I've been pretty hit or miss this month with reading plans, but that never stops me from making new ones. Since June is just around the corner, I've been giving some thought to books I might read by Dutch authors for Iris's Dutch Literature Month. Thanks to Catharina who offered reading suggestions as well as to Iris who has shared a list of possible reads. I've assembled a few books I might try, though I am missing a couple--one I forgot to put in the pile and one I am trying to get via interlibrary loan. I'm trying not to buy any new books, but if anyone has any other suggestions for books by contemporary Dutch authors who I can easily obtain, do please let me know. From top to bottom:
No Sale by Patrick Conrad is a review copy which came by way of Bitter Lemon Press. I'll definitely be reading this, but it isn't due out in the US until August so I was planning on reading it a bit closer to the publication date. Still, I might be tempted to read it sooner. "Stylishly written with its pointed references to cinema classics, and a blend of horror and humour, this is a powerful psychological thriller. It won the Diamond Bullet Award, the most prestigious award for crime novels written in Dutch.
Close-Up by Esther Verhoef is another crime novel I've been wanting to read (and I always like good excuses to pick up books from my TBR pile). It's about a plain, pudgy Dutch woman who travels to London for a weekend and falls in with a bohemian crowd. This is a thriller with a surprise ending.
Tomorrow Pamplona by Jan Van Mersbergen is one of last year's Peirene Press releases. I'm intrigued by Iris's comments about the story, but it's good to read outside my comfort zone, something I don't do often enough these days.
Lost Paradise by Cees Nooteboom. Catharina suggested several of Nooteboom's books, but I haven't been able to find any in local libraries. This had the most appeal to me amongst the titles I did find. He seems such an important Dutch writer--at least I often see his books mentioned by and written about by bloggers. "Lost Paradise is an affirmation of our underlying humanity in an increasingly fragmented age, a deeply resonant tale of angels, art, and thwarted love."
In Lucia's Eyes by Arthur Japin is a book I've owned for a very long time and think I should read simply because I've so often looked at it and imagined how much I would (will) enjoy it. "Set in the mid-18th century, Dutch author Japin's elegant second novel richly imagines the plight of Casanova's first youthful heartbreak."
Eline Vere by Louis Couperus was suggested by both Catharina and Iris, and I do like the sound of the story, so I've put in an ILL request and hope it won't take too long for a copy to arrive. "[A] masterpiece … The Hague's greatest writer, turn-of-the-century Louis Couperus … captured the city in a famous novel, Eline Vere. … For its roomy, chatty descriptions of life among the moneyed classes, it is a Buddenbrooks avant la lettre; for its restless heroine, trapped by social obligations, it's a Dutch Madame Bovary. Ben Moser, Harper's
My stack of books should keep me busy enough, but out of curiosity is anyone else reading along and which book(s) have you decided to read?