I read Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anapara when it came out in 2020, but already I know I must reread it in 2021. The story is told through the eyes of nine year old Jai, who, with his two best friends, investigates the disappearance of another friend from the slum they live in. It is a vivid and darkly realistic story, leavened by the humour, the naivety and optimism of the child detectives, and that makes this a very poignant read.
Despite obviously having been written independently of each other, together they have created a wonderful narrative about humankind, our past, and our impact on the Planet and fellow planetary residents, humanoid and otherwise.
Somehow, I feel that Homo Deus and The Midnight Library ought to be read side by side too and I treasure those – as yet only imaginary – moments of morning non-fiction reading and dark evening reads of a novel with modern jazz playing in the background.
The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware. ‘A passenger is missing. But was she ever on board at all?’ is a great tag. The author is new to me, but a Sunday Times bestseller seems a safe bet.
The Ode Less Travelled, by Stephen Fry, is one of my Lockdown projects. It’s a masterclass in poetry, complete with practical exercises. I made a start and promptly mislaid the book. It’s turned up now, and I’m looking forward to indulging a neglected love of poetry.
Gill Lewis: I’m really looking forward to Fifty Words for Snow by Nancy Campbell. Snow represents so much for many people across the world, and there is a palpable ecological grief at the loss of it in some regions due to climate change. And second in my TBR pile is What is Life? by Paul Nurse, where I hope to find some answers to this huge question.
I also like the Australian novelist Jane Harper, and notice that her next book, The Survivors, is to be published in February, 2021. I very much enjoyed The Dry and The Lost Man, so I’m looking forward to this one.
The TV series of His Dark Materials has made me want to re-read the Philip Pullman novels, particularly The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. I fear I read them too quickly the first time round!