Reading Summary September 2022

After the physical and emotional turmoil of August, September has continued somewhat in the same vein, the only highlight being the couple of days I got to spend at Bloody Scotland. My reading, therefore, continued to be a mix of translations (four out of eleven books), escapism (two uplifting books) and grit (six crime stories).

Paul Gallico’s Jennie was just what I wanted to cope with Zoe’s loss, while Lolly Willowes was witty and liberating, although I perhaps stretched things too much in comparing it with Tomb of Sand. I was sympathetic to but more ambivalent about the female rage displayed by Mareike Fallwickl and Anke Stelling – I could see what both books were trying to achieve (I think), but feel they might have fallen a little short of their ambitions. HIgashino’s Malice was a clever manipulation of the reader and a psychological study of envy and bullying. You can see what our Crime Book Club thought about it here, thanks to Rebecca Bradley’s recording.

Five more crime books in quick succession on my journey to Scotland and then after I fell ill with Covid: Danuta Kot for the realistic depictions of gangland warfare and poverty in the north-east of England, Lisa Unger for sheer page-turnability about the horrors of online dating, Jane Casey for posing questions about the justice system vs. personal morality, Elizabeth George perorating at some length about FGM, and Emma Styles for a refreshingly accurate rendition of Australian teenage girls’ voices, from very different strata of society.

But the best read of the month was made up of Javier Marias’ loopy sentences and tangential observations about everything under the sun in the first volume of his trilogy Your Face Tomorrow. I have underlined the book liberally (yes, shock, horror!) but will review it when I complete the entire trilogy.

For October, I am keeping any reading plans very flexible, as my mind is flitting about too much at the moment (plus, I will be translating extensively, which always makes me want to seek out different things than I might normally choose). I have read a lot of books that are suitable for the 1929 Book Club, but am not sure if I will read a new one for the occasion. I might reread the quintessential example of Balkanic decadence and nostalgia by Mateiu Caragiale Craii de Curtea-Veche (Rakes of the Old Court).

4 thoughts on “Reading Summary September 2022”

  1. Hooray for Lolly Willowes! I have such fond memories of reading that book, so it’s lovely to see it getting another shout-out in your monthly round-up. I’m also delighted to hear that you’re finding the first volume of Your Face Tomorrow so immersive, especially as the subsequent volumes are even more compelling!

  2. I think you’re being very wise, Marina Sofia, to keep[ things flexible in October. One day at a time… I’m very glad you got to go to Bloody Scotland, though; I’d love to do that some time. You have had a nice mix of books this month, and it’s good to know you had a couple of enjoyable reads.

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