WWWednesday 13th February, 2019

What are you currently reading? I do believe this is my first one this year, a lovely meme to help us catch up with ourselves and others, as hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. 

The three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Current:

I’ve been meaning to read Anna Burns’ Milkman for quite a while now, and it finally became available at the library. Belfast and Northern Ireland have always intrigued me, especially how ordinary people experienced in their daily lives. I remember a journalist once telling me that cities starting with B seem to have a knack for getting into the news for all the wrong reasons (Beirut, Belgrade, Berlin, Belfast, he meant Bucharest too at the time, although nowadays we might say Brussels).

Just in case that becomes too grim, I’ve got a firm childhood favourite to make me smile, Emil and the Three Twins, a sequel to my beloved Emil and the Detectives, which converted me to crime fiction such a long time ago. Translation by Cyrus Brooks in 1935, so hmmm… hope it’s a good one. I’d have liked to let Anthea Bell loose on it.

Just finished:

Mihail Sebastian’s The Accident – not going to lie: I cannot be objective about this book, because half of it takes place in the mountains where I myself learnt to ski. I know every place that the author describes and I feel the same freedom and happiness when I ski that his protagonist does. And yes, I find the male protagonist is not nearly good enough for Nora, and why should she try to ‘cure’ him of his heartbreak? Still, if you know the background to this book, under what hard circumstances it was written, it is very much about a desperate man trying to believe once more in the goodness of human beings and in the beauty of the world.

Up next:

On Louise Glück: Change What You See is a collection of essays written about the poetry of this US poet laureate (whom I got to know better via Stanley Kunitz and his poetry), including an interview with her.

Robert Menasse: The Capital, transl. Jamie Bulloch, is a satirical novel about Brussels and the European Commission. Menasse has also written political essays on the topic of Europe, but I gather this is funny, with elements of crime, comedy and philosophy all thrown in for good measure. And a wild pig chase!

Goodness, it’s so much fun to read aimlessly, in complete freedom! Do let me know what you have been up to in terms of reading!

16 thoughts on “WWWednesday 13th February, 2019”

  1. Milkman was so thought provoking, I’m still having conversations about it on my blog post with people as they get around to reading it and want to discuss it. It has such a universal application in many ways.

    It’s Black History Month and so I have a bit of a focus on new and classic Black authors, so I’ve just finished Bernice McFadden’s Praise Song for the Butterflies, which was a group read on Goodreads in a group I follow (Literary Fiction By People of Colour) and an excellent novel, especially for anyone who’s read Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing.

    I also finished yesterday my first James Baldwin novel If Beale Street Could Talk, written while he was living here in France (and currently showing at the cinema in Aix en Provence!)

    Today I move on to a read that might take me a while longer, The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta, something of a classic and a response to another classic, its pre-eminent forerunner Efuru by Flora Nwapa whose closing lines form the title of this novel, which I must also try and get a copy of!

    Happy Reading All!

  2. Three very interesting choices, Marina Sofia. There’s something about reading a book set in a place you know very well, isn’t there? It’s a sort of connection that, I think, draws the reader in, in ways that no other sort of book does.

  3. I finished three books: The Exiled, by Kati Hiekkapelto. Excellent in all ways, well-written, interesting and sympathetic to the Roma people and refugees now in Serbia. I also read The Abominable Man, by Sjowall and Wahloo, trying to finish their series. And I read Her Name was Rose, by Claire Allen, a can’t put down psychological suspense novel.
    I am reading The Widows by Jess Montgomery, set among coal miners in 1924 Ohio. And I’m going to read Salt Lane, by William Shaw, The Lost Man by Jane Harper and November Road, by Lou Berney.
    I will read some books for Black History Month, a good idea and see some ideas above for this. Have been reading Tayari Jones’ books. Her latest, An American Marriage, was on many “best of 2018” book lists. All of her books are good.

    1. I really enjoyed The Exiled by Kati Hiekkapelto as well – and her second book was rather poignant too, about refugees living in Finland. It looks like you have an excellent month ahead!

  4. I’ve brought Milkman on holidays with me so keeping me fingers crossed its as good as I’ve been led to believe. Couldn’t agree more with you about the joys of reading without a plan

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