Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners but is now currently being hosted by Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog. 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:

The Little Town Where Time Stood Still by Bohumil Hrabal

Blurb from Goodreads

The Little Town Where Time Stood Still contains two linked narratives by the incomparable Bohumil Hrabal, whom Milan Kundera has described as “Czechoslovakia’s greatest writer.” “Cutting It Short” is set before World War II in a small country town, and it relates the scandalizing escapades of Maryška, the flamboyant wife of Francin, who manages the local brewery. Maryška drinks. She rides a bicycle, letting her long hair fly. She butchers pigs, frolics in blood, and leads on the local butcher. She’s a Madame Bovary without apologies driven to keep up with the new fast-paced mechanized modern world that is obliterating whatever sleepy pieties are left over from the defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire. “The Little Town Where Time Stood Still” is told by Maryška and Francin’s son and concerns the exploits of his Uncle Pepin, who holds his own against the occupying Nazis but succumbs to silence as the new post–World War II Communist order cements its colorless control over daily life. Together, Hrabal’s rousing and outrageous yarns stand as a hilarious and heartbreaking tribute to the always imperiled sweetness of lust, love, and life. 

Why I Want To Read It

Today is a very important day here in the Philippines. Over 65 million voters across the country’s 7,000+ islands flock to polling precincts to let their voices be heard. The fate of the nation in the next six years hinges on the result of this presidential election. I am one with the nation as it hopes for a good leader who can shepherd the rest of the nation. We will know in the next coming days. Anyway, I hope you had a great start to the week! I hope that you are all doing well, in body, mind, and spirit. COVID19 is still very much a force to be reckoned with and I hope that the elections won’t result in a surge in cases in the coming weeks. I am fervently crossing my fingers. Despite the conditions getting better, I hope everyone is still observing minimum health protocols; better to be safe than sorry. I just hope that the pandemic, with all its variants, will soon come to an end.

To kickstart the blogging week, I am posting a new Goodreads Monday update. Before May started, I have already resolved to read works of European as I have quite a few books on my pile waiting to be opened. For instance, Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way has been gathering dust on my bookshelf. After six long years, I have finally started reading Proust’s critically acclaimed work. I am also looking forward to reading the works of Javier Marias, Colm Toibin, and Italo Calvino. However, for this Goodreads Monday update, I am featuring the work of a writer I am unfamiliar with. Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal was a name I have never encountered until early 2020 when I was able to obtain a copy of his work, The Little Town Where Time Stood Still.

It was through an online bookseller that I was able to obtain a copy of The Little Town Where Time Stood Still. Back then, I have been obtaining works published by the New York Times Review of Books. The first book published by NYTRB I read, Magda Szabo’s The Door, left a deep impression on me, making me trust their taste in books. Moreover, a great contributor to my decision to buy the book was my growing curiosity about works and voices from different parts of the world, such as Bohumil Hrabal. Bohumil Hrabal, I have later on learned, is often considered one of the best Czech writers of the 20th century. From what I can understand, The Little Town Where Time Stood Still is one of his most renowned works.

From the synopsis, the novel promises to be a portrait of a Czech village; the portrait of small village living, I have noticed, is ubiquitous in the works of European Literature. Moreover, the book covered both pre and post-Second World War which gave me further reasons to get interested in the book. One more reason for wanting to read the book is because of my limited foray into Czech literature. The first and only name that I can associate with Czech literature is the controversial writer, Milan Kundera; I recently finished his fifth book, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.

Thankfully, I already have a copy of the book and I just might read it this month. How about you fellow reader? What work of European literature are you looking forward to? I hope you can share it in the comment box. I hope the rest of the week will be great for everyone. For now, happy reading!