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, October 31, 2016

The Reading Life Review October 2016 by Ambrosia Boussweau

Mel has requested that i do the October Reading Life Review.  I decided to start with a collage of some of the wonderful literary ladies who have enriched so many and who are frequent visitors on The Reading Life.  Three wrote in English, one in Portuguese, and two in French.  Two of the families of the writers fled Russia to avoid anti-Semitic pograms.   Three were from quite affluent families. One graduated from law school. One worked for a while in a bottle factory, one as a burlesque dancer,one for a Brazilian high fashion magazine.    All married, with varying degrees of success, all but one had children. One was murdered by the Nazis while the sister of one of the writers was a passionate supporter of Hitler.   All were prolific writers.  There are excellent recent biographies of each of the authors. There are msny more wonderful female writers featured on The Reading Life.  

Who would you feature in your collage?

Blog Stats for October

4,245,306 page views since inception on July 7, 2009

As of today, there are 2973 posts on the blog. 

Top Home Countries of readers 

1.  The United States

2.   The Philippines 

3.   India

4.   Germany 

5.   Canada

The most common city of residence is the greater Manila area.  California is the top American state,

As always the most viewed posts are on short stories by authors from the Philippines. 

The number of posts per month is trending down.  In October 2015 there were 25 posts, this October 14.  

Was this an attack on The Reading Life?

Cyber attacks are in the news.  One day in October the blog received 32 hits from Russia in a sixty second period, from towns all over Russia. The visits were all very brief and all on older posts.  Was this a coordinated attack of some kind?  Russians are notorious spammers but there were no attempts by these visitors to leave spam comments.  What was this?  Have other book bloggers experienced this?  What were the looking for or trying to do? 

Beryl Bainbridge 

Mel has begun a read through of the work of the great Beryl Bainbridge (1932 to 2010, Uk, 17 novels,short listed five times for the Booker Prize). Bainbridge was an incredibly imaginative writer.  Her work is a world class cultural treasure.

Last year Mel read and greatly enjoyed The Door by the powerful Hungarian writer Magda Szabo.  In October he read her Iza's Ballad.  

The 21th century is seeing lots of first rate biographies of writers.  In October biographies of William Thackery and Kenneth Clsrk were featured.  

Short Stories

Short stories are a very important part of the reading life.  This month a debut collection by an Irish writer Dinosaurs On Other Planets by Danielle McLaughlin was given a great review.  Mel also read a collection by a Frank O'Connor prize winner, In Another Country by David Constsntine.   Mel is also reading collections by Mavis Gallant and Alice Monro.  Mel posted on one story by Alice Monro. 


On Light and Carbon was the second work by the wonderful Irish poet, Willism Duffy,featured on The Reading Life.    How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love With Poetry by Edward Hirsch is an amazing work about how to read poetry,directly applicable to all forms of literature.  

Mel also read a very big interesting short work on book jackets, The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahari.

Review Policy.

The Reading Life is one of the few book blogs that regularly posts on biographies, histories and a diverse range of nonfiction.  If you want the 100,000 monthly visitors to our blog to know about a work, please contact us.

Mel especially wants to post upon biographies of writers, so please contact us if you have recommendations or have a book you want featured 

Guest Posts.  We are open to relevant guest posts, contact us if interested

November Plans

Once again we will be featuring German literature in translation in November, as we have done for the last five years.  

Mel and I offer our great thanks to all who take the time to leave comments.  To the greatest readers in the world, my fellow book bloggers, keep blogging.  

Ambrosia Boussweau 

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