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Wow, that sounds like quite the book! Best of luck with your NYRB goal this year! I still haven't finished the last three of the year we both subscribed and that was how long ago now? Wait, don't tell me, I don't want to know!


I read Kempowski's All for Nothing last year. It was on my "Wannaread List," ever since you mentioned it on your blog.

It's interesting that a number of writers (non-German writers) have tackled the immediate post-war period in Germany within the last 8 years or so, but this book deals with the period with absolute authenticity. I have studied this period extensively, reading nonfiction, reading memoir and fiction in German and in translation.

The reality of life during this horrible time is starkly portrayed, but this book has left me over a year later with indelible memories of a family and servants on a formerly wealthy estate, well-tucked away and temporarily insulated from invading Russians in a forested backwater. Then, of course, there is the exit from their home into a chaotic world. I liked the author's handling of complex, somewhat difficult subject matter to be very sure, and I was glad I read it.


Both of these NYRB books sound intriguing. I also read some books a little each day; it works very well for me with non-fiction and diaries/letters in particular. As you say, it’s hard to find long stretches of time for reading day-to-day, but it’s amazing how much progress one can make with those smaller reads day by day. I always think it’s a good sign if I don’t want to stop reading when time is up.


NYRB books really have such interesting titles and so happy they promote authors who aren't commonly talked about. Enjoy!


This one goes directly to my TBR pile! Congrats on your progress in the Eileen Chang, sometimes having mini-goals of set pages to read every day is exactly right. I have done this for Dorothy Whipple' Priory, and after a while things moved along and I was absorbed enough to not need these mini-goals anymore.

Buried In Print

Between this and Chang and Diaz, it sounds as if your stack is getting a little heavier than you might like. What can you find to put into the mix for some pure pleasure? Oh, right: Chocolat! :D


I am sure I have those same three books unread as you do! I am going to at least try and begin reading each and every book and put myself on the 'five page a day plan' to keep myself motivated. I think the February book will read a little easier than the Chang, though I am now quite enjoying it--just moving along slowly in it. No, better not think about when this all started...time DOES fly! ;)


I started it a while back, too, but now I will be more ambitious with sticking it out. I really enjoyed reading the intro to the book which helped put his writing and intentions into perspective. He seems such an interesting person and I am so looking forward to revisiting the book. Have you ever put together a list of books you have read? Or are your posts tagged in a way I can corral them? Your comment is so encouraging with this book, I could tell by the intro, but your comment reinforces it all. It sounds like a modern classic for sure--I have ordered another of his novels (I hope more will be translated), but I'll be tucking this one into my bookbag daily very soon!


I love those sorts of books that are so easy to dip into and you don't have to worry about losing the thread if set it down for a few days--short stories work well, too. So far I have been really dedicated about the Chang--once I finish it, I plan on choosing another book to make a 'five page a day read' and maybe I can start to whittle down that night table stack.


I would love to work for them--wouldn't it be fun to see what their publishing process is like? They find the most interesting books and while some are definitely very challenging--they are all good in their own way and often end up being the best books I've read in a year.


I am getting close to getting to the 'last 100 pages' mark in the book--I'm excited as I think this is just the sort of book that I normally would start and then set aside and it would end up languishing! The Kempowski is good and I think will read much faster--definitely one to recommend! I still want to read The Piory--maybe (am switching back and forth from Viragos to Persephones this year) it will be my next Persephone--it's just such a thick book--but sometimes that is actually a really good thing when the story is absorbing.


Yes, those are all heavier reads. The Diaz will be finished by midweek I hope and maybe not too much longer for the Chang...maybe by the end of the month even. Chocolat is pure pleasure and very easy with its short chapters. Sort of a palate cleanser!

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