The breeze is cool, with occasional rain. I am expecting the leaves to brown by now, but they haven’t. On most days I get between 18 to 23 degree celcius temperature, the sun still shines and it is glorious!!
This is what I have read this month:
- After the Banquet by Yukio Mishima
- The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima
- Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto
- Rabbit Run by John Updike
- The Gathering by Anne Enright
- Identity by Milan Kundera
- Hotel Du Lac, Anita Brookner
- The Maid, Yasutaka Tsutsui
This month gave me the false impression that I read a lot but actually I didn’t. When I look at my list I was fairly disappointed, because besides After the Banquet and skim reading Rabbit Run, the rest are slim books which doesn’t take very long to finish! Not more than 250 pages!! Perhaps blogging about books a lot gave me that feeling of me reading a lot this month.
I like After the Banquet the best, Identity comes next, I didn’t like Rabbit Run, and 3 Man Booker Prize winners who gave me a feeling of Meh!.
Book Purchase / Received
The Summer book buying frenzy has spill over to September, I have to re-take the photograph a few times because just when I thought I have all of them in the picture I forgot another few. 😦
So here are what I have bought / received in the month of September:
From top to bottom:
- The Flowers of Algernon by Daniel Keyes – I was enticed by Bookie Mee recommendation. So let me entice you back to read this with some introduction: Charlie Gordon is about to embark upon an unprecendented journey. Born with an unusually low IQ Charlies was put under experimental surgery that increases his intelligence, similar to the highly successful survey done on a lab mouse named Algernon. Then Algernon deteriorates, will the same happen to Charlie? This is book is heralded as a tear jerker and one with a lot of heart.
- I also received a book for review by Carolina, from publisher titled Camus: A romance by Elizabeth Hawes. This is really the sort of biography I like to read: a sexy literary hero, an intellectual, prolific and short lived, fought for the rights of the oppressed. An author who achieve great feat despite poor health. I am about half way through the book and enjoying it.
- The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima – I saw this on offer in Amazon and thought I better snap this up before someone else does.
- The Dead Soul by Gogol– I wanted to read Gogol ever since it was first mentioned in The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, so when I saw a new copy on the charity bookstore I took it home.
- Sugar Street by Naguib Mahfouz – A replacement book for a defect on my other shipment by the book supplier. My library stocks up Book 1 and 2, but not 3. It is the same with Mishima’s Sea of Fertility, they stock the first two but not the last 2. Why oh why do libraries do this??!!! It drives me mad!! 😦
- Saturday by Ian McEwan – This one is recommended by Bernadette of Reactions to Reading, I like to read another one by McEwan after Atonement and On Chesil Beach. I thought McEwan is at his best when he writes short novels.
- The Reader by Bernhard Schlink – A follow-up action from my movie review on The Reader I went out and bought a copy of the book and so that I could mull over the profound sentences of deep thinking Schlink whenever I want to!
- Thailand, the traveler’s tale collection – For collection on travel tales and anecdotes, look no further than the traveler’s tale collection. I read China : Traveler’s Tale last year (seems aeons ago) and it records one of the most comprehensive and multi-dimensional aspects of a country. Winner of the Best Travel Book – Lowell Thomas Award, the Thailand traveler’s tale promises another good rendition of the Thai culture and the people. I have travelled about 6 times with my other half to Thailand and felt like we merely scraped the surface of what the country has to offer, this book will give us a more in-depth look at Thailand.
Here’s another look of my second pile of books purchase and received:
- Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller – This is a true story about Alexandra who grew up in 1970’s war-torn Rhodesia. I read the first page and it was written in good humour and satire on an otherwise grim setting. The House of Stone by British journalist Christina Lamb first drew me to the conflict between the white and the black people, and I yearn to read more about Zimbabwe.
- The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker – When I saw these 3 books sitting pretty on the charity bookstore I was tempted. I have vowed to read titles from past Man Booker Prize winners and I knew Pat Barker’s The Ghost Road won in 1996. Alas! It was the 3rd book of the trilogy. I went next door and talked to my librarian Carol, and she gave me a great positive endorsement of the trilogy and she thought it’s absolutely brilliant. The head librarian Marjorie said the same thing, except one book on WWI which is better than this trilogy is Sebastian Faulk’s Birdsong. Carol said “At least you get two endorsements now, and we don’t always agree with each other!! So at least we agree on that!” With that feedback, I ran back to the shop and bought the trilogy. I could have borrowed them from the library, but I thought the collection of 3 books propitiously available on a charity book store call out to me to find them a good home, so here comes JoV the super reader to save the day! 😉
- The Freedom of My Second Life by Malika Oufkir – An ex-library copy. After the awe inspiring tale of the Oufkir in La Prisonniere, I had to find out how she adjust to her new found freedom after being incarcerated for 20 years in the middle of desert in Morocco. Her courage and her will to live is so so unbelievably strong, I strongly urge you to find inspiration from her amazing life story, you will never think the same about a loaf of bread after that!
- War Trash by Ha Jin – Another one of Bookie Mee favourites (or was it Waiting?), I found this for 10p hardback in the withdrawn book for sale section of the library. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I hope the library keeps trashing out good books and perceived unpopular books that I want!
I think I should stop here now, but then a light bulb turned on and I forgot to mention the 10 books of Daphne Du Maurier collection I got from a charity book store on the 1st of September 2010. That brings the number of books purchased and received this month up to 24!!!! (Jaw dropped, no regrets).
Plans for October
I plan to quickly plough through travel guides on my upcoming vacation destinations and perhaps complete an exam paper, restrain from further library looting and target to read 4 books next month.
How’s your September? What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Happy Autumn (or October) everyone!