Dutch Literature Month Wrap-Up Post


Today marks the last day of June, which means Dutch Lit Month is almost at an end for the year. I am really grateful for everyone who participated, everyone who planned to participate and kept me updated on their reading during the month, and simply anyone who left comments. I have had a lot of fun.

I plan to bring the event back next year, though I can never guarantee any definite plans. I am still debating whether a shorter event might work better, for example. If you have any suggestion, please let me know!

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This past week saw the most activity from other participants. Thank you for all your contributions. If I’ve missed yours, please let me know. I have tried to keep up to date on all posts, but I could very well have missed something. For those who posted something: please consider adding any reviews to the Dutch Literature in Review database.

Lizzy contributed two review this week. One of Toon Tellegen’s Raptors, which she favours with 3 stars. This collection of narrative poems managed to delight Lizzy at some turns, but occasionally disappointed her too.

Another post by Lizzy was her review of Bride Flight by Marieke van der Pol. Interestingly, this is a book was a movie before it became a novel. Nevertheless, Lizzy enjoyed the book more (which isn’t always the case for movie-to-book novels). I will definitely be adding this one to the wishlist.

The Tea Lords - Hella HaasseNext up are two review of Hella Haasse’s The Tea Lords.

In her review Suzanne mentions that she liked the novel for the most part, but sometimes felt its focus was unclear. Moreover, she had some problems with the translation.

Mary’s post shows that she found the book portrayed a fascinating episode of colonial history, but that the writing style failed to grab her.

The Storm - Margriet de MoorOlduvai reviews The Storm by Margriet de Moor. She calls The Storm “an emotional, unforgettable read.”

Tony of Tony’s Reading List posted about Cees Nooteboom’s Lost Paradise. His review portrays his mixed feelings about the book: “There’s a lot to like in Lost Paradise, but there are also plenty of things which don’t quite work.”

Julia - Otto de KatJulia by Otto de Kat was also reviewed twice during the past week:

Danielle of A Work in Progress calls the novel a “very moving story–slight in some ways, but powerful nonetheless.” And moreover remarks on the almost seemless translation by Ina Rilke.

Tracey of A Book Sanctuary remarks that Julia might not be for everyone with its slow, reflective style. But she found it “dignified and quite beautifully written.”

The House of The Mosque - Kader AbdolahThough the review of JoV’s Book Pyramid does not mention she read it with the intention to join Dutch Lit Month, I wanted to highlight her review of The House of the Mosque by Kader Abdolah. The review remarks on the complicated issues the novel tackles and the emotional story of Aqa Jaan’s family.

 Last but not least, I want to direct you to Helen’s wonderful ongoing post about her reading of Harry Mulisch’ The Assault in the original Dutch.

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I read a total of sixteen books for this month [not all actually read this month: some were read in preparation during the months before June]. This must be a personal record for most Dutch books read in a year, I think.

The Book of Everything - Guus Kuijer

My absolute favourite book of the past month was Guus Kuijer’s The Book of Everything. Because I want to spread the love for this book you can win your own copy (open until 5 July 2012).

Other books read and reviewed were:

Eep! by Joke van Leeuwen
The Foxes Come At Night by Cees Nooteboom
The Laws by Connie Palmen
Letters to Anyone and Everyone by Toon Tellegen
Julia by Otto de Kat
It’s a Wonderful Life by Jesse Goossens
Repatriated by Adriaan van Dis
Love Life by Ray Kluun
Winter in Wartime by Jan Terlouw
The Hidden Force by Louis Couperus [1, 2]
My Name is Olivia and I Can’t Do Anything About It by Jowi Schmitz
Siegfried by Harry Mulisch
Bitter Herbs by Margo Minco
The Storm by Margriet de Moor
The Tea Lords by Hella Haasse [1, 2]

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A final wrap-up will happen next weekend, when I post the Dutch Lit in Review directory on the blog, which will hopefully help people find English reviews of Dutch literature easily, by having them collected in one place. Again, please feel free to add your reviews of books translated from the Dutch by filling in this form.

At that time I will also reveal the winners for the giveaways held during this month.

Thanks again for your participation and support everyone!

14 thoughts on “Dutch Literature Month Wrap-Up Post

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  3. litlove

    Thank you for hosting, Iris. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the readalong and have finally posted on the second part. I really enjoyed reading Hella S Haase and now have some confidence that I will read In A Dark Wood Wandering!

  4. Pingback: Sunday Salon: Reading Journal | Iris on Books

  5. JoV

    Thanks for the mention and a total of 16 books read is an Awesome achievement! I have a dearth of Dutch writers names in my head but you have introduced a few now. Thanks!

  6. buriedinprint

    I’ve been watching mournfully as all your posts (which have been so great) have been rolling past in my Reader; you’ve been such an attentive host and I have been such a lazy participant. BUT I still have my stack of library books, and I still intend to read at least three of them. So I guess July will be my own Dutch Lit Month. Thanks for the inspiration nonetheless!

  7. helen

    Very late to add my thanks Iris – but thank you! I have a whole list of new authors to seek out thanks to you. I particularly enjoyed reading your discussions about the Haasse. I really hope you’ll do this again next year.

  8. Pingback: Library Loot: August 3rd « A Striped Armchair

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