So I’ve decided what books I’m going to read for the Birth Year Reading Challenge 2018. I was born in the amazing year of 1983. I looked up the books published then, and I found quite a few jewels. My goal is to read at least six books published in 1983, so my main six will be:
- Cathedral, by Raymond Carver. I’ve read it, and loved it of course, but last year I bought the Library of America edition for an episode of the Slate’s Audio Book Club (which I haven’t heard yet), and it has Cathedral, so I’m excited to reread it.
- The Witches, by Roald Dahl. I was actually going to read it last year for a prompt challenge of a book set in a hotel, but I didn’t get to it. The movie was one of my favorites when I was a child, so I’m really eager to start reading it.
- The Autonauts of the Cosmoroute, by Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop (in Spanish it’s Los autonautas de la cosmopista). This is on my Top 20, easily. I adore this book, I’ve read it a couple times, but I’m so happy it was published on 1983 because I definitely want to read it again. Now that I have found my partner for life, I think it will be a much more amazing read. I will also be reading this book for the prompt of a book by two authors for the PopSugar challenge.
- Malvinas Requiem, by Rodolfo Fogwill (in Spanish it’s Los pichiciegos). This book has been in my TBR for years. For some reason I thought it was much more recent, I had no idea it had been published the year I was born. It’s supposedly one of the best books of Argentinian literature, and I haven’t read a single review that’s not incredibly favorable.
- The pianist, by Elfriede Jelinek. According to Granta it was the best book published in the year I was born. I also love the movie (and I’m a bit ashamed of watching first the movies of two books on this list) and I think I need to read more Jelinek. Now I only have to choose the language I’ll read it in… I’m not quite sure if I should read it in Spanish or English, as it’s translated from German.
- Mr. Palomar, by Italo Calvino. I’ll read the Spanish translation published by Siruela, called just Palomar. Calvino is one of my Top 10 authors, and I love the books published by Siruela, so I’m eager to read this one.
The runner-ups will be:
- The Woman of Porto Pim (Donna di Porto Pim, in Italian), by one of my Top 5: Antonio Tabucchi. I think Tabucchi was one of the first authors of real Literature (with a capital L, the Big literature, the literature for grown-ups and initiated) that I ever read, when I was in my early teens. I clearly remember going to a store called Sanborn’s (I’ll probably write a bit more about this store some day, because it’s sooo weird and amazing) and his book L’angelo nero was there, with a HUGE discount, if I’m not mistaken it cost like 15 MXN (that’s less than a USD now). When I started reading it I felt completely mesmerized by his words. It definitely was one of the reasons I studied Literature. I don’t think there’s an English translation of The Black Angel, and it’s a shame, because for me it’s his best collection of stories. But The Woman of Porto Pim is definitely translated, in case you want to dive in…
- How to Suppress a Women’s writing, by Joanna Russ (which was published in 1983, but will have a re-edition in April this year). I want to read more books by women authors. And more about feminism. On the Amazon description, Jessa Crispin (who writes the foreword) says: “it was published over thirty years ago, in 1983, and there’s not an enormous difference between the world she describes and the world we inhabit.” Sounds important enough, so I’ll try to get my hands on it after April.
I hope you like my list, and ideally that it helps you discover some great authors. What will you be reading for this challenge? Or this year?