Oh I should get that, or Additions to my Wishlist #8

I’m adding the following eight books, reviewed by fellow bloggers, to my wishlist:

  • With the Flow by Joris-Karl Huysmans.   Pechorin’s Journal sums the story as “a bored clerk wanders the streets of Paris eating a series of dismal meals and generally having a miserable time. It’s a tremendous study of depression (melancholy) that somehow manages to be relentlessly glum and extremely funny at the same time.”  It is translated from the French by Andre Brown.
  • The Sickness by Venezuelan author Alberto Barrera Tyszka.  The Black Sheep Dances says “the story itself is rather simple:  a successful doctor discovers that his father is seriously ill.  Their close relationship is strained as the son weighs the consequences of telling his father the details of his illness.  In the meantime, another man, virtually unknown to the doctor, begins stalking him, imagining that he holds the cure for the the list of complaints he suffers from…In full, this is easily going to be in my list of favorites for the year”.  The book is translated from the original Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
  • Book of Happenstance by South African writer Ingrid Winterbach. Lisa’s Other Bookshelf calls it “a satisfyingly busy novel about one Helena Verbloem, a lexicographer working with one Theo Verwey on a list of archaic Afrikaans words. Helena is less bereft about the decline of words, though, than the theft of her shell collection. She even takes it upon herself to search for the perpetrator with a friend”.  The book “won” Lisa over and Lisa’s review won me over!  The story is translated from the original Afrikaans by Ingrid and Dirk Winterbach.
  • The Curfew by Jesse Ball. From The Millions’ review of the book: “There are three worlds in The Curfew: the unsettling police state in which William and his 8-year-old daughter Molly live, the shared world of games, riddles, and sadness that William and Molly create together, and the world through Molly’s eyes as she tries to reconcile the first two”. But it was an exuberant review by The Reading Ape that caught my eye.  The Ape says “the great achievement of The Curfew is that it is both weighty and fanciful. And not only that, but the issue of “heavy lightness” or “light heaviness” (it’s not clear to me which formulation is more accurate) is itself a subject in the novel. So here’s one thing I can say: one of the pleasures of reading The Curfew is that it takes on an idea even as it uses that idea to take it on.”
  • The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aitmatov.  One has to pay close attention to the new one-line reviews by Eva of A Striped Armchair.  She advises that one reads the book “ if…you’re looking for wonderful writing, a book that reflects on the moral quandaries of living in a totalitarian state, a story steeped in the culture of Kyrgyzstan, or a rich novel focused on the emotional lives of men.”.  First, Kyrgyzstan caught my eye –  I’m not familiar with any writing from the Euro-Asian country.  According to Wikipedia, the author “was the best known figure in Kyrgyzstan’s literature.  There is also a Wiki page on the book.  Translated by John French.
  • The Generation Game by Sophie Duffy. Andrew Blackman’s review struck a chord.  It begins with: “An interesting premise: the book starts with a woman in hospital talking to her newborn baby girl. She starts to tell the story of her life, beginning with her own birth in St Thomas’s Hospital in 1965 and going right up to the present day.”
  • Antipodes by Ignacio Padilla.  It goes without saying that I want to read most books (of those that I’ve not read) under review at Winstondad’s Blog. I’m particularly drawn to Stu’s review of Antipodes for two reasons: 1) I’d previously read and liked one of Padilla’s stories  2) Antipodes is a collection of short stories. Translated from the original Spanish by Alistair Reid.
  • The Iguana by Anna Maria Ortese.  Ortese is considered one of Italy’s greatest writers.  A pity then that most of her work are not available in English.  The story is about a Milanese count who goes on a voyage and is unfortunately shipwrecked on the island of Orcana.  The island is home to three impoverished noblemen and an enchanting woman who is actually an iguana. A review by with hidden noise drew my attention to the book’s existence.

Have you read any of these books? Do any of the above books sound interesting to you? What is the latest addition to your wishlist?


  1. With the Flow by Joris-Karl Huysmans sounds like something I would like to read. Your description reminds me of Knut Hamsun’s Hunger.

    I have been terribly lax about updating my wishlist recently, and there must be books that I have forgotten about. If I could remember what they were I am sure I would really regret it…


  2. Lovely spread of books there. The only one I’ve read is the one you took from my blog, the Huysmans (I’m a big Huysmans fan). The Sickness and The Iguana (which written like that sounds like one novel) sound very interesting.


  3. Those look all pretty amazing, and I love the sound of Book of Happenstance. I’ll need to check my library catalogue, luckily I have access to lots of translated literature in Germany.


  4. I haven’t read any of these but I just recently discovered TIME magazines list of the 100 Best Nonfiction books. I haven’t even started sifting through that to determine what I should read but I’m already overwhelmed at the thought of adding a large number of books to my to be read list. Do you keep count of how many books you are on yours?


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