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Reinstating Januarius

The Month of January Is Named After the Two-Faced Roman God Janus

Except for the last two years, when I took January vacations to Guatemala and Yucatán respectively, I used to confine my reading for that month to authors I had not read before. Since my reading during trips is almost entirely on my Amazon Kindle, and I don’t like to experiment so much when I am away from my library, my vacation reading includes many familiar names.

Starting on New Years Day, I will once again return to what I call my Januarius Project, which is to familiarize myself with new authors so that my reading doesn’t become too rooted in the familiar. Among the books I have planned for next month are:

  • Franz Eemil Sillanpää’s Meek Heritage (Finland)
  • Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  • Trygve Gulbrandsen’s Beyond Sing the Woods (Norway)
  • Ragnar Jónasson’s Nightblind (Iceland)
  • George Washington Cable’s The Grandissimes (USA)
  • Georges Lefebvre’s The Coming of the French Revolution (France)
  • Ivy Compton-Burnett’s Bullivant and the Lambs (England)
  • Compton Mackenzie’s Whisky Galore (Scotland), which was made into one of my favorite comic films
  • Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey (England)

Frans Eemil Sillanpää (1888-1964)

I don’t know if I’ll complete all those books, but I will try. By the way, if you’ve noticed a preponderance of Scandinavian authors, that’s deliberate. I’ve read a lot of Icelandic literature, but very little from mainland Scandinavia.

We Americans tend, I think, to not stray far from American and English literature. And I have some friends who refuse to read a book that has been translated from another language—whereas roughly half of my reading is in translation.

One thought on “Reinstating Januarius

  1. translated books are almost always more interesting than run-of-the-mill American ones and this sounds like a great list. i’d like to get away from my posting for awhile and do some investigating… maybe sometime soon, i hope…

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