Following February’s record breaking heights of 16 books read, March’s stack is much more modest. For obvious reasons my attention span is shattered. I’ve never been one to be constantly scanning the news or twitter/SMS feeds but I let myself get sucked in during March with inevitable consequences. That stops now. Worry helps no-one. There’ll be time for that if the virus catches me and mine. Hubby and I are both tagged as vulnerable, so we are behaving as we should right now. Hopefully we will stay out of harm’s way.

Ayewrite was cancelled, heartbreakingly for those who had put a full year’s work into the best programme for ages. (I’ll still read the books I was intending to though. One is my Book of The Month.)

More sadness with the death of translator, Denis Jackson.

Reading disappointment, too, in that I spent 10 days working my way through the first 2 parts of Tanizaki’s The Makioka Sisters for Meredith’s Japanese Literature Challenge Readalong. I wasn’t enjoying it, but kept hoping that intermittent sparks would convert into a constant flame. That didn’t happen. I found it very repetitious and I just don’t have the will to endure yet another round of marriage negotiations or further yo-yoing between Osaka and Tokyo. I have read the final cringeworthy sentence though. Too. Much. Information. In my mind the book is 99% DNF’ed. (100% is when the book has left the building.) However, I know Tom will be posting on it soon. Perhaps he can persuade me to remove my copy from the discarded stack. (No pressure. 😉)

Right, that’s the bad news out of the way. Onto better things.

Statistics March 2019


Books completed 6 (4 pictured, 2 e-books)

YTD 32

Pre-2020 TBR:2019 acquisitions 23:9

Translated titles:Anglophone titles 23:9 (What a coincidence!)


A Woman In The Polar Night – Christiane Ritter 5* (February Book of the Month)

Snow, Dog, Foot – Claudio Moriandi 4*

Tyll – Daniel Kehlmann 4* (Reviewed on the European Literature Network)

A Little History of Poetry – John Carey 5* (March Book of The Month)

For #boekenweek2020

Winter in Wartime – Jan Terlouw 4*

The Blessed Rita – Tommy Wieringa 4*

Stage Four – Sander Kollard 3*


Meet the Translator: Iain Galbraith

Remembering the Translator: Denis Jackson


I believe that the current UK lockdown is going to last longer than the initial 3 weeks (we’re in week 2), and that supply channels will be disrupted, particularly when the wholesalers close (as it seems they are doing). So I decided to prepare. Modest stockpiling ensued and I’ve now exceeded my YTD purchase allowance by 2. I’m sure that will sort itself of its own accord in the next quarter.


I don’t watch much TV, but, when I do, I love to binge. So I’ve taken advantage of a NOW TV offer (4 months at £5.99) to catch Babylon Berlin Series 3. So different from the novel, The Silent Death. I found the alternative resolution a bit preposterous. Still fab though.

I’ve also watched the 1st half of My Brilliant Friend Series 1, which happily remains true to Ferrante’s novel.

Plans for April

Surprisingly all 2020 Books of the Month have thus far been non-fiction. I am struggling with contemporary fiction currently. Characters will insist on behaving in ways that seem so strange right now, and this is breaking the spell. (Amazing how quickly that has happened.) As I obviously need material that takes me away from current time and space, I plan to fill April with historical fiction topped with lashings of crime.