Writing the Seasons with Books: Autumn

This year, instead of recommending books that some people may deem appropriate to read during a specific season, I’m writing the four seasons with books. I take a look at my shelves and select books with titles beginning with the letters of the name of the season that is just starting. And the time has come to welcome autumn! Temperatures have started to slowly drop. The leaves of the trees are getting ready to fall.

 

Autumn by Ali Smith

This was the first book that I read by Ali Smith. It’s not easy to describe what Autumn is about, as it mixes a couple of elements. Not only does it compile recollections about how 101-year-old Daniel Gluck, who lives in a care home, influenced Elisabeth Demand’s life, it also alludes to a variety of current events. Brexit, the plight of refugees and various economic issues connect this novel to the time of its writing.

 

Uma Casa na Escuridão by José Luís Peixoto

The Portuguese author José Luís Peixoto penned a hugely implausible story that doesn’t aim to be anything else. The plot of this novel, which hasn’t been translated into English yet as far as I know, is merely used as a way to convey feelings – love, jealousy, fear, suffering and solitude. Although I struggled to finish it, I truly cared for the characters and enjoyed the poetic prose. Continue reading

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Favourite Animals in Books

I’m not a huge fan of books, and particularly films, which feature animals that can speak. I tend to find them a bit cringeworthy. However, I do think that loyal animals can be a worthy addition to the plot of a book, as they can enrich the interactions between the characters. In no particular order, the following are my favourite animals featured in the books that I’ve read so far.

 

GhostA Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Ghost is one of the direwolves discovered by the Stark children after their mother is killed by a stag. He is an albino, having white fur and red eyes. Although he was the smallest of the pack, Jon Snow’s direwolf grows up to be the largest.

 

Mr BonesTimbuktu by Paul Auster

Mr Bones is a dog whose homeless owner is dying. He is dealing with the fact that he is about to lose his master. Despite having an internal monologue in English, he is not anthropomorphised. Continue reading

Forgotten Authors on My Shelves

A few years ago, whenever I discovered new authors that I enjoyed, I would read various books by them in a short period of time, instead of venturing into the unknown again. However, some of those authors I just then stopped reading books by for no particular reason and almost forgot about them. After a quick look at my shelves, I discovered three authors in that situation.

 

Paul Auster

The first book I read by Paul Auster was The Book of Illusions. It tells the story of a man obsessed with the life of a silent film star. I don’t remember much about the book, besides quite enjoying it to the point of buying and reading Timbuktu soon after. The hero of that novel is Mr Bones, a dog that is the best friend of a homeless man from Brooklyn. We follow their emotional journey to Baltimore in search of a new house for Mr. Bones.

I then read The Story of my Typewriter, which I got for free when I bought Timbuktu. This is quite a short non-fiction book where Paul Auster tells the story of how he formed an attachment to his typewriter. It is accompanied by gorgeous and colourful paintings of the typewriter by Sam Messer. Continue reading

2017 Man Booker Prize Longlist: To Read or Not to Read

I usually don’t pay much attention to literary prizes and don’t read a book just because it was nominated or won an award. However, after the announcement of the 2017 Man Booker Prize Longlist, I realised that I was already familiar with many of the titles. So, I thought it would be interesting to see which ones I plan to read, not just because they were nominated, but because I truly believe that I may like them.

I don’t mean to necessarily pick up the books I choose to read before the winner is announced or even this year. I will probably read them throughout the following years, without establishing a deadline.

 

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

“On March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four Fergusons made of the same genetic material, four boys who are the same boy, will go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives.” Continue reading