Book #1: Our Kind of Traitor, John Le Carré

I grew up with a man who's slightly Le Carré-obsessed. Le Carré titles (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Smiley's People, The Russia House, A Perfect Spy) make me feel cozy and safe whenever I see them, because they were always there. (This is what I mean about feeling that I've read books without having read them: I've seen them on shelves and heard them described so often - not to mention seeing the movies - that I feel like I've read them, whether I have or not.) So it was appropriate to my 100-book decision to begin with John Le Carré. By total coincidence, my father's presently rereading his entire works in the order they were published, in conjunction with Adam Sisman's John Le Carré: The Biography. And I just happened to read one he hasn't gotten to yet, it being the third-latest release (newest is The Pigeon Tunnel, launched three weeks ago - and how do I know this? - because of my dad). Our Kind of Traitor is a great read - and perfect vacation entertainment, to boot - even more so for me because a point of its plot hinges around a party on a yacht which in the book is anchored off the very part of Croatia's Dalmation Coast where I read the book. The story is told with the kind of analytical observation of character and minute parsing-of-motive that I associate with Ian McEwan, and yet (as it often is with McEwan as well) I found myself turning the pages for the story itself, which is paced and unveiled to perfection. Without giving anything away, I'm also grateful to Le Carré for the very un-Hollywood ending (though I'm excited to see the film starring Ewan McGregor, directed by Susanna White), which reminded me of Akira Kurosawa's The Bad Sleep Well. Want to be gripped by a compelling, unsettling tale of an ususpecting couple caught up in international money-laundering intrigue that'll hold you right to its last page? Well then, you've got your next book.