Thursday, 2 August 2018

№ 15 reading list | #WITMonth

№ 15 reading list: Eisenberg, McPhee, McEwan · Lisa Hjalt

A heatwave has set in. I hope we will be rid of it soon, for I cannot read in this heat, cannot concentrate. I was born close to the Arctic Circle, for crying out loud, I don't do heatwaves. These days we use ice cream and TV shows to cope. The reading list, which I meant to share sooner, has gone through many changes: I have e.g. removed two rereads and The Human Stain by the deceased Philip Roth. The library didn't have it so Roth will have to wait.

№ 15 reading list:
· Enduring Love  by Ian McEwan
· Draft No. 4  by John McPhee
· Under the 82nd Airborne  by Deborah Eisenberg *
· The Hare with Amber Eyes  by Edmund de Waal
· Cheerful Weather for the Wedding  by Julia Strachey **
· Comet in Moominland  by Tove Jansson **

* My copy is unavailable. The link leads to a different collection, which contains the same stories. ** Rereadings.

I bought John McPhee's book in spring and finished it weeks ago, but I wanted to include it on the list; recommend it to anyone interested in writing. It's not a typical writing style guide with examples and bullet points, but a collection of essays. Professor McPhee uses personal anecdotes to share his insights into creative nonfiction, as he refers to it. On the list is artist Edmund de Waal's family biography. It was textile designer Lisa Fine who recommended the book here on the blog and it's time to read the copy I purchased in Scotland last summer.

August is Women in Translation Month, presented with the #WITMonth tag on social media. It was blogger Meytal Radzinski of Bibliobio who took the iniative and introduced it in 2014. I have never partaken in it, probably because being an Icelander I have been reading translated books by women (and men) since I can remember. Reading translations comes natural for people born in countries where English isn't the mother tongue. To acknowledge #WITMonth I decided to add one Moomin book to the reading list: Comet in Moominland by Finnish author Tove Jansson, translated by Elizabeth Portch.

A fun fact: The Icelandic word for a comet is halastjarna, literally a star (stjarna) with a tail (hali). In Iceland the book is called Halastjarnan (the definite article) and was translated by the late Steinunn S. Briem, a woman who was a prolific translator.

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