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

Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Reading Life Review - April 2021

April Authors

Row One

. From Left to Right

  1. Marni Davis - USA - historian focusing on Jewish Americans 
  2. Kathleen DuVal - USA - historian focusing on American Revolution 
  3. Hanya Yanagihara - USA - Author A Little Life and The People in The Trees. Very powerful novels 
  4. Winifred Watson - UK - author Mrs Perrigrew Lives for a Day- a perfect book to fight The Pandemic Blue
  5. Souvankham Thammavongsa - Canada - her debut collection Hoe to Pronounce Knife won The Gilner Prize - Souvankham Thammavongsa - was born in a Laotian refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, and was raised and educated in Toronto. She is the award-winning author of four books of poetry, and her fiction has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Best American Non-Required Reading 2018, and The O. Henry Prize Stories 2019.- first appearance. I am very high on her work and plan to post on all Her Short Stories in How to Pronounce Knife, her debut

Row Two

  1. Dantiel W. Moniz - USA - DANTIEL W. MONIZ is the recipient of the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction, the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Emerging Writer Award by the Key West Literary Seminar, a Tin House Scholarship, and has been named a "Writer to Watch" by Publishers Weekly and Apple Books. Her debut collection, Milk Blood Heat, is an Indie Next Pick, an Amazon "Best Book of the Month" selection, a Roxane Gay Audacious Book Club pick, and has been hailed as "must-read" by TIME, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzefeed, Elle, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others. Her work has appeared in the Paris Review, Harper’s Bazaar, Tin House, One Story, American Short Fiction, Ploughshares, The Yale Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and elsewhere. She lives in Northeast Florida and currently teaches fiction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  2. Deesha Philyaw - USA -Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and the 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church, and is being adapted for television by HBO Max with Tessa Thompson executive producing. Deesha is also a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow.
  3. Andrei Bely - Russian - Author of Petersburg - late Romanov Era
  4. Penelope Fitzgerald - UK - Book Price Winner 
  5. Roxane Gay - USA - Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She has several books forthcoming and is also at work on television and film projects. She also has a newsletter, The Audacity.


  1. Adam D. Mendel­sohn - USA - Direc­tor of the Pearlstine/ Lipov Cen­ter for South­ern Jew­ish Cul­ture and Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor of Jew­ish Stud­ies at the Col­lege of Charleston 
  2. Robert Alexander - USA - author Prize winning novels set in late Romanov era Russia 
  3. Sabina Murray - USA - The Human Zoo, set in the Philippines under Duterte's presidency, is to be published August 2021. Vanishing Point, a collection of stories with gothic themes, has also been accepted for publication.Murray is also a screenwriter and wrote the script for the film Beautiful Country, released in 2005
  4.  Alastair MacLeod - Canada - i Will be doing a read through of his Short Stories with Buried in Print

Home Countries of Authors

  1. USA - 9
  2. Canada - 2
  3. UK - 2
  4. Russia - 1

Ten women were featured, four men. Four authors are deceased. Eight writers were featured for first time.

Blog Stats

The Reading Life has received 6,317,322 page views

There are currently 3910 posts online.

The ten most viewed posts for April were all on Short Stories.

To my delight, The most viewed post, from September of 2012, was

An Irish Short story written in 1824, The Brewery of Egg-Shells" by T. Crofton Croker.

The top home countries for blog visitors were

  1. USA
  2. The Philippines 
  3. India 
  4. Germany 
  5. Canada
  6. UK
  7. Italy
  8. Russia

Reading Notes

In April I read seven  novels, all very good (normally I only finish novels I hold in esteem).  One Mrs Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson gets our vote as a great work to fight the pandemic blues.

I read four works of non-fiction, three on aspects of Jewish American history.  I did not post upon one of them,

All Together Different:

Yiddish Socialists, Garment Workers, and the Labor Roots of Multiculturalism by Daniel Katz.

I posted on the work of four short story writers.

May will probably be more of the same.

My thanks to Max u for the very kind provision of gift cards from Amazon

To those who leave comments, you help keep me going

To my fellow book bloggers, please keep blogging 



Suko said...

April was an excellent reading month for you. My reading has been slow but steady. Enjoy your reading in the week ahead!

Suko said...

I am now reading Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. It is so well written and truly wonderful! Thank you for the recommendation, Mel.

Mel u said...

Suko, so glad you like Mrs Pettigrew Lives for A Day. I loved The ending