Well, what can I say. Turns out I rebel against my own reading list and keep procrastinating by reading other books. I must confess that I read ca 3 Nikki Heat Novels in the past weeks and I think the reason for me doing this is that I am 2 months streaming sober. Reading these books satisfies my hunger for TV shows (yes, I know I am a recovering streamaholic) as I imagine Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion play Rook and Nikki which is why I am able to create my own TV show in my head – the German word for this is Kopfkino.
But 3 nights ago I had the urge to read the Che Guevara biography on my list. And before I give you my opinion on it, I have to apologise for the mix up on my list. I simply confused the publishing house’s name with the name of the editors. So it is not a German biography just a German translation of a biography written in Spanish. It’s original title is Che. Sueno rebelde and it was edited by Fernando Diego Garcia and Oscar Sola and the essay was written by Matilde Sanchez. The book was first published in 1997 in Argentinia.
It is a book that grows on you. I seriously hated reading it at the beginning due to its inflated language and long, often confusing multi-clause sentences. My reading pace picked up speed after the 1st third and I started enjoying it. It is not a long book so finishing it in three days (well 3x ca 1,5 hours before going to bed) is no big achievement.
I bought the book in 2003 because it included so many pictures of Guevara and I had a big teenage crush on him. Reading the book now and looking at the pictures I could easily understand my infatuation with him – he was one hell of a good looking man. But I also remembered why my crush ended when I started reading about him. Che Guevara’s life is fascinating, no doubt, but I am a pacifist so his need for fighting didn’t agree with my beliefs. I specifically didn’t like that he could be a doctor and a murderer at the same time. Before you attack me and say that he considered himself a soldier and not a murderer – I have to say anybody who participates in executions is a murderer PERIOD. No concession on my part – being a pacifist and all – can overcome the fact that he helped execute people in La Cabana.
Another part that I really liked about this book is the fact that they include excerpts from his diaries. I am a sucker for diaries and journals. I wish I could write a diary like he did. It doesn’t even matter that I don’t like what he is writing about but the way he did it makes me wanna read them. Diary writing is a neglected art form these days or at least it feels like it. I cannot think of one course offered at uni that was about diaries. Travelogues yes – diaries don’t think so.
Well, before I start obsessing about this, here is my current reading list status:
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 –> next on my schedule
6) Henry James’s Washington Square –> started reading and it turns out I don’t quite like it. What a shock. It is not that I actually dislike the story as such but I have to say that it is one of the most slow paced novels I have ever read by him. So not finished because I found better things to read or at least books that gave me instant gratification.
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
–> Books for March and April
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) Garcia & Sola’s Che The Dream of the Rebel (German translation of a Che Guevara Biography)
37) Perry’s The Heart of Emerson’s Journals
38) Elspeth Barker’s O Caledonia –>currently reading, haven’t picked it up in a month or so
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