I found this delightful book meme with Margaret over at Books Please. It was something started by Jo at The Book Jotter. You summarise six months of reading, sorting the books into six categories. Jo suggests plenty of categories, but you can also create your own. The same book can obviously feature in more than one category.
Here is my version for 2015, with links to my reviews where those exist. I had a hard time not using the same book more than once for each of the category – that was the one rule I set for myself, so that I could present as many books and authors as possible. It is fair to assume that books I loved and authors I want to read more of are interchangeable.
6 Books I Loved
Murasaki Shikibu: The Tale of Genji – the best three months of reading, total immersion in a very strange world, yet still fully relatable
Ansel Elkins: Blue Yodel
Tom Rob Smith: Child 44 – particularly effective when read just before watching the film, and comparing the two
Jean-Patrick Manchette: Fatale
Eva Dolan: The Long Way Home (although I could just as well have put her second novel Tell No Tales)
Jonas Karlsson: The Room
6 New Authors to Me
Sara Novic: Girl at War
Sherman Alexie: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Karim Miske: Arab Jazz
Kanae Minato: Confessions
Metin Arditi: Loin des bras
Yasmina Khadra: L’attentat
Some of them were more exciting than others, but I think I want to read more from each of these authors I’ve just discovered.
6 Books that Didn’t Live up to Expectations
Paula Hawkins: The Girl on the Train – entertaining enough, but quite average for my taste, despite its resounding success
Jenny Offill: Dept. of Speculation – poetic and thought-provoking, but ultimately too fragmented and cold for me. Perhaps suffering also in comparison to Elena Ferrante’s ‘The Days of Abandonment’, which I had read just before.
Matthew Thomas: We Are Not Ourselves – moving, well-written in parts, but just too long and trying to squeeze too much in
John Enright: Blood Jungle Ballet – I loved the first book in the series so my hopes were perhaps too high for this one
Vesna Goldsworthy: Gorsky – The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite books, so I thought I’d love to see it transposed into present-day London with all of its foreign money. But alas, it didn’t add anything new…
Stefanie de Velasco: Tigermilk – not the Christiane F. of the new generation of Berliners…
6 Authors I Want to Read More of
Would you look at that? They are all women!
6 Books I’d Like to See Translated into English
Hubert Mingarelli: La Route de Beit Zera
Jeanne Desaubry: Poubelle’s Girls
Jeremie Gue: Paris la nuit
Liad Shoham: Tel Aviv Suspects
Fouad Laroui: L’etrange affaire du pantalon du Dassoukine – or several other books by this author, he hasn’t been translated at all into English
Friederike Schmoe: Fliehganzleis
Sorry, they are nearly all in French. That’s because I can only talk about those books written in languages I can read other than English – and I’ve read far fewer German books this year and next to no Romanian books. This may be about to change…
6 That Don’t Fit into Any Category But I Have to Mention
Megan Beech: When I Grow Up I Want to Be Mary Beard – spoken poetry by a very young, talented and opinionated woman poet
Tuula Karjalainen: Tove Jansson: Work and Love
Daniel Pennac: Comme un roman – how schools or adults can kill the love of reading; and how to reignite it
Ever Yours: Van Gogh’s Essential Letters
Etienne Davodeau: Les Ignorants – learnt so much about comic books and vineyards, all in a humorous way
Sarah Ruhl: 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write – something any mother/creator/professional can relate to