‘EU Still 28’ Authors to Continue Reading

Throughout 2018 I read one book by an author from each of the present-day 28 EU members states. I called this project ‘EU still 28’. Some of the books that I read were written by authors whose work I was already familiar with. Others, on the other hand, were penned by writers whom I had never read a book by before.

My first time reading certain authors left me eager to know more about their work. Taking into consideration not only my enjoyment of the books that I read but also my interest in the other ones that are currently available in a language that I can read fluently (Portuguese and English), in the future I will certainly read more books by the eight authors listed below.

 

Robert Seethaler

To represent Austria, I read The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler. Having as main character Franz Huchel, it’s a story about sexual awakening set at the time of the rise of Nazism. I now want to read A Whole Life, which is about the return of a soldier to his village in the Alps after the Second World War. Continue reading

‘The Tobacconist’ by Robert Seethaler

My rating: 4 stars

I have read a few books set around the time of the rise of Nazism in Europe and the Second World War in the latest years. Nevertheless, The Tobacconist by the Austrian author Robert Seethaler still managed to surprise me, because it mixes the growing of hatred in politics with a story about sexual awakening and the state of bewilderment caused by falling in love for the first time.

In the summer of 1937, Franz Huchel lived with his mother in the village of Nussdorf am Attersee. They could afford to live in a cottage near the lake, since she was in some sort of relationship with Alois Preininger, a rich man from that area, and every month he gave her a sum of money. But, when Preininger died, Franz was forced to accept to go work for a tobacconist, Otto Trsnyek, in Vienna.

At his establishment, Otto sold newspapers, stationery and tobacco products. He believed that the secret of a good tobacconist was to read all the newspapers every day, and to understand the aroma, the scent and the taste of cigars. The main problem of the cigar business, according to him, was politics. His assessment of the situation of that time could also be unfortunately applied to present day. Continue reading

Book Haul – November / December 2017

I don’t know if you remember, but I was trying not to buy any more books until the end of the year. Obviously, I was unsuccessful! I blame Black Friday and other random discounts. I probably won’t even manage to get to some of the books mentioned below during the following twelve months or so, thanks to a reading plan I have for next year (I’ll reveal it on a future post about my bookish resolutions for 2018). But it’s really hard to resist a bargain.

So, without further ado (and pointless excuses), these are my most recent acquisitions:

 

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is one of the authors I plan to read a book by every year. So, I needed to buy a new one for 2018. It was quite easy to choose Alias Grace, because I’m rather curious about the TV series adaptation and don’t want to watch it before reading the book. Inspired by the 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Upper Canada, it delves into the story of Grace Marks through a “tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery”. Continue reading