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Spring is almost over.. (It’s a wrap! for May 2011 by the way)

It’s been a busy month as usual but a more pleasurable reading month for me, well, only towards the second half of the month that is.

  1. The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson 
  2. The Vagrants by YiYun Li 
  3. The Making of a Royal Romance by Katie Nicholl 
  4. When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant 
  5. Annabel by Kathleen Winter 
  6. The Lion’s Honey by David Grossman
  7. Room by Emma Donoghue 
  8. The Decision Book – 50 models for Strategic Thinking 

Quite a dark gloomy books covers this month! My book of the month was When I Lived in Modern Times and Annabel. The former appeals more to my mind and the later my heart, quite a good balance. Although The Butterfly Mosque, The Making of Royal Romance came on a very close 2nd and 3rd. I found potentially my favourite author in Linda Grant. I finished 8 books this month. The most I ever read for the month, bringing the total of books read this year at a paltry 28. 😦

None of the choices for this month was bad but I think 2666 has sort of ruin it for me at the start of the month. I also thought The Vagrants could potentially drag me back to reading slump and I don’t particular like to be strung along a unconvincing ride with Room.

In the meantime I have been trying to do some catch-up on a few Orange Prize shortlists I want to read before the announcement. I finished Great House by Nicole Krauss today I could perhaps read one more from the shortlist this weekend. We’ll see.

Looking back at May’s plan I only achieve half of it:

  1. The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson (Read)
  2. Nazi Literature in Americas by Roberto Bolano (DNF)
  3. I think I love you by Allison Pearson (DNF)
  4. Great Expectations by Charles Dicken
  5. The Vagrants by YunYi Li (Read)
  6. For Bread Alone by Mohammed Choukri (translated by Paul Bowles)
  7. One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  8. The Making of Royal Romance by Kate Nicholl (Read)
  9. The Dark Side of Love by Rafik Schami
Beside the books I bought when Bookie Mee, Jackie and I went out on a book hunt, I also bought these two books, Museum of Innocence and Fingersmith, making a total of 7 books purchased this month with 3 given by Jackie (it’s not my fault!). This is perhaps the 3rd Fingersmith I have bought. The first one I gave it to my asthma nurse, the second is a hardback and now a new copy paperback. I’m teetering between keeping the hardback or paperback and found myself changing my mind every few days. What do you think? Would you rather keep hardback or paperback?

Plans for June
For June, I’ll be reading a few more Japanese books with the start of the Japanese Literature Challenge hosted by the lovely Bellezza. 2 books by Haruki Murakami and Out by Natsuo Kirino beckoning. I am keen to finish off my library pile listed in May and I have some wonderful line-up from the library loot for June:
  1. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin
  2. I Think of You by Ahdaf Soueif
  3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Path (I saw Jessica of Bookworm Chronicle read this)
  4. The Clothes on Their Back by Linda Grant
  5. Pocket Notebook by Mike Thomas (recommended by Jackie @ Farmlane book blog, looks promising from the start!)
With a few more hopefully joyful and cosy mystery reading coming up…..

How did you do this month? and before we hit the mid-year mark, what are your plans for June? What are you reading and where are you going for holidays this summer?

On a separate note, non-bookish related…. Spring is almost over… where did the time flies?

Ever since taking up this new job, I haven’t enjoyed Spring properly, in my mind at least. I spent many weeks worried about my new assignments. Not one, but several. I remembered last year when I was savouring every moment of spring, taking longer walks and smelling the roses, I took this picture outside of my office then with my mobile phone in the hope of submitting it to the Hello Japan! Mini challenge that Tanabata @ When it is spring it is the Dawn March challenge 2010 but I never did.

The sky was blue, the cherry blossom was pink and the grass was green then…. in all its vivid colours…

Upon closer look the view is even better….

Do take time to smell the roses and watch the cherry blossoms my friends, I wish you a Happy Spring and a wonderful Summer 2011!

About JoV

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


20 thoughts on “Spring is almost over.. (It’s a wrap! for May 2011 by the way)

  1. Beautiful cherry blossoms! I liked Room and have the Butterfly Mosque on my TBR list thanks to you. I hope June is a good month for you. I read my first fun YA book of the summer yesterday!

    Posted by Helen | June 4, 2011, 2:57 am
  2. Have fun with the JLC5 – I’m already well underway (as you cans ee by the review page!). What Murakami will you be reading?

    Posted by Tony | June 4, 2011, 7:29 am
    • Tony, Yay JLC5 is here. The Murakami I’m reading are:
      South of the Border, West of the Sun
      What I talk about when I talk about running
      Birthday stories (although this is a selection, not actually his work but I’ll read anything that has his name on it!)

      Hope to see more of your reviews this half of the year! All the best.

      Posted by JoV | June 4, 2011, 8:41 am
  3. The cherry blossoms are beautiful! For hard cover vs. paper, I usually go with the somewhat arbitrary division of non-fiction: hard cover and fiction: paper (since nonfiction usually has maps and pictures).

    Posted by rhapsodyinbooks | June 4, 2011, 11:09 am
  4. You got some wonderful books read last month, Jo! A pity you didn’t get round to Ivan Denisovich, I really enjoyed the book (although it’s rather bleak, too). I have read two books by Ahdaf Soueif, one I loved and one I liked, but haven’t heard of this one. Hope you’ll get around to it so I can read your review!

    Have a good month!

    Posted by Leeswammes | June 4, 2011, 8:32 pm
    • Judith, I will get around for Ivan Denisovic. My guess is that you love The Eye of the Sun and like “The Map of Love” by Ahdaf Soueif. I only read The Map of Love and it was ok. This one I have got I think of you is a collection of short stories, I think you will like it.

      Thanks for your support. I wish you have a good month too. 🙂

      Posted by JoV | June 4, 2011, 9:12 pm
  5. Great job, Jo, looks like you had a wonderful May!

    I need to read more myth books this month! 🙂 And are these your cosies (from another comment)? I just (Friday) finished the Vish Puri book and would rate it 4 out of 5, it’s wonderful, a great cosy and a fascinating look at Delhi. Hope you’ll enjoy it!

    LOVE the cherry blossoms!

    Posted by Bina | June 5, 2011, 1:32 pm
    • Bina,
      It is my cosies! I noticed you are reading The case of the Missing Servant too! Great minds do think alike. 🙂 I think I will enjoy Vish Puri book, the second book is up 2010!

      Posted by JoV | June 6, 2011, 7:21 pm
      • Great minds, indeed! 😉
        I got this one from bookmooch but now that know I like the series I might order the second book used online (Case of the Man Who Died Laughing, what a fantastic title). Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the first Vish Puri 🙂

        Posted by Bina | June 6, 2011, 7:54 pm
        • Bina, Yes! Case of the Man Who Died Laughing! LOL! 😀 I’m reading The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill, this cosy crime mystery is set in Laos. How unusual! try it!

          Posted by JoV | June 6, 2011, 10:14 pm
  6. Have a wonderful summer too Jov ,and some great books read last month ,hope you enjoy museum, of innocence ,it is a epic book ,all the best stu

    Posted by winstonsdad | June 7, 2011, 10:42 am
  7. You seem to have had a wonderful reading month in May, Jo! Congratulations! I read ‘The Bell Jar’ last year and I loved it. Sylvia Plath is an awesome writer. But when I read about her, it broke my heart – why one person should go through so much of suffering is beyond me. I want to read Elizabeth Peters’ ‘Crocodile on the sandbank’ too 🙂 I love the Cherry Blossom pictures!

    Happy Reading!

    Posted by Vishy | June 16, 2011, 4:15 pm
    • Vishy, I heard so much about “The Bell Jar”. It’s up to us to make of our own sufferings, I read from Murakami’s opening line in “What I talk about when I talk about running” he said:
      Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Anything coming from him is profound but this statement struck a chord. Don’t you think so?
      Thanks for your kind words! I want to read ‘Crocodile on the sandbank’ soon!

      Posted by JoV | June 16, 2011, 8:40 pm
      • I love that Murakami quote, Jo. Thanks for sharing 🙂 It is really profound and makes me think.

        Hope you enjoy reading ‘The Bell Jar’ and ‘Crocodile on the sandbank’ 🙂 Happy Reading!

        Posted by Vishy | June 17, 2011, 5:28 pm
  8. Oh I can recognize that street now! It’s on the way to Bracknell city center right?
    Sorry I read and comment on your posts out of order. Be prepared for more of that from now 😛
    The Bell Jar is on my list to read, but maybe not so soon. You have to read Out, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I liked it a lot, but more at the beginning and middle. The end not so much. I just thought the end is a bit weird. Still worth a read!

    Posted by mee | June 18, 2011, 10:08 am
    • Mee,
      Nope. It’s next to my office. That’s my previous workplace that you see in the pic. 🙂 It’s about another 20 mins walk from the city centre and you will see GE, Cable and wireless towards the Bracknell Industrial Estate.
      Everyone says I have to read OUT, so yes I will have to read OUT very soon! Thanks for reading my posts out of order Mee (it’s better than not reading them!) 😀

      Posted by JoV | June 18, 2011, 7:19 pm

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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
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 »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

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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