Saturday, May 2, 2015

Do I really want to start a blog?

Am I really going to start a blog about the books I read? What are the reasons that make me think about it? Do I really want people to read what I think not only about books? I don't know.

Perhaps one of the reasons is that NetGalley has declined three of my requests. I understand that publishers want to sell their books and are looking for reviewers with influence. I'm not. My eight friends and four followers on goodreads or my 30 friends on facebook aren't much of a public. My rank as reviewer on amazon isn't worth mentioning so why should they give me their books for free? No, I have no impact on the reading world.

Do I believe this could change with this blog? Of course it won't. Why should anybody want to read this, why should anybody even find this?

Maybe I think my reviews to be worth reading. But I doubt it. Maybe they are pregnant but normally too short.

I've read some really good books from nearly unknown writers who I try to support by writing reviews. But what kind of support is this if nobody's going to read them? I like to think that the authors do and I want to encourage them by giving praise to their good works.

I'm still waiting for this encouragement. Seemingly nobody wants to write a review for my first translation.

After reading a bunch of English books and especially after Peter Rosch's books without difficulty I got the impression my English wasn't as bad as I thought and built up the courage to ask Peter to allow me to translate his book But I love you.

Peter was the first author to contact me after one of my reviews on goodreads. I hadn't expected any reaction, I hadn't even rated his book with 5 stars, but he offered me a free copy of his second novel and asked me to write a review. It felt so good! Of course I read But I love you within two days and wrote this review:

Peter Rosch

 This is the first time I got a free copy from an author who is asking me to write a review. That's why I try to be not too short without telling too much.

About two weeks ago I read My dead friend Sarah – and fell in love with Peter Rosch's writing style. I'm glad that his style hasn't changed. Obviously he loves to create long twisted sentences full of sarcasm, details, a little humor and an enormous vocabulary (for me as Non Native Speaker quite a challenge). With two or three sentences he makes you feel the awkwardness of a situation or the odor of a place. It's really amazing.
In My Dead Friend Sarah I didn't really like neither Max nor Sarah. In this book it also takes some time to get to know the not really lovable characters but you learn to understand them and to feel with them. 
Did you ever wonder what's going on in an insane mind or why, when and how an alcoholic is drinking? This book will put some light on it.
This is not a crime novel even though there are quite a few crimes nor is it a love story. Perhaps you could call it a psychodrama about unanswered love mirroring the insanity of our society.

In the end I felt a bit like Alicia: “Her emotions – half a dozen or more – were bouncing their way around inside of her, pounding from within, and looking for her to help them escape“ - just missing one crucial emotion: hope.

If you're looking for an optimistic or funny book with a typical happy ending make a different choice. 
If you appreciate awesome writing style and want to emerge in someone's mind this is a must-read!

During the following summer the idea of translating this book didn't leave me. And when I finally asked him he seemed to be thrilled. And I plunged into work. It sure was a challenge to translate these incredible run-on sentences. But it was fun! And I was so proud to see the result on amazon.

There have been other positive reactions from authors that are encouraging me to write reviews.
Patrick McCarty wrote :"You seem to me an exceptionally acute reader. I would have you read a book of mine anytime. You are an extraordinarily sensitive and alert reader. I would like to have a dozen like you."

D.B. Wallace
I had written this review about Moonlight murder:
Truth be told, if I had come across this book in a bookstore I wouldn't have bought it. I never buy poetry, most times I don't even like it (only my own) – but there was and is this feeling that I long to read something different, not this „normal“ stuff you can find everywhere. So when there was this request for a review I took the chance. And I would have missed something if I hadn't.
The book starts with some poems. I must admit, that I do not understand them. I felt over-challenged, intellectually unable to grasp the meaning. And I blamed the fact that English isn't my native language and therefore I probably just couldn't intuitively feel the beauty of the text. 
But as it seems this isn't the reason.
As soon as I got to the prose the beauty of the language hit me with undeniable force. These beautifully crafted sentences absorbed me and I wonder how it is possible to create such an intense atmosphere by writing just a few phrases.
This book is like a museum full of wonderful paintings painted not in oil but in words. And while wandering through the rooms you're meandering the memories of a boy.
This book is not about the story although there is one, it is about the beauty of language, the joy of expression, the pleasure of reading.
Who is D.B. Wallace? Whoever he might have been or whether he has ever lived – he is a fusion of Dickens and Poe writing in modern language. I'd love to read more.

 So these experiences among others encourage me to start a blog.

But there's something else: I'd like to be a writer myself, always enjoyed writing, knowing I could never write a novel. I lack imagination, would never be able to compose an interesting story. The only thing I really can write about is myself and I doubt this would be interesting enough.
Maybe that's why I started to write about my reading experience. Ultimately that's writing about me.

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