Q2 2021 round-up

It’s been six months… I can’t even…so I won’t

As with everyone ups, and downs, pandemic, vaccines, lockdowns and in all this trying to stay somewhat sane.

Reading was a huge help this time, I read more and used it more as an escape. It helped me relax and cut out the stress when it was becoming too much. I think this quarter I hit a good mix of fiction and non-fiction, but also long novels mixed with some short stories collections.

As much as I dislike the short stories, they prove to be the best thing for pandemic brain. They do not require you to follow a complex plot, they are written to keep your attention start to finish. And they are bite-sized, which makes it easy to get this funny sense of accomplishment at finishing something, more often.

I noticed that my patience is running out, so more often I become snappy about a book I don’t like, I will still usually finish it, but I become harsher in my judgement. Whether it’s good or bad is neither here not there, I don’t know, don’t care. Just observe.

Apart from short stories I also started venturing into the sci-fi area, which is completely new ground for me. So far so good, I was absolutely smitten with Cixin Li’s Three-Body Problem. So much that now I’m going back to the old classic and reading Contact by Carl Sagan. I will however try to stick ot the tried and tested ones, as I have a sneaky feeling that sci-fi as a genre, a bit like fantasy (which I read ages ago), is full of incredibly bad books, with a few gems stuck in between. If you have any recommendations I would be really grateful!!!

Other than that, it’s been now 15 months of working from home, with another 12 on the horizon, so I’m trying to settle in. The one thing that gets to me is the sheer impossibility of planning any travel, with the list of countries we’re allowed to go to changing all the time. I try to content myself with planning trips for next year, when I hope things will go back to some form of normality.

  1. Jigs & Reels – Joanne Harris (r)
  2. Siedem Grzechów Kubańskich – Yoss (r)
  3. Mostly Dead Things – Kristen Arnett (r)
  4. Voices of the Lost – Hoda Barakat (r)
  5. Jaime Bunda: Secret Agent – Pepetela (r)
  6. P.G. Wodehouse Volume 1: The Jeeves Collection – P.G. Wodehouse (r)
  7. Skin – E. M. Reapy (r)
  8. The Shape of the Ruins – Juan Gabriel Vásquez (r)
  9. How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need – Bill Gates (r)
  10. Men Without Women: Stories -Haruki Murakami (r)
  11. The Debutante and Other Stories – Leonora Carrington (r)
  12. Helgoland – Carlo Rovelli
  13. Women Without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran – Shahrnush Parsipur (r)
  14. The Dark Forest – Cixin Liu (r)
  15. The Three-Body Problem – Cixin Liu (r)
  16. Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams (r)
  17. Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata (r)
  18. Snow – Orhan Pamuk (r)
  19. Turcja. Półprzewodnik Obyczajowy – Agata Bromberek, Agata Wielgołaska (r)
  20. Weather – Jenny Offill (r)
  21. Samotny jak Szwed? – Katarzyna Tubylewicz (r)
  22. Z Głowy – Janusz Głowacki (r)

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska

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