WWW Wednesdays Reading – 17th May

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Well, you know I usually have more than one on the go at any point in time, so it’s two each this month.


Fernando Pessoa: The Book of Disquiet – I feel like underlining every second sentence or more!

Supposedly the diary or autobiography of Bernardo Soares, it’s really a sort of collection of aphorisms, musings, philosophising about art and life

Jane Gardam: The Stories – meticulous attention to detail, utterly graceful, with much sympathy for the neglected and marginalised


Vivienne Tufnell: Away with the Fairies

Irrepressible artist Isobel has survived most things: miscarriages, her husband’s ordination, the birth of two small and demanding children, and finally the recent death of both her parents in a bizarre suicide pact. A sequence of domestic disasters finally signals to Isobel that perhaps things aren’t quite as rosy as she’d like. With her half of the inheritance, Isobel buys an isolated holiday cottage where she hopes to be able to catch up with some painting. The cottage is idyllic, but odd things keep happening. Doors won’t stay shut, objects go missing and reappear in the wrong places and footsteps are heard when there’s no one there. One of Isobel’s new neighbours suggests that it is the fairies who are responsible…

An easy, fun read, perfect when you are recovering from migraine, and with a lot of understanding for the plight of an artist burdened by family responsibilities.

Andrzej Stasiuk: On the Road to Babadag

Not a travelogue as such. Not enough description – it is too poetic, too lyrical and philosophical, mixing impressions, atmosphere, history, literary references. It is a very personal journey across a troubled part of Europe (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine) which has experienced huge changes over the past century or so. One to dip into now and again, rather than to read from end-to-end. Perhaps also most meaningful to those who have lived in that part of the world.


Nelly Arcan: Folle (in English: Hysteric)

A young woman from Quebec writes to the lover who abandoned her, trying to understand how it came to this. All the wrong signals were there from the start, but still, she could not help falling passionately, stupidly, foolishly in love and is torn apart by jealousy and fury. A fierce fresh Canadian voice, silenced all too soon in 2009 by suicide.

Wolfgang Herrndorf: Sand (transl. Tim Mohr)

North Africa, 1972. While the world is reeling from the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, a series of mysterious events is playing out in the Sahara desert. Four people are murdered in a hippy commune, a suitcase full of money disappears, and a pair of unenthusiastic detectives are assigned to investigate. In the midst of it all, a man with no memory tries to evade his armed pursuers. Who are they? What do they want from him? If he could just recall his own identity he might have a chance of working it out…

Don’t you think that sounds fabulously intriguing? By another author who died far too young, of a brain tumour. (Well, he committed suicide because the brain tumour was incurable).

So, on that cheerful note, do let me know what you are reading, any highs or any lows!

30 thoughts on “WWW Wednesdays Reading – 17th May”

    1. Yes, I do wish I’d bought it when I was in Montreal in 2015, or some of her other works. She sounds like a challenging read, perhaps like the Francophone Heather O’Neill.

  1. Away with the Fairies sounds like fun! And the last one, Sand, does indeed sound intriguing – hurry up and review it, please, so I know whether it lives up to the blurb…

    1. It’s really charming, fun and also says something deeper about creativity. Available from Amazon (not that I’m paid to advertised or anything).

  2. When I read the Book of Disquiet, I always had a pencil nearby ready to underline!
    I also really recommend his poetry, if you haven’t read it yet.

  3. You’ve got some intriguing books there, Marina Sofia! I like the sound of the Tuffnell. And for a more thoughtful read, the Pessoa sounds excellent. Lots to like in your selection this time.

    1. And then I dropped all the future plans and read Matt Wesolowski’s Six Stories last nigh. Ah well, not always that reliable that ‘next’ column!

  4. Away With The Fairies intrigues me too and even more when I discovered just now that Amazon link the author’s name with Linda Gillard whose atmospheric writing I have enjoyed in several novels .

    1. Ah, that’s good to know… I might not agree with the slightly supernatural elements, but it is done with a light and deft touch, so it remains very enjoyable.

  5. Away the Fairies sounds like fun although even if your books aren’t depressing enough this week, you seem to be featuring author’s with sad stories too! Have fun and enjoy your books 😉

  6. I’ve got Away with the Fairies on my TBR and your thoughts on it have made me want to move it higher up the pile. I did read a couple of other books by the author (a novel – The Bet, and a poetry collection – Accidental Emeralds) and both were really good. I love the sound of the Nelly Arcan book, I’m going to look out for a copy of this in translation. Hope you enjoy your reading 🙂

    1. I’m pleased to see Away with the Fairies getting so much interest and love – it’s not necessarily my usual kind of reading, but I’ve been following Vivienne for a while and it was exactly what I needed and enjoyed at this moment in time.

  7. Like Kaggsy, I’ve struggled with Pessoa, though I’d like to read it one day. My brain is a bit mushy lately, and only ordinary (and ideally relatively cheerful) narrative has managed to get through. Your reading selection has certainly been dark, Marina! You might like something I’ve recently finished: Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. It’s a WW2 story – a love story basically, but one interrupted by war – and it’s exquisitely written and utterly harrowing.

    I adore Jane Gardam, though. Just love her work.

    1. I have to pace myself with Pessoa – I think it will take me months at this rate, of just 4-5 pages a day. All good fun, but not making me rush back for more…

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