markus Zusak. He is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. First, he brought me to my knees with The Book Thief, and while I Am the Messenger falls a little short of that staggering achievement, it is still a tremendous piece of storytelling, expertly plotted, that made me laugh out loud in parts, and cry in others. Zusak is so good -- and he makes it all look so effortless -- that I am positively green with envy! Michael L. Printz Honor Book.
From Booklist (Starred Review):
Ed is a 19-year-old loser only marginally connected to the world; he's the son that not even his mother loves. But his life begins to change after he acts heroically during a robbery. Perhaps it's the notoriety he receives that leads to his receiving playing cards in the mail. Ed instinctively understands that the scrawled words on the aces are clues to be followed, which lead him to people he will help (including some he'll have to hurt first). But as much as he changes those who come into his life, he changes himself more.
The Case of the Missing Books, by Ian Sanson
Israel Armstrong is delighted to finally land a job as a bona fide librarian, after several years of working a stop-gap position in a bookstore.
He arrives in Tumdrum, Northern Island, and is taken aback to discover a locked library, a difficult city official, and a decrepit mobile library van. In addition, the library collection consisting of over 15,000 items has completely disappeared. What is more, the locals seem remarkably unhelpful in regards to changing the situation.
Tumdrum is equally taken aback by Israel - a half-Irish, half-Jewish vegetarian Londoner who is highstrung, chubby, anxious, and prone to headaches.
This book is a delightful romp, as we follow Israel while he attempts to get the library van up and running again and to track down the missing items, so he will have honoured the terms of his contract and can leave town.
In the end, Israel and Tumdrum do find a modicum of peace with each other.
"...a rollicking blend of dry humor, slapstick, and sheer farce that is nonetheless anchored by a strong sense of place and a sobering sense of the place's troubled history."
*American Library Association review
From the Book to the Big Screen
Confessions of a Shopaholic
By Sophie Kinsella
Recent graduate and financial writer, Rebecca Bloomwood, is up to her head in debt. When her imaginative excuses run out, and she can no longer ignore the grim letters regarding the state of her account, Becky decides she must take action in order to secure her financial future.
A damsel in a commercialized distress, a wealthy, good-looking prince charming, and a happily ever after: this book is a fairy tale for adults. Confessions of a Shopaholic sums up all of the lame excuses we use to justify the purchases we really don’t need. If you’re looking for something shallow, humorous, and really light, this would be the book to wile away the hours.
Confessions of a Shopaholic the movie will be coming to theaters on February 13, 2009 starring Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy.
See ya at the theaters!!
Posted by the Rogue Reader
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