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

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March 2010 Month End Reading Life Review-Books Read and Progress in Reading Challenges

March 2010 was a very good reading month for me-here is what I read in March-with a newly added

  1. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco-very knowledge packed-my first Eco but not last
  2. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See-good historical novel of 19th cent. China
  3. The Key by Junichiro Tanizaki-must read Japanese classic
  4. A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe-a world treasure of a writer and thinker
  5. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte-more than just little sister's best book of two
  6. The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama -good WWII historical novel-
  7. The Broken Tower:   The Life of Hart Crane by Paul Mariani-great literary biography
  8. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Marakami-good solid collection of short stories
  9. Villette by Charlotte Bronte-parts of this are for sure best written of her books
  10. "The Overcoat"  by Nikolai Gogol (short story)-Nabakov says great work-
  11. The Aspern Papers  by Henry James-a small master work as one would expect
  12. Wuthering Heights by  Emily Bronte  -deepest and darkest of the Brontes
  13. The Death March:  A Documentary Novel by Jiro Netti-set just before the Russian-Japanese War
  14. "The Diving Pool" by Yoko Ogawa (short story)-masterful short story by author of The Professor and the House Keeper
  15. Living with the Enemy:  A Diary of the Japanese Occupation by Pacita Pestano-Jacinto-deserves to be a best seller
  16. Peony in Love by Lisa See-good 17th century set in China historical novel
  17. "Bartleby, The Scrivener" By Herman Melville (short story)-best of Melville's Short Stories?

    In March I discovered two new to me  authors that I will for sure read read again, Umberto Eco and Yoko Ogawa.   I continued reading more of the Brontes.   I read two more historical novels by Lisa See.  I see her as a good solid writer if a bit predictable.    I am nearing my goal to read all the (in English) works of Junichiro Tanizaki and well past the mid-point for Kenzaburo Oe.   I discovered two new to me Japanese authors.  I began to get into short stories a bit.

    44 Reading Challenges So far for 2010
So far this year I have completed 21 challenges
I have read at least one book for 19 still to be completed challenges
I have not yet started 5 challenges

I thank all the challenge hosts for their efforts.   I expect to complete all these challenges by year end and most by mid-year.   I have explained my reasons for joining so many challenges here if anyone is curious.    

Since I began my blog eight months ago I have received visits from readers from 107 countries. I know a lot of these are by students.   When ever I think about my blog I recall as I was writing my first post my wife asked me "Who will read these posts you are doing?".  My only response was "I do not know, maybe nobody will but at least I will have records of what I read".   I was so thrilled when I got my first comment and am in fact still thrilled when I get a comment.  ( I moderate my comments as I have been subject to spam attacks.)

If any one in the Manila area wants to do a book swap please leave a comment or E-Mail me at

I also completely redid the look of my blog using the new template -designer from Blogger in Draft


    Suko said...

    "So far this year I have completed 21 challenges."

    You really do need this blog, to keep track of all your reading. :)

    March was a very impressive reading month for you, no question about it. Continue to enjoy your reading.

    The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

    WOW-you read a lot and I can't believe you have finished 21 challenges! That's crazy! Good luck on the rest of them (not that you seem to need it)

    JoV said...

    I came here to compliment on the quality of your reading. Great stuff you read only to be Wow by the 44 challenges that you participated, and we are not into half of the year yet!

    It made my 11 challenges pale in comparison. You certainly caught the Challengitis! :)

    claire said...

    That was a great reading month for you, Mel! What's your favourite Oe so far? And best Tanizaki?

    Mel u said...

    Suko-thanks as always

    Stepanie-thanks very much

    Jovenus-to me is fun to be in so many challenges

    Claire-my favorite Oe is When He Himself Shall Wipe Away by Tears-my Favorite Tanizaki-well I really have liked them all but Quicksand would be the first one to sample his work-you really cannot go wrong with him in my opinion

    Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

    Great selection of March books!