Victor Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years 1942-1945. Klemperer, a German Jew who survived World War II in Dresden kept a diary of his daily life under the regime. This is volume 2; the first volume covers the years 1933-1941. I have commented on the travails of 1942 and again on the final years of World War II in 1943-1945: The Bitter End.
David Lodge, Out of the Shelter. Lodge calls this probably his most autobiographical novel. Like Lodge, in 1951, a teen aged boy who had lived through the London Blitz, spends several weeks in Heidelberg. Those weeks change his life.
In The Last Coyote, the fourth in Michael Connelly’s series featuring Harry Bosch, Detective Bosch is in several kinds of trouble which simultaneously trying to solve a very old crime, the murder of his mother, when Harry was a boy.
Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love. Mitford’s social comedy, set in pre-War and wartime Britain and France, is pure entertainment. The sequel, Love in a Cold Climate, follows some of the same characters, plus additions The glow begins to fade towards the end, but it is good fun most of the way.
Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot. That’s the standard plot in classic novels: they meet, they fall in love and, eventually, they marry so that they can live happily ever after. Is that plot still happening today?
Barbara Pym, The Sweet Dove Died. After Emma Goldman, it’s quite a switch to Barbara Pym. Who is the “sweet dove”? She appears to be an elegant lady of a certain age who enjoys male friends who are not quite accepted as lovers.
Richard Russo, Elsewhere: A Memoir. Richard Russo is from Gloversville, a decayed milltown in upstate New York. Now he is Elsewhere, but he lived in both places with his volatile mother. This memoir is about their relationship.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment. Does Raskolnikov regret having murdered two women with an ax? He regrets having bungled the crime, but believes the crime was justified by the benefits he would have received if he had done things more effectively. He considers himself superior to the women he murdered, yet he proves inferior in his role as executioner. Rashkolnikov’s egotism which values only his life, his goals, his very existence is so repulsive to me that I am unable to judge this novel fairly or comment on its literary value.