WWWednesday: What Are You Reading? 15 Nov 2017

I skipped last month, so am coming back to it this November, but WWW Wednesday is actually a weekly 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?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

Current:

Miklós Bánffy: They Were Counted – yes, still going… To be honest, I only started reading it properly in November, as I let it slide after the first page or two in September. But I am enjoying the descriptions of the sumptuous parties and large families (with far too many names). For #EU27Project.

Kazuo Ishiguro: The Unconsoled – Rather enjoyed this one to begin with. A famous concert pianist arrives in a new town and promptly has everybody demanding things of him – it has all of that surreal quality of a dream (or a Kafka or Murakami Haruki story). But it just goes on for far too long. I am about halfway through and really wondering if I can be bothered to finish.

Recent:

Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen: The Wife Between Us – unsolicited ARC of a book to be published by Macmillan in Feb 2018. I just received it last Thursday and had no intention of reading it yet, but then I had a shouting match  civil altercation with my ex on the phone and was in the mood for some psychological drama where the husband is to blame for everything. I read it in two big gulps (helped by the fact that I was sick on Friday) and it’s what I would call ‘popcorn fiction’: very moreish, pleasing in the moment… but it doesn’t satiate you in the long run. Still, I can admire pacing, structure and twists even if I am not enamoured with the writing. The sleek New York lifestyle is a bit too far removed from my concerns.

Murder on Christmas Eve – anthology of previously published mysteries with a Christmassy twist, with well-known authors ranging from Margery Allingham, G.K. Chesterton and Michael Innes to more modern ones like Ian Rankin and Val McDermid. Full review to follow on CFL, but let me say here: I’m never quite sure who the target market is for these kind of books, as avid crime readers tend to prefer more in-depth mysteries, while the uplifting Christmassy story readers will be put off by the murders. Still, I suppose they make a handy gift if you don’t want to put too much thought into what someone likes to read. [In case anyone is asking, I would much prefer the new translation of The Odyssey by Emily Wilson, which is due to come out in hardback just before Christmas.]

Next:

I’ll be moving on to two Alpine countries next, because it is that time of year when my thoughts turn to skiing and snow. Besides, it was high time I read in French again.

Thomas Willmann: Das finstere Tal (Dark Valley)– it was filmed in Austria and it sounds very Austrian to me, although it is set in Bavaria, I suspect, and the author is a German Piefke (Austrian derogatory term for Germans). For #GermanLitMonth too.

Max Lobe: La Trinité bantoue (The Bantu Trilogy)- the author was born in Cameroon and settled in Switzerland (Geneva) at the age of eighteen. This book describes the life of a young man Mwana who tries to find work in a country somewhere in central Europe, where his white cousins are trying to chase out the black sheep (allusion to a disturbing election campaign poster in Switzerland). When he tries to return home to Bantu-land, he realises his mother doesn’t recognise him anymore. I think this story of displacement (at either end) is perfect for me. Lobe hasn’t had his novels translated into English yet, but you can read a story of his in Words Without Borders.

 

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14 thoughts on “WWWednesday: What Are You Reading? 15 Nov 2017”

  1. I have the Ishiguro on my TBR but I might leave it for another time given your comments – at the moment I’m really struggling with books that need a heavier edit & so I’m reading a lot of novellas!

    Hope you’re feeling better & your ex stops being a pain 😦

  2. A nice selection!

    Currently reading – Demian by Herman Hesse for Shiny New books
    Most recently finished – October by China Mieville (candidate for book of the year for me)
    Country Folk and City Folk for Shiny New Books
    Up next: probably some British Library Crime Classics!!

    1. Oooh, I have to read more China Mieville – I always find him so intriguing! And the British Library Classics are always such lovely restful books in between more demanding reads, aren’t they?

  3. Isn’t it funny how a book can be just right for a particular mood or situation, Marina Sofia? That’s happened to me, too. And there is some sort of catharsis in a read like that, too, even if you wouldn’t ordinarily be in love with the book.

  4. That’s a shame about the Ishiguro book! I haven’t read The Unconsoled. I think some of his books suit me more than others – I was appalled by Never Let Me Go but loved Remains of the Day. Have you read Nocturnes, a quintet of stories exploring the themes of love, music and the passing of time? All have narrators who are musicians and are stories are full of longing and regret, something which I think Ishiguro does well.

  5. “…was in the mood for some psychological drama where the husband is to blame for everything…” 🤣 Oh, dear, I’m sorry, but that did make me laugh!!

    Me! I’m the market for these anthologies of Christmas themed murder! I suspect it’s because family Christmasses always put me in the mood for a nifty bit of undetectable poisoning…

    1. I’ve had plenty of Christmases like that, I do admit! And yes, do we even need to wonder anymore about the dodgy husband? So many of the recent psychothrillers have had that ‘twist’!

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