First – Congratulations to Kazuo Ishiguro for winning the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature. Although he is not an author I have been successful in reading, now I shall give it another try. This is a stellar honor. Kudos.
I read a lot of foreign locale crime fiction and I especially read anything about India. I sincerely wish publishers included maps of their novel’s locale. Before you tell me I can Google a map of anywhere, let me simply say that I read actual books in bed. No devices in the room. And therefore I read with paper maps. Guidebook maps, atlas maps, map books, (in the case of Bombay, I have some serious books of street maps). Scott Turow, who has created Kindle County in his crime novels (love them) has devised his own map of Kindle County. I love this! Invented locations would do well to have maps – if you can think it up, some creative sort at your publishing house can draw it.
My map requirement creates piles of map books that live in more piles around the books I haven’t yet read. Places I have lived or visited are easy because I can picture the location, but Helsinki was a challenge, Riga, parts of the Middle East, especially Israel, Asia – well you get the picture – but I am happy to say that once I nail them – they stay in my head.
It took a little looking but I finally found a map that works (old Pan Am atlas) . A new author (to me) Anglo-Bengali writer named Abri Mukherjee has created Captain Sam Wyndham , Scotland Yard transfer to the Imperial Police, Calcutta, in the 20’s. He and his partner, Surrender-not work slightly outside the box. I thought his first book started a tad slowly, but I stuck with it (thank you Vaseem Khan) and now I have his second one and cannot put it down. He’s got game. The titles in order are “A Rising Man” and “A Necessary Evil”. I am starting to like Calcutta and now I MUST read more about the “Princely States, of the Raj” and Indian diamond mining. MUST
Another reason I love having maps that put me in the picture sort of creates my own cinema as I read (perhaps a reason I no longer watch many films – that and living in Hollywood). It seems like a natural for publishers to illustrate inside covers with maps and some do – my appreciation and your input may give them a hint.
My current challenge is Calcutta at the time of the mid-Raj. Not my favorite Indian city. Two holds awaiting at the library – and a long weekend. Good times.
And this: Just read “Y is for Yesterday”. Ms. Grafton must continue her Kinsey series with diacritical marks or punctuation symbols. (commas, question marks, umlauts). “Y” was a tour de force. Ten+ stars for this one. And the stack of reference tomes I read in slices and have many meals ahead. Non-fiction is a pleasure to read because one starts with a premise of facts. I love bibliographies in the back of the book and annotations. But then I read labels for fun – so it figures.