No Logo By Naomi Klein Flamingo (Harper Collins),£8.99.
The Bonesetter's Daughter By Amy Tan Flamingo (Harper Collins) Paperback published 1 October.
I have always been a sucker for anything written about Oriental cultures as I find these fascinating. So for my holiday reading I packed The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan. This was going to be a treat once I had finished my educational read - No Logo by Naomi Klein.
Anybody who is anybody seems to be reading No Logo.
Klein has a very readable style, but after a couple of hundred pages I did start to feel that she had made her point and she was 'going on a bit'. The book could have been more concise - and then I wouldn't have felt that it was all a bit of a rant.
This was a pity as the book highlights the problems and practices of many multinational companies and certainly made me think more carefully about what I will, or will not, buy in the future.
Pity, really, that I read most of the book while wearing my newly purchased holiday clobber - Reebok T-shirt and shorts with Nike trainers.
After that, it was with a sense of relief - and anticipation - that I turned to Amy Tan.
My favourite book of all time is her earlier novel, The Kitchen God's Wife. It is the only book I have ever bothered to read twice and one of the few works that has ever made me cry.
I enjoyed The Bonesetter's Daughter, but it wasn't Ms Tan's best.
She usually interweaves modern day Chinese/America with a romping yarn set in a traditional Chinese culture.
Unfortunately, the first half of this book is devoted to the story of Ruth and her mother in present-day San Francisco.
I didn't particularly like the main character or sympathise with her - which always causes problems.
If this was the first Amy Tan novel I had ever read, I might not have persevered. But the second half of the book was worth the wait.
The reader is transported back to China in the middle of the last century. It is here that Tan is at her best.
As always, I felt that I was there sharing the lives, the superstitions and even the food. This part of the book was hugely enjoyable, and when we were suddenly back in modern-day California I felt as if I had reluctantly awakened from an interesting dream.
The book was worth a read - but if you want a real treat you should read The Kitchen God's Wife.