I know it’s a bit early to summarise the month, but since I only post on Mondays and Wednesdays (and the more pictorial Friday Funs), this is my last chance to summarise the month before we embark upon May. As such, I have not quite finished two of the books I feature on my list (Nostalgia and the escapist Georgette Heyer) but expect to do so by the weekend. I also intend to review in more detail the two surrealist pieces of literature (Ehin and Urmuz) on Monday 2nd of May, when we will be discussing the Estonian book at our London Reads the World Book Club.
Eighteen books. Bit of a record reading month in terms of quantity, partly because I had so much time off – on holiday until the 11th, then university closure around Easter – and partly because I was racing through some rereads for translation funding applications for Corylus. 12 of those books were in Romanian, and I’ve already written about some of them. I have already expressed some of my dissatisfaction with the translation of Nostalgia and my mixed feelings about Jhumpa Lahiri’s memoir of learning Italian.
There were two non-Romanian books that I read for book clubs – the highly unusual supernatural crime novel The Dying Squad by Adam Simcox and the even more unusual vignettes/short stories by Estonian author Kristiina Ehin, translated by Ilmar Lehtpere. I alternated my serious reads with two escapist, nearly-but-not-quite romance books from the library: Clare Chambers’ The Editor’s Wife (entertaining if rather predictable) and one of Heyer’s Regency novels The Reluctant Widow (which seems more of a crime caper than a romance, a bit of a colour by numbers effort from the author, but one of the few of her books available at the library).
My reading plans for the next few months are:
Anglos Abroad in May – American and English writers who have set their books in other countries, whether it’s fiction or a memoir, depicting some sort of culture clash – and quite a few of them will be about Berlin.
June: French literature – for no other reason than remembering how much I adored these verses by Rimbaud and the lime trees on the promenade.
On n’est pas sérieux, quand on a dix-sept ans
On va sous les tilleuls verts de la promenade.
Les tilleuls sentent bon dans les bons soirs de juin !
July – Spanish Lit Month – and I intend to focus on Latin America mostly
August – Women in Translation Month – not that I don’t love reading women in translation all year round.