Saturday, 3 May 2014

April 2014 Wrap-Up

April was a big month of reading and reviewing, with IFFP-longlisters and ARCs clamouring for my attention.  Luckily, I managed to get through somehow - and here are the usual numbers to prove it ;)

*****
Total Books Read: 12

Year-to-Date: 46

New: 11

Rereads: 1

From the Shelves: 2
Review Copies: 6
From the Library: 3
On the Kindle: 2 (1 review copy)

Novels: 7
Novellas: 1
Short Stories: 3
Non-Fiction: 1

Non-English Language: 11 (3 Korean, 2 French, 2 Italian, German, Icelandic, Chinese, Hungarian)
In Original Language: 1 (German)
Aussie Author Challenge: 0 (0/3)

*****
Books reviewed in April were:
1) The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature by Michael Emmerich
2) The Corpse Washer by Sinan Antoon
3) At Least We Can Apologize by Lee Ki-ho
4) Exposure by Sayed Kashua
5) Where Tigers are at Home by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès
6) Nagasaki by Éric Faye
7) Revenge by Yoko Ogawa
8) Oh, Tama! by Mieko Kanai
9) Lonesome You by Park Wan-suh
10) Rücken an Rücken (Back to Back) by Julia Franck
11) Photo Shop Murder and Other Stories by Kim Young-ha
12) Liveforever by Andrés Caicedo

Tony's Turkey for April is: Nothing

I wasn't a huge fan of Lonesome You, but there was a lot to like about it - and that's as close as we're getting this month ;)

Tony's Recommendation for April is:
Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès' Where Tigers are at Home

Astoundingly overlooked by both the IFFP and the BTBA, Where Tigers are at Home is a great big rambling book that deserves to find a wider audience.  Apologies to Andrés Caicedo and Michael Emmerich (Liveforever was also a mesmerising read, and I loved Emmerich's examination of a Japanese classic), but Blas de Roblès' novel was a big winner this month :)

*****

Let's look ahead to May then, and having finally polished off the whole of the IFFP longlist, I have a bit more freedom to branch out a little.  I'll probably be continuing with my recent project, with more K-Lit adventures - then again, I've been meaning to get around to a certain Japanese classic too...

7 comments:

  1. thanks for these great titles. waiting for Goodreads to be back to add Blas de Robles to my list. here is my recap, my nonfiction title was translated from the French: http://wordsandpeace.com/2014/05/01/2014-april-wrap-up/

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    1. Emma - The Blas de Roblès is well worth a read - do try it :)

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  2. Another great Month Tony and hope to try a couple of the Korean novels myself in coming months ,all the best stu

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    1. Stu - Korea is definitely becoming my go-to destination for 2015 - and now I have a whole bunch of library books too ;)

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  3. Sorry for this off-topic comment, but I found this post of yours and really wanted to ask if you can clarify:

    " The thing that annoyed me most about the original piece is that English is a language which isn't actually that well known for the shorter form... "

    http://tonysreadinglist.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/just-great-novellas-in-any-language.html

    I found that blog post from following your comment on that list that upset you, and thought that line doesn't make any sense. There are plenty of great short stories and novellas in the English language, and plenty more translated into English. Your post makes it sound as if short fiction is difficult to write in the English language or something. Sorry if I misunderstood (I probably did). :p

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    1. Anonymous - The original post I was unhappy with had a list of ten great novellas, nine of which were originally written in English - lazy or pathetic, take your pick. My post was an attempt to rectify that Anglophone bias. As for the comment you've picked up on, I stand by it. Many European languages are much more likely to have shorter works of fiction; English is a language of novels, and publishers (with honourable exceptions) tend to avoid shorter works.

      This was especially true for 19thC German. As another blogger commented, I could have filled the list with ten German-language novellas alone...

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    2. Yeah I get what you're saying, I just thought that you meant the English language, not what gets published in it, but the language itself makes it difficult to write novellas/short fiction/etc... As in a novella written in german would be longer if translated in english, which is silly and I guess I'm stupid for reading that from your post. Thanks for the reply.

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