Monday, October 25, 2010

My book club has made its picks for 2010-11

Lots of great books:

Nov. 22: My Antonia, Willa Cather
Jan. 3: Out Stealing Horses, Per Petterson
Jan. 31: Madame Bovary, Flaubert
Feb 28: Little Bee, Chris Cleeve
Mar 28: A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
Apr 25: Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
May 23: The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky
June 27: Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood
July 25: Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Aug 22: The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett
Sept 26: I'm Not Scared, Niccolo Ammaniti


Scooter said...

Just getting ready to start Pillars after Michael recommended years ago.

Brothers K is a real slog...not because the story and characters aren't wonderful but because of the names and sentences.

For instance, each of the bros have several other names by which they are addressed--Dmitri is called Mitri--fine, I can follow that. But Ivan is called Vanya and Vanechka. Aleksey is called Alyosha and Alexeichik. Look at the Wiki article...there are many more names involved for each character. If you've never read Dostoy, Wiki really provides a huge help. Make some kind of chart with all their names to help you keep track. Be a rock star and make it before May and share it with your group.

I've wondered for a while why nobody has ever published a version with simple names: Scooter (is there an English eqiv of Dmitri?), John and Alex.

Also, and it may be a 19th C thing given Michael's Poe comments, some of the dialogue is really tough in that the sentences can be a paragraph long.

Finally, if you've never seen Woody Allen's Love and Death, it is a must for any Russian Lit fan.

Stephanie said...

Yep, I've read about 80 pp of Bros K and recognized the naming issue. A chart is a good idea.

I've also tried two different translations that give completely different flavors. The newer Pevear translation is much easier reading and also is regarded by my Russian-expert neighbor (and other experts) as faithful to the original. The older, more widely read, translation (by someone I can't remember at the moment) is harder reading, but has a charm that Pevear's doesn't. E.g. In Pevear, someone is twenty-eight years old. In the older translation he is "eight and twenty". Sort of like King James vs Revised Stdrd choice.