This particular subject is so long (in multiple ways), I could probably write an entire book about it.
But I’ll start off with lists of books made at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
I thought I was being quite particular and jotting down the titles of only the most
interesting sounding titles I came across, adding a total of 84 titles to my “buy and read list”, when it would have been so easy to add hundreds. Twenty of these were Finnish originals, mainly
because I spent so much of my time poring through Finnish books this year.
Of course it is impossible to keep adding books at this pace (even I realize that 84 new titles within four days is ridiculous) because there will never be enough time to get around to them all. So you have to keep paring the lists down, trying to find the best ones. It’s not easy. The titles get shuffled around and re-researched to no end.
My sister-in-law, Christiane, is an avid reader and loves to prowl through the booths at the book fair with me all weekend. However, rather than adding to her reading list on a daily basis in an obsessive and excessive manner, she spends her time at the book fair compiling a list of must have books, ruthlessly culling through the endless piles of shiny new arrivals. Each year, two or three books are so tempting she buys them directly at the fair on Sunday.
This year she bought The Knowledge. How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch* by Lewis Dartnell (more about that later – I gave it to Ralf for his birthday and started reading it out loud to him last weekend. We are only on page 82, but so far it is very good. I feel like I should be highlighting passages as I read.)
(Auf Deutsch: Das Handbuch für den Neustart der Welt: Alles, was man wissen muss, wenn nichts mehr geht von Lewis Dartnell)
The rest of the list is handed over to her local (independent) bookshop within the next two days and then – I am not kidding, she really did this last year – she picks up the books in a laundry basket because that was the easiest method to transport 28 books! I'm assuming she had to use the basket again this year for the 31 books on her list.
I just love this image of a large basket filled to the brim with new books to read - what a deliciously decadent feeling that must be to buy them all at once! But then again, this is it for awhile. She does not keep running to the bookshop with all kinds of lists of must haves. (Well, at least not before Christmas…)
Christiane did say last week that it was difficult to decide which book to read first because they all looked so good.
So, yes, there are problems one would like to have...
For more about various types of “book lists”:
Literature Lover’s Book of Lists. Serious Trivia for the Bibliophile by Judie L.H. Strouf
Prentice Hall Press, 1998, 391 pages
This fat tome contains nearly 200 lists relating to genres, characters, authors, settings, awards, literary terms, allusions and much more.
Here is a small selection of books from the list I made at the book fair. So far I have bought but not yet read the ones printed in blue.
Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier was on my Book Fair list last year and this year, which means I should probably give it top priority... (The Lost Domain in English, although it has been translated under other titles as well)
Henri Alain-Fournier Der Große Meaulnes
Tania Schlie Wo Frauen ihre Bücher schreiben
Peter Stjernström Das beste Buch der Welt
Uwe-Christian Arnold Letzte Hilfe. Ein Plädoyer für das Selbstbestimmte Sterben
Erik Orsenna Auf der Spur des Papiers
Nino Haratischwili Das Achte Leben (für Brilka)
Rosa Ribas / Sabine Hoffmann Das Flüstern der Stadt
Mathilde Schwabeneder Die Stunde der Patinnen
Andrej Kurkow Jimi Hendrix live in Lemberg
Jutta Rosenkranz Zeile für Zeile mein Paradies. Bedeutende Schriftstellerinnen. 18 Porträts
Martin Mosebach Als das Reisen noch geholfen hat.
Von Büchern und Orten
Jürgen Neffe Mehr als wir sind
Fredrik T. Olsson Der Code
Alexis Jenni Die Französische Kunst des Kriegs
Geert Mak Amerika. Auf der Suche nach dem Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten
Jan Faber Der Lobbyist
Diego Marani Neue Finnische Grammatik
Leila Guerriero Strange Fruit
George Packer The Unwinding. An Inner History of the New America
Mark Vonnegut The Eden Express. A Memoir of Insanity
Tom Rachmann The Rise and Fall of Great Powers
Peter von Bragh Sodankylä Forever. Masters of Cinema Under the Midnight Sun
Marja-Liisa Vartio Mies kuin mies, tyttö kuin tyttö
Mia Kankimäki Asioita jotka saavat sydämen lyömään nopeammin
Rosa Liksom Väliaikainen
Sini Vasa Kinuskikissan helpot suosikit
Elina Jyväs Baking Instinct. Eleonoora von Smöörin herkkujen aateliset
Markku Karpio Selviytymispeli
Päivi & Santeri Kannisto Vapaana elämisen taito
Satu Taskinen Katedraali
Mika Rissanen Kuohuvaa Historiaa. Tarinoita tuopin takaa
Joel Haahtela Tähtikirkas, lumivalkea