We are on holiday at Rhyll on the quiet side of the island. We are six, from fairly old to very young. This is a place of wind and tides, seabirds and mangroves, sailors, bushwalkers and fishermen. We enjoy our early meals, our games of Cranium and Dixit.
It is not however conducive to my usual Great Read and I have been contemplating my approach for this year. I was quite overwhelmed to read on Calmgrove’s blog of all the potential reading challenges one could participate in in 2021. Not for the Gerts I’m afraid. We always were stubborn non-participants. However I have decided to read with a little more focus this year, or a combination of focus and randomness. I plan to read one book every month by a twentieth century writer of accepted literary merit, and the usual flights of fancy. I will read books from a number of countries, some in translation. I have chosen eight so far.
Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann
The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
Friday by Michel Tournier
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
By Night in Chile by Roberto Bolano
I Q84 by Haruki Marukami
Ulysses by James Joyce
The City and The City by China Mieville
I am still open to suggestions for the last four books.
I realise I have no female writers here so far and no American or Australian writers. This may just reflect the fact that I overwhelmingly read books written by women from these countries and need a change.
What Other Gert chooses to do is her affair. She is well ahead on the literary reading score; she has read Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu in French!
As a small diversion, let me give you some of the titles on the bookshelves of our lovely rented holiday house. One usually finds ancient Agatha Christie or Rex Stout. The shelves here shown signs of someone having endured an emotional crisis.
Are you the One for Me?
Everybody Can Win
Taming Toxic People
Dare to Forgive
Dancing with the One You Love
You Bet You Can
You Don’t Have to Take it Any More
The Liver Cleansing Diet
And very many more. Not a Golden Age crime novel anywhere in sight.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go off and read The End of My Addiction