Hiya! July has been crazy at work. One of my projects is on live run now and work swamped in by tidal waves.
I didn’t compromise on reading and the month was off on a good start as I finished 6 books quite early in the month but slow downed by Snow. Even it says it was 400 pages but the print is so small that it might as well be a 800-page book.
I have some difficulties catching up with my reviews and I thought of skipping a few reviews. But that is not my style so I wrote a string of reviews this week. This is the first time I haven’t been able to review all of the books I read. I have a lot to say about Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother about parenting methods but I have to return the book to the library and I’ll leave it till I got my own book through the mailbox to talk about it next month.
So this is what I read in July:
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
- A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
- The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin
- The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant
- Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima
- Underground by Haruki Murakami
- The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman
- Snow by Orhan Pamuk
Quite a diverse selection, Japanese, African, Turkish etc. I am a little disappointed that I did not read more than last month but hopefully I will do that next month. My favourite is Flowers for Algernon. The other two Japanese literature from Mishima and Murakami and Snow by Orhan Pamuk are close favourites this month.
I rarely speak ill about books that I read but Jennifer Egan’s and Philip Pullman’s books are not books where my time is well spent. They don’t do anything for me, unfortunately.
Repeating the trend same time last year, these are stacks of books I bought for the month….
The left stack (top to bottom):
The Sunday at the pool of Kigali by Gil Couremanche – I first saw this book at Kimbofo@Reading Matters and really wanted to read about the Rwanda massacre, together with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell I got both new copies for £1.
I bought The Longest Journey by EM. Forster, The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie and Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson, three books for £1. Who moved my cheese? is just a reminiscence of good memory when the book was in the rage to persuade employees who refuse to accept change, well to do just that, give up your comfort zone and go look for a bigger cheese. 🙂
I read the entire series of Harry Potter series by 2007 but do not own a single copy. Well, since this Bloomsbury copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is going for £1. It’s a souvenir to remember the end of it.
My Favourite Wife by Tony Parson was one of my favourite when I first read it in 2008. This glittery hardcover was also going for £1, The Silver Lining Playbook by Matthew Quick was another favourite of mine. It talks about a guy who believes his life is a movie produce by God but he has mental health issue since “the bad thing” happen to him. It is funny and a book that will cheer you up if you think you are near to losing your mind. I have agreed with my colleague at work to read Stuart: A Life Backward by Alexander Master and then I have Bell Jar by Sylvia Path. So I think August is going to be a month of mental health books! 🙂
The right stack (top to bottom):
Underground – The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche – I bought this for Hello Japan challenge and read it within the same month.
Half of the Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I have two copies of this title now. I cannot resist new books, with glossy covers and pages that opens up instead of the need to prise open by fingers and stay prised until my fingers are sore. 😦 This Vintage Canada is a beautiful edition.
At Oxfam Bracknell, I took up these 5 books for a bargain of £1.49:
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon – Read it, love it and want to keep it.
Miss Garnet’s Angel by Sally Vickers
Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood – My next Atwood on full-length this time.
Tales from Firozsha Baag by Rohinston Mistry – Short stories collection about life in India by Rohinston Mistry.
Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan – This would be a great read to commemorate the Indonesian Independence Day in August 17.
Losing My Virginity – Richard Branson Autobiography – I’m not sure how this book got here, obviously I snapped it up on impulse but this man’s build one of the world’s greatest brand and I do like to read about successful people.
The next pile is books I won from many giveaways hosted throughout July. I have been very fortunate and would like to thank the following people who have hosted the giveaways and sent these books to me.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – I won this in a blog hop giveaway hosted by Karen@Bookworld in My Head and thank her so much for giving me this beautiful copy of Penguin Cloth edition. I will read and treasure it for sure.
The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist and The Purge by Sofi Oksanen – I won this from Zee@Notes from the North Quarterly bundle giveaway for participants who read books by Scandinavian authors. I am very delighted with the windfall and I will aim to read a few more books for the challenge. I have Zee to thank for raising my awareness on Scandinavian literature.
Dreams of Joy by Lisa See – I thank the publisher at Bloomsbury for sending me this copy and I’m just wondering if I would miss anything if I don’t read Shanghai Girls first?
Plans for August?
I do have a few must read for August. I will read a book each from Indonesian and Malaysian author to commemorate both country’s national days that fall on the same month. Novroz@Polychrome Interest and Mel U@ Reading Life are hosting one for Indonesia Independence Day and feel free to join in if you are interested.
By middle of August I should be reading The End of Mr. Y with Vishy and towards the end of August I would like to invite you to join Diane@Bibliophile by the Sea and me to read The Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier on the first week of September.
August is also the last month to complete the Arabic Summer Challenge hosted by Lynx Qualey @ Arabic Literature. August is the month of Ramadhan where Muslims around the world fast from sunrise till sunset, besides fasting there are many Arabic Literature books that I want to get through. They are:
- Gate of the Sun and As Though She Were Sleeping by Elias Khoury
- Sharon and My Mother-in-Law by Amiry Suad
- The Dark Side of Love by Rafik Schami – I have put this off long enough and it’s time to finish the book!