Autumn Books

It is my favourite time of the year for book buying, when publishers release the highest volume of compelling books. Most of the books I buy during the year are older releases, filling gaps in my collection of the thirty or so writers I return to repeatedly (the ‘I Prefer’ list in my side-bar). Occasionally I am drawn in by a new writer on the scene (Teju Cole) or by newly translated writers. Here are some of the books I have pre-ordered and look forward to reading in the colder, darker months:

  1. The second volume of Samuel Beckett’s letters covering the war years and the period when he wrote The Trilogy.
  2. Impossible Objects – Interviews with the inspiring Simon Critchley, covering tragedy, poetry, humour and music.
  3. 1Q84 – The long-awaited Murakami which I won’t be reading until the noise has passed.
  4. Pascal Quignard’s Sex and Terror and The Roving Shadowsa writer endorsed by two great readers.
  5. All the Roads are Open and Lyric Novella by Annemarie Schwarzenbach. A new writer to me but both books sound deeply fascinating.
  6. Professor Andersen’s Night – Dag Solstad. I enjoyed Shyness and Dignity and the brilliant Novel 11, Book 18.
  7. Dukla – Andrzej Stasiuk (review).
  8. The Map and the Territory – Michel Houellebecq’s latest provocation, his books draw me in like a rubbernecker at an accident scene.
  9. Parallel Stories – Péter Nádas. Though I must read A Book of Memories (“The greatest novel written in our time, and one of the great books of the century.” Susan Sontag) first.

5 thoughts on “Autumn Books

  1. oh you digged out annemarie schwarzenbach. not cheerful stuff. i have that at home somewhere too. it’s interesting…
    the stasiuk one (or stasiuk generally) has been recommended to me but did not get round yet to read any of his books yet…
    i’ve read book of memories maybe 10 years ago. made a big impression back then. for some reason quite a lot of people seemed to reject him on some vague grounds i can’t recall anymore and which are probably justified if you’re a strict judge, but who cares, book of memories is still an impressive read and some beautiful beautiful passages in it. if you want to get lost in introversion it’s the thing to read. but my favourite of his is “love”

    • I’ve read at least one stinking review of ‘A Book of Memories,’ but I still wish to read it. Sontag goes gooey about it, and I have yet to be steered wrong by her literary preferences (excepting her own literature and overpraise of Camus, but the latter is a crush of Sontag and therefore not objective). I’ll look out of ‘Love,’ it too sounds very interesting.
      The Stasiuk gets mixed reviews too, but enough sounds brilliant to draw me into its gravity.

  2. yeah. hard to see for me why they were all ganging up against nadas, fair enough he isn’t proust, but there is a lot more worse stuff than book of memories out there.
    i do agree too it’s worth checking out stasiuk, despite the mixed reviews.

  3. More than one of these are on my list of “I really want to buy this fall but please, Nicole, don’t buy anything you’re not going to read right away,” although 1Q84 was preordered at least six months ago. I sympathize with your wanting to wait until the noise hast passed, but as I’ve read every Murakami book for the past 10 or so years just as it’s come out, I don’t think I’ll really be able to hold off.

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