Yikes, it's already halfway through October and once again I feel like I am accomplishing nothing. I've been reading loads as always, but it's been incremental sort of reading--short stories, myths, and bits of novels. I'll catch up eventually, right? It never actually feels like that however. I'm not sure I can focus any closer on my reading, but I am thinking ahead at least.
To that end I've been contemplating what I might read in November for Caroline and Lizzy's German Literature Month. These are the possibilities I have come up with so far, though I'm not entirely sure exactly which books I'll read. Certainly a few of these and maybe I'll find something different between now and then that I can't pass up. The month is going to follow weekly themed reading, which I think might be fun to follow, though I'm not sure I'll be organized enough to follow that closely.
I definitely want to read something by Stefan Zweig. I have read and enjoyed several of his novels and short stories and my library has an excellent selection of his work. I've already raided the shelves and brought home a few books. Fear is a novella--"one of Zweig's most powerful studies of a woman's mind and emotions." Twilight and Moonbeam Alley are two short stories (two novellas?--in this case they'd be short novellas). The former is based on the real life Madame de Prie and the Versailles Court. The latter is a "tale of passion, torment and violence." The Governess and Other Stories is a collection of four short stories, which might work well as my Sunday reading once I finish with my ghost stories for RIP. One each weekend?
I think I am definitely going to read Ingrid Noll's The Pharmacist. This is the last unread book I have my Noll. I think only three of her books have been translated into English. She's very good and quite popular in Germany--along the lines of a good Rendell-ian story. I think I am going to start it very soon, since I am really looking forward to it.
Richard Weihe's Sea of Ink is the latest Peirene Press release. Another novella that united fact and fiction. It is "a beautiful story about the quiet, determined pursuit of inspiration." It has been called charming and uplifting which very much appeals to me.
Another Sunday reading possibility is Romantic Fairy Tales, which is a collection of stories by Goethe, Tieck, Fouqué and Brentano. I'm only familiar with Goethe and even then I have never actually read him. This was a recent purchase with an eye towards the German Literature Month, so I hope to definitely squeeze this one in. "The four works collected in this volume reveal the fascinating preoccupations of the German Romantic movement, which revelled in the inexplicable, the uncanny and the unknown and, especially the mysterious world of the fairy tale." Sounds good, don't you think?
I started Petra Hammesfahr's The Lie a very long time ago, and while I generally find things to like about what I am reading (most of the time anyway), I must admit that this crime novel became something of a slog, so I set it aside. I only have about 150 pages left to read, and I really would like to find out what happens (it being a crime novel and all), so I have slipped it into the pile. At t his point it is either really finish it or really abandon it.
And then last up is November's book for Caroline's Literature and War Readalong, Gert Ludig's The Stalin Front, which I'm afraid looks rather dire and dark. Part of the descriptions reads that it is "a harrowing, almost photographic, description of violence and devastation--one that brings home the unforgiving reality of total war." Yes, heavy! But I am quite curious about it since it tells the story from the German perspective, a perspective I have not really encountered in my novel reading to be honest.
I've also got a couple novels by Peter Handke that I am considering, but I need to dig out from my reading piles (my reading piles being so messy these days I dread the search for books I know I own).
I'm certainly not wishing away October (if anything I want the month to please slow down), but I am looking forward to next month's pile of reading choices.
A few other bookish mentions--I'm gearing up to start Rose Macaulay's Crewe Train (another November read), and have just started (on impulse) Laurie King's A Letter of Mary. I am very much in a mystery/suspense mood. I'm thoroughly enjoying Mary Stewart's Touch Not the Cat and am reading slowly as to savor it, but the King has been winking at me for week's now. I started reading and slid into the story so easily that I think it was wise to give in to that impulse. Just curious, and if there is a Laurie King fan reading this post, this is the third Mary Russell book--I am reading them in order--should I have picked up O Jerusalem instead? Mary and Holmes reference a mystery in Palestine, which is what O Jerusalem is about. Of course I am so into A Letter of Mary, I'm not sure I want to stop now and pick up a later book anyway. I'm probably safe since this is the order King published the books. Maybe I'll just keep reading on in the series since I really like Mary Russell and Holmes. I love intelligent and intellectual female protagonists and Mary is both!