In a bid to make ourselves read more, and so you can see some of the literature that inspires our travels, and our London adventures, we’ve decided to do a monthly recap on what we’ve been reading. Here’s October’s for you!
Born To Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods – Micheal Wex
Through brief encounters with Yiddish words I’ve heard from some of my favourite comedians or more commonly used words in mainstream culture. The book attempts(and succeeds) to explain the birth and evolution of Yiddish language and parallels the history of the culture and people that speak it. As the main spoken language of the Jews for more than a thousand years, Yiddish has had plenty to lament, and plenty to conceal. Its phrases and expressions paint a comprehensive picture of the mind-set that enabled the Jews of Europe to survive persecution: they never stopped kvetching about God, gentiles, children, and everything else. One quote about the book perfectly encompasses what’s its trying to explain is this – “Did I enjoy the book you ask? I would not want my enemy to enjoy this book!”. A fascinating, often funny, linguistic history.
Stasiland: stories from behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder.
What. A. Book. Now, it was recommended to me when I went on a cold war walk around Berlin with a group of students, and I must admit, the first time I tried to read it, I wasn’t really into it and it took too long for me to get into, but I also wasn’t used to reading non-fiction for fun. This time around, I’ve been totally gripped by the stories of love, loss, escape and longing of all sorts of people that spent time living in East Berlin, those that had sons stuck in hospital on the other side of the wall, those spied on by the stasi, those tortured and interrogated by the stasi…and stasi men and informers themselves. It’s not heartwarming and uplifting, but it is morbidly fascinating and makes me realise how lucky I was, once again, to have been bought where and when I was.
What are we reading now?
Tim: The Little Book of New York by Christine Barrely
Jess: The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig
What are you reading? Is there anything you’ve read that you think we should read next? What’s on your bookshelf waiting to be picked up? Let us know in the comments below!