November 2020 Wrap-Up – German Literature Month

November was fairly busy for me, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise as it was German Literature Month!  While I didn’t produce many reviews, I did read a fair number of books, the vast majority by female writers, with a steady diet of rereads supplementing the books I discovered for the first time this month.

Of course, the reason for the relative lack of reviews was my latest translation effort, in the form of a serialised version of German writer Ricarda Huch’s 1899 novella Fra Celeste.  Clicking on this link will take you to the project’s home page, where you’ll find an introduction, all fifteen parts of the story and my traditional translator’s afterword, which this time around focuses on my rather far-fetched theories about what the writer’s *not* telling you 😉

Thanks go as always to Lizzy and Caroline for hosting the event, and for inspiring me to devote November to German-language literature.  It’s a helpful reminder to set some time aside for books that have been neglected over the rest of the year.

But fomalities concluded, let’s move on to the main event of the wrap-up – namely the numbers…

Total Books Read: 10
Year-to-Date: 135

New: 3
Rereads: 7

From the Shelves: 7
Review Copies: 1
From the Library: 0
On the Kindle: 2 (0 review copies)

Novels: 4
Novellas: 4
Short Stories: 1
Non-Fiction: 1

Non-English Language: 10
(9 German, Georgian)
In Original Language: 9 (9 German)

Books Reviewed in November were:

1) Fra Celeste by Ricarda Huch
2) Sommerstück (Summer Play) by Christa Wolf
3) In die unbegrenzte Weite (Into the Great Beyond) by Karoline von Günderrode
4) akzentfrei (accent free) by Yoko Tawada
5) Simultan (Three Paths to the Lake) by Ingeborg Bachmann

Tony’s Turkey for November is: Nothing

There weren’t many books to choose from this month, and they were all fine 🙂

Tony’s Recommendation for November is:
Ingeborg Bachmann’s Simultan

It would be a little off to choose my own translation as the pick of the month, but that still leaves four strong contenders, with Christa Wolf often there or thereabouts when the monthly prizes are bestowed.  However, the pick of the bunch in November was Bachmann’s excellent collection of four stories and an impressive novella, all showing that while you can take the writer out of Austria, you can’t take Austria out of the writer 🙂

December will be spent on various odds and ends, with some pressing review copies and possibly a couple of GLM stragglers.  Of course, with the end of the year almost upon us, it’ll also be time to start thinking about the whole reading year – in preparation for my usual annual awards.  I wonder if anything from December’s crop will make it into this year’s best in show?  You’ll find out in a month’s time…

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