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, July 1, 2010

June 2010 Reading Life Review

June 2010 Reading Life Review

June 2010 was a good reading month for me.   I lost a little time to the World Cup.     

Japanese Novels

  1. Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse
  2. Fires on the Plain by Shohei Ooka
  3. Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami
  4. The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi
  5. Vita Sexualis by Ogai Mori
  6. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
  7. Pinball, 1973  by Haruki Murakami
I recommend without reservations all of these works with the exception of Coin Locker Babies which I enjoyed but I can see others seeing it as a work driven by one overly sensational  scene after another.    Pinball, 1973 should be read after you have enjoyed some of Murakami's major novels first.    

Western Novels

  1. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendahl
  2. Diary of a Superfluous Man by Ivan Turgenev
  3. Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf
Jacob's Room was a very enjoyable read for me though it is not among the top five Woolf novels on any list.    Diary of a Superfluous Man (really a novella by most counts) would be a great first Turgenev.   The Charterhouse of Parma is a great master work of 19th century literature that anyone into the classics should have on their one of these days list.

Short Stories

I continued reading more short stories in June.   I read twenty seven short stories and posted on all but three of them.      I began a short story related project in June, Australian Bush Writers, and read stories by several new to me Australian authors from the pre-WWI era all set in the outback.    There are a lot of these stories and I found some of the authors very talented.   Barbara Baynton's  "The Vessel" was the stand out for me so far in this category.   I continued on with my Katherine Mansfield reading project.    I read  "The Metamorphoses"  (some would count this as a novella) by Franz Kafka and Vladimir Nabokov's lecture on it.    I also read James Joyce's "The Dead" which is on most lists of worlds ten best short  stories.   Three months ago I had, like I have found a lot of readers do, an aversion to the short story.   I now see I was wrong in this prejudice and am actively seeking out the world's best short stories along with a lot of fun minor ones.   A short story is a good way of seeing if you will like a writer.    There are 1000s and 1000s of short stories online.   Most are older stories but you can also find some newer stories by top and up and coming writers also.   

New Discovery for me of the Month-Australian Bush Writers-

 My one year Blogaversary will by on July 9 and I will do a look back post on my first year then and a second one on my blogging and reading plans for the next 12 months.  I have found, as have many, that a blog begins to take on a life of its own after time.  

  As always I thank very much those who read my posts.

I always love to get comments and suggestions of any kind-

This month I got into Twitter for the first time and am finding it a good way to connect with other book bloggers, publishers, authors, etc.   I have a twitter follow me button in my sidebar and I will happily follow back anyone who follows me.   

Mel u


Rebecca Chapman said...

You had a great month, I loved reading your reviews. I am pleased that you enjoyde the Australian bush writers :-)

Anonymous said...

You read some good books and stories. I also recently started using Twitter and it's a good way to connect to other bloggers.

Anonymous said...

That's a nice list of books. I've heard of the Charterhouse of Palma but have never read it. I'm curious now. And I'm dying to read Pinball 1973.

Marieke said...

I'm enjoying your short stories explorations and am intrigued by the authors you're discovering. I've been wondering how much I'm missing by not being on Twitter (but admit I have no desire to join).

Ash said...

You had a great month, 27 short stories is a great accomplishment I think. That's almost one a day!