The pile of books to be reviewed was threatening to fall from my ‘filing cabinet’ (aka armchair), so I am resorting once more to quick video reviews. These all have a rather sombre theme running through them, but are heartily recommended – for when you are of a cheery disposition to handle them. I’ve tried to add a festive mood nevertheless with some tinsel!
Yes, yes, November is not quite over yet, but this will be a busy week and I’m not sure I’ll get another chance to write a blog post.
Goodreads seems to be in a bit of a meltdown, mysteriously ‘disappearing’ my read books as if they were protesters against a dictatorial regime. Nevertheless, they assure me that I am about 9 books over my challenge of 120 books read this year. Let’s hope that this is somewhat more credible than the ‘official state news’ of Romania’s ‘booming agricultural harvests’ of the early 1980s, spurred on by Ceausescu’s visits to the fields of wheat and barley.
I’ve been back to a good month of reading in November: 12 books, contributing to several challenges. 3 of those were in German, 2 in French, 5 books by women 6 by men and 1 an anthology containing both, 4 (possibly 5) crime fiction, 1 poetry, 2 short story collections, 1 non-fiction and 1 did-not-finish. I’m happy with the mix.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin – magical, poetic language and complex ideas
#GermLitMonth and #EU27Project:
Arthur Schnitzler: Late Fame
Zoran Drvenkar: Sorry
Thomas Willmann: Das finstere Tal (Dark Valley) – a mix of crime fiction, Western, historical fiction – very atmospheric indeed
Nobe Prize Winner (and dnf):
Kazuo Ishiguro: The Unconsoled – very promising start but could have done with a good editor, too long and self-indulgent
November Masterclass Preparation
Kathleen Jamie: Sightlines – the world dissected with real love, charm and understanding
Kathleen Jamie: The Tree House (poetry) – understated and deceptively simple poetry leaving profound marks
Swiss Reads: (joint review to follow on the blog)
Max Lobe: La trinite bantoue
Alice Rivaz: Sans alcools
Murder on Christmas Eve anthology (coming up on CFL)
Ragnar Jonasson: Whiteout (coming up on CFL)
Flynn Berry: Under the Harrow
In other news:
I’m working on launching the Asymptote subscription book club, which will be a dream come true for lovers of translated fiction: a surprise book a month, from an independent publisher, curated by our team of editors based all around the world. The common feature? Outstanding quality of both the original and the translation. I know that’s going to be my Christmas present to myself (and it will last all of 2018 as well).