What’s on the Bookshelf? Vol. 5

What's On the Bookshelf?

I finally finished Patrick O’Brian’s Hussein. I liked it. It was no Master and Commander, but the book was still good.

O’Brian wrote this story, which takes place in India during the English occupation, when he was my age–about twenty.

It follows the life of Hussein, a young mahout (elephant trainer), and his many, many misadventures. He gets cholera (and survives!), encounters into bad luck, comes into good fortune, falls in love, and stumbles out of luck once more.

The book, which O’Brian termed An Entertainment, is just that. It’s light and entertaining. The characters aren’t too deep, but you still care about them. Reading this book, you can easily see the seeds of brilliance beginning to sprout.

Now I need to reread the epic Aubrey/Maturin series. I’ve only managed to get through the entire thing once…but at 20.5 volumes (he died while writing the 21st), it’s entirely understandable.

3 thoughts on “What’s on the Bookshelf? Vol. 5

  1. You really read fast and lot!

    And I must say that it is very good idea to tell people about interesting books they can read. I even don’t hear about Patrick O’Brian before. But wow! He was writing Aubrey–Maturin series during 35 years. And interesting how much time it takes you to read all that stuff?


  2. Thanks! I’m glad that you like my mini-book reviews. 🙂

    I read the Aubrey-Maturin series during my freshman and sophomore years of high school (and into the early part of my junior year, I think). Some kids play sports–I read a lot.

    I’d actually been reading Hussein for about a month; I finished the last three chapters today. Some books I can read in a matter of hours–like McCall Smith’s. His chapters are short, and like candy: you just can’t read one!

    What do you recommend reading?


  3. I never can read one book more than a month. Even if book has thousand pages, I finished it in two weeks. Or read a couple of books at once.

    What I can recommend? I don’t know what you like. And I mainly read in Ukrainian, and more technical books than fiction.

    From English language authors I like Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Christopher Paolini, and of course Mark Twain and O.Henry. But they are famous, and all know them.

    And Polish Stanislav Lem. It was wery interesting for me, may be because I study at cybernetics faculty.

    Discovery for me was Swiss writer Friedrich Durrenmatt. Mainly his “Once a Greek”.

    Last fiction story I have read was Richard Bach’s “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”. It is short and great story about self-improvement, and breaking the bounds. Short and nice like “Old man and the sea” of Hemingway.

    Also I can recommend a lot of Ukrainian writers, but I have a doubt’s, that translations is available.


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