The Proof – César Aira

Yesterday the postman brought me something that always comes as a nice surprise: the latest book from And Other Stories, an independent publisher of translated fiction who offer a book subscription service in order to fund their projects. This time it was The Proof by César Aira that arrived at my doorstep, a ‘novelita’ originally published in 1992 and now translated into English for the first time by Nick Caistor. Continue reading “The Proof – César Aira”

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair – Joël Dicker

When I initially picked up this book a while back in a charity shop, I was under the impression from the blurb and the testimonials on the cover that it would be a more-or-less straightforward crime thriller. It was only after rediscovering the fabulous HHhH that I decided to start reading it, because I noticed that they were both translated by Sam Taylor (whose future translations I’m definitely going to look out for, because he sure knows how to pick them!). I certainly wasn’t disappointed: The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is indeed a thrilling page-turner that centres around a labyrinthine murder investigation, but what I really loved was the skew of metafiction that gives it an extra layer of complexity and interest. Continue reading “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair – Joël Dicker”

On the book struggles of moving to Spain

I’ve never counted the number of books I own, because I think it would scare me. It’s definitely somewhere in the triple figures, but other than that I don’t even want to guess. Every year I have the struggle of choosing which books to take from my gargantuan bookcases at home and transport to my university accommodation, where they pile up on the floor* and glare at me as they get slowly dusty**. Continue reading “On the book struggles of moving to Spain”

Two mind-bending historical novels

Earlier this month I visited Prague with some friends, and I decided on the perfect book to read while there: HHhH by Laurent Binet, which deals with the Nazi occupation of the Czech Republic and which I had been wanting to re-read for a while. As usual, my reading plans didn’t work out and I didn’t actually manage to start reading it while we were away… but no matter, I’ve read it since coming back! Continue reading “Two mind-bending historical novels”

The Gracekeepers – Kirsty Logan

The Gracekeepers is a dazzling novel with a beautifully imaginative and highly original setting. I really didn’t want it to end! It’s a delicious slow-burner (although it speeds up rapidly towards the end) and something in the way it’s written is quite dreamlike, similar to the tone of a fairy tale or folk story. Continue reading “The Gracekeepers – Kirsty Logan”