It’s Saturday that feels like Sunday. Yesterday, January 6th, was a public holiday here in Sweden.This means that we have had plenty of time to get some rest after all the festivities. And it gave me the perfect opportunity to start one of the challenges I have planned for in 2017. When thinking of all the things I wanted more of in my life, I thought of books. I have always been an avid reader, but it sometimes feels like I don’t have the time to completely immerse in the wonderful reality of written stories. Instead I find myself reading idiotic stuff on my phone. Really sensible and smart. So, here we go. A challenge to read one book per week in 2017.
Reading One Book Per Week In 2017
It seems like I’m not the first person who has felt the need to read more. A quick search on Google for “one book per week” gives more than 34 000 000 hits. I’m in such a fortunate position that I do not need to buy any books, I can go to my bookcase and randomly pick 52 books to read. Yes, there’s something of a collector in me. Working for an online bookstore also helps. I want to focus on international fiction and non-fiction (writing and psychology). Maybe I’ll also try to read a piece or two in a foreign language (i.e. a language other than Finnish, Swedish or English).
Book #1: Loistava ystäväni (My Brilliant Friend / L’amica geniale) by Elena Ferrante
This is a book I started reading in December 2016, even though the advance reading copy had found me already in early spring of the same year. I try to read novels in their original language. However, as Italian is not one of my strengths, I decided that the Finnish version would do.
The first part of the Neapolitan Novels left me with mixed feelings. If we set aside that spark of wanderlust and curiosity for Naples that the book awoke in me, I mainly found the story sympathetic. This opinion probably sounds rather vague for a novel that has been called great and a masterpiece. It is a realistic novel, and at times it gets very ugly. The first part, in a series of four, paints a vivid portrait of the lives of two young girls in post-war Italy. However, I’m not sure I’d call it a masterpiece.
The translation, by Helinä Kangas, was good. However, I will probably read the remaining parts in English or Swedish.
Book #2: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Two people recommended Hanya Yanagihara’s praised novel A Little Life and I just had to buy it to find out for myself. I started reading it today, which means that there is still plenty of pages left to discover. After all, the paperback has over 700 pages. After the first few chapters I can definitely see what the fuss is about and I really look forward to spending many hours in the company of the enigmatic and fascinating characters in the novel. At the moment there is not much I can say about the plot, but Goodreads has plenty of information and reviews.
Book #3: Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing
Written by a pre-eminent travel writer and bursting with invaluable advice, this inspiring and practical guide is a must for anyone who has ever yearned to turn their travels into saleable tales. Packed with insider hints and tips, practical writing exercises and examples of travel writing excellence, this guide helps bring the dream job of Travel Writer within scribbling distance of reality.
I like guides of all kinds and anything related to travel writing must be interesting. Also, I’m looking for some practical tips for this blog. This is the third edition from 2013, according to Lonely Planet the 4th edition will be published in August 2017.
These are the first books in my challenge to read one book per week. Have you read any of them? What did you think?
And yes. Apart from books I have also been dreaming a little bit about fresh tulips in various colors. We have really managed to make our home cozy in the past few weeks. Despite the snowbanks outside our window, I’m starting to have springy feelings. All we need is some tulips on the living room table!