Top Ten Tuesday – Summer Reading


Who knew that making a Top Ten List could be so hard? I set certain limitations on myself for this list: no Advanced Readers Copies and at least some back list. I even included three titles from my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by the Roof Beam Reader. And as always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Looking at the list now, I am realizing how terribly UN-diverse it seems. Rest assured, I will be reading other things this summer. I mean, two months and only 10 books? I can do better than that!

The Missing Shade of Blue by Jennie Erdal

I read The Missing Shade of Blue by Jennie Erdal as part of the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge put on by Roof Beam Reader. I first came across this book in 2013 at the Edinburgh Book Festival. As a new resident of Edinburgh I was immediately drawn to it since it is set in Edinburgh. Also, Erdal’s other book, Ghosting, has been on my radar for years.

I love reading books sets in places I know, and with that in mind I’m glad that I waited to read The Missing Shade of Blue. It is definitely a very Edinburgh book and gives a good feel of the city. Now that I know the city better I was able to picture exactly where the characters lived and conducted their lives.

The story is told by Eddie, a French translator who has come to Edinburgh to work on a book of David Hume‘s essays. He is quickly befriended by Harry Sanderson, a philosopher at the university, and becomes embroiled in the life of Sanderson and his wife. To large extent the novel is really about Sanderson and the scandal that envelopes his life.

As a lover of literature, I was keenly aware of the role that novels played in The Missing Shade of Blue. Eddie grew up in a bookshop in Paris and sees the world through the frame of books. He and Sanderson often refer to how life is sometime similar (or utterly dissimilar) to a novel.

Who would like this book? Erdal is a fine writer and I thoroughly enjoyed The Missing Shade of Blue. Language and words play a key role in the novel, as you would imagine when the main characters are a translator and a philosopher. Erdal does a commendable job at bringing Scottish life, fly fishing and Edinburgh to life. So far one of the aspects I’ve overlooked is fly fishing. The only other book I’ve read where this sport takes a starring role is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday (don’t bother with the film, the books is so much better). Erdal’s book is not as humorous as Torday’s but brought the sport to life much more for me.

2014 TBR Pile Challenge

2014tbrbuttonWith the new year upon us it is time to conquer new challenges, and here is another book related on for me: The 2014 TBR Pile Challenge brought to you by the Roof Beam Reader. One of the reasons I’ve signed up for this challenge is because sometimes i get too caught up in all the new books out there and I forget to read the ones that have been sitting on my shelves for year (some that even journeyed from Canada to Scotland with us!).

In accordance with the rule of the TBR Pile Challenge, I have selected 12 books and two alternates just in case one or two of the twelve don’t appeal to me.

  1. The Magic of Saida by M.G. Vassanji
  2. The Missing Shade of Blue by Jennie Erdal
  3. The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell
  4. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
  5. The Registrar’s Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages by Sophia Hardach
  6. The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli
  7. The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb
  8. In The Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
  9. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
  10. White Teeth by Zadie Smit


  1. The Prime of Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  2. The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett et al.