September is still full of ‘back to school’ vibes for me, not just because of the children. I always make my resolutions at the start of September and look back on my holiday thoughts and reading, even if I don’t always have a holiday in summer.
It’s hard to estimate how many books I read in August, because for the last week I’ve been diving into endless amounts of poetry books and some slim Japanese novellas which I am not counting as full-sized books. Aside from that, however, I’ve read 12: 3 for #WITMonth, 3 other translations or foreign language books, 4 review books and 2 library books. 7 books were by women, 5 by men. One thing is clear: I have had the privilege of reading some outstanding and memorable books this past month.
Women in Translation
Elena Varvello: Can You Hear Me? – coming of age, spooky atmosphere, spare prose style, participant in #EU27Project
Svetlana Alexievich: The Unwomanly Face of War – gripping, heartbreaking, unforgettable
Ileana Vulpescu: Arta compromisului – trying too hard, too polemical and cerebral
Pascal Garnier: Low Heights – one of his more attractive offerings, mordantly funny in parts
Dumitru Tsepeneag: Hotel Europa – ambitious, interesting concept, not quite right in execution
Fernando Pessoa: The Book of Disquiet – a book to brood over for the rest of my life, entry to the #EU27Project
Reviews or Features
Lin Anderson: Follow the Dead – mountain climbing, blizzards and North Sea Oil – very atmospheric
Chris Whitaker: All the Wicked Girls – judicious combination of laughter, tension and tears set in small-town Alabama
Attica Locke: Bluebird Bluebird – more personal less political, but simmering with racial tension, review to come on Crime Fiction Lover
Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle – disturbing classic to be featured on Crime Fiction Lover
Winifred Watson: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – joyful and elegant like a Fred Astaire dance
Mohsin Hamid: Exit West – great premise but a bit disappointing in execution