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HTLAL Book Club 2015

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stifa
Triglot
Senior Member
Norway
lang-8.com/448715
Joined 2768 days ago

629 posts - 813 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, EnglishC2, German
Studies: Japanese, Spanish

 
 Message 17 of 69
16 December 2014 at 2:10am | IP Logged 
iguanamon wrote:
eyðimörk described the book Le dernier lapon by Olivier
Truc. I want to read it but I don't understand French well enough to truly enjoy it.
What am I to do? Read it in Spanish! Check out this cool trailer for

Woah, that one looks interesting, and it's availible on the British Kindle store :D

As stupid as it may sound, after having read about 50 books since Summer 2013, the
series that I've enjoyed the most are still the Harry Potter books (read the 1st, 2nd
and 4th in Japanese, and the rest in German - the latter translation being much better
than the former), as they kept me constantly turning pages throughout.

Another book I've enjoyed is "Sal de mis sueños" by Fernando Trujillo Sanz. I spent
about a month getting through the first 140 pages, because the plot didn't seem that
interesting to me, but after that point, I finished the last 70 pages or so in 4-5
days, because it suddenly got me wanting more.

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I found the Song of Ice and Fire books much
more enjoyable in German than in English. The German version was comparably easy to
read, making it easier to keep track of what's going on. The translations are pretty
good, no matter how many Germans there are who complain about "Eindeutschungen", like
Köningsmund and Jon Schnee.

I was suggested Herbstmilch by Anna Wimschneider by my German teacher, and I must
admit that it has to be one of the most difficult books I've ever read. The text use a
lot of southern German expressions, and a lot of dated expressions and vocabulary,
fitting it's 1920s/1950s settings.
1 person has voted this message useful



kanewai
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/kanewai
Joined 2784 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 18 of 69
16 December 2014 at 3:54am | IP Logged 
I read some good to great books in French this past year, but struggled in Italian. I
don't know if it's the books I chose, or if Italian literature just doesn't do it for
me. I'm hoping that as my comprehension improves my enjoyment of reading Italian will
also improve.

I've posted a lot in the SC log on books I've already read. My current books are:

Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini. Giorgio Bassani. Italian. A romance set in the
Jewish community of Ferrara during the rise of fascism.

Le città invisibili. Italo Calvino. Italian. Marco Polo describes the fantastic
cities he has seen in Kublai Khan's empire. Great writing, but I need the English
translation to help me through it. I've been reading it on and off all year.

La divina commedia, Inferno. Dante Alighieri. Tuscan. I've also been
reading this on and off all year. It's awesome, but I am completely dependent on the
parallel text. I am currently in the sixth ditch of the eighth circle of hell.   

L'oeuvre au noir. Marguerite Yourcenar. French. A novel about a fictional
alchemist and philosopher in the 1600's.   It's fascinating, but also difficult to
read at times. I think it would be a difficult read even in English. I am so close to
the end ... I might stay up late tonight to finish it.


My French reading list for 2015 is ambitious; I'm not sure how many I'll actually get
to:

Jean Genet, Notre Dame des Fleurs
Ágota Kristof, Le grand cahier
Marguerite Duras, Un barrage contre le Pacifique
Françoise Sagan, Bonjour tristesse
Louis Aragon, Aurélien
Paul Claudel, Le soulier de satin
Marcel Proust, Le Côté de Guermantes

And my Italian list is full of books that are still beyond my reading level, for now.
I still hope to read all these as part of the super challenge:

Dino Buzzati, Il deserto dei tartari
Italo Svevo, La coscienza di Zeno
Italo Calvino, many
Primo Levi, Se questo è un uomo.
Umberto Eco, Il nome della rosa.
Paolo Giordano. La solitudine dei numeri primi



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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2428 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 19 of 69
16 December 2014 at 10:29am | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:

Patrick, thanks for the tips. I loved Solaris as well. Have you tried some German
crimi/sci-fi/fantasy authors?


German scifi is essentially non-existent. There is the long running Perry Rhodan series dating from the 1960s. I haven't read it, but it's regarded as pretty trashy space opera - though that's perhaps not fair. Written scifi really doesn't have much status here. At my local library there are about 50-100 shelves devoted to crime novels, and 6 to scifi/fantasy.

Heyne (part of Random House) seems to be the main publisher of scifi/fantasy in German. You might want to check out their website for ideas: http://www.randomhouse.de/heyne/topics.jsp?men=506&top=FANTA SY

Crime novels (Krimis) are huge here. The papers publish a list of the best 10 new crime novels published in the preceding month. It's sort of cool, as you have so much choice you can pick a place/era that interests you. For instance, there is a series of books that take place in Berlin in the 1920s-1930s that I may start reading as I find the era interesting; but there are likewise undoubtedly Krimis set in the DDR, or some Alpine village in the 1960s or amongst the Turkish community in Hamburg in the present day.

One book I'd like to read next year is Kurso by Lutz Seiler, which won the German Book Prize this year. The title is a play on "Robinson Curso" and tells the story of a man in the DDR who ends up on an island in the Baltic that was known as a place where people who didn't fit comfortably into the DDR system could live.

Edited by patrickwilken on 16 December 2014 at 10:32am

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garyb
Triglot
Senior Member
ScotlandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3102 days ago

1468 posts - 2411 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 20 of 69
16 December 2014 at 11:11am | IP Logged 
kanewai wrote:

Italo Svevo, La coscienza di Zeno


I read that last year and I didn't find it too difficult. Much easier than Calvino, for
example. Some of the language is a bit old-fashioned but you get used to it. It's a bit
long, I felt it dragged on at points, but overall an enjoyable and not too challenging
read.
1 person has voted this message useful



Ogrim
Heptaglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 2534 days ago

991 posts - 1893 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Spanish, French, Romansh, German, Italian
Studies: Russian, Catalan, Latin, Greek, Romanian

 
 Message 21 of 69
16 December 2014 at 12:14pm | IP Logged 
kanewai wrote:

La divina commedia, Inferno. Dante Alighieri. Tuscan. I've also been
reading this on and off all year. It's awesome, but I am completely dependent on the
parallel text. I am currently in the sixth ditch of the eighth circle of hell.   

-------------------

Dino Buzzati, Il deserto dei tartari
Italo Svevo, La coscienza di Zeno
Italo Calvino, many
Primo Levi, Se questo è un uomo.
Umberto Eco, Il nome della rosa.
Paolo Giordano. La solitudine dei numeri primi


A friend of mine who did his thesis on La Divina Commedia used to say that this is the book everyone in Italy knows but nobody has read from the beginning to the end;) Still it is great to be able to read 14th century Italian literature and make sense of it, even if you need to consult the parallel text.

I want to find more time to read Italian books next year and I may steal some ideas from your list. I've read Il nome della rosa three times and it is a great read, but quite challenging, especially the first 100 pages or so. Later on it gets easier, also because there is more "action" later on in the book. I am a great fan of Umberto Eco, and on my list is one of his non-fiction books: Non sperate di liberarvi dei libri.

I read Primo Levi many years ago, when I was doing Italian at university, but I must admit I have forgotten what it was about. Maybe I should put Levi back on my list as well.

Looking forward to exchanging more about Italian literature with you.

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geoffw
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2583 days ago

1134 posts - 1865 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Yiddish
Studies: Modern Hebrew, French, Dutch, Italian, Russian

 
 Message 22 of 69
16 December 2014 at 12:26pm | IP Logged 
I first read this Wikipedia
article, and then perused the recent winners of the German Sci-Fi awards.

Ich bin halbwegs "Das Cusanus Spiel" hindurch, und es ist interessant und spannend, aber nicht so lockend dass ich mich davon
nicht entreißen kann--ich bin immer noch nicht damit fertig. Es handelt über Zeitreisen und eine postapokalyptische Welt wo die
Menschen versuchen die Natur aufzuerstehen mittels uralte, ausgestorbene Pflanzen.

(translation)
I'm halfway through "Das Cusanus Spiel" [The Cusanus Game], and it's interesting and exciting, but not so alluring that I can't rip
myself away--I still haven't finished it. It deals with time travel and a post-apocalyptic world where the people are trying to
rejuvenate nature using ancient, extinct plants.

Next on my list to try was Andreas Brandhorst. I'd read a bit of an excerpt from one of his book through Amazon, but haven't yet
started on a book in earnest, so I don't have much to report.

Edited by geoffw on 16 December 2014 at 12:27pm

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garyb
Triglot
Senior Member
ScotlandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3102 days ago

1468 posts - 2411 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 23 of 69
16 December 2014 at 1:03pm | IP Logged 
Yep, good to see some discussion of Italian literature. I'm currently reading Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's Il gattopardo. It's a difficult one but very well written and culturally interesting. Il nome della rosa is also high on my list. I've not felt up to approaching Dante yet but I will at some point in my life. Like I said, I've read a few of Calvino's works and the next one on my list is Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore... it sounds like it'll be a strange one and I'm wondering whether my Italian will be good enough to appreciate it.

Edited by garyb on 16 December 2014 at 1:04pm

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Josquin
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 2739 days ago

2266 posts - 3992 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 24 of 69
16 December 2014 at 1:10pm | IP Logged 
I'm a big fan of Russian 19th and early 20th century literature: Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol, Turgenyev, Pushkin, Chekhov... you name it! Since I started learning Russian, it has always been my goal to read the Russian classics in the original and this year I finally made a big step towards this goal.

I read Дама с собачкой (The Lady with the Dog) by Chekhov earlier this year with the help of a Russian-German parallel text. It was actually quite an easy read and a wonderful short story at the same time. It's about Dmitry Dmitrich Gurov, a married man from Moscow, and Anna Sergeyevna von Dideritz, who is also married.

They get to know each other in Yalta during their vacations. One thing leads to another and they start a love affair which lasts until Anna Sergeyevna (who is called the "Lady with the Dog" because of the small dog she always has with her) has to leave Yalta and go home again.

Back in Moscow with his family, Gurov tries to forget Anna, but he can't, so he decides to go to her town and pay her a visit. Their affair starts anew and they have to decide how to live this relationship in a society with very strict moral rules.

I thought it was very interesting and very well written. It was especially interesting to see how Gurov and Anna Sergeyevna have to hide their love in public because no one must know about them. At the same time, their affair is their only source of happiness for both of them, so they have to find a way to live their love in secret. On the other hand, they don't really want to hide their love, so a very difficult situation arises for them.

After Chekhov, I made a little break from Russian literature, but now I'm trying to read Игрок (The Gambler) by Dostoyevsky, also with the help of parallel texts. I have the audiobook as well, so I'm trying to do some L-R. So far, I've only read the first chapter, so I will tell you more about it later. Anyway, I think reading literature with parallel texts is a great and fun way to study a language!

This is my reading list for 2015 in Russian:

Фёдор Достоевский: Преступление и наказание (Dostoyevsky: Crime and Punishment)
Лев Толстой: Анна Каренина (Tolstoy: Anna Karenina)
Иван Тургенев: Первая любовь (Turgenyev: First Love)

...plus some bilingual collections of poems and short stories.

Edited by Josquin on 16 December 2014 at 2:23pm



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