The OF Blog: February 2014 Reads

Sunday, March 02, 2014

February 2014 Reads

Not much to list here, as February proved to be my worst reading month when it comes to the number of books read.  Only 7 were read in full this past month, mostly because the past three weeks or so have been devoted to working on translating out, either in passages or lists of words to learn, sections from three books:  Vergil, Aeneid (Latin; see my recent series of old translation notes on Book I); Liviu Rebreanu, Pădurea spânzuraților (The Forest of the Hanged; Romanian); and Miroslav Krleža, Hrvatski Bog Mars (The Croatian God Mars; Croatian).  I expect it'll take several more weeks for the Vergil project to complete its first stage (I have 316 more lines of Book I to post, some of which will require me to do new translation work in order to fill in the gaps in my 1994 notes) and a few months at least for the other two, as I alternate between the two, going 1-4 pages/day.

I do read some outside of these, but not much (only today, after beginning it nearly four weeks ago, I finished reading the Spanish translation of Haruki Murakami's most recent novel, set to come out this summer in English as Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage) and I won't be surprised if March ends up being as short as February for completed reads.  That being said, I suspect that in a month or two, I'll be reading the above-listed books much more quickly once I've mastered more of the vocabulary (I've already improved full word-for-word understanding, as opposed to getting the gist of it, by nearly double over the past two weeks) and that I'll be back on track with my yearly goals.  Now for what I did read:

33  Chang-rae Lee, On Such a Full Sea (I gave some of my thoughts on the book in a post I wrote critiquing some of Ursula Le Guin's comments on it, but I did think it was a solid to very good book)

34  Marcel Theroux, Strange Bodies (already reviewed)

35  Denise Duhamel, Blowout (poetry; very good)

36  Molly Antopol, The UnAmericans (short fiction collection; excellent)

37  Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation (already reviewed)

38  Ishmael Beah, Radiance of Tomorrow (might review in near future)

39  Gabriel García Márquez, La mala hora (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

Yearly Goals:

Spanish:  16/50 (ahead of pace; 1 read in February)

Portuguese:  4/50 (behind pace by 4; 0 read in February)

French:  5/50 (behind pace by 3; 0 read in February)

Italian:  7/50 (behind pace by 1; 0 read in February)

Women writers:  13/39 (33%; behind goal by 2%; 2 read this month)

For comparison's sake:  English:  6 read in 2014 to date.  Counting book finished today, 15% of books completed so far in 2014 have been read in English.  Of those 6, 5 were released in the US in 2014.

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