Stars & Cerevezas – What I’m reading

I’m hurtling along in an SUV, my eyes occasionally flicking up to survey the yellow roadside curb of the motorway and the lush bush of Mexico. I’m on the East coast heading for the airport at Cancun having stayed at Tulum for the last eight days. It’s beautiful here. The sea is calm, clear, the weather stunning. Thick white powderpuff clouds gradually get replaced by heavier darker sets in the middle of the day that drench the streets and tourists with warm showers before giving way to a cluster of stars in a warm night sky. The East coast has a lot to offer, from turtles of Akumal, to Cenotes, to Xel-Hal one of many Adventure parks, it’s all pretty fabulous while retaining something real. Cozumel and its sky scrapers float on a blue horizon with no land in sight just a ferry away. We’ve had two weeks in the States catching up with friends, riding horses on a ranch, soaking up the atmosphere, while driving, cycling, walking through Venice beach, past the names of so many places we’ve heard of or seen so much about: the Viper Room, Hotel Chateau Marmont, Brentwood, Rodeo Drive, the Getty, Big Sur. The huge plains that so many of the Mexican populace cultivate for the mass that is America. The thousands of hectares that is Napa Valley with its large Cab Savs and giant cellars akin to castles.

I crammed in a couple of books while I was away. -˜The Dinner Party,’ by Herman Koch. A Dutchman who has a killer dark comedic bent to him. I was fortunate enough to catch him at the Writer’s festival in Auckland earlier this year where he spoke and showcased a few upcoming books from a stable of eight currently being translated. I bought two. He’s funny. His point of view, his characters are vivid, ones that are easy to inhabit. It’s unpredictable, funny while carrying all of those undertones a lot of writers including myself would struggle to carry off so easily. This book is being turned into a movie, starring Richard Gere whom he had the chance to meet though declined. What’s not to like?

The other book I read was -˜Girl On A Train,’ by Paula Hawkins. She too was at the same festival and I bought this some time ago. I didn’t see her, though wish I had as it’s a captivating read. Currently a global best seller with a film starring Emily Blunt as its lead has just been released. Killer characters, the majority girls, which she has an obvious strength for. Unpredictable, clear and strong through out. I don’t normally like to jump on the best seller bandwagon, though was happy I did here.