Goodbye, November and Top Reads

Yes, yes, November is not quite over yet, but this will be a busy week and I’m not sure I’ll get another chance to write a blog post.

Goodreads seems to be in a bit of a meltdown, mysteriously ‘disappearing’ my read books as if they were protesters against a dictatorial regime. Nevertheless, they assure me that I am about 9 books over my challenge of 120 books read this year. Let’s hope that this is somewhat more credible than the ‘official state news’ of Romania’s ‘booming agricultural harvests’ of the early 1980s, spurred on by Ceausescu’s visits to the fields of wheat and barley.

I’ve been back to a good month of reading in November: 12 books, contributing to several challenges. 3 of those were in German, 2 in French, 5 books by women   6 by men and 1 an anthology containing both, 4 (possibly 5) crime fiction, 1 poetry, 2 short story collections, 1 non-fiction and 1 did-not-finish. I’m happy with the mix.


A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin – magical, poetic language and complex ideas

#GermLitMonth and #EU27Project:

Arthur Schnitzler: Late Fame

Zoran Drvenkar: Sorry

Thomas Willmann: Das finstere Tal (Dark Valley) – a mix of crime fiction, Western, historical fiction – very atmospheric indeed

Nobe Prize Winner (and dnf):

Kazuo Ishiguro: The Unconsoled – very promising start but could have done with a good editor, too long and self-indulgent

November Masterclass Preparation

Kathleen Jamie: Sightlines – the world dissected with real love, charm and understanding

Kathleen Jamie: The Tree House (poetry) – understated and deceptively simple poetry leaving profound marks

Swiss Reads: (joint review to follow on the blog)

Max Lobe: La trinite bantoue

Alice Rivaz: Sans alcools

Crime fiction:

Murder on Christmas Eve anthology (coming up on CFL)

Ragnar Jonasson: Whiteout (coming up on CFL)

Flynn Berry: Under the Harrow

In other news:

I’m working on launching the Asymptote subscription book club, which will be a dream come true for lovers of translated fiction: a surprise book a month, from an independent publisher, curated by our team of editors based all around the world. The common feature? Outstanding quality of both the original and the translation. I know that’s going to be my Christmas present to myself (and it will last all of 2018 as well).

21 thoughts on “Goodbye, November and Top Reads”

  1. What a great idea for a book club, Marina Sofia! I’m excited for you, and I hope it all goes very well. You’ve had some solid reading this past month, and it’s good to hear you had more ‘winners’ than disappointments. Hard to believe it’s almost December!

  2. That was a great reading month, Marina Sofia. I have always wanted to read Ursula. Maybe, in 2018. I am glad this year is going to exit. I so want it too. The book club sounds wonderful. I look forward to reading more posts about it. Happy December!

  3. What a great assortment of books you managed to read this month, Marina! I’m looking forward to reading Ursula Le Guin’s fiction, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled has always scared me due to its length, but I remember a short story of his, A Village after Dark, which is said to be what he wrote as an experiment before attempting that lengthy novel. Since you found The Unconsoled sloggy, perhaps the short story will be more fitting for you (you can find it in The New Yorker site).

    The Asymptote subscription sounds absolutely marvelous! I’ll be keeping an eye out for it and I’ll definitely be one of the subscribers 😉

    1. Yay! Lovely to hear about you being keen to join the Book Club! You are exactly the sort of person to whom this would appeal, although if you are based in Greece, I might have to ship it out to you personally, as I think so far we only have US/UK covered. (We intend to expand it to other countries too, but need to get approvals from publishers etc.)
      And yes, I think the short story might be more appealing. I have actually liked some of his other novels quite a lot – especially the more Japan-inspired ones.

  4. I’m always surprised and inspired by your reading, MarinaSofia. If you can achieve that with a job and children I feel like I could do better (in a good way, you never make me feel bad). Now, how come there’s a Murder on Christmas Eve anthology and my Christmas loving self hadn’t heard about it?! OMG. I’m TOO excited now.

Do share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.