A rather bookish Seasons Greetings

I would like to wish you all a wonderful not stressful holiday. As far as that goes, I am always failing not to stress. No reason, my non religious Christmas are always great.

I haven’t finished my new novel yet; I am reading more than writing My new novel will be a reversal of Kafka’s metamorphosis. A wasp who turns into a human. I am not sure if she finishes badly or not. For years, I remembered Kafka’s Metamorphosis with a happy ending – The beetle flies away and abandons his dreadful parents. I read it badly, in the book, he died. And no, I am NOT comparing myself to Kafka, but I think my ending was better,

I read some very good books, Salman Rushdie’s autobiography Joseph Anton,  Nadezhda Mandelstam and Evgenia Ginzburg memoirs, Generations of Winter by the son of Evgenia Ginzburg Vasilij Aksjonov- one of the best books I read in the last 5 years. I have read many other books, but I will stop boring you. Apart from the fact that most of the recent reads were in Czech. Somebody should stop me going to bookshops in Prague. To add insult to injury, the books are mostly hardbacks!

My favourite author Salman Rushdie was attacked by a fanatic who probably never read any of his books. He survived, only just. There is a new Salman Rushdie novel coming out in February, I already ordered it. I would like to wish him a long life!

I had an interesting year. This sounds completely different to a Czech person and a British or American person.

There is the “Chinese curse MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES! In fact, it is not a Chinese curse, it was made up by the father of Neville Chamberlain, British Victorian politician Joseph Chamberlain.

 As I found out working in England, if you have an idea during a meeting, and people say “Hmm… Interesting” it actually means Don’t even think about it.

Well, the Czechs see it differently. For us “interesting” is positive.

So now I wonder should my wish be “May your year 2023 be boring”?

Nope, I wouldn’t go that far.

So on the pain of being taken the wrong way, as a curse, I wish you a nice and interesting year 2023


A Chinese friend just told me that in Chinese culture, Interesting means interesting. Like with the Czechs. I always knew the Anglo-Saxons were excentric!

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