Thursday, August 30, 2018

WITMonth Day 30 | 15 WITMonth Hits

Well, here we are. Almost at the end of WITMonth, wrapping things up, getting ready for the coming year. But what about books that have already been popular? What about all the books that didn't make it into specific genre lists, or suddenly had a resurgence in popularity among readers, or have remained staples throughout all five WITMonths? Don't those books deserve some attention too? Certainly! And so today's list is a list of 15 books that have been (and remain!) big WITMonth winners among readers. Some are very recent releases, others have been around for a few years, and others still are modern classics that continue to be popular throughout WITMonth. Of course these are not the only WITMonth hits, but I decided to opt for titles that haven't already been listed elsewhere this month in my recommendation lists and go for slightly different choices. Ready?

  1. The Summer Book - Tove Jansson (tr. from Swedish by Thomas Teal): Vignettes of a young girl and her grandmother's slow summer on a small Finnish island.
  2. The Vegetarian - Han Kang (tr. from Korean by Deborah Smith): The gradual erosion of a woman who abruptly decides to go vegetarian.
  3. Go, Went, Gone - Jenny Erpenbeck (tr. from German by Susan Bernofsky): An exploration of the European refugee crisis through the eyes of a German professor.
  4. Flights - Olga Tokarczuk (tr. from Polish by Jennifer Croft): A series of separate stories and anecdotes, building on the idea of flights and travels.
  5. The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yoko Ogawa (tr. from Japanese by Stephen Snyder): Gentle friendship and family blossoms between a professor with an inability to retain new memories, his housekeeper, and her son.  
  6. Last Words from Montmarte - Qiu Miaojin (tr. from Chinese by Ari Larissa Heinrich): The Taiwanese classic of queer love, heartbreak, and sorrow.
  7. My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante (tr. from Italian by Ann Goldstein): Volume one of the international phenomenon, introducing two childhood friends and tracking their lives and struggles as they grow to adulthood.
  8. Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto (tr. from Japanese by Megan Backus): A young woman turns to cooking as a means to channel her grief, as well as finding a new family.
  9. People in the Room - Norah Lange (tr. from Spanish by Charlotte Whittle): An atmospheric, dreamy series of imaginations. 
  10. The Hunger Angel - Herta Müller (tr. from German by Philip Boehm): Political, tense, and unrelenting, the story of a young man sent to a Soviet work camp.
  11. Panty - Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay (tr. from Bengali by Arunava Sinha): The feverish, loosely written account of a woman caught in a fantasy, or perhaps simply reality.
  12. Umami - Laia Jufresa (tr. from Spanish by Sophie Hughes): In a small housing complex, residents fumble through new and changing realities, grief, and moving on, with stories unfolding in parallel and in reverse.
  13. Three Strong Women - Marie NDiaye (tr. from French by John Fletcher): Three stories detailing the lives of three women, living between two worlds and caught in complicated circumstances as they attempt to survive.
  14. Eve Out of Her Ruins - Ananda Devi (tr. from French by Jeffrey Zuckerman): A spare, powerful account of the struggles of young Mauritians, coming of age through violence and anguish.
  15. August - Romina Paula (tr. from Spanish by Jennifer Croft): A young woman returns to her childhood hometown to confront the ghosts of her past.
I could easily have made this list longer. More expansive. Frankly, it could also be more inclusive! But these are definitely among the most popular books in the WITMonth tags and I thought they deserved their moment in the sun. And you, dear readers? What are your WITMonth hits?

1 comment:

  1. My Brilliant Friend certainly continues to be the most popular #WITMonth read! I've been meaning to read The Housekeeper and the Professor for years.


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