Three months in and what have I read?

Based on my reading statistics the beginning of 2021 seems to have been great for reading. So far I have read 47 books by authors from 20(!) countries and ranging in style from Tolstoy to Ludlum. Normally that would have been a very good thing, but I think mostly that I have been hiding within my books. With closed borders emigration feels more like exile, and I have been very homesick lately. I have had some really good reading experiences lately though, In February the Read Indies month made me discover several interesting books, and more recently I finally took the time to read Anna Karenina.

Some memorable reads

Påskekrim

For Easter my focus is on crime novels, Påskekrim, as that is the Norwegian tradition. I started with Margery Allingham’s fine WW2 thriller Traitor’s Purse, where the main characters amnesia adds complexities to the character and makes the plot feel more like a nightmare.

Having been intrigued by the way the fictional characters’ amnesia added to the mystery I decided that it was time to finally read another famous amnesia thriller, Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity, and I also re-watched the film. I wasn’t very impressed by the book, although I did not do it any favour by reading it in Norwegian, I can never take thrillers in Norwegian seriously, it just sounds wrong. However, the central idea of a man with amnesia who has no idea of who he is, but who quickly realizes that he has some disturbing skills and that everyone he meets seems to want to kill him, is excellent thriller material, as proven by the much better film version.

Reading the two books right after each other was interesting though, as it allowed me to compare how the authors used the trope to drive the plot and add complexities to the character’s sense of identity. If anyone knows of any other good amnesia thrillers or crime novels I wouldn’t mind adding a third title to my comparison.

.

13 thoughts on “Three months in and what have I read?

  1. The closed borders are really depressing, we’ve had the same in the UK and I understand your homesickness. You made me laugh though with not being able to take thrillers written in Norwegian seriously!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They are, and unfortunately they seem to have rather string public support, so I fear they will be among the last things to go.

      I have strong opinions on the appropriate reading language for different types of books. I’m considering a blog post, it would be a fun topic to discuss.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I had no idea there was a tradition for crime novels at Easter. How intriguing!
    I also enjoyed Ronia the Robber’s Daughter as a child – it was lovely to be reminded of it here.
    As for amnesia thrillers, I think perhaps the only one I’ve read was SJ Watson’s “Before I go to Sleep”, a domestic thriller about a woman who wakes up each day with a blank memory, next to a man she does not recognise. Maybe check out a few reviews and see if you like the sound of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a very nice tradition, I think it’s because a lot of Norwegians travel to their cabins during Easter and ski during the day and read crime novels or watch crime TV-shows during the evenings. I will look into the amnesia thriller, it sounds sufficiently different from the other too to be an interesting comparison, thanks!

      I love Astrid Lindgren’s novels, partly beacuse they are great and partly because they remind me of my childhood. I reread the best ones, including Ronia, regularly.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry, I seem to have missed this post from four months ago—but I hope that now being able at last to see family has been of great comfort to you.

    Novels about amnesia? I could recommend Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi and Kazuo Isiguro’s The Buried Giant but as both have more than a touch of fantasy about them they may not fit your possible realism criterion.
    https://calmgrove.wordpress.com/?s=Amnesia

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.