jueves, 1 de enero de 2015

2014 Top 12

Alfredo Bryce Echenique's Un mundo para Julius (Peru, 1970)


Patrick Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts (England, 1977)

Orlando Figes' A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924 (England, 1996)
Intro 
Part One: Russia Under the Old Regime 
Part One: Russia Under the Old Regime #2 
Part Two: The Crisis of Authority (1891-1917)

Felisberto Hernández's Las Hortensias (Uruguay, 1949)

J.M.G. Le Clézio's Étoile errante (France, 1992)

Mario Levrero's La novela luminosa (Uruguay, 2005)

Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain (Germany, 1924)
 
Augusto Roa Bastos' Yo el Supremo (Argentina [in exile from Paraguay], 1974)
Intro
Historical Fictions I
Historical Fictions II
Yo el Supremo vs. Yo el Supremo

Juan Rulfo's El Llano en llamas (Mexico, 1953)

José Saramago's The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (Portugal, 1984)

Ousmane Sembene's Les bouts de bois de Dieu (Senegal, 1960)

 *in alphabetical order by author [en orden alfabético por autor]*

24 comentarios:

  1. I didn't notice you read Mann's The Magic Mountain; did you blog it?

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    1. I read it for German Lit Month but unfortunately didn't get my act together to review it in time, which made me feel guilty because it and the Roa Bastos novel were prob. the two most satisfying novels I read all year. Have you read it? Feliz Ano Novo, Miguel!

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    2. Yes, I have. I didn't love it, but it's quite an experience; it's one of the rare novels that has brought tears to my eyes, if that means anything.

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  2. Many of these authors are new to me, Richard, so I'll have to take the opportunity to look through your reviews. I'd like to return to Saramago this year - would you believe I've yet to read Blindness.

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    1. Glad to introduce some new writers to such a well-read reader as you, Jacqui, and I hope you get a chance to give one or two of them a try someday. As far as Saramago's Blindness, yes, I can believe it...because I haven't read it either! The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis was my first finished Saramago although I own two other books by him, one of which I started but never finished. More Saramago stats than you ever needed, right?!? Cheers!

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    2. Haha! I'm glad I'm not alone!

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  3. I read Death in Venice. But then never moved ahead. Despite owning multiple editions of The Magic Mountain. Maybe this is the year. Interested in the Fermor as well. Happy reading, friend!

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    1. Frances, what a lovely surprise for the "Creepster" to hear from you so early in the year! Happy reading to you as well, of course. On that note, I can't recommend The Magic Mountain or A Time of Gifts strongly enough. I can't imagine you not enjoying them with the one caveat that the Mann starts a little slowly before revealing its true greatness. Cheers!

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  4. I've been meaning to read Wandering Star since your review of it. I actually bought it before Le Clezio won the Nobel, but had been so put off him by another book of his (Onibaba) that I'd never bothered reading it (or even giving it much thought).

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    1. I don't know how representative Wandering Star is of Le Clézio's mid-career output, but I remember hearing about your disdain for Onitsha and not being able to process it at the time. I do plan on reading another Le Clézio this year since I liked this novel so much, but it will likely be another title than the one that put you off.

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  5. Did you review Un mundo para Julius? I've ownd it for years now. I started once but it wasn't the right moment. I saw it compared to Proust.
    Great list, as ususal, Richard.
    Happy New Year to you!

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    1. Happy New Year to you too, Caroline, and I hope 2015 brings you plenty of exciting reading! Unfortunately, I never got around to reviewing Un mundo para Julius although there were plenty of things I could have (should have) said about it. I didn't think it was Proust-like myself, but it was marvelously observed, both funny in spots and soulful, and one of the sharpest, most convincing portraits of class differences within South America that I've read in a long, long time ago (Julius was a great character as well). In fact, I hope to reread it someday along with more of Bryce Echenique in general. Cheers!

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  6. The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis and Wandering Star are both partially read by me. So I look forward to getting back to them, one way or another. Belated new year's greetings, Richard!

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    1. Rise, those should be two surefire "finishes" for you then in the same, predictable way that finally finishing the rest of Rulfo's short stories was for me (how could I leave half of them unread all these years?). In any event, continued happy reading to you and a belated Happy New Year to you as well. Cheers!

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  7. Richard - a great list - I've even read some of them, though I have a lot of catching up to do. There's a copy of Yo el Supremo that's been sitting on the shelf of the local bookstore forever, and it's been fighting with the few small bills in my wallet ever since you reviewed it. One day soon it will win - and I'll no doubt be the richer for it. I relish the thought of what you might be turning to this coming year. Bonne année 2015!

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    1. Thanks for your enthusiasm, Scott. I'm hoping to save the follow-up to the Fermor for later in the year, but I'm sure you'll understand if I cave in and start reading it rather soon. Meanwhile, the one plan that I'll own up to for now is that I hope to hit Mexican literature (and nonfiction about Mexico more generally) hard this year at least up to the next Argentinean Literature of Doom commences. That Roa Bastos book is great and will have been worth the wait whenever you get around to it. Cheers!

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  8. Hola Richard: copada tu lista de top 12. Subrayo La novela luminosa, diario de un maniático noctámbulo. De Bryce Echenique rescato La vida exagerada de Martín Romaña, titulo que juega con La vida breve de Onetti, digo, por el tamaño.
    Tomo nota de los autores que ubicás en los puestos 2,3,y 4.
    Saludos y buen inicio 2015

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    1. ¡Hola Mario, y feliz 2015! El "ranking" está en orden alfabético si no estaba claro, pero los puestos 2-4 incluyen dos libros de historia y un libro de viajes (un camino a lo largo de Europa en los años 30). Librazos todos. Gracias por hacerme reír con tu descripción de Levrero como un "maniático noctámbulo" (es la verdad) y la información sobre ese libro de Bryce Echenique; antes de Un mundo para Julius, únicamente había leido un par de cuentos del peruano pero ahora quiero leer más y más de su obra. Un abrazo.

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  9. I just bought Un mundo para Julius yesterday and am glad to hear you liked it!

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    1. Hope you enjoy that, Bettina--I thought it was fantastic!

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  10. Lots of great and great sounding books here - El Supremo of course, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading along with you; The Magic Mountain which is probably my second favourite Mann - Dr Faustus being my favourite - one of them at least is due a re-read as it's decades since I read them.
    I have a couple or three unread Saramagos, and I've enjoyed those I've read so far so I definitely want to get to another one this year.
    The Rulfo is also high on my want list, Pedro Paramo might well get in my top ten reads since I started blogging.

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    1. The Magic Mountain and Yo el Supremo were prob. my top two of the year at least in terms of the novels, Séamus, so it was definitely an extra pleasure to read the Roa Bastos with you. Finishing off the Rulfo short story collection after rereading Bolaño's 2666 earlier in the year was another highlight for me both because of Rulfo's austere, pitch-perfect prose and because I'd forgotten aboout how many of Rulfo's stories have to deal with exiles and migrantsin-motion. In any event, thanks for keeping me company last year blog-wise and I look forward to what you'll be reading this year: Aira's Ghosts was a great start, of course!

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  11. Me he apuntado casi todos os libros que pones, ufff tengo tanto que leer, me espera un año repleto de buenos libros.
    Quería desearte feliz año y buenas lecturas.
    Un abrazo
    Teresa

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    1. ¡Feliz 2015 a ti también, Teresa, y espero que vayas a tener otro gran año en cuanto a los libros! Mientras tanto, nos vemos en nuestros blogs, ¿de acuerdo? Un abrazo.

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