The Reading List Reading

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on November 14, 2015 in Personal |

There’s one thing we’ve all experienced, as we sit and read our books in peace and quiet: that person who has to come and talk to us. Not just talk, but also give their own recommendations, the ‘oh, but you must read…’. These are always well-intentioned interruptions, but unwelcome all the same, and hardly likely, when the book you happen to be reading should be taking your undivided attention, to lead to further conversation.

Yesterday we decided to see what other people are reading, without the interruptions, and made our way to the nearby town of Achim. There, we were promised, the town library was to hold a presentation on new works of crime available in Germany. The library was easy to find and, of course, we were on time. Well, according to the time given on the web site we were but, sadly, those running the event were convinced that everything was due to start a half hour later, and the doors were closed. Which is why we had the pleasure of coming into the library practically soaked to the skin thanks to a sudden, vicious, rainstorm and, despite banging on the doors and calls to those inside from the other people waiting without benefit of any cover. And here, in the warm and dry, we discovered that the presentation had been put back that half hour, there was no one to take the entry fee and the drinks weren’t quite ready.

Half an hour later we had our drinks and waited patiently to pay the small fee for the show – which would have been easy had the person taking the money not allowed a group of seven people to push in front of me and pay first. It’s fair to say that, what with wind and weather, delays and rudeness, I was not in the best of moods when the presentation finally began.

Literature Locks

Photo Source: Brett JordanCreative Commons

There were sixteen books on the list – and two or three added for good measure – some of which look almost interesting. The usual authors are there – Elizabeth George, Charlotte Link – but also a few names I hadn’t come across before. A few titles from the States and England, the Scandinavian countries didn’t get a look in though.

I’m not sure that many of the titles will be known to my English-speaking readers, and I doubt very much that any publishers across the water are likely to pick them up for translation, so I shall spare you the gruesome details. What I found more amusing, which didn’t improve my mood all the same, was the one woman who wanted to know how many pages each book had, because that, for her, was also a criteria on whether to buy or borrow, whether to read or gift.

Was I astonished – as my illustration suggests – by the selection? No, not really, more disappointed. It was a good selection, but I didn’t get the feeling that anything was going to grab my imagination and pull me into its grip, but more because of the style of presentation – and possibly my bad mood. One or two of the books are on my list to read, but not because they were discussed in Achim.

  • Viktoria Michaelis.

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