Finished three books recently, all of which have been excellent in their own way.
"The life of Pi" by Yann Martel is a book that I have often looked at and even started twice before and never got in to. Katharine read it and then urged me to do the same, so I did. Found the first quarter really hard going, somewhat tedious and all the religous stuff rather annoying. But then, once the boy ends up in a life boat with a 450 pound bengal tiger it gets interesting. The story is not so far fetched that you think it is ridiculous but it is far enough out there to keep you interested. The twist at the end is brutal! Highly recommended although claims that "it will make you believe in god" are obviously bollox and actually do no justice to the book at all.
"Cityboy, Beer and loathing in the square mile" by Geraint Anderson was not what I expected. I was ready for a drug and booze filled romp through the life of typical suited, City of London, finance wanker. And while that's what it was in part, the guy was also smart enough to see why the whole system is totally screwed and why most of the people are utter scumbags. From that perspective he offers some very interesting insight into the lives of people who earn more in an afternoon than the average teacher earns in a year. But are they happy? Interestingly the book was published in early 2008 and towards the end he was predicting a fairly catastrophic crash - so I guess he was right then!
Continuing the drug fuelled, bacchalian theme, "Young men on fire" by Howard Hunt follows a bunch of dot.com hedonists on a night out in New York. Again it's interesting to note that the hero, turns out to be the quiet guy, sipping a beer in the corner. What ever happened to Irivine Welsh, Niall Griffith and Ian Banks, where the main characters are the most wasted? Maybe the world has become a more sober place in the last ten years. The book is an amusing romp regardless.