I haven’t always been able to participate in this ‘halfway through the year’ round-up, but it’s one I always enjoy. Jo from The Book Jotter has been running this since 2012 and has a huge selection of categories to choose from. The idea is that you share some of the books you have read during the first six months, including perhaps those that haven’t had as much love and attention as they might have deserved. Some of the categories are bookish but not actual books, as you will see below.
Six new authors to me
I’ve been spoilt with new author discoveries this year, but here are six which really stuck in my mind (and which I therefore reviewed)
Caleb Azumah Nelson: Open Water
Raven Leilani: Luster
Hoda Barakat: Voices of the Lost
Elias Khoury: White Masks
Marian Engel: Bear – liked it so much that I then read another by her Lunatic Villas
Ioanna Karystiani: Back to Delphi
Six authors I have read before
At least three of these are among my favourite authors, so it’s no surprise that I’m always happy to have an excuse to read or reread them.
Dazai Osamu: A Shameful Life (new translation of No Longer Human)
Shirley Jackson: Hangsaman
Naguib Mahfouz: Palace Walk
Robert Seethaler: The Field
Arthur Schnitzler: Plays
Karel Capek: War with the Newts
Six books that have taken me on a journey
You know how much I love travelling through literature – this year, more than ever.
Mishima Yukio: The Temple of the Golden Pavilion – Kyoto, Japan
Alfonso Cruz: Kokoschka’s Doll – Dresden, Paris, Marrakesh
Gelu Diaconu: Sebastian – Bucharest past and present
Margie Orford: Gallow’s Hill – Cape Town
The Book of Cairo – self-explanatory
Nicola Upson: The Dead of Winter – St Michael’s Mount
Six books I have read but not reviewed
Quite a few of those have been read with a view to possible future translation for Corylus, so they are mostly Romanian crime fiction. The remaining two I enjoyed but was too busy at work to give them a full-length review:
Rodica Ojog-Brasoveanu: Cutia cu nasturi (The Box with Buttons)
Teodora Matei: Afaceri de familie (Family Affairs)
Tony Mott: Toamna se numara cadavrele (Count the Bodies in Autumn)
Lucian Dragos Bogdan: Panza de paianjen (Spiderweb)
Rebecca Bradley: Blood Stained – a new series set in Sheffield, by the author who is also the ‘instigator’ of our monthly Virtual Crime Book Club.
Allie Reynolds: Shiver – can never resist a book about skiing (or, in this case, snowboarding)
Six blogging events I enjoyed
These don’t all take place during the first six months of the year, but they are my favourite events throughout the year and I try to join them if I possibly can
6 Degrees of Separation – Kate at Books Are My Favourite and My Best monthly series of bookish links
January in Japan – Meredith at Dolce Bellezza – spending some time in Japan is always a pleasure and a privilege
#1936Club – April 2021 – the year might change, but twice a year we read books published in a particular year, and 1936 is one of my favourites in literature – the brain child of Simon from Stuck in a Book and Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings
Women in Translation Month – August – simply the best – and still much needed – initiative by Meytal Radzinski, who blogs at Bibliobio.
Spanish and Portuguese Literature Month – July – hope to still be able to read and review at least one book for it this year – launched by Stu Jallen back in
German Lit Month – November – another that I cannot bear to miss – a coproduction between Caroline from Beauty Is a Sleeping Cat and Lizzy Siddal.
Six books that are great when self-isolating (escapist reads)
Escapism for me does not mean happy-clappy or romance, but simply books that will have me reading until late at night, no matter how tired I might feel. A good many of these also made me chuckle.
Isaka Kotaro: Bullet Train
John Boyne: The Echo Chamber
Stella Gibbons: The Swiss Summer
Simone Buchholz: Hotel Cartagena
Carol Shields: Mary Swan
Sergei Lebedev: Untraceable