Monday, July 27, 2015


Are you an avid reader? If so I hope we can connect via this blog to share views about books and films. I'm always interested in what people are reading and why they like specific books as well as what they think of the books.

Do you have favorite books or books that you've read several times? Do you finish a particularly good book and then find you can't find one good enough to match it and the next few books you read just leave you feeling flat?

I'm fascinated by the ability to be transported by a good book to a new place or to be so enthralled by a story that I simply forget all my daily troubles. I find a really good book or a good film is one of the best ways to deal with stress because with little effort you can forget about your own world and get caught up in someone else's for a while.

I discovered this stress antidote while I was a PhD student in King's College London. I was rather stressed about my thesis on the subject of political economy and institutional development in West Africa and I badly needed a release. I was headed down into the underground near The Strand when I noticed a large billboard advertising a book by William Boyd entitled Brazzaville Beach. The poster showed a palm tree swaying in the breeze against the blue ocean and a tropical sunny beach. Just the sight to lift one's spirits on a cold, damp grey winter afternoon. The next day I was of to Waterstones bookstore to find a copy of that book. In my innocence I had imagined a story of beachside escapism only to be surprised by what turned out to be an engrossing, suspense filled tale of academics in turmoil. Needless to say, it made me forget about my own thesis for a while. I've since read other books by William Boyd but Brazzaville Beach remains my favorite and I think one of his best by far. If you haven't read it and you like books that take you to exotic locations and deliver something different then you might want to give this one a try.

If you have already read this book please let me know what you think.