Ralph’s Book Recommendations

The following are just holding their own, with the new Alan Hollinghurst and Robert Harris sitting waiting patiently in front of me for next month’s column. Time and pressure!

Another touching story from Sweden

By Ralph McAllister

The Scandal by Fredrik Backman is by the author of A Man Called Ove the best seller from a couple of years ago.

This is darker and less funny, but an equally touching story of prejudice and love in small town Sweden.

Based around ice hockey and the importance of the sport to the local community it examines the extent to which blindness will take over from enthusiasm in the pursuit of success.

And don’t let the hockey put you off, it could be any rugby mad small town in New Zealand.

Highly recommended.


Lisbeth Salander and Mikail Blomkvist ride again!

David Lagencrantz was commissioned to continue the saga of Lisbeth Salander ,the dubious heroine of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, beginning with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Lagencrantz started with The Girl With The Spiders Web which was greeted with much acclaim and now follows that with The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye.

Followers of the series will need no urging to buy or beg this one.

Many critics believe he has increased the tension and sharpened the writing of the originals.

You can decide.

Finally, as they say, something completely different.

The changing world of medicine

Some may remember the reception given Atul Gawanda’s Being Mortal when it was published  in 2015.

A heart warming account of a doctor’s courageous account of helping patients and doctors towards a wider approach to the prospect of death, the book has been life changing for thousands of readers.

Now I have just caught up with Do No Harm by distinguished neurosurgeon Henry Marsh.

This memoir takes us through the intricacies, the joys and despairs, not to forget the anger, of being a practitioner of medicine in this ever changing world.

Marsh is well known in Europe, not just for his expertise, but also his work in the Ukraine.

He has been the subject of two television documentaries which I cannot wait to watch.

Which brings us back to where we started.

Time and pressure.