Workwise this has been a very busy week (see also previous posts) but in between I’ve indulged in some great reading.
First of all there is Ali Smith’s collection of short stories. I savour these stories, one at a time and they are excellent reads.
Then I’ve read Hoffman’s Hunger by Leon de Winter. I’ve prepared a review which I will post next week. Just look out for it: I’ve really enjoyed this book. I read it in English even though, once I’d finished it, I realised I could just as easy have read it in Dutch. I’ll get hold of some of his other works in Dutch as not all his books have been translated into English.
And then, what else is there in the salon today?
Well, yesterday the postman dumped a dripping wet parcel in the porch. It really was raining cats and dogs and all the post was wet, including this package from Amazon in America. Not to worry, the content was quite dry and just as well: it was Annie Dillard’s Living by Fiction, sent to me by Lisa at Eudaemonia. Lisa has quoted from this book several times and I was greatly intrigued. She very kindly sent me a copy as it was not available on Amazon in England, and I shall look forward to reading it. Thank you Lisa!
The Guardian has started another one of it’s series of special supplements. This time it’s on ‘1000 books you should read’ and it is subdivided into 7 different sections, one for each day of the week. Yesterday we received part 1, on Love. This is the link to the guardian website, where you can also leave comments about your own favourite novel (if not included in this list) and if you disagree with books that are included. All great fun, if you have plenty of time to go through them all. I shall collect them and leave them somewhere on my bookshelf as a reference manual that may come in handy!
The next in this series are: Crime, Comedy, Family and Self, State of the Nation, Science Fiction and Fantasy, War and Travel. Lots and lots of books to read, in other words!
A writer that has recently come up in many reviews and overviews is Roberto Bolano, whose 2666 was published in English posthumously. Again, the Guardian yesterday printed an article by Christopher Tayler, ‘Experience at full speed’, which asks whether or not 2666 realy is ‘the finest novel of the present century’ as it has been hailed. According to the author of this article, yes, the book and Bolano’s other works really do live up to the hype. So, perhaps I should add this to my tbr list, in particular as James Wood compares Bolano with daring postwar fiction that has made use of the long dramatic sentence, such as Bohumil Hrabal, Thomas Bernhard, WG Sebald, Jose Saramago. I am a great admirer of both Sebald and Saramago and also value Wood’s essays on literature. Even if my tbr list is already very long, I think I’ll add it but may wait with buying it until a paperback version is published (easier to carry around).
Finally, March 5th will be this year’s World Book Day and there is a questionnaire on Spread the Word website where you can confess to all your guilty secrets about books you have pretended to have read, which are your most favourite authors (from a list provided), etc. It’s quite fun actually and I’ll have a closer look at it. I might get back to it later this week.
Enjoy your Sunday reading.