Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October 2009 Reading Life Month End Review Sunday Salon

October 2009 was a very good reading month for me.   I discovered a new to me writer that I added to my "read everything they have written" TBR list, I read some very moving  short stories about the Atomic Aftermath,  and I continued to read more Japanese novels.  

Books I read in October but did not blog about

1.   The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon.   I enjoyed this book for its atmosphere, the use Barcelona between the world wars as a background, the idea of the library of forgotten book, the sense of being in a premall and preinternet book store and I liked the characters in the book.   I think I preferred this  book to his Angel's Game.  I think any body who likes books might well like it.  I did not blog on it mainly because there must already be fifty book blog posts on it.

2.   The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne-This was to me a good Y A book about the holocaust.   It is not, to me, on the level with Milkweed or The Book Thief  but for sure it is worth reading.   The day after I finished this my wife and I watched the movie.   We enjoyed it.   There are a few changes that took away a bit from the book but I thought the movie was better in showing the changes in the teenage girl, weaker in the ending and weaker in its treatment of the character of the mother.   I was struck in the book where the family is so proud (and scared) when Hitler comes to dinner.   It is mentioned that a member of the family is learning French, Hitler says "why would anyone want to do that?"

Books I posted about in October 2009

3.  The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea  by Yuko Mishima

4.  Barefoot in Fire:  A Manila WWII Childhood  by Barbara-Ann Gamboa Lewis-it is shame that this book is only available in Manila as it deserves a wide readership.

5.  The Power Book  by Jeanette Winterson-my first work by this author, it will not be my last.

6.  The Flower Mat by Shigoro Yamamoto

7.   The Giver by Lois Lowry-a very good Young Adult book that can be enjoyed by all ages.

8.   The Secret History of the Lord of Musaki   by Junichiro Tanizaki

9.   Arrowroot  by Junichiro Tanizaki (published by Vintage in the same book as # 8)-

10.  Some Prefer Nettles by Junichiro Tanizaki

11.   Quicksand  by Junichiro Tanizaki (he is now on my read everything he has written TBR list)

12.  The Noodle Maker  by Ma Jian-

13.  Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink-to me it seemed like one long cliche, others have liked it.

14.   Four Short Stories from Crazy Iris and Other Stories of the Atomic Aftermath  edited and introduced by Kenzaburo Oe.   There are four more stories still to read and blog about in this wonderful and important book.   I expect to read the remaining four stories in November.

Challenges I am currently reading for

The Japanese Literature Challenge 3-greatest challenge of them all to me-open up a new world of reading.
China Challenge-3 of 5 complete-I have until Sept 2010 5 books and will try for 10

Challenges I will join in November

The November Novella Challenge-read either one or four Novellas-(defined here as 70 to 120 pages)
The Really Old Classics Challenge-read one pre 1600 book by Feb 2010-just have to pick my book
Women Unbound Reading Challenge-I will read at least 8 books related to women's studies by Nov 2010

I may joint read books for these new challenges along with the Japanese Literature 3 Challenge and The China Challenge-


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

You read some great books in October!

Suko said...

October was a great reading month for you.

My youngest daughter read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and we watched the movie together. I found it very touching.

I will most likely join the Women Unbound Reading Challenge as well.

Mel u said...

Diane -thanks

Suko-as far as I can see, nothing is taught about the holocaust in Filipino schools -I am now looking for a book written by a Japanese about the conditions of women in China. The book should also predate 1600, be between 70 to 120 pages long and center on food!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

You had a fantastic month in October! We read some of the same books--the ones that you came by and commented on (Shadow of the Wind and Boy in the Striped Pajamas).

The Atomic Aftermath book sounds really interesting and powerful. I joined the Japanese Lit Challenge, too but haven't read anything for it yet! :-/

Hope November is just as great for you!!

claire said...

mel.. So true. I had also never encountered any teacher talking about the holocaust at all, from grade school to college, there. All the things I learned about the holocaust I read about in books.

How good is Barefoot in Fire? I might ask my sister to get me a copy. I've read Maria Henson's Comfort Women, and wish I had a copy (I read it from the university library).

Mel u said...

Trish-The Atomic Aftermath book is reall powerful book

Claire-to me Barefoot in the Fire is a very good very readable account of WWII in the Philippines-it is not a tale of horrors-just one families efforts to survive. I bought my copy at a NBS branch for 250 pesos-

Nina B. said...

I have been hearing a lot about how The Shadow of the Wind is better than The Angel's Game. That makes me even more excited to read it!

Thank you for dropping by my blog! Have a great week!

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