Somehow April seemed to be a long month. Maybe because I did quite a lot of things during the month. I think I also read more books in a month than every before. I read 17 books. Since I was travelling, I read mostly from my e-books. My aim for the month was to read books about Venice, or books that takes place there. All because we visited this wonderful city for four days. For those interested I have written a few accounts on my newsletter, The Content Reader.
All books, except one, are fiction. The nonfiction is Messages From a Lost World, Europe on the Brink by Stefan Zweig. I also wrote about him after visiting Salzburg, Austria, where he lived for a while. You can find articles on my newsletter, or my post In Search of Stefan Zweig I will come back to Stefan Zweig in later posts.
Read in April
My Venice theme took me to a non-fiction about Venice: Venice and its Story by Thomas Okey, which I am still reading. Apart from that one I did read Casanova in Venice by Michel Delon & Michèle Sajous D'Oria, in March. It is an extract from his memoirs that fits into drawings made from his writing.
I think most people think of Donna Leon when you mention Venice, and especially detective stories. Her series of 32 books about Commissario Brunetti are well known. You can read more on my post Donna Leon and Commissario Brunetti. I read read her first book in March; Death at La Fenice and another eight books in April. Death in a Strange Country, The Anonymous Venetian, A Ventian Reckoning, Acqua Alta, The Death of Faith, A Noble Radiance, Fatal Remedies and Friends in High Places. They are slightly addicted as you might imagine. My aim is to read all of them.
Daphne du Maurier
Another aim is to read books by DDM. Don't Look Now takes places in Venice and that is why I entered into this challenge already now. I continued with The Apple Tree, The Birds, Not After Midnight and The Blue Lenses. She is a master of suspense, spookiness, and, like Debbie Nance at Readersbuzz commented, they are gothic in their build up of the story.
Another aim is to read all the books, or most, by AC. I have already started and managed to squeeze in two more this month; Crooked House and The Secret of Chimneys. I listened to both of them, and prefer the latter one. Crooked House was somewhat irrational, I found.
The other books I read was Master of Petersburg by J.M. Coetzee which I did not really like. I am wondering whether there is a special meaning with it, so have to do some research. I found his writing close to Dostoyevsky's which just shows that Coetzee is a fantastic writer.
As usual I am reading several books at the time. I am reading a biography by Göran Hägg on August Strindberg, which is very interesting. Talk about mad geniuses. Love in a Time of Hate by Florian Illies. A sort of biography over the love life of famous people in the shadow of the time between the first and second world war. Quite a fascinating read. I am reading 10 lessons in Swedish History by Ola Larsmo, where he tries to meet the fake news that some parties use to verify their own politics. Since people in general know much less of our own history these days, people believe what they hear and see. Even when it is not true. Fascinating aspects of social media today. I also read The Afghans by Åse Seierstad. Another fascinating and interesting account of the sad history of Afghanistan. I have also started Leïla Slimani's In the Country of Others, which will be interesting to read. The Fall of Carthage, The Punic Wars 265-146 B.C. by Adrian Goldsworthy is also started.
So what is awaiting me for the month of May? I will do two trips during May. One to Stralsund for four days, and one to Amsterdam for about 7-10 days. I am so excited by both trips, but especially by the Amsterdam trip where I will visit the exhibition of Vermeer paintings. Meaning, in other words, that I will continue to read from my e-books. I might bring a few physical books as well. However, I am flying to Amsterdam, with hand luggage only, so not much space.
Donna Leon, Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier will be on the menu, as well as the books I have already started.