Books Read September 2020

September was the month of not one but three literary festivals – Noirwich Noir, Bloody Scotland, and Wigtown Book festival (ongoing). Cheltenham online is just about to begin. We British bookworms are spoilt for choice! But now is the time for indulging one’s curiosity. I know the idea behind the all these events is to sell books, but I bought so many during the first few months of lockdown that I really do have to curb my enthusiasms.

So I gave myself a target of 3 purchases during September … it turned into 7. When I started scapegoating (as you do), I discovered that 3 purchases are attributable to online literary festivals. Proof that their strategy is working after all! (For completion: 2 are #germanlitmonth related, 1 because a canny publisher sent me book 2 of a trilogy that I have decided to read from the beginning, with only 1 directly attributable to the “bad” influence of fellow bloggers. She knows who she is! 😉)

I’m going to try to keep purchases to single figures in October. I know that doesn’t sound very restrained but it will be a magnificent achievement, as that set of 8 Verzet Dutch chapbooks is calling very loudly. (Thanks to another online event.) I’ve had a little book sale, and the proceeds are all ready to be redirected ….

The most exciting publishing event of September 2020 was the launch of V&Q Books, an imprint with the remit to ‘publish remarkable books from Germany’. I had three slots on the blog tour. Honing in on Sandra Hoffmann’s Paula, the idea was to track the object from commission and design; the text from origins to translation, and finally to give the reader’s verdict.

The most anticipated release of the summer, Elena Ferrante’s The Lying Life of Adults, turned out to be anything but a highlight for me.

Book of the Month is Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club. It is a delight from start to finish, and I caught myself giggling quite a few times. I was in need of cheer, as September was the month I should have been travelling to Vienna and Budapest. I had Austrian and Hungarian novels in the immediate TBR to read as a substitute, but, you know, I just couldn’t face it.

By way of contrast, virtual travel to Germany in preparation for a tour during German Literature Month X, 10, TEN! has commenced. This involves a trip down memory lane and perusing old photographs. That is proving to be a rather deep rabbit hole. This and all the online eventing has resulted in a total books read of only 6 (including 2 rereads) in September. A pattern likely to be repeated during October. On that basis I expect the blog to be a little on the quiet side.