Books Read/Reviewed November 2018

The eagle-eyed will realise that the shelf of books showing the books I read in November doesn’t exactly correspond to the shelf of books I said I was going to read for #germanlitmonth at the end of October. There are number of reasons for this.

1) A dodgy copy. When I opened one, I found it began at page 35! Given that it was a crime novel, I did not continue. (Have since sourced replacement copy and will pack in suitcase, because December sees me fleeing these Northern climes for some Canarian sun!)

2) Recommendations from other German Lit Monthers, which meant that something jumped the queue!

3) Whim. TBR’s are made to be amended, are they not?

While most participants read as they pleased (and that is fine), I kept to the pre-defined structure of GLM VIII (because it gives me (false?) feelings of control and accomplishment. Given that 10 of the 13 books I read and/or reviewed during the month were on the November TBR shelf, I may just have hit on a strategy that subdues my purchasing enthusiasms. I’ll try it again in December, and we shall see.

Books Read/Reviewed For German Lit Month VIII (Hyperlinks to my reviews)

Children and Young Adult Fiction Week:
Where Were You, Robert? – Hans Magnus Enzensberger ****
The Book Jumper – Mechthild Gläser *** 1/2

Crime Week
Collision – Merle Kröger ****
The Nameless Day – Friedrich Ani *** 1/2

1918 Week
Alone Against Gravity – Thomas De Padova ****
Dreamers – Volker Weidermann (Reviewed on European Literature Network) ****
The Emperor’s Tomb – Joseph Roth *** 1/2

Swiss Literature Week
The Dead – Christian Kracht ***1/2 (Probably **** on a re-read)
The Pollen Room – Zoë Jenny ***
The Sky is Changing – Zoë Jenny Her most recent novel, published in 2010. Not reviewed as written in English and set in London. Not much #germanlitmonth feel to it, but I enjoyed it more that The Pollen Room, to be honest, recognising at the same that it is not as lyrical. *** 1/2
A Long Blue Monday – Erhard von Büren
Not reviewed. My comments on Caroline’s post betray the basic incompatibility between me and this introspective, quiet novel. **

Read as You Please
Old Masters – Thomas Bernhard, illustrated by Nicholas Mahler Not reviewed as I have nothing to add to Joe’s glowing post, apart from confirming that the book lived up to all expectations. ****
Heimat – Nora Krug (Book of the Month) *****

Meet the Translator – Rachel Hildebrandt
Meet the Translator – Ruth Martin

The Great TBR Declutter
I mentioned the curbing of my enthusiasms at the beginning of this post. But now that I’ve crunched the numbers, I have only one comment. Hmmmm.

Declutter target for 2018 is X-60 where X is number of books owned on 31.12.2017.
TBR 31.10= X-28
Total read =
TBR 30.11 = X-28 + 11 purchases + 4 review copies – 11 physical reads – 6 TBR culled  = X-30

Plans for December 2018
It’s going to take a mega-cull or a novella-readathon during December to reach my declutter target. As I’m not going to be here for most of the month, and I’m planning on reading a couple of chunksters, it’s not going to happen. Never mind, I tried. Instead of beating myself up, I’m just going to enjoy my December TBR shelf, which includes a significant amount of German Lit, because after #germanlitmonth, I am in a zone I have no wish to leave.

December 2018 TBR