OCTOBER ROUND UP

 

A busy month here manage to clear some of my back reviews still got some to write ,I ve struggle to blog sometimes this month due to work as there has been a shortage of staff thus my workload has increased ,well here is what I managed to read .

  1. the bad girl by Mario Vargas Llosa .
  2. Traveller to the east by Thomas Molfo
  3. I saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti
  4. the life of an unkown man by Andrei Makine
  5. The weekend by Bernhard Schlink
  6. Three seconds by Roslund and hellstrom
  7. The end by Salvatore Scibona
  8. To the end of the land by David Grossman
  9. Urn Burial by  Sir Thomas Browne
  10. The haunting of hill house by Shirley Jackson
  11. The hound of the baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

well eleven this month not bad as have been busy at work ,the challenges for the year .Book of the month well two the Schlink and Grossman

100 books in a year -110/100

52 books 19/52

well passed a hundred and add one to my around world in 52 books ,got few more countries down on blog this month taking total up to 56 .

NOVEMBER  PLANS

Well November plans ,well I’ve got lot library books need reading ,a Henrich boll ,three Ghanian books ,purge sofi Oskana among them so want clear them near start then end of month want to read some more Bolano have Amulet ,getting Skating rink and maybe another as I plan to read 2666 over christmas .

What your November plans ?

Happy Halloween

Well Halloween is here and I m reading my first ghost story for a long while ,not huge horror and Ghost story fan . what are your favourites ?

Mine is hound of the baskervilles not really horror but scary in places.

This time of year means Parkin – a local cake gingery ,treacly and with some oats in .

wonderful with a hot drink on a cold night .

so what plans have you tomorrow ?

and I leave you with a great spooky song

TO THE END OF THE LAND BY DAVID GROSSMAN

Source – Library

David Grossman is a israeli writer ,he served in the israeli army in the 70’s then went on to study philosophy ,he is known as a peace activist having previous being sack from national radio for refusing to downplay the declaration of the Palestine state .he has won numerous award the most famous being the Bialik prize for Hebrew literature .

To the end of the land is the story of Ora and Offer ,mother and son in modern-day Israeli Ora is doing his national service which is drawing to an end much to Ora’s thankfulness .Offer doesn’t return to his mother ,he wants to join a large offensive that is just being mounted .This shocks Ora who panics that the “Notifers” will appear at her door ,she had planned a trip to Galilee across the country with Offer on his release from the army ,she is single he husband and other son having left her she contacts her husband best friend Avram and as it transpires Offer real father to join her on this pilgrimage to avoid what she fears will be Offers death ,as they set off she starts to tell Avram  bit by bit and writing down Offers life as if the act is a way of keeping her son alive so we hear Offers life unfold through his loving mothers eyes ,as Avram tries to support the women he was once so close to .

Where was I

He fell .

oh she groans in painful surprise,the air slashed out of her in one sweep .Don’t say that .

I wasn’t thinking .I’m sorry Ora

No it’s okay .You should know that when I talk about him with you ,He’s alright .He is protected

How ?

I don’t know .Thats what I feel .He is preserved .

Yes

Does that sound crazy ?

No

should I tell you more ?

Yes

tell me more ,about him

about Offer

This is were we find what talking about Offer means to Ora .

Right now here is the most important bit about this book ,after the first draft Grossman lost his own son in an attack whilst he was serving his national service  ,so the emotions in this book are very realistic ,as he was struggling with his own grief .It deals with parental love ,war and the bond between old lovers .Ora is in some ways Grossman and Ora in some ways is his son .If you want a story that touches your heart this is it ,especially when you know the story of Grossman own son .This of all the Israeli books dealing with the Palestinian conflict and its effects on everyday life in Israeli.

The book was translated by Jessica Cohen a well known translkator from Hebrew .

THE END BY SALVATORE SCIBONA

SOURCE REVIEW COPY FROM JONATHAN CAPE .OUT NOV 4

Salvatore Scibona is an american writer ,he was named on the recent New Yorker twenty under forty list .He grew up in Cleveland Ohio and went to the creative writing course at university of Iowa ,he is from an Italian american family

The End is his debut novel it is set in his native Ohio in the early fifties ,well 15th august 1953 mainly .we focus on Elephant park an Italian community we open meeting Rocco the local baker who has just received word that his son has died in a Korean P.O.W CAMP  ,the day is Assumption day a carnival is due as the novel progress we see Rocco meet people and also we are sent back to Rocco’s youth in Scilly .We see poverty community and also a crime ,we meet a number of characters a seamstress ,a jeweller .as Rocco comes to terms with his loss whilst the is this carnival and other things happening in his life .

He was Five feet one inch tall in his street shoes ,bearlike in his round and Jowly face ,hulking in his chest and shoulders ,nearly just as stout around the middle but hollow in the hips and lacking a proper can to sit on (though he was hardly ever known to sit ) and wee at the ankles and girlish at his tiny feet ,a man in the shape of a lightbulb .

the opening and we meet Rocco .

This is a stunning debut novel ,assured with a unique voice ,he has been compared to the greats Joyce ,Faulkner and Bellow ,some are deserved, setting most of your events on a single day will always be compared with Joyce but in reality they are two completely different books this is about a community .Bellow is probably nearest to him of the comparisons in a lot of ways it is like bellows early books ,like seize thew day which follows a similar aged man over a day I wonder if part of this comes from stories Salvatore heard growing up around the dinner table .The characters in this book are beautifully drawn and realistic.Its nice to read a book about the Italian american community that avoids the obvious clichés of that community .He richly deserves to be on the new yorker list and also for this to be a national book award shortlisted book in 2008 .This is like a Edward hopper painting come to life or the kiss photo that is so famous it evokes the fifties and the struggles of that time for a working class community post WW2 struggling with another war .

SHOW ME THE BOOKS i LL SHOW YOU THE MAN A LIFE IN BOOKS -HOILDAYS AT GRAN SADLER

Now my mum’s parents gran and granddad Sadler had me and us on holiday a lot when growing up ,my parents divorced at a young age so for time we spent a lot of time with them.They lived in Cheshire  in Timperley and then in Rhyl which is in North Wales and is a fading seaside resort which at the time they was just about getting by .a visit for a holiday would lead to me looking through her books and picking a book to read her two great loves where Naigo Marsh and Agatha Christie so I spent my summer holiday reading the 50 and 60’s paperbacks with their wonderfully macabre covers .

 

 

so these summers were spent with Marple ,Poirot ,tommy and tuppence and inspector Alleyn .SOME of my happiest memories are sat reading with a flat lemonade in there lean-to conservatory with the smell of my Granada’s tomato plants wafting in the air .

This lead to my reading  of Ian Rankin Rebus in my twenties ,which for me was my fallow years of reading as I like to go out every weekend with my friends and drink the Deuchars IPA or which ever real ale my local ale houses had on offer .What appealed to me mainly with rebus was Rebus himself ,I identified with this guy he like similar music to me ,like to drink real ale and smoke which at that time where all vices I had ,so as I read little in my twenties Rebus drew me back to books again and to the last  for this time Nordic crime fiction .

well I ve start this last year or two again with some crime novels ,before I blogged I read first part of Steig Larsson which I intend to read all of at some point ,also Jo Nesbo and Roslund and Hellstrom which I reviewed yesterday ,This sits well with my passion for translation and old love of crime fiction .

DID YOUR GRANDPARENTS INFLUENCE YOU ?


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