The end of the year is approaching with fast steps. This year I haven’t been so active as a blogger as last year until recently – German Lit Month brought me back to the usual pace – and I have done more blog posts on poetry and translations than the year before; also I did more posts in German and one in Bulgarian too. Book blogging is a dynamic process and the focus of such places will always be subject to small unplanned changes, but I will keep also in the next year my habit to publish reviews of books that were interesting to me.As you already know when you follow this blog on a regular basis, my taste in books is rather eclectic. I am definitely not a person who is permanently scanning bestseller lists or is jumping in on discussions about books that were – usually for marketing reasons – the “talk of the town”. Therefore I avoided so far reviewing books by Houellebecq orKnausgård; it is difficult to not be influenced by the public discussion that focuses frequently on aspects that have very little to do with the literary quality of the books by such authors but a lot with their public persona and their sometimes very controversial opinions about certain topics. Not that the books by these authors are necessarily bad, but I prefer to read without too much background noise. So I will come also to these authors, but most probably not in the near future.My blog tries to be diverse, but without quota. But of course my choice is subjective and I am aware of the fact that probably most readers will find many authors/books on this list that are completely unknown to them. If you look for just another blog that is reviewing again and again the same exclusively Anglo-saxon authors, then this might not be the best place for you. If you are eager to discover something new, then you are most welcome. There are no ads on this blog and this will also not change in the future. There is zero financial interest from my side to keep this blog alive, I do it just for fun. Please don’t send unsolicitated review copies if you are an author or a publisher. In rare cases I might accept a review copy when contacted first but only when I have already an interest in the book. All blog posts contain of course my own – sometimes idiosyncratic – opinion for what it is worth. In general I tend to write reviews on the positive side. When a book disappoints me, I tend to not write a review unless there is a strong reason to do otherwise.These are the books presently on my “To-be-read” pile; which means they are the one’s that i will most probably read and review within the coming months. But as always with such lists, they are permanently subject to changes, additions, removals. Therefore I (and also the readers of this blog) will take this list as an orientation and not as a strict task on which I have to work one by one. Chinua Achebe: Things Fall ApartJim al-Khalili: The House of WisdomRyunosunke Akutagawa: KappaRabih Alameddine: The HakawatiSinan Antoon: The Corpse WasherToufic Youssef Aouad: Le PainAbhijit Banerjee / Esther Duflo: Poor EconomicsHoda Barakat: Le Royaume de cette terreAdolfo Bioy Casares: The Invention of MorelMax Blecher: Scarred HeartsNicolas Born: The DeceptionThomas Brasch: Vor den Vätern sterben die SöhneJoseph Brodsky: On Grief and ReasonAlina Bronsky: Just Call Me SuperheroAlina Bronsky: The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar CuisineDino Buzzati: The Tartar SteppeLeila S. Chudori: PulangBeqe Cufaj: projekt@partyMahmoud Darwish: Memory of ForgetfulnessOei Hong Djien: Art & Collecting ArtDimitre Dinev: Engelszungen (Angel’s Tongues)Anton Donchev: Time of PartingJabbour Douaihy: June RainMichael R. Dove: The Banana Tree at the GateJennifer DuBois: A Partial History of Lost CausesIsabelle Eberhardt: WorksTristan Egolf: Lord of the BarnyardDeyan Enev: Circus BulgariaJenny Erpenbeck: The End of DaysPatrick Leigh Fermor: ManiMilena Michiko Flašar: I called him NecktieDavid Fromkin: A Peace to End All PeaceCarlos Fuentes: Terra NostraAmitav Ghosh: In an Antique LandGeorg K. Glaser: Geheimnis und Gewalt (Secret and Violence)Georgi Gospodinov: Natural NovelGeorgi Gospodinov: The Physics of SorrowElizabeth Gowing: Edith and IDavid Graeber: The Utopia of RulesGarth Greenwell: What Belongs to YouKnut Hamsun: HungerLudwig Harig: Die Hortensien der Frau von RoseliusJohann Peter Hebel: Calendar StoriesChristoph Hein: SettlementWolfgang Hilbig: The Sleep of the RighteousAlbert Hofmann / Ernst Jünger: LSDHans Henny Jahnn: Fluss ohne Ufer (River without Banks) (Part II)Franz Jung: Der Weg nach untenIsmail Kadare: Broken AprilIsmail Kadare: The Palace of DreamsDouglas Kammen and Katharine McGregor (Editors): The Contours of Mass Violence in Indonesia: 1965-1968Rosen Karamfilov: Kolene (Knees)Orhan Kemal: The PrisonersIrmgard Keun: Nach MitternachtGeorg Klein: LibidissiFriedrich August Klingemann: Bonaventura’s NightwatchesFatos Kongoli: The LoserTheodor Kramer: PoemsFriedo Lampe: Septembergewitter (Thunderstorm in September)Clarice Lispector: The Hour of the StarNaguib Mahfouz: The Cairo TrilogyCurzio Malaparte: KaputtThomas Mann: Joseph and His BrothersSandor Marai: EmbersSean McMeekin: The Berlin-Baghdad ExpressMultatuli: Max HavelaarAlice Munro: Open SecretsMarie NDiaye: Three Strong WomenIrene Nemirovsky: Suite française Ben Okri: The Famished RoadLaksmi Pamuntjak: The Question of RedVictor Pelevin: Omon RaGeorges Perec: Life. A User’s ManualLeo Perutz: By Night Under the Stone BridgeBoris Pilnyak: MahoganyAlek Popov: Black BoxMilen Ruskov: Thrown Into NatureBoris Savinkov: Memoirs of a TerroristEric Schneider: Zurück nach JavaDaniel Paul Schreber: Memoirs of My Nervous IllnessCarl Seelig: Wandering with Robert WalserVictor Serge: The Case of Comrade TulayevAnthony Shadid: House of StonesVarlam Shalamov: Kolyma TalesRaja Shehadeh: A Rift in TimeAlexander Shpatov: #LiveFromSofiaWerner Sonne: Staatsräson?Andrzej Stasiuk: On the Way to BabadagAhmet Hamdi Tanpınar: The Time Regulation InstitutePramoedya Ananta Toer: A Mute’s SoliloquyPramoedya Ananta Toer: The Buru Quartet (4 vol.)Lionel Trilling: The Middle of the JourneyIliya Trojanov: The Collector of WorldsBernward Vesper: Die Reise (The Journey)Robert Walser: Jakob von GuntenPeter Weiss: The Aesthetics of ResistanceEdith Wharton: The Age of InnocenceMarguerite Yourcenar: Coup de GraceGalina Zlatareva: The MedallionArnold Zweig: The Case of Sergeant GrishaStay tuned – and feel free to comment any of my blog posts. 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There are more than two hundred belletristic works in my library in which the game of chess plays a more or less important role. Here I have chosen the – in my humble opinion – thirty best novels with chess as one of or the main topic (randomly sequenced):
Just for the record, there is at least one excellent novel available in English translation that is featuring the game of Go: Kawabata Yasunari, The Master of Go (trans. by Edward Seidensticker), Vintage.