A new year brought a new reading challenge for me. The plan is to read my way around Europe with a selection of YA novels.
- Read more about the 2017 Reading Challenge here.
- Follow my progress on Pinterest, where I list all the books I read.
Once again, my reading is not going to plan. I am quite happy to enjoy the gifts of serendipity, so this is not a disaster. I visited Norwich Library again with the intention of borrowing a YA novel about Austria. The only books I could find from my list were in the adult section, so I borrowed one of those.
The book for Austria I finally chose was Fantastic Night, a collection of short stories by Stefan Zweig. This edition was published by Pushkin Press. Their website describes the book:
This collection is full of tales of infinite passions, of intense encounters that transform lives, a knock on a door that forces a whole community to take flight, a doomed attempt to save a soul poisoned by addiction, a love soured into awful cruelty, of longing and liberation. They are the gripping work of a master storyteller, unmatched and completely unforgettable.
I found this collection to be a mixed bag. I enjoyed the characters and the insights into human nature were fascinating. Sadly, the stories were not all focused on Austria, which was my original purpose for reading the book. Also, the narrative style was hard to read, with very long paragraphs by modern standards. The various tales were very central European in scope and setting, but the style made for heavy reading. Overall, an average start to my journey around Europe with a much more literary book than my limited reading time requires.
As this was a literary book, I will balance it out with a children’s book. Probably something from the boys’ collection.