In the High Peaks

Sunday, November 10, 2013

German Literature Month Chez Moi

Just an update to let you know the books I'm burrowing into and the ones I've read for German Literature Month. Of course, you already know, from a recent post, that I read Anna Kim's Anatomy of a Night for Lizzy's Readalong. In October I enjoyed the mystery Brenner and God by the German writer Wolf Haas, which I'll be posting about this week, which is Week Two--Gents' Week.

My UK paperback copy of Mesmerized by Alissa Walser arrived last week and I'm very pleased with the quality of the binding and the covers. I dipped into it before bed the night it arrived and had to force myself to put it aside or I wouldn't sleep, so I'm finding the story compelling from the start. The link will take you to my previous announcement post about this title.

I'd like to do a Gents' title for the fourth week of November, but at this moment, I'm not sure if I will, and if I manage it, what I'll read.  If I could squeeze it in, I'd love to read Demian by Herman Hesse.

Yet I so want to dip back into my rather vast collection of John F. Kennedy titles. (I wrote three separate children's books about him, for the school library trade.) I'll post about this incredible experience in a future post, and I'll include the titles I think are the most worthy and interesting and fun, in that order.

I was forever wild about Steppenwolf when I read it in college, not as an assignment, but because it intrigued me. I identified with the protagonist intensely, so intensely as only a young person at that age can. Hesse was extremely popular among college students during the Vietnam War era and immediately after. I read Steppenwolf while recuperating in the college infirmary, once I'd recovered enough from illness to enjoy reading. (For those of you who've read previous posts about my college adventures, this occurred at the college where I landed after I transferred, a school I loved.)

As I recall, I was there three full days, and on the fourth morning, the doctor, a kind man, very kindly kicked me out. Sigh. I loved that respite, the snowflakes falling gently out my window, the absolute quiet, and the motherly nurses. At the time, my parents were in the midst of a horrific divorce, and it was so nice to be swept away from their intrusive, upsetting phone calls.

Isn't it fascinating how certain books, songs, and movies can call up such a broad sweep of memories?

My paperback copy of Demian is quite newish, very clean, totally intact, unmarked. I was lucky to pick it up for 50 cents at a recent book sale.


  1. Good to see you're motoring ahead :)

    1. Tony,
      Thanks for the words of support! I'm about to head over to your blog!

  2. look forward to your thoughts ,all the best stu

    1. Stu,
      Next week I'll be writing about Mesmerized by Alissa Walser.