Although Caroline and Lizzy's German Literature Month is now officially over I am still reading a couple of books from my original list. I thought I might finish them over my long weekend but you know all about how those best laid plans go. I finished all of one book last weekend (after such high expectations), which I wrote about yesterday. I did just finish Ingrid Noll's Head Count, which I thought was really excellent and will write about it next week. I'm making steady progress on Böll and I am finding Michael Wallner's April in Paris very engaging. Wallner's novel is set in Occupied France. A German soldier fluent in French is called in to interpret for interrogations. It's a nasty job as you might expect. His French is so flawless that he can pass for a Frenchman (when out of uniform of course) and he falls for a Parisian woman. I can already tell what is going to happen. It's a war story and it won't be pretty, so it's one of those books where I both want to pick it up and read but also fear doing so because I have a feeling it is going to ultimately be a sad tale. I've really enjoyed the books I've read and still hope to get in another novella by Zweig as well as a couple more crime novels. Ambitious, aren't I?
Let's see, what else am I reading? Lots of good books once again. Susanna Kearsley's The Rose Garden (another book I wanted to finish in November but didn't) has been a faithful companion at the gym this week. It can be very easy to become distracted at the gym, so I have to choose very carefully. I can totally lose myself in Kearsley's stories, and this has been no exception. It's easy to get time slip stories wrong--one story often is more interesting than the other (this has parallel storylines, well sort of anyway), but I always trust that Kearsley will get it right and she has this time, too.
I've once again picked up Ann Bridge's The Light-Hearted Quest, which is the first in a series of books featuring Julia Probyn. She was someone I have written about earlier as one of my Lost in the Stacks authors. At the time I happened to pick up one of the later books in the series but decided to start at the beginning. Lyn at I Prefer Reading has been enjoying her books and she prompted me to get back to the story, which reminds me a lot of Mary Stewart's books. If you like one author, then I suspect you will like the other. Although I lucked out and found a copy of this in my library, this is now once again available in digital form from Bloomsbury Reader. I think my library has all the Julia Probyn books except the second, The Portuguese Escape, which I have already downloaded onto my Nook. As you see I plan on reading on in the series. The first book was published in 1956. I do have to share a quote, which I thought really interesting, and given the publication date not all that surprising. Julia is in French Morocco and happens to meet an American airman in a train. He deplores imperialism/colonialism, but she has another take on it all.
"'Won't you have something to eat? I have lots. That is, if you don't mind sharing it with an impenitant imperialist, who is a convinced believer in the colonial system for backward races'."
Ouch. How things have changed. I still love Julia. You have to give her a pass since she is a product of the times and her social rank.
Speaking of Bloomsbury Reader, I have started reading 1939: The Last Season of Peace by Angela Lambert on my Nook. I've been neglecting my Nook and as I have so many great books loaded on it, I decided to choose one and start reading. The Lambert is a social history and as I am thoroughly interested in the period it is very interesting going. I'll be sharing more about this one soon. I had a little browse of new Bloomsbury titles that are currently being released and found quite a few of interest to me. One feature I love about the Nook store is being able to download samples from books for free. I'm going to be trying: I Shall Not Want by Norman Collins, Guy Renton, The Fatal Gift and The Loom of Youth all by Alec Waugh, No Talking After Lights by Angela Lambert, and Portrait of Elmbury by by John Moore. Lots of new goodies. Which will I be tempted to buy and download?!
I also picked up a library book this week that I have been looking forward to--The Time in Between by Maria Dueñas. The story is set in post-Civil War Spain/WWII. The protagonist is not only a seamstress but also she gets caught up in the spying game. It really appeals to me and I want to read it, but there is a line of people also waiting for it. Three week check out period and more than 600 pages. And I am in the middle of a stack of other books. I'll start and see how it goes!
Otherwise I hope to spend December working on the books that are on my night table (you can see them on my right sidebar). Other than one or two other books I might start I think I'll spend the month trying to finish books rather than start too many. Besides I have my holiday break to look forward (and I have been thinking about a few books to read specially during that time). Lots of books to choose from. Life is good.