Skip to main content

Reading report for March 2009

I have amazed myself again by reading a total of 22 books in one month. By the 18th it looked like I would manage, without having planned it, to read a book a day in March. That’s when I decided to slow down for a few days to rest my eyes. I’m happy I did, because while reading is good, so is spending time with friends and family.

Besides that, I had my tax report to turn in. It was unusually complicated this year, as I had five sources of income to report besides my regular salary, including a grant, some per diem money and my freelance translation work. Some of this was tax-deductible while some wasn’t, and some was tax-free and some was not. Sometimes, especially come tax-time, I think this freelance business is really too complicated to bother with, but now all I have to do is look at my new car and think "I wouldn’t have this if it wasn’t for my freelance work", and it stops being a problem.

The challenges are rolling along on schedule or better. I finished:
5 Top Mysteries challenge books,
4 Icelandic books, and
6 books that had been in my TBR stack for over a year, plus 3 more that I have owned for less than a year.

I am still accumulating new books slightly faster than I can read and cull the old ones, mostly because books from my vast wishlist keep becoming available on BookMooch.

Books I read in March:
Annette Blair: The Kitchen Witch (romance)
Meg Cabot: All American Girl (young adult book)
G.K. Chesterton: The Man who was Thursday (novel)
Joseph Conrad: The Secret Agent (psychological thriller)
Edmund Crispin: The Moving Toyshop (mystery)
Colin Dexter: The Dead of Jericho (mystery)
E.M. Forster: A Room with a View (classic romance)
Mark Hebden: Pel and the Faceless Corpse (mystery)
Patricia Highsmith: Strangers on a Train & The Talented Mr. Ripley (psychological thrillers)
Pico Iyer (issue editor) & Jason Wilson (series editor): The Best American Travel Writing 2004 (collection of travel articles)
Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (mystery thriller)
Cathie Linz: Between the Covers (romance)
Rory Maclean: Stalin's Nose (travelogue)
MasterCard Iceland: Umhverfis jörðina með MasterCard (travel guide, promotional)
Frances Mayes: Under the Tuscan Sun (fixer-upper memoir/travelogue)
Ruth Rendell: A Judgment in Stone (psychological thriller)
Stefán Jón Hafstein & Kristinn Jón Guðmundsson: New York! New York! (being there story/travelogue)
Fred Vargas: The Three Evangelists (mystery)
Pat & Dennis Welch (text); Mike Dowdall & Pat Welch(images): Humans (humour, comic book)
Yrsa Sigurðardóttir: Þriðja táknið (Last Rituals) & Sér grefur gröf (My Soul to Take) (mysteries)

Next month’s upcoming reads include 5 more Top Mysteries challenge books that I have on loan from the library and need to return before the end of the month. I plan to read fewer mysteries in April than I did in March and concentrate more on other types of novels and on non-fiction. I hope to take at least half of what I read in April from the TBR stack.


Popular posts from this blog

How to make a simple origami bookmark

Here are some instructions on how to make a simple origami (paper folding) bookmark:

Take a square of paper. It can be patterned origami paper, gift paper or even office paper, just as long as it’s easy to fold. The square should not be much bigger than 10 cm/4 inches across, unless you intend to use the mark for a big book. The images show what the paper should look like after you follow each step of the instructions. The two sides of the paper are shown in different colours to make things easier, and the edges and fold lines are shown as black lines.

Fold the paper in half diagonally (corner to corner), and then unfold. Repeat with the other two corners. This is to find the middle and to make the rest of the folding easier. If the paper is thick or stiff it can help to reverse the folds.

Fold three of the corners in so that they meet in the middle. You now have a piece of paper resembling an open envelope. For the next two steps, ignore the flap.

Fold the square diagonally in two. You…

List love: A growing list of recommended books with elderly protagonists or significant elderly characters

I think it's about time I posted this, as I have been working on it for a couple of months.
I feel there isn’t enough fiction written about the elderly, or at least about the elderly as protagonists. The elderly in fiction tend to be supporting characters, often wise elders (such as  Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books) or cranky old neighbour types (e.g. the faculty of Unseen University in the Discworld series) or helpless oldsters (any number of books, especially children’s books) for the protagonist to either help or abuse (depending on whether they’re a hero or not).
Terry Pratchett has written several of my favourite elderly protagonists and they always kick ass in one way or another, so you will see several of his books on this list, either as listed items or ‘also’ mentions.
Without further ado: Here is a list of books with elderly protagonists or significant, important elderly characters. I leave it up to you to decide if you’re interested or not, but I certainly enjoyed…