The OF Blog: November 2011 Reads

Saturday, December 24, 2011

November 2011 Reads

Better late than never, right?  Didn't read as much in November compared to other months (was busy with job transition work, my grandmother's death, and a few other matters), but I did review quite a few of these titles already.  Anyways, here they are.

438  Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split (already reviewed)

439  Umberto Eco and Jean-Claude Carrière, This is Not the End of the Book (transcribed series of talks between the two on the future of the printed book.  I highly recommend this.  I think this is not yet available in the US, as I have an UK edition)

440  David Abulafia, The Great Sea (one of the best histories of the Mediterranean Sea and its people that I've read in years)

441  Carl Phillips, Double Shadow (already reviewed)

442  Yusef Komunyakaa, The Chameleon Couch (already reviewed)

443  Debby Dahl Edwardson, My Name is Not Easy (already reviewed)

444  Adrienne Rich, Tonight No Poetry Will Serve:  Poems 2007-2010 (already reviewed)

445  Mary Gabriel, Love and Capital:  Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution (already reviewed)

446  Franny Billingsley, Chime (already reviewed)

447  Vergil, The Georgics (poetry; translated; good, but not his best work ;))

448  Georges Perec, Les Choses (French; very good)

449  Manning Marable, Malcolm X (already reviewed)

450  Marcel Proust, Du Côté de Chez Swann (French; review essay in near future)

451  Shelley Fisher Fishkin, The Mark Twain Anthology (excellent Library of America anthology of writers' thoughts over the past 140 years on Mark Twain)

452  H.L. Mencken, Prejudices:  First, Second and Third Series (one of the best literary/cultural critics of the 20th century; excellent two-volume collection by the Library of America)

453  Aimee Bender, Willful Creatures (very good weird fiction collection)

454  Marcel Proust, A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (French; review essay in near future)

455  Carlo Collodi, Pinocchio (the original version of the tale; good)

456  Mercè Rodoreda, Death in Spring (good, but not as good as her short fiction)

457  Hafiz, The Gift (excellent translation of one of the best medieval Persian Sufi poets)

458  Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past, Volume I:  Swann's Way/Within a Budding Grove (translation is adequate, but has not dated well)

459  Milorad Pavić, Priča koja je ubila Emiliju Knor/The Tale That Killed Emily Knorr (re-read; Serbian/translated; already reviewed)

460  Carlos Ruiz Zafón, La sombra del viento (re-read; Spanish; good, but the worst of his three adult novels)

461  Milorad Pavić, Unique Item - Delta Novel (will be reviewed sometime in 2012)

462  Carlos Ruiz Zafón, El Juego Del Ángel (re-read; Spanish; already reviewed)

463  Milorad Pavić, Blue Book (review sometime in 2012)

464  Carlos Ruiz Zafón, El Prisionero del Cielo (Spanish; reviewed already)

465  Umberto Eco, La Misteriosa Fiamma della la Regina Loana (Italian; already reviewed)

466  Umberto Eco, Тајанствени Пламен Краљице Лоане (Serbian translation; already reviewed)

467  Umberto Eco, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana (re-read; already reviewed)

468  Milorad Pavić, Drugo Telo (re-read; Serbian; review in 2012)

469  Milorad Pavić, Second Body (re-read; review in 2012)

470  Christopher Bollen, Lightning People (good 2011 debut novel)

471  Catherynne M. Valente, The Habitation of the Blessed (promising opener to a series that touches upon the Prester John legend)

472  Milorad Pavić, Sedam smrtnih grehova (Serbian; review in 2012)

473  Milorad Pavić, Siete pecados capitales (Spanish; review in 2012)

474  Eric Pankey, Cenotaph (good poetry collection)

With a week remaining in 2011, December has seen some progress on the reading front.  Last night, I passed 500 books read this year.  Should finish all of Proust in the coming week, along with two more Eco novels (I plan to have written reviews for all six of his novels by mid-January).  The Best of 2011 posts will start sometime next week, likely the 27th or 28th and running through the 31st.  Plenty to discuss there, I promise, including several books you may never see on other lists.  Having finished 115 books initially released in 2011 (and with a few more to go), I think my coverage might be somewhat comprehensive for the areas of interest I have, but then again, there's always more to be discovered later, no?

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