November Reads and December Plans

Hello, lovely people!

Holidays are coming. November has gone by and it’s finally December! I put up Christmas decorations already in November to compensate the fact that the days are running shorter now. I need more light (and snow, please)! The past month has been super busy and I’ve been trying to keep the blog alive despite all the craziness in my life. In fact, I’m surprised that I managed to read 7 books in November. I’ve established a routine of reading before going to bed, and it has kept me sane in the midst of pressing deadlines. This month there were a lot of good and entertaining books, and I discovered a new series that I’ll continue reading in the next year.

Books read in November:

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I’ve been reading Oscar Wilde’s plays from the collection, The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays, and in November I read Salome. The only thing I knew about this play beforehand was that it was originally written in French and that it was a play in one act. The play takes place in ancient Greece(?) where Tetrarch Herod is hosting a feast, whilst holding a priest in captivity. The eponymous Salome is the stepdaughter of Herod who falls in love with the priest, demanding him to be freed. The writing was amazing as always, but I must admit that the play did not win me over. For one act, it had too much going on and I must admit that I didn’t make the connection to the biblical myth until after reading other reviews. However, I still believe that this play would work better seen on stage. 3/5

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The non-fiction book of the month was Päivälehden mies by Janne Virkkunen (eng. The Newspaper Man). Virkkunen was the editor-in-chief of Finland’s largest daily newspaper in 1990-2010 and the book is his memoir of those years as well as the people and events. The book was an interesting read and there were some chapters where Virkkunen truly seemed passionate about the topics he was writing about. However, there were also chapters that felt dry and slightly pretentious cut-and-paste-type articles where the only intention was to highlight his role and how he met this and this person and hosted dinner to this politician. Interesting topic, but slightly disappointing. 3/5

Thinking about my December TBR, I recently went through my book haul posts of the past year and noticed that for the most part I’ve been good in reading what I’ve acquired. However, there always seems to be one or two books from each book haul that are left unread, just sitting on the shelves. As the holiday season is approaching I’m now more focused in buying books to other people and since I’ll be traveling, I’m not planning on checking out any books from the library this month. Hence, I decided to collect all the unread books from my previous hauls and make it my priority get some of those read. I am excluding my box set of A Song of Ice and Fire from this list, because for the moment I don’t feel like reading high fantasy. I probably won’t get through all of these, but the more the merrier. Here goes:

End of the year TBR:

  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (in German)
  • Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (in German)
  • Dial M for Murdoch by Tom Watson
  • Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg
  • Huojuva talo by Maria Jotuni (Finnish)
  • Ich bin kein Berliner by Wladimir Kaminer (German)
  • Soul Kitchen by Jasmin Ramadan (German)
  • Silent house by Orphan Pamuk
  • Kiinalainen puutarha by Markus Nummi (Finnish)
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • The Tenant of Wildefell Hall by Anne Brontë
  • Murder on the Thirty-first Floor by Per Wahlöö (Swedish)
  • Kreisland by Rosa Liksom (Finnish)
  • Moby Doll by Saara Henriksson (Finnish)

Looking at this list now, the first trend that I notice is that I acquire more German books than I read in a year. I seriously need to work on that. There are of course a lot more unread books on my shelves, but to list them all in here would defeat the purpose of even attempting to read “all” of them. Even if I manage to read only 4 of these, it would mean significantly less unread books. And as Christmas is coming, the number of unread books is more than likely to grow. I’ll probably do an end of the year book haul after Christmas, and show also the books that I’ve acquired since October.

Happy reading! x

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6 thoughts on “November Reads and December Plans

  1. The Name of the Rose,now that’s quite a book!
    Hmm,some loved it,others didn’t.I heard that Borges (one of my favourite authors) greatly influenced Eco,yet I don’t feel drawn to this book.I mean,I fear it’ll be a deja vu of Da Vinci Code and other such books,even though I know The Name of the Rose was written well before…
    It’ll be interesting to see what you think of it.

    Silent House – will it be your first read of Pamuk?

    And Dial M for Murdoch looks so intimidating………. 😮

    By the way,you should write a post at the end of the year,listing all books you’ve liked! That’ll be very helpful for me (I’ll add the books to my wish list) and for the others!

    • My father actually recommended Name of the Rose for me because of its historical accuracy. Eco was a historian and the mystery in the book is said to be only a subplot to the actual narrative.
      Silent House will indeed be my first Pamuk, if I get round to it in December.
      I’m planning on doing a “best of 2014” post at the end of the year, so look forward to that! 🙂

  2. You had a very impressive reading month in November :o. And a very impressive TBR for December ;). I hope you will manage to get through some of these books. I admire you for reading them in so many different languages!

    • I guess my essay procrastination translated into reading 😀 My TBR is constantly shifting due to my newest purchases, but I really hope to read Wahlöö’s book to complete my goal of reading at least one book in Swedish this year.

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