I’ve made several library visits recently, so I’ve got a lovely pile of books calling for my attention.
- Buddha Da by Anne Donovan: This was going to be my Scottish book if Scotland had voted for independence from the UK. I decided I wanted to read it anyway. I’ve only looked at the first few pages thus far, enough to see that when they say that it is written with a strong Glaswegian accent, they really mean it. I felt like I wasn’t familiar enough with the accent to be able to hear how it was supposed to sound as I read it. So I did some hunting for audio on the internet. Wow! I think I can understand more listening to a Spanish speaker than I could of some Glaswegian speakers. Fortuitously, I even found a clip of Anne Donovan reading the first few pages of Buddha Da (she was easier to understand than some of the other clips), so now I know what it should sound like. I’m looking forward to reading more.
- The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window by Jonas Jonasson: I’ve decided to abandon this one. I thought it would be a light enjoyable book, but I just don’t find a story about unpleasant old men accidentally killing people to be funny. I realized there was no point in reading it if I wasn’t finding it funny, even though many other people seem to enjoy it. I seem to have a bad track record with Swedish books about grumpy old men, since the book I read for Sweden was The Fly Trap, non-fiction whose author I found to be a not-at-all-endearing curmudgeon. (I’ve now realized that the book I actually intended to look for at the library was not The 100 Year Old Man, but rather A Man Called Ove. I can see how I got confused, since A Man Called Ove is ALSO about a “grumpy but lovable” old Swedish man. Being 0/2 so far with grumpy old Swedish men, maybe I should cross A Man Called Ove off my to read list?)
- The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem: I’m planning to venture into some science fiction for my Polish book. BiblioBoyfriend has snagged this one. The repeated laughter, the many snippets read aloud, and the exclamation “What a good find!” seem to indicate that he is enjoying it. In fact, I’ve asked him to stop reading me so many quotes for fear of having half the book read to me before I get a chance to read it myself!
- Now and at the Hour of our Death by Susana Moreira Marques: I came across this book looking through the publication list of And Other Stories, since I’ve enjoyed a couple of their books recently. Unlike most of their books, it is non-fiction. It is about the experiences of people dying in rural Portugal and the dying out of entire small villages. It’s pretty good, but takes a more poetic approach than I was expecting/wanting.
I’ve also got books for Brazil and Macedonia and The Sand Child by Tahar Ben Jelloun, a Moroccan book I’ve been wanting to read for a while.