The OF Blog: July 2010 Reads

Sunday, August 01, 2010

July 2010 Reads

July was a bounce-back month for me.  Finished with BAF4 materials and had a bit of time to read/re-read all of Jorge Luis Borges' writings that I own, all but one of which (a collection of all his poetry) were under 300 pages.  Read a few books for the SFF Masterworks reviewing project (later today or tomorrow, I'll be reviewing over there J.G. Ballard's The Drowned World, Kate Wilhelm's Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, and maybe Robert Silverberg's Dying Inside).  Finished up reading/re-reading 60 books total for July.  And here they are, with perhaps a few words on books that will not be reviewed or have not been reviewed prior to now:

199  Cordwainer Smith, The Rediscovery of Man (reviewed on SFF Masterworks)

200  E.R. Eddison, Mistress of Mistresses (reviewed on SFF Masterworks)

201  Jonathan Carroll, Voice of Our Shadow (reviewed on SFF Masterworks)

202  Ian McDonald, The Dervish House (already reviewed here)

203  Jorge Luis Borges, Discusión (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

204  Mia Couto, Every Man is a Race - very good short story collection set in Africa

205  Jorge Luis Borges, Historia universal de la infamia (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

206  Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death (already reviewed here)

207  Jeff VanderMeer, The Third Bear (reviewed two short stories, outstanding collection)

208  Jorge Luis Borges, Historia de la eternidad (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

209  Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares, Seis problemas para don Isidro Parodi (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

210  Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

211 Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares, Dos fantásticas memorables/Un modelo para la muerte (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

212  Happy Smiley and Friends, Happiness at the End of the World - I meant to do a full review before now but got delayed, so here is a paragraph summation of this short collection of stories written by Singaporean SF fans and writing students:

Happiness at the End of the World is a short collection of stories that contain takes on SF motifs such as the effects of technology on people's lives, first encounters with alien civilizations, and the like.  Most of the stories read well; a few were a bit ragged and were harder to follow.  Although there was nothing groundbreaking in either style or story conventions, these stories were pleasant to read.  It was a good, decent collection from writers who doubtless will continue to improve as they gain more experience in the craft of constructing stories.

213  Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird (re-read; already reviewed)

214  Fletcher Pratt, The Well of the Unicorn (reviewed for SFF Masterworks)

215  Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero (re-read; one of my favorite Ellis books)

216  Bret Easton Ellis, Imperial Bedrooms (just-released sequel to Less Than Zero. Meant to write a review, but got bogged down.  Worthy follow-up to Less Than Zero, this time about 25 years later.  Not for everyone, though, but I did enjoy it greatly.  Perhaps a longer review around the end of the year)

217  Jorge Luis Borges, El Aleph (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

218  Jorge Luis Borges and María Esther Vásquez, Literaturas germánicas medievales (Spanish; already reviewed)

219  Steven Erikson, Toll the Hounds (re-read; second commentary on this planned for the next 1-2 weeks)

220  Nikolai Gogol, The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories (commented on two stories; entire collection is superb)

221  Jorge Luis Borges, Otras Inquisciones (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

222  Jorge Luis Borges, El 'Martín Fierro' (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

223  Jorge Luis Borges, Leopoldo Lugones (Spanish; already reviewed)

224  Jorge Luis Borges, El hacedor (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

225  J.G. Ballard, The Drowned World (review forthcoming on SFF Masterworks)

226  Lewis Grizzard, Southern by the Grace of God (reprint of humorous newspaper articles.  Grizzard was a favorite columnist of mine until his death in the mid-1990s)

227  Kate Wilhelm, Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (review forthcoming on SFF Masterworks)

228  Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (18th century work is one of the earliest Gothic novels.  Entertaining)

229  Jorge Luis Borges and Esther Zemborain, Introducción a la literatura norteamericana (Spanish; already reviewed)

230  Amelia Beamer, The Loving Dead (review forthcoming)

231  Jorge Luis Borges and María Esther Vásquez, Introducción a la literatura inglesa (Spanish; already reviewed)

232  China Miéville, Kraken (review forthcoming; great use of squirrel in fiction)

233  Jorge Luis Borges, Elogio de la sombra (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

234  Jorge Luis Borges, El libro de los seres imposibles (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

235  Jorge Luis Borges, El informe de Brodie (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

236  J.G. Ballard, Crash (powerful, fascinating, like watching porn and a crash at the same time for the sorts of guilty feelings invoked)

237  Robert Silverberg, Dying Inside (review forthcoming on SFF Masterworks)

238  Samuel Delany, Dhalgren (reviewed on SFF Masterworks)

239  Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita (re-read; outstanding satire)

240  Jorge Luis Borges, The Book of Imaginary Beings (already reviewed the Spanish edition)

241  Poul Anderson, Tau Zero (review forthcoming in 1-2 weeks on this blog)

242  Jorge Luis Borges, Prólogos con un prólogo de prólogos (Spanish; already reviewed)

243  Jorge Luis Borges, El libro de arena (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

244  Jorge Luis Borges, Libro de sueños (Spanish; already reviewed)

245  David Soares, O Evangelho do Enforcado (Portuguese; already reviewed)

246  Jorge Luis Borges and Alicia Jurado, Qué es el budismo (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

247  Carlos Gardini, Tríptico de Trinidad (Spanish; review here in next 1-3 days)

248  Jorge Luis Borges, Obra poética (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

249  Goran Petrović, Ситничарница "Код срећне руке" (Serbian; review forthcoming)

250  Goran Petrović, La mano de la buena fortuna (Spanish; review forthcoming)

251  Jorge Luis Borges, Siete Noches (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

252  Jorge Luis Borges, Nueve ensayos dantescos (Spanish; already reviewed)

253  Jorge Luis Borges, La memoria de Shakespeare (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

254  Jorge Luis Borges, Atlas (Spanish; already reviewed)

255  Jorge Luis Borges, Prólogos de La Biblioteca de Babel (Spanish; already reviewed)

256  Jorge Luis Borges, Biblioteca Personal (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

257  Jorge Luis Borges, Silvana Ocampo, and Adolfo Bioy Casares (eds.), The Book of Fantasy (re-read; already reviewed)

258  André Gide, L'immoraliste (French; very good, disturbing story about a man's moral crisis and what he does about it.  Will want to re-read it more as my French improves, as while I got the gist of the story, there were some nuances that I'm sure I missed, as I sensed rather than experienced directly a very powerful read here)

In Progress:

David Lindsay, A Voyage to Arcturus (re-read; review forthcoming on SFF Masterworks)

Steven Erikson, Dust of Dreams (re-read; second commentary forthcoming in next 1-2 weeks)

Future Plans:

I will be reading/reviewing close to two dozen works by Serbian authors during the month of August and perhaps into early September.  Some of these will be read only in English, others only in Spanish, some in a combination of those two languages and Serbian.  Probably will be a review every 1-3 days, starting tomorrow or Tuesday.  Probably will also resume the Malazan re-read project commentaries once I finish the remaining stories.  Might be a bit shorter, since some of the books were read in June and July. 


Fabio Fernandes said...

It was a most excellent month for you, sir!! I stand in awe of you and your reading accomplishments - may we all become perfect readers, in the best tradition of Borges, of whom you were the perfect reviewer these past few weeks. Thank you very much!

Eileen said...

I started The Castle of Otranto but found it too hectic and crazy. My brother read it for a whole class on Gothic literature, for which I envy him.

That's a helluva list you have there. I'm not sure what my monthly average is but I'd say it's around five full-length novels.

Joe said...

Reading Easton Ellis makes my ass pucker.

If there is anything I enjoy reading about less than the problems of rich people, it's the problems of immoral rich people.

Which, naturally, is a gross simplification of Ellis' work, but damn. Can't stand that dude's work.

Simeon said...

I do not wish to believe that you actually read 50 books in one month. I can't. If I believe that, I have to kill myself out of a sense of inferiority. I don't wanna kill myself, Larry ;_;

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