Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests

Sunday, August 2, 2009

July 2009 Reading Review

July 2009 was an excellent reading month for me. I completed 11 books. I discovered two new to be writers that I love, A J Byatt and Markus Zusak. I will, I hope, read all of their books.

These are the books I read in July 2009 with some comments. I will review a few of them in terms of their treatment of The Reading Life.

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak--I have already made a few observations on this book. It it a great book.
it is sad to see a lot of book stores have it in the Young Adult section only.

2. The Book Seller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad-This is an interesting book about contemporary Afgan family life.
It is worth reading if this topic interests you. I did switch into speed reading mode half way through.

3. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I have already reviewed this book. I am glad I read it and will read her
next book but I would not reread this work. It is a first novel and I like to read first novels.

4. I Am Messenger by Markus Zusak. I have already reviewed this really fun book. So far he has published
four novels. I have read two of them and will a third in August. He is young and a lot of people, myself
included, hope to read twenty more books by Markus Zusak.

5. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I should have read this a long time ago. Among many things this world
treasure tells the story of a great reading life cut tragically short.

6. The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling by David Gilmore. You can learn a lot about
Kipling's life and about the politics of the period from this book. You will not, however, get much of an idea
how he developed into a writer worth reading. Kipling is not on the reading list in many schools or universities.
I would not recommend this book to someone seeking an excellent literary biography because this book'
is not one.

7. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry-1990 Newberry winner by author of The Giver. A delightful book for those
eight on up. I have posted more on it earlier.

8. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. I really like the Folger Library paperbacks of
the plays. This was my first read of this work.

9. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. A beautifully written book with a great deal to tell us about
the reading life. I will try to talk about this latter. Some of the sentences are so wonderful I read
them three or four times.

10. Three Tales by Gustav Flaubert. If you are looking for a second Flaubert then read these three stories,
each about 30 pages long. Each is a unique masterpiece. These stories show the artistic
mastery of Flaubert. I would also recommend highly Flaubert: A Biography by Frederick Brown. To me
his book is a model of a literary biography that shows how Flaubert became a great writer and reader.
Flaubert was well traveled, had friends in high and low places, and did some things that may surprise you.

11. The Biographer's Tale by A S Byatt. This was my first of her novels and I was very happy to see she  has written lots of other books. It seems she is a core early 21th century Reading Life novelist.

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Kerrie said...

Well done on such a good reading month Mel. You might like to take the poll I have running this week about how many books you think you will read in the year. I love your bookshelf image at the top.

Table Talk said...

I actually found that 'The Historian' paid for a re-read. The first time I read it, while I enjoyed it, I thought that the amount of material she tried to include got on the way at times. I then had to read it a second time for one of my book groups and found that I was picking up on a lot more. Like you, though, I am looking forward to whatever she writes next.

mel said...

You are right-she tries to include a lot of material in the book. I guess my comment about not rereading may seem harsh as I reread only a small percent of the books I read. For sure she is a very talented writer.

mrstreme said...

He is young and a lot of people, myself
included, hope to read twenty more books by Markus Zusak.

I couldn't sum it up any better. The Book Thief is one of my favorite books, and I loved I am the Messenger. I have Getting The Girl on my bookshelf too. Happy Reading!

Jill =)

Melissa said...

You had a great reading month! I might need to check out The Book Thief myself... Hope you have a great August, too!

gautami tripathy said...

You read wonderful books in July!

TSS: Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis

westcobich said...

the header on your blog got me - excellent! and what a treat to find your reviews...and of several books new to me. Stopped here thanks to Dolce's challenge - glad I did!

Memory said...

Sounds like a good reading month! I also really enjoyed both I AM THE MESSENGER and THE BOOK THIEF. Zusak is a great writer.

Suko said...

You have read some wonderful books in July, Mel. I've added your blog to my blogroll.

Jess said...

I Am the Messenger is one of my favorite books -- I am glad you enjoyed it. You should try The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. Another great YA novel.

Nymeth said...

I love Byatt! Just finished her new one, The Children's Book, and it was stunning.

PS: You have such a cool header.

Rasberryswrlgirl said...

I'd like to read "The Book Seller of Kabul"