Fiction Recommendations

Turkish Gambit by Boris Akunin.   A mystery novel set during the Russo-Turkish war in 1877 and 1878. The author is Georgian and this is an English translation of the novel. A young Russian noblewoman, Varya Suvorova, travels from St. Petersburg to the front where the Russian army is fighting the Ottoman Empire to find her fiance. The ultimate objective for the Russian army is Istanbul. Varya gets involved with a Serbian secret agent as they try to solve a murder mystery. It is an interesting blend of history with a mystery.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.     A letter from an old friend triggers a journey by foot the length of England becomes a pilgrimage and then an exploration of a life half lived and an interesting first novel. Here is a YouTube video about this book by the author:

20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne.   A great Science Fiction story from the 19th century filled with information about life under the sea. You may have seen the 1954 movie or read a children’s version of this book but the adult version of this book is full of surprises as Jules Verne provides an interesting look at the sea, sea creatures and the wonders beneath the waves as Captain Nemo and the Nautilus travel 20,000 leagues.

The Little Old Lady who Struck Lucky Again! by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg. This is the 2nd in a series of novels about Swedish pensioners who decide to take matters into their own hands when the govt. of Sweden cuts back services for seniors. Rather than taking the streets to protest or write letters, these Swedes start robbing banks, museums and art galleries to take from the rich to give back to the poor. It was a delight to read on a lazy summer afternoon.

The island of Sea Women by Lisa See.

This novel is a multi-generational novel set on the island of Jeju off the south coast of South Korea. The book is all about the Sea Women who spend their days diving in the sea to collect sea snails, abalone and other sea creatures to feed their family. What is unique about these women is they go to work and support their families while the men stay home to care for the children and take care of the house.

This book covers the period from 1937 to the present. It describes the suffering that the Koreans endured during the Japanese colonial period, the repression after World War 2, the suffering during the Korean War and living in a military dictatorship.

Here is a Youtube video of the author discussing this book:

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