Booking Through Thursday

Do you get on a roll when you read, so that one book leads to the next, which leads to the next, and so on and so on?

I’ve been on a Balkan/Turkey/Ottoman Empire kick for a while now.  Some time ago I read Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West, a history-laden travelogue of her trip through Yugoslavia on the brink of World War II. 

That led to Balkan Ghosts by Robert Kaplan, Bosnia: A Short History and Kosovo: A short History, both by Noel Malcolm, and also Lords of the Horizons by Jason Goodwin, which is a history of the Ottoman Empire. 

That led to Goodwin’s mystery novels The Janissary Tree and The Snake Stone about a crime-solving eunuch in nineteenth-century Istanbul, and also to Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul: Memories and the City, his memoir of growing up in Istanbul, which in turn led me to The Black Book, a mystery novel by Pamuk.  I’m enjoying it, but it’s difficult because the mode of storytelling is so different from Western novels. 

I also read John Courtenay Grimwood’s Arabesk Trilogy, Pashazade, Effendi, and Felaheen, a sci-fi story set in an alternate history in which the U.S.A. brokered an early end to World War I, and the Ottoman Empire lasts into the twenty-first century. 

I guess if the OCD shoe fits, tie it and untie it seventeen times in a row.

2 thoughts on “Rolling

  1. Crafty Green Poet January 25, 2008 / 12:40 am

    Following on from your series of books in the Balkans you might like The Museum of Unconditional Surrender by Dubravka Ugresic. Its wonderful, made up of snapshots rather than having a conventional narrative.

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