Scattered Thoughts on a Scattered Collection of Books

I’ve decided not to post a review for every book I read – to be honest, sometimes I just don’t have enough to say. I do, however, want to keep a record of my thoughts and feelings of everything I pick up. If only to avoid picking it up again.

The Pigeon by Patrick Suskind

Recommended by a colleague and friend, this was actually a pretty good read. It traces a day in the life of bank security guard Jonathan Noel who experiences an existential crisis after finding a demonic pigeon on his doorstep. At 80 pages its more of a novella than a novel so if you need a good “Kaffee und Kuchen” book (as my friend Anna would call it) then definitely pick this one up.

Can We Please Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

A graphic novel/memoir tracing the last few years of the lives of Chast’s parents. An honest, funny, and tragic look at elderly care and the loss of one’s parents. Recommended.

Bolshoi Confidential by Simon Morrison

History of Bolshoi Ballet in Russia. DNF. Meh.

The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

I was pretty excited to read this one after being recommended it by a colleague whose opinion I trust completely. It also suited my current reading mood which has been demanding books in translation. However this one is a DNF for me. In the introduction to my copy, William Boyd says that “the hilarious absurdity of the human predicament was as obvious to [Pessoa] as its inherent, melancholy pointlessness.” I’m as big of fan of melancholy pointlessness as the next person but this was relentlessly nihilistic and self-pitying. I didn’t make it far into this one so If I’m missing out by not giving it a proper chance let me know!

A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler 

Although I was more critical of this one than Anna I’ll just give you the link to her review as it’s better written than whatever I would put out :):

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

A re-read of the Canadian classic for a book club. Have to admit it didn’t quite live up to my memory of it. Still a great read but definitely overwritten at points – fewer metaphors and adjectives never hurt anyone.

Have you read any of the above? Please disagree with me! I love a good book debate 🙂 


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