around the world in a year -the first year of winstonsdad .

Well the first full year of blogging is drawing to the end and now I look back on the year I ve had highs and lows but am coming out of it looking forward to new challenges and new books to read .But for this year I ve decide to go round world pick best I ve read from various areas of the world .

AFRICA –

the purple violet

books read – 14

countries -11

WELL my favourite african book this year is Purple violets of oshaantu ,thisNambian story was a wonderful insight into village life and really deserves a wider audience .other highlights have been the Ben Okri non fiction I read .

Next year I want read more francophile african lit and some african classics .

WESTERN EUROPE –

BOOKS READ – 28

COUNTRIES READ – 9


Highlights wonder Hugo Claus has won many awards and you can see why ,a gripping look at post war Beligum ,other highlights have been the three Peirene titles all have been quality novellas ,stones in landslide touch me the most with yet again its tales of village life .also Dion Quixote which is the greatest classic I ve read and the start of novel writing in europe .

next year – the next three Peirene are eagerly awaited here ,I ve a couple of Portuguese novels I want to read as well .

EASTERN EUROPE –

BOOKS READ -11

COUNTRIES READ -7

BRECHT AT NIGHT MATI UNT


Highlights Mati Unt Brecht at night was a revelation a unusal book from Estonia , circus Bulgaria as well is probably my book of the year by Deyan Enev .

Next year -plan to read a Serbian novel and some polish novels also the long haul of war and peace starting in the new year .also my Hungarian week is planned have 4 novels ready .

UK

BOOKS READ -12


Highlight Coconut unlimited loved ,loved this coming of age novel ,also vivanne  and I was a great Biography .

next year book three of Powell and got Ballards autobiography to read .

 

MIDDLE EAST –

BOOKS READ -9

COUNTRIES READ -6


to the end of the land is the best book from the israeli point of view and Yalo a powerful book about Lebanon .

next year -More same really maybe some Saudi lit next year .

NORTH AMERICA –

BOOKS READ -13

COUNTRIES – 3


Highlight the end Salvatore Sciobona ,a huge new talent from america maybe the heir to Bellow .

Next year – got a mexican week planned have 5 novels awaiting to be read .Also the new David Vann novel Caribou island to read in January .

SOUTH AMERICA

BOOKS READ -14

COUNTRIES READ -8

Bolano saves my reading block


Highlight ,Library at night ,just read and yet to review it enliven my mind and made me want to blog on ,Nazi Literatures in Americas was a quirky book and show Bolanos love of Borges and my last highlight is Borges Labyrinths which I ve just finished .

Next year have a book from Paraguay I want to get and read also Cesar Aira is some one I want to read next year .

ASIA AND AUSTRALIA –

BOOKS READ – 8

COUNTRIES READ – 5


highlights the Korean novel the guest was a wonderful look a the divide in that country ,also the patience stone from Afghanistan was a harrowing tale of a women’s life in that country .

next year -aim to read more asian lit next year it is my real weak area of world lit and I need to get some more depth ,have a chinese novel and a books from New Zealand and Malaysia to be read .

SCANDINAVIA-

BOOKS READ -7

COUNTRIES READ FROM – 3


I ve enjoyed the Nordic crime fiction I ve read this year Jo Nesbo is some one I ll read More of ,but Tove Jansson has been my favourite female writer of the year and someone I treasure .

Next year – got danish and Icelandic novels on TBR PILE ,want read more Jo Nesbo and start on the Martin Beck books later in the year .

well that is the year shall round up December in new year .

WHAT WAS YOUR HIGHLIGHT ?

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THE PEARL BY JOHN STEINBECK

source – personal copy

John Steinbeck was probably on of Americas greatest writers in the middle period of the twentieth century ,his books caught the character of America in the depression .He won the Nobel prize for literature in 1962 .He is a name that makes many people jump after being made to read of mice and men at school ,but would ask people to give him another try this very short novella is a perfect book to get yourself reaquainted with him or discover him .

The book is set in a small Mexican fishing village and follows a poor Mexican fisherman Kino   .He finds a huge wonderous Pearl .

And the beauty of the pearl ,winking and glimmering in the little candle ,cozened his brain with its beauty .So lovely it was ,so soft ,and its own music came from it -its music of promise and delight guarantee of the future ,of comfort ,of security .

Kino looking at the pearl .

The pearl has his fortune in it but as it turns out his downfall as well ,at the same time .the book was a retelling of a Mexican folk tale ,Kino his wife Junna and son Coyotito are all effect by the finding of the pearl .The book has a moral theme running through it that is we should be happy who we are and that greed and wealth ,which is what the pearl represents isn’t all it is meant to be .The story remind me of a quote from a Basil Rasthbone Sherlock Holmes film the pearl of death about a famous pearl the bourgeis pearl he said for its beauty it is cover in the blood of many a man and should really be thrown back in the sea .That is what Kino should have done but instead he Kept the pearl got greedy want more and more money for it and eventually when his wife decided the pearl was too much of burden it led to a shocking  conclusion .The book is very short ninety pages long and can easily be read in an evening .The book shows Steinbeck powers of writing taking a simple folk tale and expanding it to a full novella .

Have you a favourite Steinbeck ?

December 2010
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