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03 November 2012

Books read in October

Here are the books read this past month.  The end of the year is coming, and I'm toying with a 'Best Books of the Year' post with multiple authors giving short reviews.  More on that to come, and let me know if you would be interested in writing a few words on your favorite book this year.


The Book of Disquiet  by  Fernando Pessoa
The Man without Qualities (vol.1)  by  Robert Musil
Written Lives  by  Javier Marías
Requiem: a hallucination  by  Antonio Tabucchi
Chicken with Plums  by  Marjane Satrapi
The Good Cripple  by  Rodrigo Rey Rosa
Tales of Moonlight and Rain  by  Akinari Ueda
The Shallows: what the internet is doing to our brains  by  Nicholas Carr
Beach Birds  by  Severo Sarduy
The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira  by  Cesar Aira
If Walls Could Talk: an intimate history of the home  by  Lucy Worsley
The Blind Owl  by  Sadegh Hedayat

My first encounter with Hedayat will not be my last, as Blind Owl was a wonderful book.  The hallucinatory quality paired well with Tabucchi's amusing jaunt and meditation around Lisbon.  The biggest disappointment of the month comes from The Good Cripple, though I suspect much of that has to do with the translation.  While it is important to keep a slight taste of the foreign nature of the original in translation, retaining entire -albeit well known - Spanish phrases for no observable purpose seems ridiculous to me.   Why not use 'friend' instead of 'amigo?'  Why keep 'adios' for 'goodbye' or 'hola' for hello?  The liberal sprinkling of such tripe throughout saturated the work as a whole, making an interesting story come across as told by a Latino stereotype out of central casting.

Happy reading

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