Reading Plans for the Rest of 2015

2015 is not over yet, so there’s still time to take a little control of my reading. It’s been a reasonably good year, and I’ve felt far less of a pressure to be ‘up-to-date’ with my reading and reviewing than in previous years. [Where did that come from? I think social media may have played a part, as I never used to care about the latest launches before.]

Anyway, I have managed to stick by and large to my resolution to be less ‘greedy’ and to allow myself to be guided by my own tastes and nothing else. I’ve surpassed my target of 120 books on Goodreads (136 and counting, so likely to hit 150 by the end of the year) and only a small number of those have been ‘unsolicited’ books for reviewing purposes. [Fortunately, I’ve learnt to turn down books I don’t fancy, so I seldom feel horribly frustrated at having to come up with something about a book I was indifferent about.]

So I’ve had fun and broadened my horizons. But… you knew there was going to be a but, didn’t you?… I still struggle with a toppling TBR pile (both physical and electronic). Something needs to be done about it.

Fortunately, there are a couple of months left to make a small dent in my TBR skyscraper.

GermanLitNovember will be German Lit Month, an initiative hosted by Caroline and Lizzy (now in its 5th year, if I’m not mistaken). I plan to read 1 Swiss, 2 Austrian and 3 German books, all with a noirish feel.

  1. First up, Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s follow-up Bärlach novel Der Verdacht (Suspicion but a.k.a. The Quarry in English). I loved The Judge and His Hangman: these are philosophical crime novels, although Dürrenmatt himself thought of them as potboilers.
  2. A new name to me from Pushkin Vertigo. Alexander Lernet-Holenia: I Was Jack Mortimer (transl.  Ignat Avsey), first published in 1933.
  3. Stefan Zweig. I have a copy of Meisternovellen (collected novellas), but I haven’t quite decided which ones I will read – or if I can read all of them. This volume includes the Chess novella, 24 Hours in the Life of a Woman, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Burning Secret, Confusion of Feelings, so pretty much all of the shorter pieces for which he is famous.
  4. The final three are all crime fiction: Jakob Arjouni’s 3rd Kayankaya novel Ein Mann, ein Mord (One Man, One Murder) and 2 volumes of the Es geschah in Berlin (It happened in Berlin) series 1934 and 1938. No thanks to Mrs. Peabody for making me buy the last two!

December will be my Netgalley catch-up month, as I now have 35 titles on my bookshelf. I do want to read them all, so it’s not like my eyes were larger than my tummy. Here are the ones that attract me at the moment (although this may change by December): Yasmina Khadra’s The Dictator’s Last Night; Lauren Groff: Fates and Furies; Saul Black: The Killing Lessons; S.K. Tremayne: The Ice Twins; Sarah Jasmon: The Summer of Secrets and something completely out of my comfort zone, Massimo Marino’s Daimones Trilogy (Book 1). I know Massimo as a fellow member of the Geneva Writers’ Group – he is a former high energy physicist who has turned to writing ‘science fiction with heart and soul’.



17 thoughts on “Reading Plans for the Rest of 2015”

  1. I really admire the way you’ve planned your reading, Marina Sofia. My own TBR is getting out of countrol, so I’m already thinking about ways to get through it all. One can never read everything, of course, but I think it does help to have a plan.

  2. I want to try and get my netGalley down. I try and plan ahead but only by a handful. Out of interest( nosiness) how many languages can you read?

  3. Wow, you *are* organised! I’ve started thinking about November, but I’m not usually that in control – all I aim for is reading as much as possible. However, I will try to drop into German Lit Month and thanks for the reminder about “I Was Jack Mortimer”, as I have an older Pushkin version somewhere!

  4. Whatever plans I may have had have been overturned by taking on the Dickens course. Now I think I shall be lucky to get through the reading for that and my book groups this side of Christmas. Thank goodness he is such a wonderful storyteller.

  5. You’ve made me realise just how close the end of the year is and how I could do with some planning of my own! The Ice Twons appeals to me , I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

  6. How can you expect to get through 35 books in a month? I consider myself a fast reader and I wonder whether I can get in 24 between now and the end of the year… and most likely not since I have also committed NaNoWriMo, and there are no vacation days until Xmas Eve. Of course, there is no contest of who can read the most, and we should all focus on enjoyment, learning, and whatever else makes it worthwhile reading books.

  7. 35 titles on your Netgalley shelf? My saving grace there is that the titles that interest me the most are often not available for N American readers. I only have 10.

    I don’t dare commit to my German lit month plans, but I will say I want to cover a wide range of authors so I have been collecting a number of novellas. Size matters, you know. 🙂

  8. I Was Jack Mortimer is a wonderful book, and I think you’ll enjoy it very much. (I read it a couple of years ago when Pushkin issued it in their ‘Collection’ series, and it’s one I’d like to revisit in the future.) Funnily enough, I’ve been reading Dürrenmatt’s Inspector Barlach Mysteries for German Lit Month – looking forward to comparing perspectives on Suspicion! 🙂

  9. I wish I could plan as well as you do! I’ve a sadly neglected NetGalley shelf so I think I need to do as you are doing and dedicate a set amount of time to them. Happy reading 🙂

  10. Interesting reading plans for German Lit Month, Marina Sofia! Lernet-Holenia, a rediscovery of this very Austrian author – looking forward to this and the other reviews.

  11. I feel a whole lot better now having seen the number of books you have in the Net Galley queue. I was panicking at my 10 unread titles 🙂 I just read The Dictators Last Night ( disappointing)

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