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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September Reading and Blogging Plans and an August Look Back

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

Please Join Me in Voting for The Japanese Literature 5 Challenge for best book blog event

This will be my 3rd year to participate in Book Blogger Appreciation Week .    I  have found this to be a great networking event with 1000 + book blogs from all over the world coming together for a week long virtual convention from September 12 to 16.   You need to register to fully participate and vote in the awards balloting.  I am happy and honored that my blog was long listed for "best literary blog".   I am also a judge in another category.    If it is anything like last year, there will also be lots of give-a-ways!    

Blog Notes for August

Some bloggers say they do not follow their stats and say they blog for themselves and maybe a few others.   This is great but I think most of us like to feel someone is reading our posts and we want to know something about them.    Sometimes I wish I knew more for sure.   Everyday, almost, someone visits my blog from a small town in northern Vietnam, they only stay on a few seconds (I guess they pay for time by the minute).  They have been visiting for 2 years now.  They have logged on 100s of times but I have no clue who they are.   By far the most common city for a visitor to be from is New Delhi.    The most common American state is California.      On many days now  33 percent or more of my visitors are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.   I value all my readers, including the many who I know just want to avoid having to read a book for school, but I value by far the most those who take the time and trouble to post comments.    

To the 100s of people who have attempted to post spam on my blog, please stop!!!

I want to acknowledge and give thanks for  the extensive editing suggestions I have received from my quite brilliant cousin living in Texas.   I find it very hard to proof read my own work and will miss errors that would scream out to me if someone else committed them.      

The book I am most glad I at last read in August was Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.   I totally loved it.   

Main blog event for August was Indonesian Short Story Week co-hosted by Novroz from Jakarta.    We both hope this will be an annual event for a long time. This was year II.

I added a custom Google search to my sidebar.   I really like it and use it all the time myself to find my old posts (now over 700).    It does a lot better and much faster  job than the search in the top bar of a blogspot blog.   I recommend it to others as a good  edition for your sidebar.   I periodically change my header collage.    

In looking at the blogs I judged, I think one issue is that people, I know I did, tend to overload their blog with all sorts of sidebar pics, different fonts, backgrounds etc when they first start blogging.    Some blogs I have seen have grey back grounds with small black fonts which is hard to read.    

Tentative September Plans

Top Reading Choices for September

Novels and Dramas

  1. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann-already started
  2. Noli me Tangere by Jose Rizal-already started-The Filipino national novel
  3. The English Teacher by R. K. Narayan-one of my favorite authors
  4. Two more Chekhov plays-The Cherry Orchard and Three Sisters
  5. The Moor's Last Stand by Salmon Rushdie-my 3rd of his works
  6. Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe-
  7. Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said
  8. Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
  9. The Longest Journey by E. M. Forester-
  10. Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope-maybe
  11. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy-also a maybe-
These are what I hope to read.   I am sure I will not get to all of them.   I always seem to get side tracked somehow.   Last month I was side tracked into European Drama.    

I am grateful to the patron of my blog from New Delhi who has given me all of the above works but for the two Chekhov plays (both in public). 

Short stories

Short stories are an ever increasing part of my reading life.   Two years ago like most book bloggers I did not read short stories much at all.   I felt they were not "substantial" enough for me.   Now I know I was totally wrong and was missing out on a wonderful art form, some of the world's great literature and a lot of fun.   Maybe I will do a post on my thoughts after now having read over 500 short stories in the last two years.    

  1.  More Stories from  The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories  
  2. More South Asian Short Stories
  3. Stories by Raymond Carver-a true genius of the form
  4. More Flannery O'Connor-at least two
  5. Some  lesser known Katherine Mansfield stories not in her anthologies
  6. Somewhere in Minnesota by Orfhlaith Foyle-collection of short stories
Normally I only post on about 1/2 of the short stories I read but I list everything in my monthly lists.   If I do not post on a work, it does not mean I did not like it.

As always I appreciate all comments and suggestions

Mel u



Richard said...

Sounds like good reading ahead for you, Mel, and congrats on your nomination. I set aside a different Thomas Mann last year because I was reading too many books at the time, but I'd like to go back to it and read most/all of his books at some point. Cheers!

Rebecca Chapman said...

How brilliant is Hone With the Wind!!

Congrats on your nomination. I for one will always be coming back to The Reading Life.

Marg said...

Congrats on your nomination!

It would be fabulous to find out more about those regular visitors to your blog!

Rebecca Reid said...

Mel, very interested in the Filipino natl novel. Which translation do you recommend, Mel?