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Reflection

August 2010: it’s a wrap!

August is not a productive reading month for me. Not sure what is the main reason, perhaps Changeling held up some of my time, and The Map of Love is also a big of a drag. My favourites of the month is between After Dark and Our Tragic Universe, can’t decide which one I like best, but thought Our Tragic Universe was a very fun and thought provoking read, albeit not the writer’s best book.

So here’s what I have finished reading in August (Nothing to shout about!):

  1. After Dark, Haruki Murakami
  2. Changeling by Kenzaburo Oe
  3. The Map of Love, Ahdaf Souief
  4. Our Tragic Universe, Scarlett Thomas
  5. Mergers and Acquisitions by Dana Vachon
  6. Sky Burial by Xinrana and Weight by Jeanette Winterson

I am however a little guilty of my purchase. I bought 11 books, (Sorry for the ever photography in dim light, the night is the only time I am free to do any blogging and the flash reflect so much light!) Starting with:

Trust me, John Updike – a collection of short stories by John Updike. I’m still trying to find a good time to complete his Rabbit, Run and will do so in September.

Brideshead Revisited, Evenly Waugh is another classic that intrigues me and much talked about in BBC Big read favourite read of all time.

On a good day to charity stores, I hauled back two books with India as the story background:

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, and
A Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh (although this one includes journey to Myanmar too).

The thought of owning A Suitable Boy is purely for the purpose of having the luxury to read at my own sweet time rather than due-date pressing library loan. After all this book is about 1474 pages long, I’m not sure if 3 weeks is enough for me to finish reading it!

Mao, the Unknown story is acquired to quench my curiousity of the history of China and the life of Mao, which seems to be shrouded with mystery laden with rumours and hearsays about his funny daily routines, with this I want to confirm it.

Subsequently I wanted to haul in books that I have read and meant to refer them time and again for inspiration, guidance or just for laugh, notably The Islamist by Ed Husain and The Mind Gym: Wake your mind up of which latter contains some practical exercise guide to morph yourself into someone more “effective”. If you need one book, just one book to practice to become a better person, this might be it! 😉 and as you know Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella sits in my pile because it only costs me 20p to get it and the last time I read it I had a good laugh over it, I thought it was funnier than the Shopaholic series.

Smacked right in between is Yukio Mishima’s The Sailor Who fell from grace with the sea. I am surprised to find that it is such a small book, but if this is good, you will not hear the end of my pursuit for Mishima’s novels.

The book titles get a little fuzzy down there at the bottom of the pile, the hardback book is Amiry Suad’s Sharon and my mother-in-law : Ramallah Diaries, a memoir of her life living in West Bank as day to day life simple task become Herculean through check points and multitude of inconveniences. Suad writes this with humour and compassionate and one that I look forward to read.

V.S. Naipaul is a Nobel prize winner for literature in the year I was born (ahem, which is many many aeons ago!), and I have read In Free State, love it and would like to read this one called “Among the believers: An Islamic Journey” that chronicles his journey through Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia and along the way met the ‘believers’ of Islam which battle to regain the authenticity of their faith.

As for September, besides watching Simon Cowell criticises contestants’ singing skills on British TV’s X-Factor every weekend, I plan to speed through some of these wonderful loots that I have got last week, and surely Rabbit Run by John Updike and The Gathering by Anne Enright will be right on top of the pile. I should stop buying too many books. I will also read a few critical books to wrap up some challenges which are left with that one or two books that I can’t bring myself to read! I will read a few more non-fiction books and some travel books for my upcoming trip to Budapest, Vienna and Slovakia in October (I never travel anywhere without reading travel books first!), I’m not sure how I can read all these in the month of September, but the daily commute on the train definitely helps!

So what are you doing (and reading) this September? Anything interesting?

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About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.

Discussion

14 thoughts on “August 2010: it’s a wrap!

  1. It sounds as though you have some great plans for September. I’ll be watching Simon Cowell too 😉

    Good luck reading A Suitable Boy. I’ve owned a copy for ages and want to read it, but the thickness puts me off. Hopefully you’ll be able to persuade me to pick it up.

    Enjoy the rest of your reads 🙂

    Posted by Jackie (Farm Lane Books) | September 1, 2010, 11:54 am
    • @Jackie, thank you! Not sure how I’m going to read A Suitable Boy, perhaps take it in chewable chunk and digest it, but taking that first step is hard…oh.. why do some authors write such a HUGE book???!!! LOL. 😀

      Posted by JoV | September 1, 2010, 9:14 pm
  2. How does Our Tragic Universe compare to The End Of Mr. Y? I enjoy reading The End Of Mr. Y, I think. It was back in 2007 when I read that. I didn’t quite enjoy PopCo as much.

    Posted by Wilfrid | September 1, 2010, 3:29 pm
    • Hi Stu, thanks for stopping by.
      As Jackie’s (of Farm Lane Books) review rightly said, The End of Mr. Y has a plot, whereas Our Tragic Universe has none, or a weak one. The End of Mr. Y seems to be a better one, so can’t wait to get my hands on it!

      Posted by JoV | September 1, 2010, 9:16 pm
  3. a good august ,so great buys recently brought new edition of brideshaed revisited at castle howard wher fiilm and 80’s tv series of the book set seems great place to but a nice hard back version ,all the best stu

    Posted by winstonsdad | September 1, 2010, 5:10 pm
  4. Before I forget, here’s a link to my review of Among the Believers from my old blog. Feel free to check it out if you get a chance:
    http://maphead.vox.com/library/post/a-little-vs-naipaul.html

    Posted by maphead | September 2, 2010, 1:33 am
  5. I love how this wasn’t a productive month for you, this amount is my good month haha.

    Posted by jessicabookworm | September 2, 2010, 8:48 am
  6. Doesn’t look like a bad reading month to me! 🙂 I want to read another Murakami now, and also try Oe!
    Your September (and especially October travel) plans look great!

    Posted by Bina | September 3, 2010, 12:47 pm
  7. That VS Naipul’s book sounds interesting. I have yet to read his book. Didn’t know he writes non-fiction as well. I’d love to read A Suitable Boy, but not sure when?!

    Posted by mee | September 7, 2010, 3:33 am

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Mockingjay
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City


JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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