Lime green and yellow books on a shelf, backlit by daylight from a window.

Vacation Reading List 2024, Part 1: Follow-Up

How did my reading goals for my recent vacation shake out?

Back issues of Karavan and Historiskan for the journey

Halfway. I finished Historiskan (and some old issues of Situation Stockholm) by the time I boarded my flight out of Reykjavik, but I never got around to Karavan.

I have La vengeance m’appartient by Marie NDiaye in paperback from the library and in Swedish (Min är hämnden) on my phone

I made substantial progress on this. I didn’t finish it, but I came real close (and would have probably finished it on the flight home if I hadn’t left the book at my parents, prayers for its safe return). Bonus: one of my US libraries has the English translation in ebook so I can compare all three!

I also have digital copies of Burnout: The Emotional Experience of Political Defeat by Hannah Proctor and The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe by Matthew Gabriele and David M. Perry

I dipped into Bright Ages now and again. My loan expired and then it was unavailable for a while, so I didn’t quite finish it. I read maybe, like, one page of Burnout.

Last year I left my copy of David Graeber’s Debt at my parents’ house, so maybe I’ll pick it up a third time to see if anything more sticks

Didn’t even see this around the house so I’m not sure if I actually left it there, or if it got put away or thrown out or something else.

Of course, now that I’ve written all that down, I will immediately get distracted by a library or bookstore and wander over to something completely unrelated

This is indeed the way. Even before I left, on what I didn’t realize would be my last visit to Stadsbiblioteket for several years, I checked out Ali Smith’s Summer (hefty book; stayed home) and Elizabeth Smart’s By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept (very skinny book; came with me). Once in US bookstores, however, I forced myself to stick to my TBR goals. In Chicago I picked up Refuse to Be Done and Mumbo Jumbo.

I also removed a garbage-tier mid-century iteration of The Law of Attraction from a Little Free Library, read the whole thing on my surprise Amtrak journey from Indianapolis to Philadelphia, and abandoned it at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. This isn’t like the time where I hoped that I had released Braiding Sweetgrass into the wild to spread and propagate. I mean I literally threw the book in the garbage. I originally picked it up because the cover looked sufficiently vintage enough to be an interesting period piece, at least, and then only later realized what it actually was. I no longer remember the title or author, and even if I did I wouldn’t want to include it in my reading for the year because The Law of Attraction and all its ilk feels…icky.

But after that I refrained from acquiring more books, mostly because I was so engrossed with La vengeance m’appartient. (With time off to read By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept in one sitting.)

Pretty good work all around, I’d say!

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Stockholm-based translator and copyeditor of American extraction.

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