Wednesday, 29 November 2017

What's In A Name 2017: The Summary
  click on the image to go to the
   challenge on The Worm Hole

In January I signed up for Charlie’s What’s In A Name 2017 reading challenge hosted on The Worm Hole. Given that I’m reviewing a book every Friday, it was rather easy to complete it although among the six categories there was at least one – an item/items of cutlery – that gave me a bit of a headache. Moreover, I couldn’t help entering three of the books in other reading challenges too, namely in Back to the Classics 2017 and the Epistolary Reading Challenge 2017.

I read and reviewed one book for every category of the challenge, but I made a list of twelve supplementing each of my actual reads with a suggestion for a book from the pen of a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature who belongs to the opposite sex. I refrained from presenting any of the latter here on Edith’s Miscellany because I already featured a book written by all but one – William Faulkner – of these laureates for the perpetual Read the Nobels challenge.

Admittedly, I wasn’t overly impressed by Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Katie Flynn’s No Silver Spoon because both are quite out of my usual line for being a Gothic and a romance novel respectively. I’m no fan of either of these genres. In addition, I like it deeper, more contemplative or controversial. Even 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster was a bit too mainstream to my taste although I found the basic idea of juxtaposing four alternative biographies of the same man to trace twentieth-century American history really compelling. In retrospect, I definitely preferred the remaining three books, namely the German classic Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin that I long wished to read, the epistolary novel Black Box by Israeli author Amos Oz and – my absolute favourite among the six – the classic Celebration in the Northwest by Ana María Matute from Catalonia.

And here’s my summary List of Twice Six Books including the categories for which I entered them, dates of release and original titles if they aren’t English:
  • A number in numbers:
    Paul Auster: 4 3 2 1 (2017)
    + Nobel Prize in Literature 1938 – Pearl S. Buck: 14 Stories (1961) in the Pocket Books edition of 1963, but if you have a better suggestion...
  • A building:
    Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962)
    + Nobel Prize in Literature 1949 – William Faulkner: The Mansion (1959)
  • A title which has an ‘X’ somewhere in it:
    Alfred Döblin: Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929), original German title: Berlin Alexanderplatz
    + Nobel Prize in Literature 1991 – Nadine Gordimer: Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black (2007)
  • A compass direction:
    Ana María Matute: Celebration in the Northwest (1952), original Spanish title: Fiesta al noroeste
    + Nobel Prize in Literature 1962 – John Steinbeck: East of Eden (1952)
  • An item/items of cutlery:
    Katie Flynn: No Silver Spoon (1999)
    + Nobel Prize in Literature 1932 – John Galsworthy: The Silver Spoon (1926), second book of A Modern Comedy, the sequel of The Forsyte Saga
  • A title in which at least two words share the same first letter – alliteration!
    Amos Oz: Black Box (1986), original Hebrew title: קופסה שחורה
    + Nobel Prize in Literature 1993 – Toni Morrison: Song of Solomon (1977)


  1. Replies
    1. Oh, most of the books were quickly found - only the item of cutlery gave me a bit of a headache. But in the end I found something suitable although I don't expect Katie Flynn's novel to ever be listed as a classic of world literature...


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