Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January reading roundup; the monthly "my books need new homes" plea

Well, the first month of the new year has almost come to a close, and so has my reading for the month.  There are a couple of irons still in the fire so to speak, but they won't be finished until February.  January has been a great month where reading is concerned with the selections from 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, even considering that I didn't get my physical copy of the book from the UK until just a few days ago.  There are so many great books listed in there that I'll continue to use it as a guide.  I discovered a preference for shorter novels, deciding that while they may not be lengthy, they tend to pack a bigger punch in most cases.   I fell in love with horror writer Laird Barron this month, and read a most enlightening account of the end of the aristocracy/nobility as a class in Russia, prompting me to start laying in a supply of other approachable books of Russian/Soviet history.  Geek doesn't even begin to describe me when it comes to history.

So, let's just see how things shook out this month:

from 1001 books you must read:
They Shoot Horses, Don't They, by Horace McCoy  (US)
The Feast of the Goat, by Mario Vargas Llosa (Latin America)
Babbitt, by Sinclair Lewis (US)
Fateless, by Imre Kertesz (Hungary)
Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming (UK by way of Jamaica)
the crime fiction
A Grain of Truth, by Zygmunt Miłoszewski (Poland)
Brenner and God, by Wolf Haas (Austria)

odd/weird fiction


And now, the  other book-related stuff:
1) The book group read Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro, and I have to say that coming back to it six years later was an eye opener.  I save most of my books and when I get the opportunity, sometimes I reread them, and I'm always surprised at how I've grown as a reader in the meantime.  With the exception of one of the group who hated me all the way through for choosing it, the group had an incredibly lively discussion that went in several directions aside from the obvious.  Next month is The Light Between Oceans.

 2) Added to the Amazon wishlist this month (as usual, a lot of obscure titles):
     crime fiction:
The Criminal, by Jim Thompson
The Blonde on the Street Corner, by David Goodis
The Moon in the Gutter, by David Goodis

     general fiction:
Testing the Current, by William McPherson
Faithful Ruslan, by Georgi Vladimov -- which reminds me...I started a subscription via Melville House for their novella series --
Messiah, by Gore Vidal
The Berlin Stories, by Christopher Isherwood

Memoirs of a Revolutionary, by Victor Serge
Crime Fiction (The New Critical Idiom), by  John Scaggs

    weird fiction:
Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan, Vol. I, by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Noctuary, by Thomas Ligotti
The Shadowy Thing, by H.B. Drake
The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Weird Tales, by Mark Samuels
A Season in Carcosa, by Robin Spriggs
 3) Books bought this month (also filled with obscure titles, I'm sure!)
Detective Story, by Imre Kertesz
Fiasco, by Imre Kertesz
Kaddish for an Unborn Child, by Imre Kertesz
The Book about Blanche and Marie, by Per Olov Enquist
The Trick is to Keep Breathing, by Janice Galloway
Cocaine Nights, by JG Ballard
The Dance of the Seagull, by Andrea Camilleri (preorder, out Feb. 26)
The Golden Calf, by Helene Tursten (preorder, out Feb. 5)

4) Currently reading: 
Revenge, by Yoko Ogawa

****5) Books I'm giving away this month -- take one, some or all, I don't care. I want to send them to good homes.   (sorry, to US readers only)   -- Unlike many other things in life, for you, these are absolutely 100% totally free;  I'll even pay postage to whoever will give them a home. Come on, you're doing me a HUGE favor!

1. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
2.  The Street Sweeper, by Elliot Perlman
3.  The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman
4.  The Hypnotist, by Lars Kepler
5.  The Good Muslim, by Tahmima Anam
6. Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan
This isn't a contest -- it's first come, first served.  If you want any or all of these books, be the first to leave a comment with the title(s) you want.  If someone's already claimed what you want, check back next month for another round!

c'est tout... á bientôt


  1. I'll take the books! I always like to give a book a good home. Do you need me to leave my shipping info here?
    1. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
    2. The Street Sweeper, by Elliot Perlman
    3. The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman
    4. The Hypnotist, by Lars Kepler
    5. The Good Muslim, by Tahmima Anam
    6. Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan

    1. They're all yours and THANK YOU! Just email please, oakesn at gmail dot com. You can leave an address in the email. Thanks again!

  2. Replies
    1. Well, if I don't hear from the anonymous poster by tomorrow evening, I'll get back to you!

  3. Sadness! This was a good list!

    1. As I noted to Jovon, I still haven't heard back from "Anonymous," so the books go up on re-offer again this evening! Stay tuned.

    2. I mean, if I don't hear from him/her.

  4. Oops, hit 'enter' too soon. Going to check out your review for They Shoot Horses, Don't They as I just got it as an ARC from Open Road Media. Silly title -- but I'm intrigued...


Say what you will, but at least try to be nice about it.