The OF Blog: February 22-28 Reads

Saturday, February 28, 2009

February 22-28 Reads

A bit of a struggle to read for part of this week, due to work-related issues, but somehow I managed to find the time and energy today to complete four books out of the seven below. There should be more time for reading in March, as I believe I won't be quite as wrapped up in work. Don't know if this pace of 32 books/month will last, however, as spring is coming and this is the year that I want to get at least close to the shape I was in when I was 17 years old. 15 lbs. down, a bunch to go. At least my bronchitis is fading and I'm not coughing up phlegm anymore. Now for this week's reads, those in progress, and those to be read in March perhaps:

58 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (last re-read in 1996) - Thoughts here.

59 Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (eds.), Best American Fantasy 2 - Review will be forthcoming tomorrow, I hope. Fewer pleasant surprises, but I found it to be stronger than the first edition. Will elaborate in the review. Highly recommend this to short fiction readers here.

60 Catherynne M. Valente, Palimpsest - Gorgeous prose, interesting setting, but I think my work-related issues put a damper on my enjoyment of this book (I read it during planning period/lunch period breaks this week). Will re-read later, as I think my opinion will increase quite a bit from good to perhaps glowing.

61 Roberto Bolaño, La literatura nazi en América - Somehow, Bolaño managed to out-Borges Borges in this fictional encyclopedia of writers influenced by elements of Nazism. Will write a full review of this one in the near future to explain the apparent hyberbole.

62 Roberto Bolaño, El gaucho insufrible - This is the third of four (to date) short fiction collections by the late Chilean author and the last (2003) to appear in his lifetime. Some outstanding stories here. Will write a feature on Bolaño in the near future.

63 Roberto Bolaño, El secreto del mal - Posthumous (2007) collection of short stories, non-fiction, and fragments of stories that will be of interest to fellow Bolañistas. Thinking about devoting a weekend in March (or my spring break in late March/early April) to translating in full one of the non-fiction pieces and posting it here so others can see better why I'm trying to collect all his available writings in Spanish.

64 Benjamin Rosenbaum, The Ant King and Other Stories - This 2008 collection published by Small Beer Press reminds me in many ways of another Small Beer writer, Kelly Link herself, in the juxtapositioning of the "real" and the "fantastical," although Rosenbaum's "plausible fabulisms" are not as whimsical. Very good collection, however.

In Progress:

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Las luces de septiembre

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers (re-read)

Future Plans:

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

Jo Graham, Hand of Isis

Jonathan Littel, The Kindly Ones

Jeff VanderMeer, City of Saints and Madmen (re-read)


Anonymous said...

I'm also reading Nazi Literature after the excellent review of it in the London Review of Books (it's probably online), so will be interested to see what you think of it

Larry Nolen said...

Cool! I might write something tonight or tomorrow on it. Debating whether or not to do an Author Spotlight post on Bolaño first.

Anonymous said...

looking forward to either/both!

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