I was in my family home last weekend and in Poland we celebrate St. Nicholas Day on the 6th of December. It is in a way a prelude to Christmas madness of gifts, on St. Nicholas Day usually children get sweets. My mom firmly believes in treating me like a child, at least partially, I didn’t get sweets, what I got was definitely better! I got books. Yay!
This time she decided to go all non-fiction (I think she believes buying me fiction is not efficient, because I read it too fast) and all Polish, including translations but nothing translated from the languages I know, as she knows that when possible I try read my books in original. I love the selection! What do you think?
I included links to the English (and in one case French) versions of the books, where possible.
- Księżyc z Peweksu. O luksusie w PRL. – Aleksandra Boćkowska (r)- I’m sure this is going to be fascinating, funny and a little bit melancholic. The idea of luxury was so very different in soviet times. Can’t wait to read it.
- Czerwony Monter. Mieczysław Berman, the man who designed Polish communism. – Piotr Rypson – a monograph of a graphic designer who basically created the graphic language of Polish socialism, another trip back in time, beautifully published with plenty of illustrations to bring back memories
- Bookshops – Jorge Carrión (r)- I’m reading this one now and it is delightful, a lovely combination of a travel memoir with literary essay with bookshops at its heart. What else can a book addict want? Carrión describes specific bookshops around the world, but also writes about the role of a bookshop throughout the ages, how it related to politics, why a travel bookshop is a bit different from all others. Lovely read.
- Struktura iki – Shûzô Kuki – this one is very short, but I have a sneaky feeling it won’t be an easy read. It’s one of the most important books on Japanese aesthetics and the idea of iki, which cannot be translated into a single western word. Something to expand my horizons
- Księga herbaty – Kakuzo Okakura – The Book of Tea, yes apart from being a book addict I am also a tea addict. I am not very picky about my tea (with two exceptions, I hate tea with milk and I really, really don’t like Earl Grey), but I must have at least a cup with my breakfast. No tea, no wake up. This book of course treats tea in a more transcendent way than I do, touching on philosophy and aesthetics. Definitely something to read with a carefully selected cup of tea.
Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska