Antastesia's bookclub! discussion

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message 1: by Mila (new)

Mila Hi everyone!
I know that it's summer break in the northern hemisphere, that our admin is travelling in Asia, that many of you must be at the seaside/countryside and this is probably why the participation dropped in the last month.
However, I have been collecting a few books that, in my opinion, could be suitable for the bookclub: relatively short and fairly recent fiction from all over the world (Finland, Russia, Iceland, Germany, Nigeria, Japan). I haven't read any of those but they look really tasty.
The Summer Book
Summer in Baden-Baden
Heaven and Hell
The Emigrants
The Thing Around Your Neck
The Sound of the Mountain
Has anyone read one of those? Also it would be great to see your suggestions. Looking forward to reading them!


message 2: by Emanuel (new)

Emanuel | 3 comments I haven't read any of them either but I will try to get them as soon as possible! thanks a lot for keeping the bookclub alive :D


message 3: by Antastesia (new)

Antastesia | 55 comments Mod
I haven't read any of them either but I'll check them out!
I haven't had much time to read as much as I'd like to lately, which is a bummer so it's good to have some suggestions and motivation!

So guys, keep the suggestions coming ! :)


message 4: by nicole (new)

nicole (ladynicole) | 4 comments I've added a couple of the mentioned books to my TBR. Thanks for the suggestions!


message 5: by Hanna (new)

Hanna W. (hannawarsame) | 4 comments Added to my TBR, some of those sound super cool! For the bookclub I think I'd really love to read more French literature since I haven't read much of it, but also literature around the world sounds fascinating (and maybe some surrealism & romanticism-type books).

I think one way the bookclub can be much more active is if we had 2 books each month, that way people can choose which they want to read (or they can read both) and there will be more discussions! That's just a suggestion, though. :)


message 6: by Antastesia (new)

Antastesia | 55 comments Mod
Hanna wrote: "Added to my TBR, some of those sound super cool! For the bookclub I think I'd really love to read more French literature since I haven't read much of it, but also literature around the world sounds..."

That's a good idea! I'll have to think about it for December ! :)


message 7: by Hanna (new)

Hanna W. (hannawarsame) | 4 comments Right now I'm reading Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev (published in 1862). His writing style is very easy to read (im reading the english translation of the original russian). I'd highly recommend it, it's also a thin book at 200 pages and the characters are interesting. :)


message 8: by Antastesia (new)

Antastesia | 55 comments Mod
Guys, btw, keep the suggestions coming, I'm always looking foward to discovering more books! : )


message 9: by Hanna (last edited Dec 30, 2016 11:26AM) (new)

Hanna W. (hannawarsame) | 4 comments I'm quite interested in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. It's a more recent book (published 2006) but it's written in the style of the 19th century type novels, and his has magic/fantasy as part of it. So it seems very interesting and compelling :3


message 10: by Mila (new)

Mila Clarice Lispector. I think it has been already recommended but she is such a strong and absolutely unique female voice with a fascinating trajectory, from Ukraine to Rio de Janeiro. I know her short stories and would love to tackle her novels. For example:
The Hour of the Star

Otherwise anything by Roberto Bolaño. His books always fill me with energy and a sense of empowerment. Plus, he writes so wonderfully about women.


message 11: by Steffi (new)

Steffi (steffib95) | 11 comments I am currently reading Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier. It's by a Swiss author, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes books with a more philosophical touch, but also people interested in language. It's about a Classics professor who meets a Portuguese woman and falls in love with the sound of the Portuguese language and travels to Lisbon (haven't read that far yet!) I think many of you would like it :)


message 12: by Amaani (new)

Amaani | 7 comments I recently picked up Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet by Amara Lakhous. I read it in English and the reason why I picked it up was because on the cover it said "Do we have the an Italian Albert Camus on our hands?" and I personally love the frank writing style of Camus so I was drawn to this book. I think the themes of this book would interest Emy and the rest of us here because it deals with the clash of different migrant groups in Italy (which can easily be applied to any European city at the moment) and the attitudes towards these clashes of culture. I also hadn't read anything translated from Italian so this was my first introduction. The author's other books seem interesting too!


message 13: by Antastesia (new)

Antastesia | 55 comments Mod
Amaani wrote: "I recently picked up Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet by Amara Lakhous. I read it in English and the reason why I picked it up was because on the cover it said "Do we have the an ..."

that sounds very interesting indeed! i haven't read anything similar I think, i'll have to check it out!


message 14: by Sarah (last edited Feb 05, 2017 09:12AM) (new)

Sarah | 2 comments If you are interested to read about Chinese life ,especially farmers, before WW1, then I suggest The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck . It is a classic book with symbols. This story also shows you how women/girls were seen at that time. I remember reading this book 2 years ago in college and writing a paper from a feminist perspective.


message 15: by Steffi (new)

Steffi (steffib95) | 11 comments I study English Literature at University, and this semester, I am taking a module on Globalization which I quite enjoy, and I feel like some of you might like some of the books we are reading! I just finished Tokyo Cancelled, which is set at an airport and several travellers tell their own stories - they deal with topics like migration and neo-liberalism and include 'fantastic' elements. I am halfway through The Reluctant Fundamentalist which I am sure some of you know, but I'm really enjoying this one! :)


message 16: by Antastesia (new)

Antastesia | 55 comments Mod
Steffi wrote: "I study English Literature at University, and this semester, I am taking a module on Globalization which I quite enjoy, and I feel like some of you might like some of the books we are reading! I ju..."

Tokyo cancelled sounds super interesting!


message 17: by Steffi (new)

Steffi (steffib95) | 11 comments You should check it out! I found a cheap copy on Abebooks :) I loved the story 'A Rendez-Vous in Istanbul'.


message 18: by Steffi (new)

Steffi (steffib95) | 11 comments I know this thread is for book suggestions, but I have another suggestion - would anyone be interested in a book swap/exchange? I've seen things like these on Facebook, but mostly people are more into SciFi/YA/Fantasy, while I like that this group is more diverse and 'literary'. It would be great to discover new authors from new corners of the world! Just an idea :)


message 19: by Tanysha (new)

Tanysha | 1 comments just found a book called "Outline" by Rachel Cusk. its fiction, was shortlisted for Bailey's Women's Prize for fiction. seems good. I've linked it in my "To Read" shelf


message 20: by Grim (new)

Grim Elliot | 5 comments i recently finished György Faludy's My Happy Days in Hell , a memoir of a very famous 20th century hungarian poet. I read it in it's original hungarian version, but from what i can tell and others reviews the translations are very well done.
regardless, i find it to be an amazing and very encapsulating read. Faludy talks about his travels to paris, africa and america before returning to communist hungary. he writes of his struggles between betraying his beliefs and avoiding being taken by the secret police for speaking out. as he is a poet by nature, the descriptions are simply beautiful- but not excessive, and therefor add to the tale.
It also provides a unique perspective of living under such a regime which many cannot imagine. There is a constant fear of who to trust and what to say, and freedoms are incredibly limited. It puts into context what you read in textbooks, and really makes one think what it would be like to live at this time (for me personally, i can start to understand what my parents went through).

Overall, i find it a beautifully written memoir filled with poetic imagery, adventure and philosophy that makes you appreciate what you have. No background history in hungary is required as Faludy explains in his writing in an easy to follow way the circumstances- though of course any prior knowledge makes the book just that much more enjoyable.

- i write this as more of a personal recommendation because i loved the book so much, and less as a future book club month due to its sheer volume at roughly 500 pages -


message 21: by Mila (new)

Mila This sounds fascinating, thanks for the suggestion.

I also read a few great Hungarian novels in the last months, unfortunately only in translation.
The Door by Magda Szabó was absolutely brilliant and poignant, full of compassion with unforgettable characters and a very special place for animals.
Iza's Ballad by the same author is almost as good, with similar features.
Journey by Moonlight written in 1936 by Antal Szerb, a humanist Jew, was peculiar: dream-like, dark and sensual. There are also excellent descriptions of Italy where the novel is mostly set.
The Sister by Sandor Marai: also set in fascist Italy, it's about an artist in crisis, a sick pianist who mirrors the decline of Europe. The introspective prose is gorgeous and precise.

I'd love to discover new Hungarian authors like Krasznahorkai or Dezső Kosztolányi. Maybe here in the future?


message 22: by Antastesia (new)

Antastesia | 55 comments Mod
Mila wrote: "This sounds fascinating, thanks for the suggestion.

I also read a few great Hungarian novels in the last months, unfortunately only in translation.
The Door by Magda Szabó was absolutely brillian..."


i have never read anything by those authors so thank you for the recommendations! they all sound very interesting, especialy the first one!

Lennor wrote: "i recently finished György Faludy's My Happy Days in Hell , a memoir of a very famous 20th century hungarian poet. I read it in it's original hungarian version, but from what i can tell and others ..."

that's indeed probably a bit too long for the book club but i'll buy it for sure! it reminds me of the turning point by klaus mann!


message 23: by Mohamed (new)

Mohamed (mhhhhhhhd) Hi everyone, I wanted to suggest a book called "Rashōmon and seventeen other stories" by "Ryūnosuke Akutagawa". It's a collection of really good short stories, easy to read, and psychologically disturbing without trying too hard


message 24: by Augusto (new)

Augusto De | 1 comments Mila wrote: "Clarice Lispector. I think it has been already recommended but she is such a strong and absolutely unique female voice with a fascinating trajectory, from Ukraine to Rio de Janeiro. I know her shor..."

i could not agree more with your suggestions!

i love Clarice Lispector and Bolaño. i would also recommend Guimarães Rosa's master piece "Grande Sertao: Veredas" (there's a translation in english). it talks so well about an important region of Brazil and about brazilian people in such a poetic way.


message 25: by Grim (new)

Grim Elliot | 5 comments everyone's suggestions sound so interesting- more to add to my already long reading list!

if anyone has german book recommendations i'd be glad to have them. I am returning to Germany from living in the US in two months and could use a brush up on my german!

I also just finished rereading 'The Club at Eddy's Bar" by Zoltán Böszörményi, another Hungarian novel. It's an excellent read, incorporating a unique look at aristocracy in eastern Europe, with analysis on lust and greed. It includes several non-straight characters so I praise it for its inclusion. If you like a murder mystery you can't put down, it's a fantastic story and a quick read despite being over 400 pages as you can't put it down.


message 26: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Horgan | 2 comments Hanna wrote: "I'm quite interested in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. It's a more recent book (published 2006) but it's written in the style of the 19th century type novels, and his has magic/fantasy..."

I just finished the book yesterday. It was pretty good, but not great. Still I recommend it. It had a lot going for it.


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