I celebrated my 40th birthday in May, and it wasn’t until after the fact that I realised that it would have made a perfect excuse for a reading challenge – possibly 40 books written in the year of my birth – but I think I have enough challenges to juggle already ;-)
Of the 11 volumes I read in May, 4 were TBR challenge books, 3 were Bibliophilic Book Challenge books and 3 (or 21, if you count them as books and not as volumes) were non-challenge books. Two of the last three mentioned are omnibus editions, one of 15 previously separately published Edward Gorey short books and the other is a selection of 1001 drawings from 5 books by Icelandic artist Hugleikur Dagsson. Since I have hitherto counted books in omnibus editions as separate entities, I will continue to do so. This makes for an impressive number of books “read” in May (29), even if some 1225 pages of them were mostly drawings with very little text. However, I must say that some of Gorey’s detailed drawings demand as much attention and scrutiny as would go into reading a page or more of text.
In addition I gave up on The Sibyl in Her Grave. All those letters were getting tedious. I may return to it later.
That makes 29 books read this month, but in 11 volumes (i.e. physical books). 3 were rereads.
The first-time reads:
Michael Cunningham: The Hours
Edward Gorey: Amphigorey (The Unstrung Harp, The Listing Attic, The Doubtful Guest, The Object-lesson, The Bug Book, The Fatal Lozenge, The Haplesss Child, The Curious Sofa, The Sinking Spell, The Wuggly Ump, The Insect God, The West Wing, The Remembered Visit
Masha Hamilton: The Camel Bookmobile
Georgette Heyer: Devil's Cub
Hugleikur Dagsson: 1001 okkur
Stuart McLean: Welcome Home
Ellis Peters: The Virgin in the Ice and The Sanctuary Sparrow
Terry Pratchett: Making Money
Ann Waldron: The Princeton Murders
Edward Gorey: Amphigorey (The Willowdale Handcar, The Gashlycrumb Tinies
Georgette Heyer: Venetia
Tentative reading plan for June:
Of the tentative reading plan for May, I finished four of the seven books I mentioned. I have fallen behind plan with the Top Mysteries Challenge, in which I would like to read at least 20 books in 2010, but I plan to make an effort to finish at least Our Man in Havana in June, and perhaps also Time and Again by Jack Finney, which I got on my last trip to the National Library.
At the National Library I also picked up two possible contenders for the South-American book in the Global Reading Challenge. One is the Icelandic translation of Crímenes imperceptibles (En: The Oxford Murders) by Argentine author Guillermo Martínez, and the other an English translation of Pantaleón y las visitadoras (En: Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, by Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa. I plan to read both, but it will probably be Llosa’s novel that I review for the challenge, as it takes place in Peru while the Martínez novel takes place in England.
I also have two library books that could become my African reads for the same challenge, but to tell the truth neither is very tempting as they both look like they could turn out to be very bleak reads, full of literary value but short on entertainment. Maybe I’ll just go and try to get The Yakoubian Building for my African read.
Some months ago I enjoyed a Commissaire Adamsberg TV mini-series, and now I am reading the book, Wash this blood clean from my hand, which I also plan to finish in June. When the writing is this good, I really don’t mind reading it already knowing how it ends.