Birthday Loot 2020.

As is traditional chez Hat, I had biscuits for breakfast and am looking forward to chicken curry and lemon meringue pie for dinner, and as is similarly traditional, I’m listing the books I got here:

Bangkok Wakes to Rain: A Novel by Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Skaz: Masters of Russian Storytelling (A Dual-Language Anthology) edited by Danielle Jones

The Indian Ocean in World History by Edward A. Alpers

And a beloved aunt sent me a check which I’m spending on books from St-Petersburg Bookstore in Brighton Beach (where I used to get my Russian books when I lived in the city): some early Pelevin, some early Strugatskys, and Babel’s Одесские рассказы (Odessa Stories). I don’t need more books, but… I always need more books. I hope you are all having a good day!


  1. I should mention that Skaz has, alongside the usual suspects (Gogol, Tolstoy, etc.), such unexpected authors as Ivan Gorbunov, Aleksei Remizov, Aleksandr Kuprin, and Aleksandr Neverov, and it has useful introductions and notes.

  2. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag !

  3. David Eddyshaw says

    Odessa Stories (in translation) made me wish I’d carried on with Russian at school. (It was a good translation, not a bad one, as far as I can judge. Good enough to make me feel I was missing something …)

    I’d wish you Happy Birthday in Kusaal, but it’s not a thing in Kusaasi culture. Instead, Nɛ sɔnsiga (which is what you say when greeting either a group in conversation, or one person sitting in silent communion with his own soul.)

  4. Neil Weinreb says

    Bangkok Wakes to Rain: A Novel by Pitchaya Sudbanthad”

    That reminds me of the Simon and Garfunkle song:

    I’m in Bangkok
    I am in Thai-ai-ai-land
    And Bangkok wakes to rain
    And Thailand never dries

  5. Jen in Edinburgh says

    What would you say if you wanted to greet a silent group, or a man talking to himself?

  6. David Eddyshaw says

    You would greet a group sitting silently by asking what the matter was; you would assume that a man apparently talking to himself was talking to a wild kikirig, and give him a wide berth, probably. (Or assume that he was mad, of course …)

  7. Jaarig! Lang zal hij leven in de gloria!

  8. May I add a poem with a linguist and a poet being protagonists to your loot? Especially since I don’t know where else to share it.

  9. Thanks for that!

  10. I got my shipment of Russian books, and I’m absolutely thrilled with the Strugatsky — it’s Vol. 3 of the Collected Works, and if I were rich (and had infinite shelf space, and didn’t already have most of the ones I want in paperback editions) I’d get them all. A lovely book that gives them an impressive presence on my shelves.

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