Just in case you missed it, it was Dutch Literature Month, and after telling a few stories about my Dutch learning past, I got stuck into a pile of Dutch books. (Hyperlinks are to my reviews.)

1) Tomorrow Pamplona – Jan Van Mersbergen  plus a one question interview.

2) The Tea Lords – Hella S Haasse (The Grande Dame of Dutch Literature)

3) The Assault – Harry Mulisch (Judged by some to be the best Dutch author never to win the Nobel)

4) The Foxes Come At Night – Cees Nooteboom (The finest living Dutch author whom I met at World Literature Weekend.)

5) Shadow Sister – Simone van der Vlugt

I was feeling so virtuous after reading all that fine literature that I treated myself to a piece of Nederlandse Noir. A very enjoyable piece of crime fiction it was too in which a twin is killed and the other one goes in search of the killer.  Except she’s barking up the wrong tree entirely and danger is much closer than she could ever imagine. The structure is very interesting.  Two narratives, one from each sister.  After the murder, the victim’s narrative goes back in time to the days preceding her death. It then moves forward so that the murder is replayed just as her sister comes face to face with the killer.  This was a gripping read by the Queen of Dutch crime marred only by the fact that I didn’t really buy into the murder motive.  That won’t stop me readng more by Simone van der Vlugt, if I come across it. 

 

6) The Hidden Force  – Louis Couperus

No, I didn’t get round to rereading this because I was held up by Titus Groan.  Rename it Lizzy Groans and you’ll be nearer the mark.  I have 24 pages left to suffer read.  I will read it tonight so that July can begin without a cloud on the horizon.  I stuck with it only because I was reading it as part of the Gormenghast readalong at Farmlanebooks and I will not be defeated with such a small page count left! Fortunately Jackie and co enjoyed it more than I.

Anyway The Hidden Force is my next Dutch read.  Not sure when that will be.  Maybe at next year’s Dutch Literature Month – because Iris, of course, you’re going to repeat this.  Aren’t you?

7) 55 Hours in London

I went down to the capital to attend World Literature Weekend.  Part One of my reportage is here.  Parts 2 and 3 will follow in due course.

8.  The Literary Blog Hop

73 blogs coordinate to give away literary fiction.  Did you win one of the books I gave away?

June was a cracking finale to the first half of 2011 in which we British bookworms were treated to some fabulous telly programs (My Life in Books, Faulks on Fiction).  I haven’t forgotten.  I read 49 books minus 24 pages and attended 2 literary festivals. 

It’s been a great year so far. Let’s hope the second half of the year makes it absolutely fabulous!

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