What a month December has been!
Just as I was starting to relax, to look forward to a period of resting and reading, a wave of work came and smashed all my intentions. I was left with no time to read Woolf, no time to write about Christa Wolf novels read during November… What’s even worst, upon finishing the work, I was left with no desire to get back to literature.
I’ve read less this year, compared to 2015th, but there’s been a great number of titles I found remarkable and important. Wide Sargasso Sea was the year’s highlight, all three of Peirenne’s titles that I’ve read during the Women In Translation Month (Beside the Sea, The Mussel Feast and Chasing the King of Hearts) were excellent, Wolf’s Cassandra and Patterns of Childhood as well.
I have to mention Kamila Shamsie’s A God In Every Stone, Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman and Correspondence: Ariadna Efron and Boris Pasternak. Sadly, I managed to write a thought or two about the last one only.
Three years ago I whined about how my reading is too anglophilic or, to be closer to truth, too eurocentric. Not much has changed since then. A couple of things led me closer towards a wish to tackle the problem in a systematic way. First, I discovered the wonderful work of Chingiz Aitmatov (which was the second highlight of the year!). Then, reading Karen’s post on Babel’s Odessa stories, reminded me of a reading plan I was failing to implement for years in a row now, a plan I named “Russian Winter”. Combining these two together led me to a decision to start my journey around the world by traveling through the former Soviet Union. I will not be far from Europe (again, to be precise, I will not be out of the Europe for the most part of this trip), but hey, it is the first step. Whether I’ll continue to West, East or South Asia remains to be seen. I have not made up my mind yet.
Here’s a rough reading plan for 2017:
- a book (or two) from each of the former Soviet republics
- some British women authors I haven’t read before (Brookner, Pym, Howard, Townsend Warner, Taylor, Drabble, Lively, Mortimer…)
- some Shakespeare
- some Ursula LeGuin
- Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog and The Life of Elves
- a couple of books on Siberia
- a couple of novels with “sea” in their title
- several Plato’s dialogs
Happy New Year to all of us. May we be better and wiser!