Posted in News

April News 2021

I feel sleepy these days, most of the time. Is it the weather, or the whole pandemic thing dragging on and on, or… There could be a bunch of reasons, really.

I hope that at least the weather will stabilize at some point…though preferably not at a heat wave or something.

Of course, an end to this pandemic would also be great, but the way that way too many people behave, I doubt it’s happening soon (you won’t hear me complaining if I turn out to be wrong).

Current mood? Not in the mood. But hey, there’s another photo of that cute neighborhood biker cat up there, and that’s something, too.

Any news?

After who knows how long, I’ve sent a story to a contest. Fingers crossed!

Other than that, it’s the usual: working, reading, sometimes watching something.

Currently reading: Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of the Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman. I’m about halfway through, and it’s a fun read. There’s a lot I didn’t know (no surprise there), and I’m pretty certain that there will be a lot I don’t know about the Anonymous once I’m done with the book. But then again, I suppose that’s the point: with the amount of law-breaking going on (for a good reason, or for fun, or both), they have no reason to want others to know too much about them.

Also recently read: 8 books since the last post, including Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (you all know that one, right?), Smrt u ružičastom (Death in Pink) by Đorđe Bajić (a crime/thriller), The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (a really good horror book), Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance (lots of interesting information there), Kult Gula (The Cult of Ghoul) by Dejan Ognjanović (chosen texts from his blog from the last 10 years), Ravan – Podnebesje by Dušan Paučković (fantasy, sort of, plus a bunch of other things, about things happening in the afterlife), A Strange Country by Muriel Barbery (if you’re looking for something like The Elegance of the Hedgehog, this is not it), and Srneća leđa (Chocolate Loaf) by Ana Marija Grbić (wonderful short stories).

Currently watching: Wellington Paranormal. The same world as What We Do in the Shadows, and the same type of humor. It’s fun, but binge-watching it would be too much.

Currently working on: work, when there’s any (typically it’s writing book blurbs and book titles).

And that would be pretty much it. Happy holidays, if it’s Easter now in your part of the world, and if not, enjoy yourself anyway!

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How Do You Deal with Your TBR Pile?

Happy belated World Book and Copyright Day, everyone! I’m using this as an opportunity to talk about books. Again. Because books.

This time, it’s about the impossible TBR piles.

Seriously, how do you deal with yours?

I’m trying not to buy too many books, and to read the majority of the books I’ve already bought before getting new ones. It works to a point. Sort of.

At the last Belgrade Book Fair (October 2016), I bought 49 books. Yes, it’s unreasonable. Between the Book Fair and April 24th (that would be today), I got 15 new books. Out of the 49 bought at the Book Fair, I’ve got 7 left to read. Not bad. As for the 15 new ones, 12 read, 3 to go. Again, not bad. Not bad at all.

But.

One of the books I have bought at the Book Fair was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Awesome YA read! And it has a sequel, Crooked Kingdom, so I’ll have to get and read that one, too. Fortunately, there are only two books in the series.

Then, there’s one of the books I recently got, My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. A beautiful novel about the friendship of two women (and a lot more). The book ends with a cliffhanger, there are 4 in the series, the second one was recently published in Serbia, so…

And there are some books by new Serbian authors that I want to read.

And some books by non-Serbian authors, too.

And…

You get the picture.

No matter how fast I go through my TBR pile (and sometimes it’s really fast, 12 books read in April, and counting), there are always more books to read, and buy, and add to the pile. And that’s just paperbacks and hardcovers; I’m trying to get through them first, because they’re taking up physical space (hey, it’s as good excuse as any).

It’s not that I’m getting nowhere, but sometimes it feels that way. So many books, never enough time…

How do you deal with it? Do you have a system for your TBR pile that actually works for you?

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You Can’t Possibly Read That Much, the Librarian Said

You can’t possibly read that much, the librarian said.

I spend most of the day translating, something I’m not quite used to do yet. When I finish it, I don’t really have much strength to stare at the screen, either to watch videos, play games or read blogs or something. So i read books. The paper ones.

I went to the library on Tuesday, and took the charming pile of books you see on the picture. The librarian told me I couldn’t possibly read all of them in twenty days. I told her I’d return the ones I’ve read and re-borrow those I haven’t managed to read. She agreed to that.
Me and librarians. Librarians who don’t get it: I read, I read a lot, and I read quickly. One would expect more from the librarians; then again, this same librarian called Twilight a beautiful, beautiful book at the time I took Twilight, some books by de Lilo and a book by Doris Lessing. A great American writer, a Nobel prize winner, and she tells me the Twilight (yes, the silly one with the sparkling vampires) is beautiful?
Oh well.
The books I took on Tuesday: Sputnik Sweetheart and Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami, Twilight #2 and Twilight #3 by Stephenie Meyer, Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe and Ask the Dust by John Fante. The Twilight is to see what all the fuss is about, the rest of them is for pleasure. So far, I’ve read Woman in the Dunes and Sputnik Sweetheart, and I’m currently reading Ask the Dust.
Woman in the Dunes is a fascinating book about a Japanese man who goes to a remote village in the sand to look for some sand bugs, and the villagers capture him to help them remove the sand, because the erosion is the constant danger there, and the government does nothing to help. He is placed in a house in the hole in the sand with a thirty-year-old widow, to help her. He wants to escape, he’s trying to find a way to get out of there, but at the same time, he’s eroding, just like his surroundings. It’s hard to describe this one; what goes on is bizarre, and the tone of the novel is surreal. A great read.
Sputnik Sweetheart is an unusual book — which is quite usual for Murakami. It starts as a weird love triangle — a young man is in love with his best friend, a pretty girl who likes him as a friend but falls in love with an older woman, and while the woman likes the girl, something weird happened to her fourteen years ago, she doesn’t feel whole and cannot return love. And then things start to get weird — I’m not going to spoil it for you here.
So far I’ve read about a third of the Ask the Dust. It’s about the author’s alter ego, a writer wannabe Arturo Bandini, who is trying to survive in LA and to finally sell some stories. Charles Bukowski loved this book, and so far it looks good (heh, us writers writing and reading about writers), so I guess I’ll enjoy that one too.
And unless something prevents me, yes, I’ll read them all within twenty days. And I’ve already noted the books I plan to borrow next.
In case you didn’t notice: I’m a bookaholic. 🙂