The OF Blog: March 1-7 Reads

Saturday, March 07, 2009

March 1-7 Reads

For the past few weeks, I have managed to read exactly 7 books per week. However, the pace of things might change a bit, as I will be going on Spring Break at the end of the month and thus should have more time then to read more. However, this upcoming week promises to be a very busy one, with the grading period ending, so it'll be interesting to see if I can maintain a book a day average.

This week's reads include four 2009 releases/translations, two re-reads, and an older short story collection I hadn't gotten around to reading until now. There are also several works in progress, more than usual, so perhaps there will be some hope for me to read another 7 or more in the week to come. Below are the books read and quick thoughts on them.

65 Jeff VanderMeer, City of Saints and Madmen (re-read from 2003, 2006) - Although this was a re-read for the most part, this was the first time that I had read the Bantam tradeback edition, so there were a couple of new stories for me. What I noticed this time through is that in addition to the surreal feel to many of the stories, that I gained more from reading how the characters interact with each other and with their environments. Nice to know that my enjoyment of VanderMeer's book has increased each time that I have read it, something to keep in mind when I tackle a re-read of his Shriek: An Afterword in the coming weeks.

66 Yuri Andrukhovych, The Moscoviad -I plan on writing a review of this short novel in the near future, so I'll hold off on saying anything other than the book was great for the first 2/3, then petered off a bit towards the end. Not as good as his excellent Perverzion, but still a very good, witty novel.

67 Zoran Živković, The Bridge - Another book I plan on reviewing at length in the near future. Three interconnected stories that utilize the metaphorical (and concrete) imagery of a bridge to weave a very good tale. More on this later, as I want to do a re-read before stating anything else.

68 Peter Beagle, We Never Talk About My Brother - 2009 short story collection featuring tales written/published in 2007 and 2008. Excellent collection of tales. Considering doing a review of this later in the month or in early April, time/energy permitting. Highly recommended for most everyone reading this.

69 Jonathan Littell, The Kindly Ones - Massive, sprawling tale that touches upon the Shoah/Holocaust from the perspective of a frontline perpretrator of that horrific atrocity. Will write a much longer review touching upon its many strengths and some of its weaknesses in the next week or two.

70 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers (re-read from 1987-1996) - I hope to have a reflective essay on this book up either tomorrow or in the next few days, time/energy permitting.

71 Jeffrey Ford, The Fantasy Writer's Assistant - Despite having read and enjoyed his subsequent two short story collections (and each of his novels), I never got around to buying a copy of this book until a few months ago. Decided that the time was right for me to read it and as I expected, the stories were uniformly very good, with some likely to stay in my thoughts for a while. More on this and other related matters later in the month or early next.

In Progress:

Irwin Shaw, Evening in Byzantium

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower (re-read from 2008)

Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan (re-read from 2005)

Charles Coleman Finlay, Wild Things

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King (re-read from 1987-1996)

Future Plans:

Charles Coleman Finlay, The Prodigal Troll

José Saramago, El año de la muerte de Ricardo Reis

Jeffrey Ford, The Empire of Ice Cream (re-read from 2007)

Jeff VanderMeer, Shriek: An Afterword (re-read from 2006)


Brody said...

Can't wait to read what you thought of Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones. Every day at work I come closer and closer to picking this one up, even though i have tons on my to-read pile.

Larry said...

Friday or Saturday. I'll post it then (Titus Groan will be Thursday or Friday).

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