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Books Read April 2019

April 2019 was an extremely busy social reading month:

  • Read the Mishima at top of the book pile for Penguin Classics Month, an event which seems to have fallen by the wayside.
  • Read The Radetzky March for the #germanlitmonth spring readalong.  Wrote about it here, here and here.
  • Read 2 for the #1965club: Roseanna, the first in the Martin Beck series of Scandi crime novels, and a lesser known Daphne du Maurier, The Flight of the Falcon.

In other reading:

  • I ignored the advice of the title and did read Some Books Aren’t for Reading.  I’m glad I did so.  It was sad but hugely enjoyable.
  • Ali Smith’s Spring became available at the library sooner than I expected, so I read it promptly.  Enjoyed it more than Winter, not as much as Autumn.  Smith does like her inpossible characters.  I’m less enamoured, so Florence and I did not gell.  Still I will read Summer when it appears, if only to finish what I have started.
  • The month was bookended with books from my Age of the Weimar Republic reading project. It started with Salka Viertel’s The Kindness of Strangers (reviewed at Shiny New Books) and ended with Philip Kerr’s Metropolis (review to follow]. I’ve also made a start on Jason Lutes classic graphic novel, Berlin. Goodness, that is some masterpiece.

Finally, I participated in the blog tour for Pierre Jarawan’s The Storyteller by interviewing the two translators, Sínead Crowe and Rachel McNicholl.

A strange thing happened as I was reading my way through these titles. Although chosen separately for entirely different reasons, it was as though Mishima’s Star, Smith’s Spring, Viertel’s The Kindness of Strangers AND Kerr’s Metropolis were enjoying their own conversation about film. It’s no wonder I’ve ended the month a visual reader, finding inspiration in Lutes’s graphic universe.

Book of the Month

I’m going to break my own rules here, as re-reads are normally exempt from taking the title. BUT I did not like The Radetzky March when I first read it in pre-blog days. I’m not going to say I love it now, but, after careful reading and the considerable thought needed to answer all the questions Caroline and I devised, I now certainly appreciate its merits, and accept its generally accredited masterpiece status.

Purchasing and Planning

I made five purchases this month and I now have a dozen unread 2019 purchases. So in May I’m going to concentrate on reading the books I’ve bought this year in order to reduce these to 3 in time for the release of the Edinburgh Book Festival programme in early June. (That way I can keep a promise to myself – to let myself off the leash!)

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