Birthday Bookathon 2019

Halfway through the ‘Birthday Bookathon’. As part of the yearly goals I set on my birthday each year, my reading goal for this year was world literature in translation – an ode to translators, without whom many of the books we read would not be accessible to us unless we knew every single language in the world. I have selected languages from each letter of the English alphabet, and the aim is to read one book (at least) from each of the languages corresponding to a letter. I began on the 14th of November (my birth date). Today we are at the half way mark, and these were the books finished in the past six months.

~Albanian – The Accident – Ismail Kadare
~Bangla – The Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told – Arunava Sinha
~Cantonese – Never Grow Up – Zhu Mo
~Danish – The Last Good Man – A.J.Kazinski
~German – The Bird Is A Raven – Benjamin Lebert
~Hungarian – Iza’s Ballad – Magda Szabó
~Italian – Six Characters in Search of an Author – Luigi Pirandello
~Japanese – The Travelling Cat Chronicles – Hiro Arikawa
~Persian – The Blind Owl – Sadegh Hedayat
~Russian – The Heart of a Dog – Mikhail Bulgakov
~Swedish – The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden – Jonas Jonasson
~Turkish – Istanbul Istanbul – Burhan Sönmez

This is the original blog-post I had written on my birthday when I started the reading list. Another fourteen more languages to go. 🙂 I am trying to keep one language for each alphabet, but I also have books from more languages, which will be read as I get the time.

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Penguin Classics Book Festival

When a bibliophile is let loose in a bookstore, along with fellow book lovers, during a book festival, a great many things happen! The Penguin Classics Festival is an ongoing literary treat for readers around the country. Several venues in different cities are part of the month long festival that celebrates the classics – both originals and translated works. A wonderful opportunity to revisit the classics, and/or pick up books/authors one might have missed in the years gone by. I marched in on the first of November itself – it’s important to inaugurate bookish events. A few books were selected for myself and as gifts; another trip has been planned for this weekend. Here are a few pictures of bibliophilic endeavors.

1
The upper section of the Kitab Khana bookstore in South Mumbai which is hosting the festival.
2
The books below are not part of the festival; all Penguin books are upstairs.
3
There’s always a book for everyone.
4
A bookworm at home in a bookstore.
5
Fellow readers should be recruited in all bookish pursuits.
6
The loot, with apple tea and caramel cake. (The bookstore has a cafe hidden inside. Unless you’re a reader, you wouldn’t know about it. Our own little getaway to eat and read.)

 

Weekend Reading Plans

These are the books that will keep my weekend occupied – a novel, a collection of short stories, and a non-fiction book. The first two are English translations of Czech and Assamese language works. Has anyone read these? Feedback is always appreciated. What are your bookish plans for the weekend?

weekend