Or maybe it should be called Trying to Bring Some Order to the Madness. With all of these inspiring end of year book lists, I just keep adding and adding to my TBR pile. More frighteningly, I keep adding to my purchases for both the physical and the virtual bookshelves, which will make next year’s challenge of reading them all soooo much harder.
Still, I am trying to combine the 3 main challenges I have set myself: I am buying or have already bought lots of German and Japanese books. So here are some of the delights currently waiting patiently for me or flying on wings of Christmas joy towards me:
Keigo Higashino: The Devotion of Suspect X
Ryu Murakami: Audition
Natsuo Kirino: Grotesque
Haruki Murakami: Kafka on the Shore
Fuminori Nakamura: The Thief
Fumiko Enchi: The Waiting Years
Minae Mizumura: A True Novel
I miss those days when I would be able to read Japanese novels in the original. [Although always with a Kanji dictionary to hand. I remember our colleagues studying English, French, Italian or Spanish at university would laugh at us for having to use a dictionary to read even the shortest novel.] I now have to rely on translations and there are very few available, even of the classics. I miss my collection of Kawabata, Mishima, Dazai Osamu etc. They are all safely boxed up in an attic in the Thames Valley. Maybe rereading them could be my challenge for 2016 or whenever we move back to the UK?
Stefan Zweig: Meisternovellen
Bernhard Schlink: Liebesfluchten
Irena Brezna: Die undankbare Fremde
Edda Ziegler: Verboten Verfemt Vertrieben
Richard Weihe: Sea of Ink
Alois Hotschnig: Maybe This Time
I also have a few crime novels in the mix. I’ll be rereading Jakob Arjouni and hope to read his last novel ‘Brother Kemal’, published posthumously this year. I also want to explore the writer Sebastian Fitzek, who writes breathtaking psychological thrillers, and is beginning to make a name for himself beyond the German-speaking world.
I would love to ask for more suggestions, but am afraid that I might succumb to temptation… The Calvinist spirit of self-denial does not enter my soul when it comes to books (or desserts).
Instead, I will ask if you have read any of the Japanese or German writers on my list and what you think of them. And, if you haven’t, maybe you want to join me in the challenge and we can discuss them together?
Just to put you in the mood for Japan and its literature, I have included some pictures of the Christmas/New Year lights in Tokyo.
- Japan Meets England in Mizumura’s “A True Novel” (victorianachronists.wordpress.com)
- National › Haruki Murakami novel Japan’s 2013 best-seller (japantoday.com)