My first library trip of 2023

I had a number of books tio return to the library a number I hadn’t got to so I decided to just pick novellas this time and hopefully I will be able to get to them they have such a great selection at our library, in fact, I think the last couple of years there selection of books in translation has grown which is handy for this blogger and for the readers of Derbyshire. so I will go through the books I have picked.

First up is Stella by Takis Würger this is a novel inspired by a haunting beauty called Stella (a real person) and a man that in the middle of world war two has come to Switzerland and is captivated by her.

Concerning my Daughter by Kim Hye-Jin is the tale of a daughter coming home in her 30s to live with her mother and the struggle with her mother’s view of how her life should be and her life. A Korean LGBT novel i love clashes of family old values against new values and ways we live so looking forward to this.

These are two novellas by the Dutch writer Gerald Reve he was a writer I had lonbg wanted to read but when I read the evenings I just don’t think that book and me connected I had read it twice and still hadn’t connect with it I had so wanted to love it. So maybe another book by him may work and I’ll go back for a third time to the evenings. I really want to like this writer.

I wanted another Japanese book to read and this Picnic in the storm by Yukiko Motoya sounds surreal collection of stories with the first about a female bodybuilder just sounded different to me.

I’ve heard a lot of Booktubers talk about reading Ferrante and I am reading days of abandonment at the moment and felt well this is short It may its time I try and read the rest of her books.I m late to the party but i got there in the end for Ferrante.

A middle-aged man on a trip to Montevideo falls for a woman he sees whilst out on a day tribe in the city just looked like it could be a fresh take on an aged old story of a older guy and younger woman.

Then is those chance books I saw this was from Dalkey archive and strangely is due out in a Faber edition next week I knew I had seen the name around it is from the 30s and is partly based on the writer’s own experiences in a mental institution after giving birth and getting psychosis I’m interested to see how different we treat mental illness now to nearly a hundred years ago how have we moved on ?

I think I may have been sent this book I have reviewed two earlier books from the same writer the Maurtius writer Nathacha both are different from the each other I love writers that evolve over their books this is a tale of a sister who steals her mother car to go and find her sister that has disappeared that grabbed me as a reader.

I loved a lot of the books Verso has brought out the last few years this won the Gioncourt prize for a debut novel and is based on an actual events and looks at France’s colonial past.

I’ve been trying to read Balzac for years in fact Balzac and Zola are on my list of writers to read more of so I thought this slim book may kickstart my journey with him. I have a couple of his longer books to read. I need to jump in and get him and Zola on my list of french writers I have read before it hits 200 books from France I have reviewed which isn’t so far off 60 books I think it may be a couple of years til I get there but no more.

Have you been to the library recently ?

Stu’s library loot

I returned the two books I had read from the library and I had a look on the online catalogue at what may be on the Booker longlist that I didn’t own and was on the shelves at my local branch which is the main one in town I found two books and then when I was there three other books grabbed my eye. Anyway let’s go through my loot this time I may get to these I may not but I am getting better at renewing books I must have funded a couple of booker list worth of books over the years in fines but with my productivity drive for 2022 in full swing, I need something at the moment as a sidetrack and books are that a way to release some stress.

First up is a book the first in a trilogy from the Finnish writer Antti Tuomainen his first series and had been brought to be made into a film from Amazon it follows the life of a straight-laced Henri Koskinen his job as a mathematician is calculated insurance and this seems to go over to his own life so when life throws him a curveball of ending up losing his job and when his brother dies he gets an adventure park which he meets Laura and finds love and this is something he can’t work out.I must admit I was in love with the cover of this a while ago as Karen from the publisher had retweeted it and its reviews a lot when it came out.

This was one of the two books I went for as I had seen it on a list another blogger had done of potential booker longlist books and it is one I had seen when it came out just the cover I remember seeing it around Twitter. The book follows a woman that sees an Okapi in her dreams as a foretelling of a death in the village she lives in as you all know I am a sucker for books set in villages as they tend to be their own micro-world alongside life and death.I also want to find some new german writers to read in the future the ones I love have all died and I do have a couple I like still as I said yesterday I read more french fiction than I do German fiction.

I had the first book from him sent to me and never got to it and then also like the sound of his second book this is the problem with me sometimes as a reader I am a magpie I like the next sparkly thing and what happens when you are in the middle of an affair and that moment happens when you reach the point of trust and open up and unload secrets to the other person and then a few days later you split. This is what has happened to Pietro and now Teresa knows something about his past I may finally read a book by him. Starnone may be Ferrante’s husband his wife is one of the names near the top of the list of writers who could be Elena Ferrante.

Then I happened to just see this near the Leky on the shelf it was one of the European writer series that penguin had been bringing out the last few years I had reviewed a couple of the titles. I knew this was a book I will be reading as I can finish it in an afternoon it follows an old woman that wakes one day finds an old fox fur scarf and this seems to spur her into a new playful invented word it all sounds a bit odd and maybe captures those moments when we haven’t a lot and make the best and invent the world around us. Have anyone read any others in the series they could point me too ?

I had been avoiding knausgaard after getting through all six of the My struggle series it isn’t that I don’t like him as a writer it is the opposite I actually enjoy his writing. I just wanted a break but when I read up on this that follows a group of nine different characters in two towns as a huge star appears in the sky but as is usual with him it is all in the detail of those lives he looks into. I had brought one of his season’s books that he brought out after my struggle series. I am intending to get all four before reading them so I will probably read this as I am now wanting to know more and I hope it is on the booker which is a bonus if it does as it is a 600-page novel. Has anyone read this book ?

Any other booker tips welcome and what have you brought back from any recent trips to the Library ?

Stu’s first post covoid library trip and lets do Bernhard week 22 next month

SO much for a break a couple of hours and it is like an itch to blog these days I am not in the mood to review as I just write muy reviews then and there it is hard to think sometimes with a fuzzy head as I have just done a set of night shifts for my job is stressful at times as although we have few patients the patients we have are in real need of help care and our patience which is very draining but compared to people on covoid wards etc it is a lot less drain and hard. Anyway enough of me moaning anyway I had intended to do this post when I got the books last week from the Library. As many of you fans of this blog may know I used to use my Library a lot as Chesterfield is one of the Libraries with the Highest loan rates in the Country it is often in the top 20 busiest in the Country. But I haven’t been one of those inj the last twelve months I am a lover of shelf browsing looking for books I may have missed or just not been able to afford to buy. So the main time I order books in is Booker international Long list time which is growing close again for another year. Anyway, I had tried ordering a book and found I couldn’t I first thought I had an unpaid fine but didn’t just need to tell them I am still living where I am which I am. SO I had a look around and found some real gems  even thou I had one book on my shelves lol anyone done that themselves?

Anyway, after a quick look I didn’t even go through all the fiction books I had six books which seemed enough to me I may not get to them all but I hope to try and read a few I have already read one of the books here. SO let’s see the others I got to read.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, Yes I am a fan of his and I have this last year or so been buying a number of music Biographies and related books Bruce is a singer I have always loved from being in my early teens. I read a couple of music biographies a year but never mention them but I may start to mention them more as I have a lot to read I’ve brought but mainly around music I grew up with Factory records and The Fall but this is from Bruce caught my eye. Have you read this book ? do you have a favourite music related book ?

I jump from the biggest of the books to the smallest of the books and the one I have reviewed. People from the Neighbourhood by Kawakami you can go back and read my review of this collection of Microfiction. already a favourite of this year.

Oh, a blurred pic but this is The Moustache by Emmanuel Carrere A man shave his moustache after asking his wife she said she wouldn’t recognize him but then seems to blank it when he shaves it I loved the other book I read by him and had one on my shelves he is called by Knausgaard the most exciting living writer high praise indeed.

After Midnight by Irmgard Keun I said when I read Child of all nation last year I would be returning to her soon rather than later and I have borrowed this book set in Frankfurt it sees the characters over a short time but their lives are mapped out ion that time.I can’t wait for this one. As this is a writer I want to read more of have you read this book ?

Another writer I have read before Serve the people by Yan Lianke this is an earlier book that has just been reissued set at the Height of Mo’s power in 1967it is a tale of forbidden love between the bored wife of the commander and one of the young soldiers. an age-old tale set against the backdrop of the Mo years should be interesting. I was drawn in by the cover of this one.

Last but not least is one I thought I had reviewed but when I checked in the library the day I visit I  hadn’t reviewed it on the blog but then when I got home and looked at my shelves I had brought it when these Faber reissues came out I often do this I have so many books these days not being one to keep track I missed I had this one which was one of four reissued the other two I had reviewed and the other one I brought concrete I have reviewed since anyway I have this and frost to review on my shelves oh and the voice Imitator maybe to do another Thomas Bernhard week I did it in July but this time as he was born and died in the middle of February I know it is short notice but let’s do a Thomas Bernhard week again !! from Feb 14-21 2022

So not wanting to do a review forgive me as I did this instead of a break as I love this type of post and hadn’t done one for a long while. Have you been to your library recently?



June 2023


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