The themes of Gold are love, sacrifice and choices - on an Olympic scale. The author takes on track cycling, one of the toughest of the cycling venues. He wrote this a year before the London Olympics, so it has a very current vibe. The two main characters are Zoe and Kate, competitive cyclists preparing for the Olympics. The underlying story, involves Sophie who has leukemia, the daughter of Kate. Gold is a terrific read for sports enthusiasts who enjoy competitive events.
"Gold" by Chris Cleave
"The Black House" by Peter May
Detective Finn MacLeod has been sent to the Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Outer Hebrides as a consultant to a grim murder that has the same MO as one that was committed in Edinburgh a short while ago. Having been raised on the Isle of Lewis, he is familiar with the Gaelic language, traditions, as well as, the locals and their haunts. Quickly he is at odds with the Detective Chief Inspector who is the lead investigator and he becomes enmeshed in the case which opens forgotten memories and old wounds that could destroy him. Peter May, a Scott, has written a well-crafted, dangerous, and dark mystery for those who like their reads psychologically twisted and deadly. The Black House is the first title in the Isle of Lewis trilogy.
"Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter" by Mario Vargas Llosa
Many story strands make you wonder where this book is going, if anywhere. The main theme involves a radio station in Peru which broadcasts soap operas. Eventually, the strands are intertwined and you realize that there really is a message in the author's work, and in the soap opera of life.