Tag Archives: Translation

ex02 — Annotated TBR, Baby Bookshelves Edition

The Annotated TBR #01

Here’s the first installment—because I expect there to be many—of The Annotated TBR. That is: Here’s a selection of some of the books in my to-be-read list; here are the books that, when I first held them at the bookstore, I felt that I should read at the very soonest, read right that minute, possessed and squirreled away. Basically: Here are the books I’ve ignored for the longest time. Maybe it’s a way to make amends? Maybe it’s a way to push myself? Maybe it’s a way to revisit that initial need and that urgency. We’ll see. [Continue reading.]

GREENBERGER — The Batman Vault

Caught up

I’ve had a really fun weekend—among other things: I am a total sap for this Valentine’s business, which I don’t think comes as a surprise to anybody. Anyway. This early morning’s bout of insomnia (which, in effect, extends the weekend, I guess) is more welcome than usual. I’m taking bloggerly advantage of the relative chillness and the good vibes. So, hello, godforsaken blog—here’s a rundown of some of the books I’ve read lately, aka housekeeping: The Dinner by Herman Koch, Longitude by Dava Sobel, the first two volumes of Justice League Dark, and The Batman Vault by Robert Greenberger. [Continue reading.]

ex02 — February, Thus Far

February, thus far

I’ve kept up the wonky momentum of January—characterized by good books and really good books resolving to nudge away a smattering of meh books—up until the start of February, but I’m seeing the possibility of even that faulty system flagging. This is, I am aware, an as-faulty observation—since three of the four books I’ve read since the month began were really, really good books. It’s only that, I suppose, I’ve more recently been mired in books I can’t bring myself to care for—books that I have been excited for, and books that would really be for me if some secret thing inside me wasn’t so listless lately. I look at my bookshelves and think horrible thoughts, among them: How can I be so drawn to all of you, but nothing at this moment appeals? [Continue reading.]

PEIRENE PRESS — Turning Point Series

The turning

Peirene Press’ “Turning Point” series made its way to my shelves, and I delved into the books, reading them almost one after the other. These three novellas approach craft in their own peculiar ways; that is: In an as unconventional a manner as possible. Each novella is a successful exercise in style and tone and voice and storytelling. Mussel has that breathless and urgent stream-of-consciousness, Darwin was admirably adept at picking out individual voices one moment and pushing forward the collective the next, and Chasing was just exemplary in temperance sharpening scenes into a fine point. [Continue reading.]

KRAUSSER - Eros

Desire, above all else

[Is someone making a list of cover art that do great disservice to the book’s content? If so, could you please add this horrendous cover for Eros? We’ve got rudimentary vector images of a man standing on the neck of a very disinterested woman, while ‘splosionz happen beyond them and a fleet of fighter jets […]

SIMENON - The Engagement copy

Mostly unmoved / unmoving

Have been rather ambivalent about updating this blog, as I’ve been largely unmoved in what paltry reading I’ve done this March. In the past couple of weeks, there has been a limping parade of books-that-thought-they-could. I argue that I read them because they were the only ones that called to me, albeit feebly—in a, “Hey, you feeling unreaderly? Feed that dreadful feeling with me!”—from my curiously undemanding-of-late bookshelves. I could also argue that I read these books because I needed to read something—and though I would have loved to have had my soul lifted from my body and shaken willy-nilly, the increasingly-exhausted-with-life Sasha gives herself an awkward pat on the back for getting reading done, at least. Chin up, you. [Continue reading.]

01092013

01092013: Bye, Franzen; and Proust, still

Franzen, I’ve found, shies away from an indulgent narrative about families—about his family, here in particular. Snidely, I think: His essays need to have reach—they shouldn’t only be about the Franzens. And so: Family dynamics should naturally draw on Snoopy and its creator. An awkward adolescence—too enlightening, really: who knew Franzen was such a big dorkus?—dignified by an examination of the youth group he belonged to. Selling the house his mother had spent nearly a lifetime to build—a house full, no doubt, of his mother’s disappoints—should lead to a dissection of real estate in America. And, goddammit, troubles with his wife should veer into bird-watching in them good ol’ United States. [Continue reading.]

01062013

01062013: With Proust and Franzen

Currently reading: The Discomfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen; and Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust, translated from the French by Lydia Davis. • I’ve had a rather triumphant week: I’ve been (*holds breath*) blogging regularly—mostly driven by chants of “It’s the principle of the thing, Sasha!”—plus the very thought of the rest of 2013 continues to inspire in me a hope that it’ll get better, reading-wise. (Life insists that it will look up as well, but I’ve heard that before.) [Continue reading.]

01032013

01022013: With Proust and Flynn

I began reading both books right before the year ended—on top of promises to myself that I’d finally wrap up Rowan Moore [architecture] and Richard Dawkins [science]. Those promises fulfilled, I then leapt to Hornby [nerdiness], mostly because I couldn’t help it. Proust and Flynn—the latter I bought on the 31st because I was afraid I’d get bored during an lonesome late lunch—moldered in my overnight bag until I went back home in the new year.

Rest assured, I duly chastised myself: You are doing your shoulders no amount of good, Sasha. You can at least read something and make the pain worth it, please. We all have ways of motivating ourselves; my terrible posture happens to be among the most effective. [Continue reading.]

GLATTAUER _EverySeventhWave

Necessary continuations?

Since I put this book down—this sequel to one of the most accommodatingly sappy surprises of my reading life—I’ve been wondering about its necessity. That is: Did Every Seventh Wave have to exist? Setting aside the little green goblin that suspects authors of cashing in on their successes [after all, why the hell not?], I’ve wondered if it’s good for the narrative—for this story shared by Leo and Emmi—to move forward from that open-ended conclusion of the first book, to risk belaboring their tale. And toward a more conventional ending that just reeks of crowd-pleasing happiness? Was it necessary for the author to return to this story? [Continue reading.]