Read or skip #6

READ OR SKIP

Inspired by book blogger Davida, at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog, herself inspired by a couple of other bloggers (see here for instance). I plan to post about it on Saturdays, except the 1st Sat of the month, when I usually feature another meme.

The rules are simple:

  1. Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf from oldest to new
  2. Pick the first 5 or 10 (or whatever number you choose, depending on how large your list is) books you see
  3. Decide whether to keep them or get rid of them.

RESULTS FOR PREVIOUS READ OR SKIP

read-or-skip-5

16, 17, 20: skip
21: maybe read
Read the others for sure.

READ OR SKIP #6

#readorskip

read-or-skip 6

 

Let’s try again 8 titles today. And again, I’m super grateful for your input.

19) A History of the World in 100 Objects

  • “Neil MacGregor’s A History of the World in 100 Objects takes a bold, original approach to human history, exploring past civilizations through the objects that defined them.”
    Sounds like a great way of revisiting History.
    READ

20) How to Travel with a Salmon

  • Eco’s essays are fantastic!
  • BUT I’m wandering if they would be too much like in Chronicles of a Liquid Society, even possibly some essays exactly the same. The titles of the essays look different, but the content may be the same.
    READ?

21) How Proust Can Change Your Life

  • I love Proust and read the whole of In Search of Lost Time, so I thought it might be a good way of revisiting it.
  • BUT: what book is that really? Is that really literary criticism? Or too much on the light side, closer to self-help.
    READ?

22) The Arch-Conjuror of England: John Dee

  • Not sure why, but I’ve always been fascinated by John Dee and would like to read a biography.
  • BUT is it the best biography on him??
    READ

23) The Paris Enigma

  • Another Paris World Fair mystery, I think I’ll pass. I enjoyed this one a lot.
    SKIP

24) Bird Sense

  • As an avid birder, I have lots of books about birds on my TBR, and I can’t read them all. Should I keep this one? I does sound excellent.
    Birders, I need your input!
    READ

25) The Story of English in 100 Words

  • And I have a lot of books on my TBR on the English language!!
  • A reader writes: “Entertaining and light history of the English language in a listicle format.” Is it too light??
    READ

26) 2666

  • Oh, how funny 2666 ends up being #26 here!!
  • It’s a HUGE book, but I have heard so much about Roberto Bolaño, I absolutely want to read it one day!
  • Any shorter book by him you recommend I read?
    READ

Hmm, do you notice a word SKIP shows up only once today!
What do YOU think? Should I also skip 20 and 21? Or any other? If yu had to skip one, which one would it be?

HAVE YOU READ THESE?
READ OR SKIP?
I ALSO WELCOME SUGGESTIONS
FOR GOOD BOOKS ON SIMILAR THEMES

 

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Man Booker International Prize 2019 Longlist

The Man Booker International Prize 2019 Longlist was just announced a couple of hours ago!
I told you at the beginning of March that I was going to be part of the Shadow Panel Judges (with these amazing people!) this year, so I couldn’t wait to see the list of books selected!
I was part of the shadow panel back in 2015, and it was such an amazing experience, that I thought it was time to try again. In 2015, I discovered so many unusual and fascinating authors that I wouldn’t have read otherwise.

This year longlist seems very promising along these same lines, as it contains almost none of the books we thought would be there! I have heard only of a few authors, but have not read any of these books yet, though a couple were already on my TBR!

So here you go:

 Longlist book stack

#MBI2019

Author (Original Language –Country/territory),
translator, title (publisher/imprint)

  1. Jokha Alharthi (Arabic / Omani),  Marilyn Booth, Celestial Bodies (Sandstone Press Ltd)
  2. Can Xue (Chinese / Chinese), Annelise Finegan Wasmoen, Love In The New Millennium (Yale University Press) – READ
  3. Annie Ernaux (French / French), Alison L. Strayer, The Years (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
  4. Hwang Sok-yong (Korean / Korean), Sora Kim-Russell, At Dusk (Scribe, UK)
  5. Mazen Maarouf (Arabic / Icelandic and Palestinian), Jonathan Wright, Jokes For The Gunmen (Granta, Portobello Books)
  6. Hubert Mingarelli (French / French), Sam Taylor, Four Soldiers (Granta, Portobello Books)
  7. Marion Poschmann (German / German), Jen Calleja, The Pine Islands (Profile Books, Serpent’s Tail)
  8. Samanta Schweblin (Spanish / Argentine and Italian), Megan McDowell, Mouthful Of Birds (Oneworld) – READING
  9. Sara Stridsberg (Swedish / Swedish), Deborah Bragan-Turner, The Faculty Of Dreams (Quercus, MacLehose Press) – READING
  10. Olga Tokarczuk (Polish / Polish), Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
  11. Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Spanish / Colombian), Anne McLean, The Shape Of The Ruins (Quercus, MacLehose Press)
  12. Tommy Wieringa (Dutch / Dutch), Sam Garrett, The Death Of Murat Idrissi (Scribe, UK)
  13. Alia Trabucco Zeran (Spanish / Chilean and Italian), Sophie Hughes, The Remainder (And Other Stories) – READ

The links send you to my reviews.
The titles in bold are the ones I’m currently reading or haven’t reviewed yet.

I believe that’s from 9 different languages, which is pretty good, BUT none from the Japanese? Wow!

You notice most are fairly short, except The Shape of the Ruins, with 528 pages. That’s a good thing, as the goal is to read many as possible, in just a few weeks.
The shortlist will be announced on April 9, and the winner on May 21.

“Bettany Hughes, chair of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize judging panel, said:
‘This was a year when writers plundered the archive, personal and political. That drive is represented in our longlist, but so too are surreal Chinese train journeys, absurdist approaches to war and suicide, and the traumas of spirit and flesh. We’re thrilled to share 13 books which enrich our idea of what fiction can do.’”

At DuskI was able to request 6 from my library (in bold characters), and I just bought #4.
It’s now on my kindle, so goodbye for tonight, I have lots to read.
I’ll start by these 7 titles, and we’ll see from there.
But it seems #9 hasn’t been published in the US yet!

Needless to say that my other reading plans for March are put on hold – except daily chapters of Don Quixote and Les Misérables!

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE?

Read or skip #5

READ OR SKIP

Inspired by book blogger Davida, at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog, herself inspired by a couple of other bloggers (see here for instance). I plan to post about it on Saturdays, except the 1st Sat of the month, when I usually feature another meme.

The rules are simple:

  1. Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf from oldest to new
  2. Pick the first 5 or 10 (or whatever number you choose, depending on how large your list is) books you see
  3. Decide whether to keep them or get rid of them.

RESULTS FOR PREVIOUS READ OR SKIP

read-or-skip-4

12, 13: skip
14: I’m actually reading it right now!
15 and 16: keep. I was not going to keep 16, but you convinced me to keep it

READ OR SKIP #5

#readorskip

read-or-skip-5

As there may not be many to skip here, I am considering 8 titles today.

14) Desert Solitaire

  • “Written while Abbey was working as a ranger at Arches National Park outside of Moab, Utah, Desert Solitaire is a rare view of one man’s quest to experience nature in its purest form.
    Through prose that is by turns passionate and poetic, Abbey reflects on the condition of our remaining wilderness and the future of a civilization that cannot reconcile itself to living in the natural world as well as his own internal struggle with morality.”
  • I think I started this years ago, and I think I should get back to it
  • What do YOU think?
    READ

15) We

  • Classic scifi and dystopia
    READ

16) An Artist of the Floating World

  • I like Ishiguro
  • BUT: “In the face of the misery in his homeland, the artist Masuji Ono was unwilling to devote his art solely to the celebration of physical beauty. Instead, he put his work in the service of the imperialist movement that led Japan into World War II.” Is there a lot about WWII? (I have read way too many on the topic) Would it be better to read another book by him and skip this one?
    SKIP?

17) Manazuru

  • I really enjoy Japanese fiction, but I need to acknowledge that I cannot read all Japanese novels available in English or French translation…
  • Have any one of you read this one? There seems to be a lot about relationships, not sure that’s my thing.
    SKIP

18) Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words

  • Same as above, I need to acknowledge that I cannot read all books about language…
  • BUT this one does sound good, right? “Wierzbicka seeks to demonstrate that every language has “key concepts,” expressed in “key words,” which reflect the core values of a given culture. She shows that cultures can be revealingly studied, compared, and explained to outsiders through their key concepts, and that the analytical framework necessary for this purpose is provided by the “natural semantic metalanguage,” based on lexical universals, that the author and colleagues have developed on the basis of wide-ranging cross-linguistic investigations”.
    READ

19) Travels with Charley

  • Steinbeck!
    READ!

20) The Book on Fire

  • About the Alexandria library
  • BUT the synopsis seems to point to too much romance.
  • Also some readers consider it as a Fantasy. What fantasy element does it contain?? I often don’t do too well with romance nor fantasy
    SKIP

21) Physics of the Future

  • This author has been intriguing me
  • The topic sounds fascinating
    READ?

What do YOU think? Please help me with 16 and 21. Am I doing the right choice for the others?

HAVE YOU READ THESE?
READ OR SKIP?
I ALSO WELCOME SUGGESTIONS
FOR GOOD BOOKS ON SIMILAR THEMES