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Thread: WLF Reading List 2017

  1. #1
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    Default WLF Reading List 2017

    I hope señor Del Real doesn't get upset as I open this thread before him. One of the greatest joys of this place is discovering new authors by looking at other people's lists.

    So here we go:

    01. Haruki Murakami, Wind/Pinball
    02. Marina Tsvetaeva, Selected Poems
    03. Adonis, Mihyar of Damascus: His Songs
    04. J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
    05. Zygmunt Bauman, Strangers at Our Door
    06. Machado de Assis, The Alienist
    07. Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych
    08. Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek
    Last edited by DouglasM; 14-Mar-2017 at 16:10.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Of course not Douglas, glad you did it. I also finished my first book of the year yesterday.

    January

    01 Amos Oz, To Know a Woman
    02 Carlos Fonseca, Coronel Lágrimas +
    03 Ivo Andric, A Bridge on the Drina
    04 Gabriel García Márquez, El Coronel no tiene quien le Escriba +
    05 Julio Ramón Ribeyro, Los Gallinazos sin Plumas
    06 Julio Ramón Ribeyro, Cuentos de Circunstancias
    07 Julio Ramón Ribeyro, Las Botellas y los Hombres +
    08 Julio Ramón Ribeyro, Tres Historias Sublevantes
    09 Julio Ramón Ribeyro, Los Cautivos
    10 Julio Ramón Ribeyro, El Próximo mes me Nivelo +
    11 José Emilio Pacheco, Morirás Lejos +


    February

    12 A.B. Yehoshua, A Late Divorce
    13 Bohumil Hrabal, I Served the King of England
    14 Gonçalo M. Tavares, Uma Menina está Perdida no seu Século à Procura do Pai
    15 Leonardo Padura, Máscaras +
    16 Joseph Roth, Abril: Historia de un Amor +
    17 Leonardo Padura, Paisaje de Otoño
    18 Attila Bartis, A Walk
    19 Julio Ramón Ribeyro, Silvio en el Rosedal +


    March


  3. #3
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    Post Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Drove back from a vacation so I had a lot of reading time in the car these last few days.

    1. My Struggle: Book Two - Karl Ove Knausgaard
    2. My Struggle: Book Three - Karl Ove Knausgaard
    3. My Struggle: Book Four - Karl Ove Knausgaard
    4. Missing Person - Patrick Modiano
    5. A Personal Matter - Kenzaburo Oe
    6. Paris Nocturne - Patrick Modiano
    7. After the Circus - Patrick Modiano

  4. #4
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Have you taken the famous Evelyn Wood Speed Reading course?

  5. #5

    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Peter Englund did say you could read one Modiano, have dinner, and read another before bed .

  6. #6
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie B View Post
    Have you taken the famous Evelyn Wood Speed Reading course?
    Modiano's works are nearly all lightweight and can be read in less than two hours each (almost all of his novels are also under 200 pages long). A Personal Matter is also short, at around 150 pages.

  7. #7

    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    I've had about 600 dinners since I read Fleurs de Ruine and I still don't feel the slightest desire to touch any of Modiano's other works. I'm surprised so many people on this forum have such a high opinion of him. Maybe I should give him another try.

  8. #8

    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    I'm (probably wrongly) assuming you read French from your signature, kadare? If so, pick-up Romans by Modiano. The best way to appreciate him is to compare five or six of his novels, so you can see the patterns, names, lost threads, diverging paths, fears, disappearances, unrequited love emerge. Part of the pleasure of his work is not having read anything of his in a while, then following the story, thinking, "This seems familiar? Why does this name ring a bell?," which is mimetic to his own, personal history of losing track of people but remembering their names, or hearing snatches of conversations but unable to get the whole context. One assumes he would have nothing to write about had he grown up with social media. I do think he's been overrated since winning the prize, however.

    He is a bit of a lightweight, though, in range and style. Many recently-deceased, French authors were more "deserving" (Tournier, Butor, Bonnefoy, to name a few...) in my eyes.

    Isahoinp, I think Stevie B was more surprised you read three of Knausgård in four days + three Modiano + Oe. The Knausgård alone is, what, over 1500 pages? So, you do read fast!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post
    Drove back from a vacation so I had a lot of reading time in the car these last few days.
    You drove back from where? Patagonia to Chicago?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    I'm just jealous that I can't read in a car, Isahoinp. No problems reading on planes or trains, but I can only read for about 15 minutes in a car before I start feeling sick. For longer drives, I will sometimes listen to books on tape. By the way, Daniel, a trip from Patagonia to Chicago should be long enough to listen to Infinite Jest, A Suitable Boy, and Atlas Shrugged. Let me know if you're up for a road trip. Maybe we could get Stiffelio to drive.
    Last edited by Stevie B; 05-Jan-2017 at 04:32.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post
    Drove back from a vacation so I had a lot of reading time in the car these last few days.

    1. My Struggle: Book Two - Karl Ove Knausgaard
    2. My Struggle: Book Three - Karl Ove Knausgaard
    3. My Struggle: Book Four - Karl Ove Knausgaard
    4. Missing Person - Patrick Modiano
    5. A Personal Matter - Kenzaburo Oe
    6. Paris Nocturne - Patrick Modiano
    7. After the Circus - Patrick Modiano
    How can you read while you drive? Tell us your secret :-)

  12. #12

    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Thanks for the recommendations Ater, Lividus, Ruber & V!

    My Reading List for 2017:

    1. Ismail Kadare - November of a Capital +
    2. Ridvan Dibra - Sleeping on Snow
    3. Rabindranath Tagore - The Wreck
    4. Ismail Kadare - The Palace of Dreams (reread)
    5. Hwang Sok-Yong - Princess Bari
    Last edited by kadare; 05-Feb-2017 at 14:48.

  13. #13

    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    I hope I do better this year.

    1. Mahmoud Dowlatabadi - The Colonel
    2. Deepti Kapoor - A Bad Character
    3. Sophocles - Antigone
    4. As Origens da Linguagem - Bruna Franchetto & Yonne Leite
    Last edited by lucasdiniz; 25-Feb-2017 at 17:07.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Ismail Kadare, Broken April
    Zakaria Tamir, Tigers on the Tenth Day
    Stijn Streuvels, The Flaxfield
    Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists
    Benito Pérez Galdós, Doña Perfecta
    Last edited by tiganeasca; 12-Jan-2017 at 18:26.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by tiganeasca View Post
    Ismail Kadare, Broken April
    Zakaria Tamir, Tigers on the Tenth Day
    Stijn Streuvels, The Flaxfield
    Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists
    Benito Pérez Galdós, Doña Perfecta
    I'm curious what you thought about Dona Perfecta.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    All in all, I found it more enjoyable as sociology or historical anthropology than as fiction. I zipped through the Kadare and the Eng (not a small book) far more quickly, though the Perez is by far the shortest of the three. I should make clear that my pace was dictated not by the translation so much as by my general lack of interest in the story and the characters. I found the characters far more successful as archetypes than as individuals: Perez seemed more intent on sketching rural society and, to my greater disappointment, portraying the players as good or evil. The plot was mundane and the real achievement, I thought, came in his portrayal of life in rural Spain in the mid-nineteenth century.

    The translation I read isn’t recent (1960) and I spent a lot of time wondering whether (and how) the translation might have contributed to my difficulties. I’d call the translation fluent, but not fluid—and I cannot help but wonder whether another version would be more to my taste. (I discovered only recently that it was re-translated in 1990.) I was so curious that I did some research on the translator, Harriet de Onís. I learned from a fascinating doctoral dissertation that she was the go-to translator (and advisor) to Knopf for Spanish and Portuguese literature from the 1930s through at least the 1950s. She was not a native Spanish speaker, although she married a Spaniard. The dissertation quotes José Donoso: “she controlled the sluices of the circulation of Latin American literature in the United States and by means of the United States throughout the whole world.” I hasten to point out that I didn’t have the same concerns about language when I read Nazarin (translated in 1993 and again in 1997) nor did my interest lag and so am curious to read Fortunata and Jacinta, also the beneficiary of a more recent translation.

    All in all, I am glad to have read it, though primarily for its insights. I wouldn’t recommend seeking it as literature though it is an interesting portrait of society.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Thanks for the overview, tiganeasca. I have a copy on my shelf at home that was published in 1999 by Phoenix House and translated by AK Tulloch, a name I've not run across in the past. I've read and enjoyed a couple of Emile Zola books. Would you say Perez Galdos writes in a similarly gritty manner?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    Hmmm...a third translation. For such a relatively slight work, I'm surprised. (The name Tulloch--as a translator--rings a very vague bell, but I have no idea why.)

    At the risk of being overly pedantic, I think I would say that Perez reminds me of both Zola and Dickens--even Balzac--in terms of subject matter. I don't think any of them write in what I'd call a gritty manner but there is no doubt that their subject matter is often gritty. The subject of Doña Perfecta is the stranglehold that the Church exerted on society and because it focuses on members of the upper classes, it's not gritty at all. To the extent that he pictures the peasants in the book, it is largely in passing, almost offhand. If you get around to reading it, I'll be curious to know what you think.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    January

    1. John Steinbeck - Tortilla Flat
    2. Fiston Mwanza Mujila - Tram 83 +
    3. J.M. Coetzee - Disgrace

    February

    4. Geoff Dyer - But Beautiful
    5. Paul Scheerbart - Rakkox the Billionaire / The Great Race
    6. Darryl Pinckney - Black Deutschland
    7. Han Kang - The Vegetarian
    Last edited by plaugher; 03-Mar-2017 at 00:10.

  20. #20

    Default Re: WLF Reading List 2017

    So this list is always evolving, but I've decided that as a white man, I would try and shake things up a bit and try to read a majority of books written by women and people of color. There will be exceptions along the way. I realize that my list is very North American centric. I am open to suggestions

    So far my reading list includes : Joy Williams - The Visiting Privilege
    Toni Morrison - Beloved
    Marilynn Robinson - Housekeeing
    Jane Bowles - Two Serious Ladies
    Zadie Smith - White Teeth
    Susan Sontag - The Volcano Lover
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Half of a Yellow Sun
    Alice Munro (a number of books)
    Margaret Atwood - Alias Grace



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