The OF Blog: February 2010 Reads

Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 2010 Reads

Forty books (most of them re-reads, though) and 8 journals and magazines read in full this month, with a few partial reads.  This will be mostly just a listing of the book, no real commentary due to wanting to sleep before 2 AM.


41  Italo Calvino, Italian Folktales (very good; interesting variations on Anglo-French folktales that I've read for years)

42  David Foster Wallace, This is Water (re-read; helps to set priorities straight)

43  Philip Pulman, The Subtle Knife (merely OK)

44  William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray, Walter Canis Inflatus (Latin; farting dogs amuse me)

45  Roberto Bolaño, Estrella Distante (re-read; essay forthcoming)

46  Roberto Bolaño, Nocturno de Chile (re-read; see above)

47 Roberto Bolaño, La literatura nazi de América (re-read; see above)

48  Roberto Bolaño, Amberes  (re-read; see above)

49  Roberto Bolaño, Monsieur Pain (re-read; see above)

50  George MacDonald, Lilith (re-read; good precursor to 20th century spec fic)

51  Umberto Eco, Baudolino (Italian; merely OK for Eco)

52  Umberto Eco, Baudolino (English; re-read; see above)

53  Steven Erikson, Crack'd Pot Trail (review possibly forthcoming; not quite as good as his other Mazalan novelas/short novels)

54  Adam Rapp, Ball Peen Hammer (already reviewed)

55  Martha Greenwald, Other Prohibited Tales (poetry; good)

56  Liana Quill, Fifty Poems (poetry; author has potential, but these were more sketches than anything else)

57  Christopher Salerno, Minimum Heroic (poetry; fairly good)

58  Roberto Bolaño, Amuleto (re-read; essay forthcoming)

59  Roberto Bolaño and A.G. Porta, Consejos de un discípulo de Morrison a un fanático de Joyce (re-read; essay forthcoming)

60  Roberto Bolaño, El gaucho insufrible (re-read; already touched upon in an essay)

61  Catherynne M. Valente, Under in the Mere (re-telling of the Arthurian core myths; very good prose)

62  Roberto Bolaño, Llamada telefónicas (re-read; essay already written on it)

63  Roberto Bolaño, Putas asesinas (re-read; see above)

64  Roque Dalton, Las historias prohibidas del pulgarcito (re-read; poetry; work of one of Latin America's best poets of the 1970s)

65  Stefanie Freele, Feeding Strays (short story collection; good)

66  Roberto Bolaño, El secreto del mal (re-read; see above)

67  Alex Haley, Roots (meant to write an essay on this and the mini-series last week; damn good story that straddles fiction and non-fiction)

68  Roberto Bolaño, Entre paréntheses (re-read; see above)

69  Osonye Tess Onwueme, Why the Elephant Has No Butt (clever, humorous retelling of Nigerian folk tales involving animals)

70  Roberto Bolaño, La Universidad Desconocida (re-read; see above)

71  Roberto Bolaño, Los detectives salvajes (re-read; essay forthcoming)

72  Roberto Bolaño, Una novelita lumpen (essay forthcoming)

73  Roberto Bolaño, La pista del hielo (essay forthcoming)

74  César Aira, Cómo me hice monja (short, almost too short, sometimes brutal with the prose, but mostly great)

75  Italo Calvino, The Uses of Literature (interesting takes on the value of literature; collected essays and interviews)

76  Kay Kenyon, Prince of Storms (excellent close to one of the better SF series of the past decade.  Might try to write a full review shortly)

77  Jorge Volpi, El fin de la locura (re-read; good)

78  Adolfo Bioy Casares, El sueño de los héroes (re-read; good, but not as appealing as two other works of his that I read on the 28th)

79  Adolfo Bioy Casares, De las cosas maravillosas (re-read; short essays on things Bioy Casares enjoyed in life.  Very good)

80  Adolfo Bioy Casares, La invención de Morel (re-read; best work of his that I've read.  Highly recommended.)

Lit Journals and Magazines

No comment on these, due to evaluating them for Best American Fantasy 4:

Ninth Letter, Fall/Winter 2009-10

On Spec, Fall 2009

Electric Velocipede 19, Fall 2009

The Kenyon Review, Winter 2010

10  Ectone 8:  The Brutality Issue, Fall 2009

11  New England Review Vol. 30, No. 3 Fall 2009

12  American Short Fiction, Spring 2009

13  Harvard Review 36, Spring 2009 

In Progress:

Roberto Arlt, El jorobadito (re-read)

The Southern Review, Fall 2009

Roberto Bolaño, 2666 (re-read)

Future Plans:

Books only:

Adrian Tchaikovsky, Empire In Black and Gold 

Roberto Bolaño, El Tercer Reich 


Anonymous said...

Any further comments on Calvino's 'Italian folktales'? Its sitting in my tbr pile and I've been considering giving it a shot.

Mihai (Dark Wolf) said...

There is a publishing house in Romania that does a praiseworthy job, releasing many interesting titles and authors across the world. I bought from them some of the titles of Roberto Bolano, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Mario Vargas Llosa and Luis Fernando Verissimo. But there are so many other titles I want, but they have to wait a bit longer. Among them is Rui Zink, who's "O Anibaleitor" I loved.

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