Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 in Review - the books

One of my resolutions last year was to keep a bookjournal, to remember all the books I read in that year. Of course, I didn´t stick to it. (By the way, I didn´t stick to that Flylady programm, either, though it definetely did help in keeping this house slightly cleaner. And to some resolutions, I really stuck, though with delay. But that´s a whole ´nother topic)
What I wanted to say is, not keeping a bookjournal doesn´t man I didn´t read. Lots and plenty. And this post, it´s a little to make up for not keeping a bookjournal - I´m writing down what I read this last year, to share and to remember. So here we go:

(source: amazon)
I started the year out with some Henning Mankell. Who doesn´t love a little Kurt Wallander, right? Henning Mankell is an author of which I´ve read every single scrap, though I can not capture the reason why - sometimes, his style of writing actually makes me angry. Well, maybe that´s why I still like to read him. And most definately, he´s able to create vivid, soultearing images.

My absolute discovery of the year was Nick Hornby. I had planned to read him for several years, but I´m quite conservative when it comes to reading - I rather read the same author over and over again, before I dare spending my money on someone I don´t know. I found High Fidelity on a local fleamarket. And it blew me away. So by now, I´ve read everything Nick Hornby I could lay my hands on. An author who includes so many great songs in his books? Who creates the strangest, weirdest characters, and makes me totally identify with them? Who has twists in his plots that knock me over in surprise, and who deals with topics like divorce, suicide, teen pregnancies and depression, and keeps you laughing through all of his books? Oh, I love Nick Hornby.

(source: amazon)
I liked to re-read Harry Mulisch´s "Discovery of Heaven´s". I read it this summer, mostly at the beach or in a tent, not far from DenHaag, where the storie plays, and that added a nice dimension, being where the characters in the book walked. And with everytime I read this book, I love it a little more. It´s a story about two friends, and a task from the gods, and a love triangle, and family ties and Europe after WW2 until today, it stretches over 50 years and about 1000 pages. It makes you feel so small. Like the sea. But it is quite awesome. I gave it as a Christmas present, this year, as well.

Then, completely different, though, I love Cassandra Clare, for an easy, fun read.  Her new Steampunk series, the infernal devices, were a pleasant surprise when they came out this year - I had only known her from the Mortal instruments. And demon slaying with some sweet romance always works for me, whether it takes place in the present, of in the 1890´s. I´ll see her, in 2012, and I´m looking forward to getting my collector editions autographed :)

(source: amazon)
I read a lot of crime novels. I always do. Whenever Deborah Crombie, Elizabeth George (of course ;) ),Minette Walters or Peter Robinson publish a book, I get it on release day and finish it within hours, only to moan that I need another one a.s.a.p., please. Reading crime novels is a little like eating for me. One of my new favourite crime novelists, and one I think really stands out, is Tana French, and her new novel "Faithfull Place" really touched me. It´s a story about a man who goes back into the tiny village he´d left years ago, to unravel the murder of his former girlfriend, and the way Tana French describes the atmosphere in his family is outstanding, and very realistic.

Another book that stood out this year for me was Irene Dische´s "Empress of Weehawken". It´s a nice German/American family story, the narrator is extraordinairy, and, just like "The Discoveries of Heavens" above, covers a long duration of time. I felt like I knew the grandmother, and the mother, and the daughter personally. Well, I think I do.

Throwing in a freakbook, just for good measure? Oh, take Ralph Isau´s "Gallerie der Lügen". I searched for an english translation, but didn´t find one, I´m sorry. But I need to keep it in this post, because, come on - a book doubting the theory of evolution, written from the perspective of a hermaphrodite whose skin glows in the dark because s/he´s the result of a former clone experiment? All written in the pathetic style of a Dan Brown novel, wrapped in a crime story involving bombing the whole Louvre? Now, that´s fun! :) I really have to thank my friend for handing me this gem!

Okay, this post is becoming longer and longer. Sorry. You really don´t need to read it all, it´s more for myself, okay? But one authour, I´ve got to note:
Daniel Glattauer. He´s another discovery of this year, one I would never have made if my friend hadn´t handed me the book. And judging by the cover, I was quite sceptical. But the first one I read was one about a love story taking place merely virtually, written in a surprisingly beautiful language, so I had to read the second one, and everything else he has written so far. The characters he creates are very likeable. I´m not sure how his genius play-on-words translate into other languages, but I sure enjoyed them. He´s the one I´m going to have the writer´s workshop with, in march, and oh, am I looking forward to that :)

So, you stuck here through all my rambling? That´s tough. You must be a good friend :)
So, before I go, here´s a pic of Ronnie, putting her foot into the river yesterday:
Yay, we all yearn for spring. I so need to go out and ride my bike!

And here´s some fun music:

See you tomorrow :)

1 comment:

nils said...

so what are your resolutions for 2012?
happy new year btw :-)