After last month’s desert theme, I’m moving into June with no reading plans grander than trying to clear a few titles from my to-be-read pile. The fact that I often buy books and take for ever to get round to reading them has nothing to do with having changed my mind, but more with there being so many great books out there that my reading list gets longer by the day and, inevitably, although they don’t deserve to, some fall behind. This month is an attempt to right some of those wrongs.
The fact that I haven’t yet read Ducks, Newburyport – a book I have been actively looking forward to for many months – is one such omission to be rectified, and despite its enormous length (which can’t help but put a reading list under pressure) I am determined to complete it by the end of the month. Although it is occupying the ‘small press’ spot on my list, three of this month’s four titles are actually published by independent presses. The fact that my shelves and reading lists are unwittingly but definitely becomingly more weighted in this direction is, I hope, something being reflected on many other bookcases.
Not included in the core list are a few new works in translation that I am thrilled to be able to review this month, so stay tuned for these plus whatever else I find time for.
In June I will be reading and reviewing:
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (Chatto & Windus)
What the publisher says: ‘Drawing on real incidents and a spate of disappearances in metropolitan India, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is extraordinarily moving, flawlessly imagined, and a triumph of suspense. It captures the fierce warmth, resilience, and bravery that can emerge in times of trouble and carries the reader headlong into a community that, once encountered, is impossible to forget.’
The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig, translated from the German by Anthea Bell (Pushkin Press)
What the publisher says: ‘The World of Yesterday is a heartfelt tribute to an age of humanity and enlightenment that Zweig feared was lost for ever. An incomparable record of a lost era, this is also essential reading for those who have already fallen in love with Zweig’s fiction.’
Trout, Belly Up by Rodrigo Fuentes, translated from the Spanish by Ellen Jones (Charco Press)
What the publisher says: ‘Told with precision and a stark beauty, in a style that recalls Hemingway, Trout, Belly Up is a unique ensemble of beguiling, disturbing stories set in the heart of the rural landscape in a country where violence is never far from the surface.’
Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann (Galley Beggar Press)
What the publisher says: ‘A scorching indictment of America’s barbarity, past and present, and a lament for the way we are sleepwalking into environmental disaster, Ducks, Newburyport is a heresy, a wonder – and a revolution in the novel. It’s also very, very funny.’