WWWednesday 18th April, 2018

Let’s try once more to do the spring season then and hope that this time it’s here to stay. My April turn to take part in the 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.

I seem to be travelling quite extensively in this week’s selection of books: Germany, France, Japan and Iran.

Current:

Philip Kerr: Prussian Blue

I’d forgotten how much fun Berliner Bernie Gunther is, especially across two timelines – on the brink of war in 1939 in Berchtesgaden and in 1956 France. Second World War and Cold War collide in spectacular fashion, with each crime having endless ramifications. 1939: A sniper assassinates a construction engineer on the very terrace of Hitler’s villa on the mountaintop in Bavaria. 1956: Bernie is on the run as he refuses to collaborate with the Stasi and fears for his life. Good old-fashioned suspense, wit, well-developed characters and attention to period detail – I will miss Kerr!

Just read: 

Yuko Tsushima: Territory of Light, transl. Geraldine Harcourt

A book initially published in monthly instalments in a literary magazine in 1978-79, which explains why in the story it is still so difficult for a woman to demand a divorce and live successfully as a single mother (especially in conservative Japan). There is no story as such, merely a succession of thematic snapshots of coming to terms with a new way of life. Light crops up both as an actual detail (they live on the top floor of an apartment block, bathed in light, which is what attracted the narrator to the location), and of course metaphorically.

Next: 

Négar Djavadi: Disoriental, transl. Tina Kover

In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic Kimiâ Sadr is preparing for fertility treatment. She is the only one there without a partner, but she has more than enough family (both immediate and extended, alive and remembered over generations) surrounding and influencing her, and she tells the saga of her family like a modern-day Scheherazade, as she straddles that uncomfortable border between her ‘homeland’ Iran and her feeling of ‘disorientalisation’ as she grew up in France.

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11 thoughts on “WWWednesday 18th April, 2018”

  1. I hadn’t seen that Philip Kerr had died! The only book of his I’ve read is Dark Matter, historical fiction about Isaac Newton, which I really enjoyed. I can see I’ll have to look out for his Bernie Gunther books.

    1. Disoriental sounds interesting.
      I just read American by Day, the sequel to Norwegian by Night. Loved it. Full of pathos and sadness, but also great wit and interesting characters. Norwegian woman police chief goes to northern New York state to find her brother, gets involved with a local sheriff (hilarious) in an investigation. But also, observations on racism in the U.S., realistic.
      Am still trying to read Go, Went, Gone. Very good but so painful and real, like a documentary and brings up the seemingly unsolvable problems of migrants in Europe. So sad.
      And am reading Eva Dolan’s This is How It Ends, but I can’t seem to get to the end.
      Have been very busy so reading has been shunted aside. Have watched a few movies, which takes less mental energy.
      So, will keep reading and there are a few library books waiting.

      1. I agree with you that Go Went Gone is rather painful, but it ends sort of on an upbeat note. I like the sound of American by Day (enjoyed Norwegian by Night) – good to hear that it’s a worthy sequel.

  2. A book I had just finished is “An American Marriage,” by Tayara Jones about the unfair imprisonment of an African-American man and how it impacts on him and his spouse. Very good. Issues we have to deal with here and their human toll.

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