Update to my update:
I finished Brecht’s Mother Courage and I liked it. I read a lot of poems by Brecht when I was at school and I always loved them. My hubby cannot understand why I like Brecht and each time he shakes his head over my love for Brecht (he usually calls him an idiot who didn’t even write his own works), I have to remind him that I was brought up by some wanna-be commies and that I am a bit of a lefty myself. Anyways I recommend reading this play which is about a trader who with her children follows an army of Swedish soldiers in the time of the 30 years war. She is a bit of a weird character who is mostly interested in using the war to her advantage – at some point she even fears peace as she is afraid to make a loss – and although she is a bit naive at times, she is generally good. Right from the start the reader knows through Mother Courage’s own prophecy that she will lose all her children to this war, even her mute daughter Katrin who becomes a heroine at the end of the play. I don’t know how good any English translation of the play is as it isn’t even written in “proper” German but in some dialect that I cannot actually pinpoint and that obviously doesn’t make sense as the characters come from different parts of Europe (and “Germany”) and as it is set in the 17th century (I am not judging this use, just saying I have no idea how to translate or describe it). My favourite Brecht poem is the “Children’s Crusade 1939” and I remember sitting at our dining table ca 13 years of age sobbing when my mum read it to me for the first time. If you find a translation, read it!
In addition to finishing Mother Courage, I also finished my audiobook of Strayed’s Wild. I only listened to it during breakfast which is why it took me a while. Lets just say I cried a lot and at the end again. It was a weird combination of loss, relief and hope that made me cry at the end.
I got some new audiobooks Powell’s Julie & Julia and some books on happiness and work-life balance.
I started Henry James’s Washington Square. I have 2 Jameses on my list and many more of his books on my shelf (some read and some not). I simply love him and lucky me he produced so many works that they will last me a life-time (well not quite but one can always read them twice or more often).
So, I thought that I will update this post whenever I finish one of the books on my list. You will see that I am still lagging behind but as I stopped binge watching over a month ago, I now binge read. I basically replaced one form of procrastination with another but hey, this one doesn’t kill as many brain cells 😉
Unfortunately, I haven’t been reading a lot of the things from my list but a lot of non-fiction as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post. I do a lot of cross-reading, meaning that I read multiple books on multiple topics from multiple genres at the same time. I do read some books in one go without putting them down, with others I need to read other books alongside. I think that Red Pony kind of killed my flow and that I somehow had a hard time finding something that wouldn’t be so emotionally draining.
In addition to the books from this list, I am reading Hollinghurst’s A Stranger’s Child, Johnson’s Zero-Waste Home, Wallman’s Stuffocation, Greening your Home for Dummies and am listening to Strayed’s Wild. I also am reading Giles of Rome and Dante at the moment but this is another story.
1) Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman
2) Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle
3) John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony
4) Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
5) Leena Lander’s Cast a Long Shadow
6) Henry James’s Washington Square –> started reading and will probably finish soon as I am a big big fan of Henry, I just love him, he is amazing
7/8/9) Ellis Peter’s The First Cadfael Omnibus
10) H.G. Wells’s Ann Veronica
11) Virgina Woolf’s Orlando
12) Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus
13) Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship
14) Erica Fischer’s Aimeé and Jaguar
15) Theodor Fontane’s Jenseits des Tweeds (Beyond the Tweed – no English translation available)
16) Ernest Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms
17) Hermann Hesse’s Siddharta
18) Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being
19) Selma Lagerlöff’s Stories and Legends (no English translation available)
20) Leena Lander’s The Home of the Dark Butterflies (no English translation available)
21) W. Somerset Maugham’s The Magician
22) Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses
23) Harry Mulisch’s The Assault
24) Thomas Mann’s Theodor Storm Essay
25) Ulrich Plenzdorf The New Sorrows of Young W.
26) Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac
27/28/29/30) Theodor Storm’s All Short Stories and Novellas in Complete Works (Some translated into English) à half way through, well depending on the edition. I have read a lot of the short stories in the edition that contains his most famous stories and poems and 7 or so in the Novellas ebook that I have on my kindle. I think saying I would do ALL of his short stories and novellas was a bit cocky as he produced sooo many. I will continue to read them along other books on this list.
31) Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest
32) John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men
33) Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther
34) Ian McEwan’s Atonement
35) Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and her Children –> finished reading
36) Rütten & Loening’s Che The Dream of the Rebel (German Che Guevara Biography)
37) Perry’s The Heart of Emerson’s Journals
38) Elspeth Barker’s O Caledonia –>currently reading
39) Klaus Kordon’s The Time is Broken (German Erich Kästner Biography)
40) Leo Tolstoi’s Anna Karenina
41) Siegfried Lenz’s The German Lesson
42) Nicholas Evan’s The Horse Whisperer
43) John Grisham’s The Firm
44) Kaari Utrio’s The Bronze Bird
45) Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn
46) Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer
47) Henry James’s The Bostonians
48) Penguin American Short Stories
49) Max Gallo’s Rosa Luxemburg
50) Henry David Thoreau’s Walden –> started
51) Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Black Arrow
52) Emily Dickinson’s Poems –>read some