Thursday, April 1, 2010

March Reading Roundup

Between two vacations and a week to recover from two vacations in a row, March was a very full month of reading. Out of the ten titles I chose for my "decade of prize-winning fiction" focus, I finished nine. The one missing was Ceridwen Dovey's Blood Kin, which will be a priority read as April begins.  While quite a number of books read in March were in the literary fiction genre, there was also some crime fiction, speculative fiction and an ARC or two. A few were great reads, some were so-so.

The self-imposed book buying moratorium is still ongoing until the end of April.  I have received some books from Amazon that I had pre-ordered some months back, but as far as actually clicking the "buy now" button, I've managed to avoid it. And adding to my pain, I haven't gone into a bookstore and actually bought anything in person either.  I'm a very lucky person, and have been able to buy pretty much whatever I want, whenever I want, but it's created havoc and overflowing shelves in every room of the house. I'm moving books out to Swaptree and Paperback Swap on pretty much a daily basis, donating them to goodwill, or bagging up some of the books to send to troops in Afghanistan where my brother is right now. And my sister's coming to visit, so maybe I'll send her home with a few.

Here's how the actual reading went down -- a freak occurrence because of vacation time that shall not likely soon be repeated:

Under the heading of "A Decade of Prize-Winning Fiction":
  1. Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee
  2. Spies, by Michael Frayn
  3. This Blinding Absence of Light, by Tahar ben Jalloun
  4. Fox Evil, by Minette Walters
  5. The Time In Between, by David Bergen
  6. The Shadow Year, by Jeffrey Ford
  7. Seeker, by Jack McDevitt
  8. The Amnesia Clinic, by James Scudamore (review to follow)
  9. A Conspiracy of Paper, by David Liss
Under Scandinavian Crime Fiction:
10. The Beast, by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom
11. The Devil's Star, by Jo Nesbo
12. Woman With Birthmark, by Hakan Nesser

UK Crime Fiction:
13. A Great Deliverance, by Elizabeth George
14. A Thousand Cuts, by Simon Lelic (review to follow)

General Fiction:
15. Solar, by Ian McEwan
16. Forest Gate, by Peter Akinti
17. The Man From Saigon, by Marti Leimbach

Speculative Fiction
18. The Magicians, by Lev Grossman
19. A Dark Matter by Peter Straub

General Mystery/Crime Fiction
20. The Risk of Infidelity Index, by Christopher G. Moore
21. The Executor, by Jesse Kellerman

22.  The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, by David Grann

In other book stuff for the month,

1) my book group read and spent almost two hours discussing Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger. If you haven't read it, or perhaps read it when you were younger, you might want to retry it. There's a LOT packed into that little book.

2) At, I felt compelled to comment on (and report) a few more 1-star ratings that had nothing to do with book content (just people disgruntled over the price of the Kindle book). I also added to my wishlist the following:

  Thursday Night Widows, by Claudio PiƱeiro
  Voodoo Histories, by David Aaronovitch
  Changeling, by Kenzaburo Oe

3) still working on my library at

4) Recent ARCs:
  • David Mitchell's new book The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (from Librarything's Early Reviewers Program) which I just now remembered I'd already preordered for June (I see a book giveaway coming here shortly!)
  • The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno, by Ellen Bryson
  • Losing My Cool: How A Father's Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-hop Culture, by Thomas Chatterton Williams (also to be a book giveaway shortly)
  • and thanks to Christopher G. Moore, Asia Hand, another Vincent Calvino novel. Once I figure out how the series order goes I'll start this one. Merci bien. 
okay. that's all. Happy April fool's day!

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