Latvian Literature has unveiled a list of the "10 Saddest Latvian Books" to get you into a downbeat mood through fall so that by the time full-scale Seasonally Affected Disorder (SAD) hits you in January and February you can experience the rich panoply of pessimism and deep, deep despair that is an essential component of the Latvian imaginative landscape!
Titles range from timeless classics such as Rudolfs Blaumanis' In The Shadow Of Death (the title says it all), through Melanija Vanaga's harrowing accounts of exile in Siberia to more modern works such as Andra Manfelde's children's book Which One Of Us Is Gonna Fly?, described as: "a story of the Princess of Sorrow herself... It may be that the brave hearts of children will conquer sadness, sorrow, wrath and all the other foibles, so well known to us, all the weaknesses too powerful to be fought by adults. This only happens in Latvian literature."
They're not kidding.
The full list is available at the Latvian Literature website. If anyone out there manages to read all ten by next spring, we'll take you out for a drink in March because, boy, will you need it.