Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.
This week’s book:
A Book of Memories by Péter Nádas
Blurb from Goodreads
This extraordinary magnum opus seems at first to be a confessional autobiographical novel in the grand manner, claiming and extending the legacy of Proust and Mann. But it is more: Peter Nadas has given us a superb contemporary psychological novel that comes to terms with the ghosts, corpses, and repressed nightmares of Europe’s recent past. “A Book of Memories” is made up of three first-person narratives: the first that of a young Hungarian writer and his fated love for a German poet; we also learn of the narrator’s adolescence in Budapest, when he experiences the downfall of his once-upper-class but now pro-Communist family and of his beloved but repudiated father, a state prosecutor who commits suicide after the 1956 uprising. A second memoir, alternating with the first, is a novel the narrator is composing about a refined Belle Epoque aesthete, whose anti-bourgeois transgressions seem like emotionally overcharged versions of the narrator’s own experiences. A third voice is that of a childhood friend who, after the narrator’s return to his homeland, offers an apparently more objective account of their friendship. Together these brilliantly colored lives are integrated in a powerful work of tragic intensity.
Why I Want To Read It
Hello, it is Monday again! A new week has started. Wow. Time is flying fast; in less than ten days, we are going to welcome December, the last month of 2021. Time is probably in a rush well, wanting to rid itself of the horrors that have gripped us these past two years. As 2022 draws closer, I am hoping that you will receive all that you have prayed for, that you will reap the fruits of the seeds you have sowed throughout the year, that you will reached the stars that you have been aiming for. I also pray that you will find healing from the wounds inflicted on you, that you will find forgiveness for your trespasses, and that you, in turn, will find the heart to forgive those who have trespassed against you. May we all find healing. I hope that you are all doing well, both physically and mentally, despite these trying and uncertain times. If there is one wish that I hope would be granted it would be for this pandemic to end. The new year fills me with anxiety but it also beacons with hope. I am looking forward to what 2022 has in store.
With the start of a new week is a new Goodreads Monday update. I was surprised learning that this is my 100th Goodreads Monday post. How time flies! Reading-wise, I have been focusing on books on my reading challenges, in particular my 2021 Top 21 Reading List. As the new year ushers in new opportunities, I have lately been featuring books that I recently added to my (perpetually growing) reading list. My “Want to Read” list in Goodreads is currently at a whopping 382 books! HAHA. My latest addition was Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño’s By Night In Chile; I had my first Bolaño this year, The Savage Detectives, and 2666 is on my reading list as well. However, for this Goodreads Monday update, I am featuring Hungarian novelist Péter Nádas’ A Book of Memories.
This is not my first time encountering the popular Hungarian writer who I first came across during the leadup to the announcement of the winners of 2018/2019 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was touted by many betting sites as a possible winner. Unfortunately, he did not win; Austrian novelist Peter Handke was handed the 2019 award while Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk won the 2018 award. Nevertheless, this encounter piqued my curiosity and when I came across Parallel Stories, I did not hesitate buying it. I even included it in my 2020 Top 20 Reading List. Parallel Stories was, well, an interesting and complex story with several graphic images. Its length made it a challenge but it gave me some insights into the Nádas’ literary craft. It made me want more so when A Book of Memories was called by American literary theorist Susan Sontag as “the greatest novel written in our time, and one of the great books of the century,” I knew I have to read it.
How about you fellow reader? What are the most recent additions to your reading lists? Perhaps you could share it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday! I hope you will all have a great week ahead! And as always, happy reading!