In a few days, we’ll be heading north. After the Baltic states a few years ago, this time we’ll go to North Germany and Denmark. We’ll stay in the historical city of Lübeck, then stay for a while in the Danish countryside before reaching Copenhagen and returning via Hamburg. I really look forward to these holidays.
I’ve been pondering for weeks what books to bring with me, since Baby Smithereens is somewhat limiting our luggage and our time. Ideally I would love to coordinate my reading with my travel destinations, but it’s hardly realistic. The merchant harbor of Lübeck has been made famous by Thomas Mann’s masterpiece “The Buddenbrooks”, but I remember struggling through this hefty piece when I was a student – and now I doubt my attention span has improved. Danish books I have great memories of include Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg and stories by Karen Blixen, but nothing else comes to mind. Of course there are also tales by Hans Christian Andersen, but as a child I found them cruel and I don’t think Baby Smithereens is old enough to enjoy them. We’ll probably end up buying new books along the way, so I must keep some room for new Danish literary discoveries! Do you have recommendations?
For the moment, I have put aside the following books:
- A biography of Marguerite Duras by Laure Adler, after I read La Douleur and found it so disturbingly strong.
- A history book on women in Vienna at the turn of the century, because I so enjoy Frank Tallis’ mysteries.
- Candace Bushnell’s One Fifth Avenue, for a bit of frivolous fun, quite far from the Vikings, the Danish countryside and Lutheran rigor.
These 3 titles are quite big (400+ pages), so if I remain reasonable I won’t take any more. But I trust Mr. Smithereens for selecting other entertaining books that I will shamelessly steal from his bedside!