In the High Peaks

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday at Bookshop Mtn.: Bolaño and the Little Ice Age

I'm gathering books for Bookshop Mountain today because on Saturday the weather was perfect for hours spent tracking animals by snowshoe. Sasha (my faithful golden) and I had a marvelous time tramping up and down ridges and ledges, sorting out the fascinating stories of wild animal encounters.

Caroline's Literature and War Readalong for January 28
I've just started reading The Yellow Birds by the young American writer Kevin Powers. I won't say much about it today, but I will mention that it wasn't until I was on page 52 that I remembered
that this book about a soldier's experiences in the Iraq War is a novel and not a memoir. Indeed, the cover states this fact, though in minuscule print, like this:  The Yellow Birds   a novel.  It is excellent writing.

Novel in Translation:
The Third Reich by Roberto Bolaño. (First American edition 2011, translated by Natasha Wimmer). I have never read anything by the Chilean exile Bolaño. This title is yet another of his posthumous novels. Bolaño died at age 50 in 2003, and at that time none of his novels had been published in English.) In any case, I haven't read the work of many South American writers, and because many critics consider Bolaño to be one of the most important Latin American writers of his era, I've decided it's high time that I read him. [The link will take you to information and reviews concerning Bolaño's work from all over the Web.] I'm especially attracted to this novel because of the historical aspects and the European setting. (For a time Bolaño lived in France and then Spain, although he spent most of his post-Chilean years in Mexico.)  
Please weigh in if you've read any Bolaño!

The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850 by the American archaeologist Brian Fagan. Published in 2000.   A number of Fagan's books have focused on the ways in which climate impacts history. I loved The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations,which was published in 2008 or 2009.  The Little Ice Age examines the scientific,  sociological, and historical aspects of the sudden cooling that occurred from the 14th to the mid-19th centuries. He discusses the impact of the cold on people living in Europe, North America, and Asia. Fascinating!

I purchased a hardcover edition of The Yellow Birds and borrowed the other two books from the library this week.


  1. I look forward to your views on third reich I ve yet to get to that one by him ,all the best stu

    1. Hi, Stu,
      Good to hear from you!

      I hope to tear into Third Reich as soon as I've finished The Yellow Birds. My teaching starts Wednesday and I hope my daily morning reading and reading before dinner will help me finish books in good order.

      I'd love to know which Bolano titles you've read.