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Reflection

Halfway there.. It’s a wrap: June 2011

Summer is here, yay!

I am bringing out my cool shades, dresses and sandals, tote bag and I’m off! … just outdoors. I’m not going anywhere far this summer. 😦 But I’m thinking of winding down at work towards the end of Summer!

In June, I expect to read 10 books but hit 9 instead. hmmph! and here they are:

  1. Great House by Nicole Krauss 
  2. The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill 
  3. The Case of Missing Servant by Tarquinn Hall 
  4. Crocodile at the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
  5. What I Talk about when I talk about Running by Haruki Murakami
  6. The Slap by Chistos Tsiolkas 
  7. The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht 
  8. I Think of You by Ahdaf Soueif 
  9. For Bread Alone by Mohamed Choukri 

I began the month by reading some of the Orange Prize shortlist with Great House and catch up on The Tiger’s Wife later in the month. I seem to start my summer reading a little earlier as some cosy mysteries and easy reading crept into my list. I was disappointed by 4 books that I rated them poorly, something I hardly encounter in my reading experience.

Out of the 9 books I would rate, The Slap, Great House and Vish Puri’s adventure of The Case of Missing Servant as my favourite read of the month. The Slap was thought provoking and kept my interest, Great House was heart wrenching, The Case of Missing Servant was a cultural and humourous read. I thought I did quite well in June as I read a mix bag of mystery, middle eastern, Orange Prize shortlists and an unprecedented shockingly foul language writing of a book.

Purchase and Incomings

This month’s purchase was moderate. 6 books purchased for the month. I snapped up books which I have read and love:

I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti and When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant

and The Kite RunnerThe Bookseller of Kabul and The Bitch in the House, read during pre-blogging days. The Bitch in the House tells personal accounts of 26 women of all walks of life and of different age groups about different lives and feelings about being a wife, daughter, mother and lover, about growing old, menopause etc. I like it a lot then in the early noughties and I may in for a second read.

The two at the top of the piles are loans from co-worker; Legend of Suicide by David Vann and Aunts aren’t gentlemen by PG Wodehouse which I must try.

I’m waiting for my review copy of Dreams of Joy by Lisa See and I won a penguin cloth The Picture of Dorian Gray during the Literary Blog Hop giveaways (Special thanks to Karen of BookWorld in my Head). Overall it’s been a good month! 🙂

Reading Challenge Stats

Since it is halfway through the year I thought I give a summary of my Reading Challenge performance so far. I did well for Middle Eastern Challenge and Non-fiction, but the other challenge sort of striving.

 8/1 books completed

 1/3 books completed
3. TBR Reading Challenges

What I have read so far:

  1. Flowers of Algernon – Daniel Keyes (I am halfway through the book!)
  2. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  3. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  5. East of Eden – John Steinbeck
  6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  7. Winter in Madrid – C.J. Sansom (read and pass on)
  8. A Crime in the Neighbourhood by Suzanne Berne –  (read and passed on)
  9. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres (read and pass on)
  10. Love in the time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  11. Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
  12. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

Two alternates:

  1. Iliad – Homer
  2. Italian Shoes – Henning Mankell
Didn’t quite meet the mark yet. I am not sure Roof Beam Reader will ever let me in for a draw if I didn’t finish the required 6 by half year mark. 😦

5. The Nordic Challenge 2011 (miserable one book completed) 😦

6. The Haruki Murakami Challenge 2011 (2 books completed)

7. 2011 Non-Fiction Challenge

Without consciously aware of what I am doing I have achieved 9 books for this challenge and more non-fiction books to go. I am already a Future Jeopardy Champion!! 😉 Except I don’t know where I could find the review link on the challenge site. 😦

8. Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2011

 3/12 books completed.

9. Books to Movies Challenge

 Did not start yet. My reading and movie list for this challenge (minimum 2):

  1. Love in the time of cholera – Gabriel Gracia Marquez
  2. Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
  3. Notes on Scandal – Zoe Heller
  4. Lust and Caution – Eileen Chang
  5. Constant Gardener – John Le Carr
Plans for July
For July, I still have the following books on my shelf from the library. Every time I thought I could cut down on library loan I found myself coming back with more books, but here they are:
Fictions:
  1. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin
  2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Path
  3. The Clothes on Their Back by Linda Grant
  4. Great Expectations by Charles Dicken
  5. The Dark Side of Love by Rafik Schami
  6. Untold Story by Monica Ali
  7. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  8. Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan
  9. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  10. Acts of Worship by Yukio Mishima
  11. Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima
  12. Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury
  13. An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
  14. The Attack by the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  15. The Leopard by Jo Nesbo
Non-Fictions:
  1. Googled Ken Auletta – I love reading about the glory of techologies companies!
  2. Banker of the Poor Muhammad Yunus – I wanted to know more about how micro-finance works. So this is memoir + micro-credit at work. There is a balance sheet and Profit & Loss statements at the end to satisfy the accounting nerds!
  3. Alex’s Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos – another book for mathematics  nerds. Even if you are not mathematical this book seems to be readable as it explains about how numbers are a every essential part of what we see in our lives; in nature and the environment around us.
  4. Lean Six Sigma and Digital Photography – Some geeky stuff I need to know to impress at work and hoping to take better pictures on my next travel in October! but I’m putting reading these off still….
I will be reading one of most striking book cover in the publishing world, The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas with Vishy the Knight this month. It starts on 15 July and ends on 24 July. Please join us if you haven’t and if anyone would like to read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides with me this year. Let me know too!
I’m in trouble with such a long list of library loans. What would you like to see me read first? What are your plans in July? Would you like to read The End of Mr. Y with us?
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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

16 thoughts on “Halfway there.. It’s a wrap: June 2011

  1. I see Iliad and I cringed!

    Is there an … alternative?!

    I have those two Homer books in the shelf. Still yet to be read … heh.

    Posted by Wilfrid Wong | July 1, 2011, 12:03 am
  2. Oh, the End of Mr. Y is a good book! Probably the only good book the author has written.

    Posted by Wilfrid Wong | July 1, 2011, 12:04 am
  3. What a great wrap-up, you’ve read some great books, are doing well on your challenges, and your upcoming list looks intriguing. I read a book about Muhammed Yunus that was really interesting and I’ve heard good things about Baba Segi’s wife as well.

    Posted by Helen | July 1, 2011, 1:24 pm
    • Helen,
      So many good books out there Helen! I just wish I got more hours in a day but I’ll take it in my own stride.. I’m actually enjoy a thriller called “Sister” by Rosamund Lupton… very emotional and chilling. But I hope to read all those books you have just mentioned as well. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

      Posted by JoV | July 2, 2011, 9:20 am
  4. This is a really epic post, Jo! Congratulations on a wonderful reading month! I love the cover of ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ – it looks so beautiful! I love your July plans. ‘The Bell Jar’, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ and ‘An Equal Music’ are three of my favourite books! ‘An Equal Music’ is so beautiful! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it. Happy Reading!

    Posted by Vishy | July 1, 2011, 5:40 pm
  5. I got 9, too! 🙂 Looks like you had a great reading month and I so hope you’ll love Wodehouse! I read The End of Mr. Y, um, this year, last? Forgot, but I’ll be looking forward to reading your and Vishy’s thoughts on it! I have a low tolerance for Thomas’ esoteric side and endings are not her strong point, but it’s interesting to see what she makes of popculture, linguistics and Derrida et al 🙂

    Posted by Bina | July 3, 2011, 2:40 pm
  6. The July plans look good even without any Pamuk listed, Jov. 😀 Hope the second half of the year is just as fulfilling to you as the first looks to have been. Cheers!

    Posted by Richard | July 4, 2011, 1:31 pm
    • Richard,
      Thanks for your kind words! Fingers crossed I’m doing some catch-up the 2nd half of the year! I’ll be joining in the Snow readalong this July. 😀
      Thanks for dropping by.

      Posted by JoV | July 4, 2011, 7:49 pm
  7. great year so far and some lovely books last month Jov ,all the best stu

    Posted by winstonsdad | July 4, 2011, 11:27 pm
  8. You are doing a great job on the Reading from Your Shelves Challenge (as well as other ones).

    Posted by (Diane)BibliophileBytheSea | July 20, 2011, 12:21 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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old-books

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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