April 2010 was an interesting and enjoyable reading life month for me. I lost a few reading days on a family trip to Palawan Island, about one hour by air from Manila. We stayed in Puerto Princessa in a beautiful resort over looking The South China Sea. I did get in some reading time in one morning in the restaurant. The view is awesome and the open air restaurant was cooled by the ocean breezes. I was reading The God of Small Things. The owner of the restaurant (and a friend of my wife also) spotted the book and said she was reading it too!-
In April I did my first Classics Circuit read, Nana by Zola. I achieved one of my 2010 blog objectives. I started a read along of Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End and feel very fortunate in the high caliber of the participation in this read along. I read a number of short stories and have now overcome a life long aversion to the form. I will be reading short stories and blogging on them on a regular basis from now on. There are 1000s of short stories available on line on various free web pages. Here is what I read and posted on in April (so far this year I have posted on everything I have read):
- South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Marakami
- The Diving Pool (a collection of three novellas-each reviewed) by Yoko Ogawa
- Some Do Not by Ford Madox Ford
- "Heaven and Hell" by Jhumpa Lahiri (short story)
- "A Doctor's Visit" by Anton Chekhov (short story)
- "A Respectable Woman" by Kate Chopin (short story)
- No More Parades by Ford Madox Ford
- "The Dance of Death" by Gustav Flaubert
- Train Man by Hitori Nakano
- "The Yellow Wall Paper" by Charlotte Perkins
- "The Man with Two Left Feet" by P G Wodehouse
- Nana by Emile Zola
- Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
- "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe
- Diary of a Mad Old Man by Junichiro Tanizaki
- The Tobacco Monopoly in the Philippines 1766 to 1880 by Edilberto C de Jesus
- "The Dead Alive" by Wilkie Collins
The best books I read this month were those by Ford Madox Ford, Junichiro Tanizaki, and Emile Zola. The worst was Train Man by Hitori Nakano and even that was kind of a fun book in a new format, the message room novel. I discovered some new to me writers I will be reading more of also. P G Wodehouse for his style and his humor, Arundhati Roy for her wisdom and insight into India and beyond, Yoko Ogawa for the almost dream like quality of her work, Pushkin who I really want to read more off (expect another Pushkin post very soon), Jhumpa Lahiri has written three books and I will hopefully read them all and Kate Chopin whose The Awaking I am in the process of reading via Dailylit.com.
On May 5 I will be participating for a second time in the Classics Circuit in a post on Georges by Alexander Dumas. I also plan to post on the longest works by Kenzaburo Oe and Huruki Murakami. I will do three more posts on Parade's End. I hope to post on four to eight more short stories. Short stories are also a very good way to kind of "check out" an author. I am considering also reading Pale Fire by Nabakov once I complete and process Parade's End.
As always I thank the readers of my blog. I appreciate all comments and reading suggestions.