The OF Blog: December 2014 Reads

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

December 2014 Reads

Read a lot in December, 71 books in all.  One of my most prolific reading months.  Managed to achieve my main reading goals this year, although it took some effort when it came to reading works in Portugese.  Typing this on my iPad, so any formatting errors can be attributed to that.  Here's the list:

337  Ron Rash, Something Rich and Strange (already reviewed)

338  Dorthy Tse, Snow and Shadow (already reviewed)

339  Jennifer Marie Brissett, Elysium (already reviewed)

340  Elena Poniatowska, La piel del cielo (re-read; Spanish; Premio Alfaguara winner; already reviewed)

341  S. Yizhar, Khirbet Khizeh (already reviewed)

342  Nuruddin Farah, Hiding in Plain Sight (already reviewed)

343  Tomás Eloy Martínez, El vuelo de la reina (re-read; Spanish; Premio Alfaguara winner; already reviewed)

344  José Saramago, O Homem Duplicado (Portuguese; very good)

345  J.R.R. Tolkien, El retorno del rey (Spanish; already reviewed)

346  J.R.R. Tolkien, Povratak kralja (Serbo-Croatian; already reviewed)

347  J.R.R. Tolkien, Le seigneur des anneaux (French; already reviewed)

348  J.R.R. Tolkien,  Il signore deli anelli (Italian; already reviewed)

349  J.R.R. Tolkien, O Senhor dos Anéis (Portuguese; already reviewed)

350  Moacyr Scliar, Guerra no Bom Fim (re-read; Portuguese; very good)

351  Clarice Lispector, A hora da estrela (re-read; Portuguese; very good)

352  Clarice Lispector, Laços de Família (re-read; Portuguese; very good)

353  Italo Calvino, Perché leggere I classici (Italian; non-fiction; excellent)

354  Nina Allan, The Race (already reviewed)

355  Santiago Roncagliolo, Abril rojo (re-read; Spanish; Premio Alfaguara winner; already reviewed)

356  Margaret Killjoy, A Country of Ghosts (already reviewed)

357  Leopoldo Brizuela, Una misma noche (re-read; Spanish; Premio Alfaguara winner; already reviewed)

358  Adriana Lisboa, O coração as veces parca de bater (Portuguese; very good)

359  Leonardo Sciascia, Una storia semplice (Italian; very good)

360  Leonardo Sciascia, Il mare colore del vino (re-read; Italian; very good)

361  Leonardo Sciascia, Il giorno della civetta (Italian; good)

362  Erri de Luca, Montedidio (re-read; Italian; excellent)

363  Dacia Maraini, L'età del malessere (Italian; very good)

364  José Saramago, A segunda vida de Francisco Assis (re-read; Portuguese; good)

365  Hilary Mantel, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher (already reviewed)

366  Christopher Beha, Arts & Entertainment (already reviewed)

367  Mariano Villarreal (ed.), Terra Nova 3 (Spanish; already reviewed)

368  Jay Lake, Last Plane to Heaven (already reviewed)

369  Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Stairs (already reviewed)

370  Denis Johnson, The Laughing Monsters (already reviewed)

371  Pagu, Parque Industrial (Portuguese; good)

372  Rachel de Queiroz, O Quinze (Portuguese; good)

373  José Saramago, Claraboia (re-read; Portuguese; very good)

374  Nancy Rose, The Secret Life of Squirrels (the squirrels say this is THE book you better read or else!)

375  Lydie Salvayre, Pas pleurer (French; Prix Goncourt winner; already reviewed)

376  Clarice Lispector, Aprendendo a viver (Portuguese; very good)

377  Dacia Maraini, Bagheria (Italian; very good)

378  Elsa Morante, Aracoeli (Italian; very good)

379  Elsa Morante, Racconti dimenticati (Italian; very good)

380  Anna Maria Ortese, Il mare non bagna Napoli (Italian; good)

381  Dacia Maraini, Buio (re-read; Italian; Premio Strega winner; very good)

382  Victor Hugo, Les Misérables III (French; may review in near future)

383  Natalia Ginzburg, Lessico famigliare (re-read; Italian; Premio Strega winner; very good)

384  Mario de Andrade, Macunaíma (Portuguese; very good)

385  Oswald de Andrade, Serafin ponte grande (Portuguese; good)

386  Annie Ernaux, L'événement (re-read; French; excellent)

387  Xavier Velasco, Diablo Guardián (re-read; Spanish; Premio Alfaguara winner; already reviewed)

388  Luis Leante, Mira si yo te querré (re-read; Spanish; Premio Alfaguara winner; already reviewed)

389  Antonio Orlando Rodríguez, Chiquita (re-read; Spanish; Premio Alfaguara winner; already reviewed)

390 Andrés Neuman, El viajero del siglo (re-read; Spanish; Premio Alfaguara winner; review shortly)

391  C. Alberto Bessa, Poética efêmera:  Poemas Reunidos (re-read; Portuguese; good)

392  Annie Ernaux, Une femme (re-read; French; very good)

393  Marguerite Duras, L'Amant (re-read; French; very good)

394  Marie de France, Lais de Marie de France (bilingual Old and Modern French; very good)

395  Álvaro Pacheco, Seleção de Poemas (Portuguese; very good)

396  Sergio Ramírez, Margarita, está linda la mar (re-read; Spanish; Premio Alfaguara winner; already reviewed)

397  Eliseo Alberto, Caracol Beach (re-read; Spanish; Premio Alfaguara winner; already reviewed)

398  Rachel de Queiroz, Memorial de Maria Moura (Portuguese; good)

399  Luís de Camões, Selected Sonnets (re-read; bilingual English and Portuguese; poetry; excellent)

400  Carlos Nejar, Arvore do mundo (Portuguese; very good)

401  Jorge Amado, Dona Flor e seus dois maridos (Portuguese; good)

402  Madeleine Chapsal, Trous de mémoire (French; non-fiction; good)

403  Moacyr Scliar, O exército de um homem só (re-read; Portuguese; good)

404  Giacomo Leopardi, Canti (re-read; Italian; poetry; very good)

405  Margaret Mazzantini, Non ti muovere (re-read; Italian; Premio Strega winner; good)

406  Maryse Condé, Moi, Tituba sorcière... (French; very good)

407  Jeff VanderMeer, Aceptación (Spanish; already reviewed the English original)

Final 2014 Reading Goals/Tallies:

Spanish:  60/50 (surpassed goal by 10 books; 13 read this month)

French:  52/50 (surpassed goal by 2 books; 9 read this month)

Italian:  52/50 (surpassed goal by 2 books; 15 read this month)

Portuguese:  52/50 (surpassed goal by 2 books; 20 read this month)

Women writers:  144/407 (surpassed 35% goal by .38%; 28/71 read this month, or 39.4%)

It was great to be able to average a book a week in each of the four languages listed above (in addition, I finished eight books in Serbian/Croatian (I consider them to be dialects of the same literary language) and one each in Polish, Latin, and Romanian (each of these read with another translation, although I can read Latin more or less without extensive use of the dictionary).  This makes the total non-English-language count 227/407, or 55.77% of my total reads for 2014.  First time since 2006 that the majority of my yearly reads were in a language other than English.

And that wraps it up for 2014 and its reads.  I'm fairly certain 2015 will be different, not least because I'm not going to try to replicate the 50x4 language reading challenge again.  Maybe the squirrels will, or maybe they just want me to learn their native language better?

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