The holidays are fast approaching, and while I don’t expect to receive any books this Christmas, mostly because I didn’t have my list together in time when the Others began to ask for it, it’s always nice to take a look at a few books that I am preparing to read in the upcoming year.
Naturally, as a book nerd, this list expands far beyond these nine texts, but I think the holidays are all about being thankful for what you already have and not what you wish you had. So in the spirit of thankfulness, let’s only wish for eight instead of nine.
When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen (2012)
I was totally blown away by Sofi Okanen’s, a Finnish-Estonian writer, 2010 novel, Purge, and though this isn’t exactly a Nordic crime noir, I’ve heard some interesting reviews on this international bestseller. Plus, I haven’t ventured too much into any Estonian works other than Petty God which has been a slow process.
Spring Night by Tarjei Vesaas (1954)
I’m a little disappointed it has taken me so long to get around to reading anything by Vesaas, especially since critics sometimes (keyword- sometimes) call him the greatest Norwegian writer of his time. We’ll see after I delve into this novel that centers around the birth and death of adolescence.
The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares (1940)
Now for the Argentinian vote. I love that this is the text Casares felt was the true beginning of his literary career, and I’m particularly fascinated with the science fiction concept from the 1940s. I hope to get the New York Review Books Classics edition which has a preface from Borges, only to add to the Latin joy I expect with this novel.
Seiobo There Below by László Krasznahorkai (2008)
Krasznahorkai has been the center of my studies for quite a few years now, and I’m absolutely fascinated with his writing. I consider finishing The Melancholy of Resistance my life’s greatest achievement; Krasznahorkai’s writing is nothing short of challenging. But his perspective, his style of writing, his Hungarian philosophy… all are fascinating. Let’s hope Seiobo There Below continues this trend.
The Librarian by Mikhail Elizarov (2008)
There’s almost nothing I love more than a satire on Russian Communism, and critics have been praising this novel since it won the 2008 Russian Booker prize. What’s better than a Russian dystopia novel that pokes a little fun at Soviet Communism written by a Ruske?
A Journey Around My Skull by Frigyes Karinthy ( NYBR Edition 2008)
Another classic tale I have not yet been able to venture into! This novel details Karinthy’s decent into illness that not only describes a grueling medical epic but a creative fiction that centers on Karinthy’s personal hallucinations.
Of Kids and Parents by Emil Hakl (2008)
I’ve wanted to read this Czech novel for most of this year, but I found myself constantly reading other things on the shelf, consistently pushing Hakl further and further down the list. I’m interested in the microcosm that seems to be described in this story that reflects on a much larger scale of the Czech lifestyle. I’m also interested to read the translation by Marek Tomin to see how well the nuances of the Czech language translates into English (or if it totally bombs).
Selected Poetry by Bertold Brecht (1974)
Since reviewing the Italian Film Viva la Liberta back in the summer, I have been so interested in the poetry by Brecht. I’m fond of his style and his subject matter; both of which are totally unique to this German poet. I also struggle to understand why there is so little Brecht in the English speaking world. His poems are too beautiful for this to happen!