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Holiday Reading

As far as work is concerned, France is a dead country in August: everbody is on holiday. So as a good French employee respectful of traditions, I’ll be on holiday for the next three weeks. However, I won’t be off-line and I wanted to give you a look at the books I’m taking with me. Having a kindle should reduce the space taken by books in my suitcase but it doesn’t. It’s not appropriate for extreme reading on the beach, with salt, sand and greasy hands from sun cream.  Thankfully Mr Emma is really patient with heavy book luggage. I already know I won’t have enough time to read all of them but I like to have options and choose what suits my mood. If anyone is interested in reading one of these books with me, leave a message in the comments. I’ll be happy to have company.

No & me by Delphine de Vigan.

I’m thrilled to start another of her books after Underground Time  (Btw; it will probably be on my Top List 2011. Talking about it make people open up and I’m horrified to discover so many Mathildes around.)

 

Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time, volume 4)

The re-reading of In Search of Lost Time continues. If I remember well, in this volume the Narrator discovers Charlus’s secret love and sex life. I was 16 when I first read this and I’m sure I was too naïve to understand everything. I’m curious, especially after Maurice Sachs’s comments on Proust’s habits in Paris.

 

The Notebooks of Malte Lauris Brigge by Reiner Maria Rilke

I picked that book in Kate and Jonathan’s reading list (Un Homme à distance by Katherine Pancol). Litlove is going to re-read it in August; it’s been on my shelf for months. It’s a good time to finally get to it. I expect somthing that explains Kate & Jonathan’s personal story like all the book listed in this epistolary novel.

 

 

Syrup by Maxx Barry.

I’m really looking forward to reading a second Max Barry. People on the beach will think I’m nuts to laugh out loud on my own. I loved Company and I expect so much fun of this one that I ordered a paperback copy instead of a kindle version: I want to lend it around me. They’re now shooting the film version of Syrup and I hope I’ll be able to watch it when it is released.

 

 Les Ecureuils de Central Park sont tristes le lundi by Katherine Pancol.

Literally “Central Park Squirrels Are Sad on Mondays”. I couldn’t find out if it’s been translated into English. It’s the last volume of the “animal” trilogy after Les yeux jaunes des crocodiles (The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles) et La valse lente des tortues (The Turtles’ Slow Waltz). If it is as lovely as the first volumes, it should be a good page turner novel. Over 800 pages. Perfect for my 5 hours journey by train. 

 

 

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson.

After reading Pop.1280, I thought I could read Thompson in paperback edition. The contrast between Pancol and Thompson is promising. According to Guy’s review, I know The Killer Inside Me won’t leave me indifferent. Being in Lou’s head doesn’t sound comfortable. It’s on the 1001-books-you-must-read list, if anyone is interested.

  

 

 

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.

Sarah’s Not a Rat’s Chance in Hell’s Challenge continues in August too. I’ve been delaying enough, now is the time to read the SF book I committed to read. This selection is in the category “A book from an unfamiliar genre” since I’m not a great SF reader.  Hopefully I’ll enjoy it.

 

Les Choses by Georges Perec.

After reading again and again in the Anglophone blogosphere what a great writer Perec is, I’m finally trying one of his books. As I’m far from convinced that I’ll like him, I’ve chosen a small one. Let’s hope I’m wrong to be prejudiced against him and that it will be a great discovery.  

 

The Murderess by Alexander Papadiamantis.

It’s going to be my first Greek novel as a part of my EU Book Tour. It doesn’t sound funny at all but I’m curious. If anyone has read a contemporary Greek novel, leave a message.

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  1. July 30, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I wanted to read No + moi with you but I will not be able to make it I’m afraid. (I’ll still try though but I completely underestimated La Storia).
    I read “Les choses” maybe two years ago and you know how much I remember? Nada.
    I did think it was good while I read it but cannot recollect anything. Your review will be a welcome refresher.
    Enjoy your holidays.

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    • July 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      I’ll wait for you to read No et moi. I have enough books with me.
      I wonder how I will respond to Perec.

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  2. July 30, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    My favourite Perec by a mile is W ou le souvenir d’enfance. If this one doesn’t grab you, and you can bear to try him again, maybe consider it. I’m really interested in reading Katherine Pancol, and it’s good to have a blogger recommendation (is it just me or are the reviews at amazon.fr highly critical?). And my husband very much enjoyed the first Max Barry – I’ll have to look out for this new one. Delighted you may be able to join in on the Rilke – I’m so looking forward to reading it again.

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    • July 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      I’ve seen W on “back to school” display tables in bookstores. It seem to be on college reading lists. I’ll remember your recommendation.
      I loved loved loved Company: it made me laugh, think and it is so spot on.
      I don’t read reviews on Amazon so I don’t know. Pancol is not the new literary genius. She’s an honest writer who writes page turner novels. It’s a good read for trains and beach. I like to read those sometimes.
      When do you want to post on the Rilke? I suspect this book is very rich and I’m really glad to have someone else’s point of view on it. From your last post on horcruxes I believe your vision will be very interesting

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  3. July 31, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Happy reading. Interested, of course, in your reaction to the Max barry and the Thompson. I’m going to check out the Perac.

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  4. July 31, 2011 at 1:14 am

    I like the sound of Perec’s The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise.

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    • July 31, 2011 at 7:54 am

      I’d never heard about that one, it sounds fun indeed. I’m not sure I’ll like Perec, literature under constraint isn’t my thing but I’m willing to try.

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      • July 31, 2011 at 3:22 pm

        I like the title as it makes me think of a self-help book (and I loathe those).

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        • July 31, 2011 at 7:51 pm

          It may be one of his specialties: after all his masterpiece is entitled “Life: a User’s Manual” 🙂
          Btw he has the same biographer as Romain Gary (David Bellos)

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  5. July 31, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Gosh: I wouldn’t have room to take that many books on holiday. I envy you the ability to pick and choose. Predictable of me, I know, but I hope you read the Perec. I’m looking forward to your thoughts. Proust on the beach? I finished the volume I was reading earlier in the year in rather a hurry to avoid taking him on holiday.

    Curious about the Rilke too.

    Wishing you a great holiday.

    Like

    • August 1, 2011 at 6:55 am

      Thanks.
      My book luggage is really small compared to the piles of books my mother and I used to take with us. Fortunately we didn’t fly but drive.

      Proust on the beach? No I can’t, it’s for evenings.

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  6. August 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Have a great holiday.

    Lovely list. I had the kindle which made choosing books thankfully unnecessary (I have about forty books on it presently). I doubt I would have chosen so well though had I had to.

    I’ll be interested to see what you make of the de Vigan. My only comment on War of the Worlds is to mention that when it was written Britain was active in Africa as a powerful, brutal and technologically sophisticated colonising power…

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    • August 3, 2011 at 7:35 am

      Thank you. I also have the kindle with me.

      I’ll wait until Caroline is ready to read the Vigan. My TBR is huge, I can read something else.

      Thanks for the tip on War of the Worlds. My knowledge of British colonialism in Africa is limited to hearing about inventing a new kind detention camps in South Africa (Boers War) I assume it’s not enough to understand exactly HG Wells meant. We’ll see.

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