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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A January Reading and Blogging Look Back and a Look ahead to February

January Reading Review


January was a good reading month for me.   Here are the highlights from the eleven novels I read.

  • A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens -read in honor of Dickens forthcoming 200th Birthday on Feb 7.   
  • The Untouchable by   Mulk Arand-simply a great book about one day in the life of a Dalit in India in the 1930s-
  • Things Fall Apart  by  Chinua Achebe  also a very good book-pretty much a must read for those interested in post- colonial literature
  • Back by Henry Green-quirky and strange and wonderful
    • I also read the very popular young adult Mockingjay series by Suzanne Collins.   I got all three books free.  I got bored with it once I understood the basic concept.  I would have liked to see the world of the story better developed.
  • The Changeling by Kenzaburo Oe-a must for Oe readers
I have also joined a year long read along on Clarissa by Samuel Richardson.  

Short Stories

Short stories are no longer a side line in my reading life or my blog.   Of the ten most popular posts of the month for January every one was about short stories.    

In January I a Simple Clockwork and I began what we hope will be a long term project in which we post once or twice a month on short stories by authors from the Philippines.    We will start out focusing on older stories and as much as we can we will pick stories that can be read online in English.   

I also read a collection of the short stories of Issac Babel which is really a world class cultural treasure.   I read on in collections of the complete short stories of Guy de Maupassant and Flannery O'Connor.

All of the novels and short stories I read in January can be found here.

February Blogging Plans

I will be doing a number of posts related to Irish Short Story Week Year II scheduled to take place March 12 to March 22.   I will do several posts on resources for the event.   I will do a small post of some kind on Feb 7, 2012 in honor of Dickens 200 day.   I also plan to post on Mongolian short stories from the 1930s based on a great suggestion from a Mongolian book blogger.

January Blogging Look Back

I ended the month with 646 GFC followers and 1597 Twitter Followers.   My page views and visits increased over one year ago about 135percent.  

February Reading Plans

  1. Memories of a Geisha by Arthur Golden-8 percent completed
  2. Family Matters by Rohinton Mistery 75 percent completed  
  3. Cousin Betty by Honore Balzac-15 percent completed
Beyond this I have no rigid plans.

In short stories I will continue reading on in the complete short stories of Flannery O'Connor and Guy de Maupassant.   I hope to read more stories by George Moore, Ivan Turgenev, and a diverse collection of short stories from a wide range of authors.   

I as always offer my thanks to my quite brilliant cousin from Texas for editing suggestions.    I am terrible as a proof reader of my own work.

As always I thank the readers and above all the commentators on my blog.

I am very open to reading suggestions, joint projects, participating in events and suggestions for improving my blog.

Mel u


@parridhlantern said...

Great reading list & I love the way you compile all the stats,

Nancy said...

Thank you for the mention, Mel. I look forward to joining your Irish Short Story Week in March. I'm initially thinking of featuring only women short story writers during that week.

Mel u said...

Parrish Lantern-thanks very much

Nancy-all women writers for Irish Short Story week is a great idea-in classic works there is Maria Edgeworth, contemporary with Virginia Woolf there is the so wonderful Elizabeth Bowen and there are lots of very talented contemporary authors whose work can be read online-

Anonymous said...

Most impressive reading list and thank you for pointing out the Dickens 7 Feb date, I will try and start one of his before then to commemorate.

It is also the 150th anniversary this year of Edith Wharton, I just read 'Ethan Frome' for this reason.

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

So great that you finished 2 Dickens novels-I'm about 1/4 of the way through Little Dorrit and while I was trying to finish before February 7, I think I will just try to finish before the end of February (or maybe even the end of the year)-it is slow going for me.

Hope February is another great reading month for you!

Mel u said...

clairemca-Dickens does have some never before blogged on short stories you could post on for Feb 7-that is my plan-I loved Age of Innocence

Bookworm 1858-I see all of 2012 as a Dickens Tribute year-thanks so much for stopping by

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours said...

wow, what a month! And tell, how long have you been blogging, how do you manage to get so many followers?? hers is my recap, it was also a terrific month for me:

Mel u said...

Emma. I have been blogging 2.5 years. I gradually built up followers over time.