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

Monday, May 3, 2010

April Reading Life Review and May Plans

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):

  1. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Marakami
  2. The Diving Pool (a collection of three novellas-each reviewed) by Yoko Ogawa
  3. Some Do Not by Ford Madox Ford
  4. "Heaven and Hell" by Jhumpa Lahiri (short story)
  5. "A Doctor's Visit" by Anton Chekhov (short story)
  6. "A Respectable Woman" by Kate Chopin (short story)
  7. No More Parades by Ford Madox Ford
  8. "The Dance of Death" by Gustav Flaubert
  9. Train Man by Hitori Nakano
  10. "The Yellow Wall Paper" by Charlotte  Perkins
  11. "The Man with Two Left Feet" by P G Wodehouse
  12. Nana by Emile Zola
  13. Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino
  14. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  15. "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe
  16. Diary of a Mad Old Man by Junichiro Tanizaki
  17. The Tobacco Monopoly in the Philippines 1766 to 1880 by Edilberto C de Jesus
  18. "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   

May Plans

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.  

Mel u 


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I just found your blog via Blogger Hop. I am a new follower.

Like you, I love Asian literature, literary fiction, and contemporary fiction. I also like children's books and travel stories.

JoV said...

I'm most envious of your achievements.. 18 heavy reading in a month. That's awesome.

Journey said...

Gosh you are reading a lot! :D
I wish I could read only half of your load.
And writing such wonderful posts about everything. Thanks for that. I loove coming here and reading about your reading expericences.

Rebecca Reid said...

Pale Fire was very....interesting. I don't think I got it, but it certainly got me interested in Nabakov. Speaking of, I'd highly recommend Nabakov's short stories. The ones I read (I read about 50 of them) were simply excellent.I still haven't read any of his novels other than Pale Fire.

Becki said...

I'm having some problems with your blog -- I can't comment on the posts I want to comment on. Ugh! I just wanted to let you know that I'm reading, and playing catch up with the bad internet connection. And then I can't comment on your blog, but can on my own.... :(

Mark David said...

I've read recently that Zola is considered to be one of the most prominent French masters. So I'm so envious of you for having read Zola and all these great authors. I believe that each great book we read makes us wiser, regardless if it's fiction or nonfiction. So you must be incredibly wise by now, Mel :)