End of Summer Book Haul

When I shared my last book haul, I told you I’d already ordered some other books. Some of them have duly arrived, and then I happened to pass by Foyles bookshop in London yesterday, so I couldn’t resist a few more. I tell myself (somewhat unconvincingly) that these will be my last purchases for a while. They had better be, or I might go bankrupt!

Herta Müller

The only ‘Romanian’ author to ever have won the Nobel Prize, although she actually writes in German and is an ethnic German who happened to be born in Romania (where she was not very happy, one might say, and rather discriminated against during the Communist era). I think she has a wonderful prose style, although the topics are painful ones. I bought three of her novels:

Herztier – a group of friends who try to protest against Ceausescu’s regime in the 80s and then suffer the consequences

Atemschaukel – the fate of the ethnic Germans who were sent to Soviet labour camps after the end of the Second World War

Der Fuchs war damals schon der Jäger – trust and friendships are broken in the last few days of the Communist dictatorship

Clarice Lispector

My Brazilian love affair, with two books Complete Stories and her shortest, most poetic and enigmatic ‘novel’ Agua Viva.

Maggie Nelson: Bluets

Somewhat similar in subject matter to Lispector’s Agua Viva, this is a book impossible to define: somewhere on the borders of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and essay. And of course, I am mildly obsessed with the colour blue myself.

Leila Slimani: Dans le jardin de l’ogre

I’ve discovered that Foyles has a section of books in foreign languages and the prices are relatively decent (especially if you compare to the cost of buying in France and having them shipped over). So I found this book, which I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time, Slimani’s debut novel about a sexual addict, although I’m still trying to read her second book (winner of the Prix Goncourt) Chanson Douce.


George Szirtes: Mapping the Delta

Poems about history, dislocation, memory, forgetting and the anxiety of disaster zones. I’ve read Szirtes only sporadically before, but thought I should read more of him before next week, when I will have the pleasure of going on a writing retreat tutored by him.



Two more are ordered but not quite here yet:

Ulrike Schmitzer: Die Stille der Gletscher

Austrian writer from Salzburg, in this most recent novel she presents the story of a researcher who is investigating the melting of the glaciers and then mysteriously disappears. An eco-thriller, one might say. Some of the coolest contemporary writing in German is coming out of Austria (plus I am susceptible to books about mountains), so I could not resist after reading Austrian book blogger Mariki’s review.

Milena Michiko Flasar: I Called Him Necktie (transl. Sheila Dickie)

The relationship that develops between a young Japanese hikikomori—a shut-in who never leaves his room and has no human interaction—and a middle-aged salaryman who has lost his job but can’t bring himself to tell his wife. Written by a Japanese-German author, translated and published by New Vessel Press.

21 thoughts on “End of Summer Book Haul”

    1. How lovely to see you again, I have the feeling it’s been quite a while! Have you been busy writing? This hasn’t been translated into English yet, sadly. Do you read German then? I didn’t know that!

      1. That’s good that it hasn’t been published in English yet, about time I read another book in German. I lived near Salzburg for a time many years ago. Beautiful part of the world. Life’s been busy and I’ve managed to get into a writing routine again lately. I’m probably not posting to my blog as much as I should and would love to. Always a pleasure to see you around here!

  1. You’ve got some fascinating books here, Marina Sofia. And I like it that they take place in several different countries and a few different parts of the world. I hope you’ll post reviews.

  2. Marina Sofia, please give George my very best when you see him. I am going to read his latest collection as well. He is a wonderful poet and very supportive writer and teacher, and I am sure you will enjoy meeting him. All these books sound wonderful: have you reviewed any of herta Muller? I like her both in English and Romanian, but I cannot read German.

    1. I haven’t reviewed Herta yet.
      I should have known you knew George! I’ll be sure to pass on your regards – I’ve heard really good things about him and look relish the thought of focusing on nothing else but poetry for a week. (Apparently mobile reception etc. is bad in this place)

  3. The eco-thriller sounds like fun, though needless to say I’d have to wait for the translation. I’m kinda glad I’m monolingual – my TBR is out of control enough with just English language books on it! Yours must be phenomenal… *wanders off, laughing smugly*

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