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I guess the theme this time is books that are kind of a little bit sort of really quite depressing in some respects. These are books that I’d probably classify as various shades of grey. I guess I should try to maybe make this series somewhat thematic in nature, though what I do tend to read follows certain patterns – often I’ll read in the same genre or theme for a while before moving on.

Primo Levi

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz – Primo Levi

I suppose what this book reminded me of a lot is One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Solzhenitsyn. The barbaric pointlessness of the camps is echoed in that book, though perhaps not as strongly. While Denisovich is not directly biographyical per se, Levi’s book is, in my mind, more about bearing witness and recording the events that took place in Auschwitz in time – it was written shortly after the end of the War. It is a fascinating and horrifying book – the matter of fact tone hammers in the reality of what happened.

The Road feelings

The Road feelings

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

I probably shouldn’t have started and finished reading this in one night before I went to bed. I found it a relatively quick read due to McCarthy’s concise writing style, which I’m still not sure if I like. It’s an efficient vehicle for telling a story, but I suppose I do crave for more detail sometimes, but that’s more in my nature than anything else. It has a compelling world, somewhat familiar, faded grey. The world in The Road is a terrifying place. I probably wouldn’t make it, though to be honest, it doesn’t seem like anyone will – the world is unforgiving. The book is stark in prose and in setting.

Essentially Winter's Bone

Essentially Winter’s Bone

Winter’s Bone – Daniel Woodrell 

Another grey book. I read most of this on the train to Toronto when I went with dad this week to see the Alex Coleville retrospective. I liked this book quite a bit because mysteries appeal to me greatly, as well as foreign settings so to speak. The language in the book is interesting to me in its foreignness to my person – I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone from the Ozarks. The book too focuses on women, and Ree is a strong character. All in all I enjoyed it, though I’m not sure if I’ll see the film or not, since I already know how it ends.


I could lie and say this is in Norway or Sweden like in the book, but it’s actually in Helsinki, at the harbour.


My Struggle Book 2 – Karl Ove Knausgaard

I bought this book back in January along with Book 1, and while I managed to get through the first book relatively quickly, I stopped and started Book 2. I think it is because I am closer to the character Karl Ove in the first book but in the second, he’s at a different life stage. I do enjoy this kind of odyssey and I don’t regret reading it. I’m now on Book 3. I think I like boring books, to be honest… I heard an interview with Karl Ove on the CBC and thought it was interesting, though it did really strike me that character Karl Ove and real Karl Ove are very similar, and he sounded exactly how I imagined. I relate really quite strongly to him and his awkwardness… Maybe I’ll write a post once I finish reading all six volumes.