November 30, 2014

My Top 10 Books for Santa by Emma of Words and Peace

Most of you reading this blog have probably several book titles in your wish list for Santa this year, right?
As an avid “bookivore” –yes, it is in the Urban dictionary, I really can’t think of anything else worthy of Santa’s stop at my humble abode. So just in case he likes reading book blogs as much as I do and sees this, I have decided to give him a hand and list here the top 10 books I wouldn’t mind him bringing me.
Out of 860 books currently on my TBR Goodreads shelf, I managed to narrow it down to 17, then to these 10. Quite a feat!

There are just a couple of novels. Most novels are easy to get through my public library, so why bother Santa with those. I prefer to ask him books I definitely plan to keep and get back to.

1.      La confrérie des chasseurs de livres, by Raphaël Jerusalmy.
A book about books, with the famous rebel poet François Villon at the time of Louis XI.
And it’s not that easy to get French books over here, but nothing is impossible to Santa.

2.      The Illusion of Separateness, by Simon Van Booy.
This is literary fiction. I loved so much the writing of Every Thing Beautiful Began After. Why on earth have I not read this new one yet??
“How one man's act of mercy during World War II changed the lives of a group of strangers, and how they each eventually discover the astonishing truth of their connection.” Typically the stuff I love.

Books on authors’ work:

3.      The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami, by Matthew Carl Strecher.
My followers all know by now how much I just love Murakami. I have read enough of his books to be able to enjoy a comprehensive view and study of his work. Should be just plain awesome

4.      Roberto Bolaño’s Fiction: An Expanding Universe, by Chris Andrews.
I have this fascination for Bolaño though I have only read excerpts and never dared so far take a deep plunge in his works. So that should be a perfect introduction to it.


5.      Georges Perec: A Life in Words, by David Bellos
I really love that French author, and I have read an interesting book by Bellos on translation, so that should be a perfect combo.

6.      Toward the Endless Day: The Life of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel, by Olga Lossky
I’m totally fascinated by this woman. Elisabeth Behr-Sigel (1907-2005), French was one of the most important Orthodox theologians of the twentieth century. I read her own masterful biography of another major figure of contemporary Orthodoxy, Lev Gillet. So I really want to know more about that lady. And it’s written by a Lossky, that amazing family who gave so many great Orthodox theologians and authors.

7.      The Arch Conjuror of England: John Dee, by Glyn Parry
“Outlandish alchemist and magician, political intelligencer, apocalyptic prophet, and converser with angels, John Dee (1527-1609) was one of the most colorful and controversial figures of the Tudor world.” I keep running into him when I read British historical novels, and I’m really intrigued by the man.

About birds, another passion of mine:

8.      Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology Since Darwin, by Tim Birkhead, Jo Wimpenny, Bob Montgomerie
It “provides a thoroughly engaging and authoritative history of modern ornithology, tracing how the study of birds has been shaped by a succession of visionary and often-controversial personalities, and by the unique social and scientific contexts in which these extraordinary individuals worked”. Sounds perfect for the bird lover I am.

About translation, one of my many jobs:

9.      Le Ton beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language, by Douglas R. Hofstadter, Clément Marot
These are essays on sixteenth-century French poet Clément Marot and on the art of translation. Sounds really good.

And last but not least, of course a book on French, don’t ask me why, lol:

10.   Flirting with French: How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me, and Nearly Broke My Heart, by William Alexander
I guess the titles says it all, supposed to be hilarious.

Have you read any of these?
If not, which one would you be most excited about?
Have you prepared your list for Santa yet?

Thank you, Emma!  Check out Emma's blog, Words and Peace.

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