Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Translated Fiction
It Would Be Night in Caracas tells the story of Adelaida Falcón, whose mother has just died and she now finds herself despairing with grief and alone in the world, in a country torn by unrest, violence and scarcity.
Despite having given this book 3 stars, I actually really enjoyed It Would Be Night in Caracas and it left a strong impression on me. The portrayal of Venezuela and the violence, uncertainty and fear of its people was unforgettable and heartbreaking, and it opened my eyes to things one vaguely hears about on the news, and very often pays not much attention to. Venezuelan people have been under a dangerous government for years now and the political situation does not look like it will get better. Novels like these are incredibly important for bringing empathy to non-Venezuelans and putting the suffering of people on the foreground, instead of being relegated to something happening elsewhere and therefore unimportant. Continue reading
Categories: Mystery, Thriller
The Guest List was among my most anticipated reads for this year, after falling in love with Lucy Foley’s writing in The Hunting Party. The Guest List follows two days in a small, beautiful but haunted island in Ireland where the biggest wedding of the year will take place: Jules Keegan, successful founder of The Download magazine, and Will Slater, a TV celebrity. On the wedding day, just after the cake was cut, a body is found, and everyone is a suspect.
This was a very engaging read, and I love that Lucy Foley keeps you guessing who’s victim and who’s the murderer until the end, it’s just such fun (I got both wrong). Her writing is so beautiful, not too flowery but just enough to give the perfect creepy atmosphere. I wanted to savor this for several days but could only manage to do that for 2-3 days, and devoured the rest in one sitting. I also loved the setting in a mysterious, haunted island during a storm, it was an incredible atmosphere.
It is difficult to tell if I would have given this 5 stars if I hadn’t read The Hunting Party first, but I think not, since my 5-stars are for books which leave me in awe, and this was a great read but it lacked a sense of more urgency – I just did not quite believe a lot of the characters could be the murderer at all, and only in the later part of the book do tensions actually go high enough for me to consider that one of them could actually murder the other. The Hunting Party was more gripping, the stakes felt higher and the sense of danger more concrete. I actually felt that anyone could murder or be murdered, and it was fun trying to guess, whereas in The Guest List I felt that the potential victim was pretty much narrowed down to just a few characters. I think The Guest List does some things better though, namely the writing and who the murdered person was (which I found a bit frustrating in The Hunting Party), and all in all it’s an intense, enjoyable read which made me feel the same “oh my god this is great I have to know what happens next!!” feeling that I did as a child and teen reading Agatha Christie.
Alright, so apparently it’s August, although I’m still recovering from March and in denial that April is over. At this point I am 98% sure that 2020 is just a fever dream, really, but at least I’ve been reading some great books (yay…?).
I finished Disappearing Earth, and now have the dilemma of whether to buy the next two books (I’m in a bit of a book buying ban) or to wait, because I DO have lots to read, but ALSO I want to finish the longlist in the next couple months. I picked up and finished The Guest List – I really enjoyed this book and it goes so quickly! It also helped that this weekend was more chill and I had more time to read. I’m a bit over halfway through with It Would be Night in Caracas and I hope to finish it soon! I read it in small bursts in breaks going to work or when I’m picking up my lunch, so it takes a long time to read. As I finished both physical books I was reading, I picked up The House of Spirits next. Do you guys also do this – having a book you read at home, one for commute, one that you’re kinda-reading for the past year etc? I think I’m reading like 4 or 5 books at the moment.
I like talking about my reading plans for each month to try and maintain a semblance of order and not let my ARC Reviews fall too much behind. So, my Reading Plans for August:
I posted my Tentative August TBR yesterday, in case you missed it, in which I discuss the books I’d like to read for the Women in Translation month. My priority WIT reads are:
Those are Priority 1, but of course I’d like to read everything I listed on the post from yesterday. I am also attempting this month to read at least 3 ARCs, namely:
I’m excited for all three (and just received Hysteria from Edelweiss). AND I would also like to read Hamnet, my last Women’s Prize Shortlist book.
So, in total there are seven books I would really like to read this month (plus finish It Would be Night in Caracas, my current read) and it sounds ambitious but I’m keeping my hopes up, especially as next weekend I might do a reading sprint, time allowing.
I am late to the party but I’ve decided to join the Women in Translation month challenge! As there is no minimum amount of books to read, it’s a very low-effort challenge to join, thankfully, as I have many other books I want to read this month still – namely a thousand ARCs I’m getting quite late to get to. The odds that I’ll actually read all the books in this post are pretty slim, but writing a post always encourages me to actually read the books, so this is me putting peer pressure on myself.
I decided against writing a recommendations post (for now) because I’ve seen a lot of the stuff I’d recommend be listed already, and I do already talk about translated fiction quite often in my blog, if you want to check out: The Translated Literature Book Tag, Reading Latinx Books Project with @cbookrambling, What I Read for @AsianReadathon. Maybe next year I will write recommendations (or, if I cave in, sometime during this month).
Michelle helped me with a few recommendations – if you don’t know, she has a TBR Recommendation service and I think it’s such a fun thing to get recommendations according to your personal reading tastes, it’s the highlight of my day when I get her email. I highly recommend it, especially if you struggle to find books for challenges or personal goals (like I do). The books she recommended to me are Like Water for Chocolate, Girls of Riyadh and Empress, all of which sound really great.
Here are some books I’d like to read for WIT:
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
This sounds like a weird read and I own this for half a year already, so it’s high time I pick it up! The author is from Poland. Continue reading