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It’s a wrap : July 2012

A little late for July wrap-up. In fact I seems to be late in everything these days. I haven’t been reading much this July and perhaps I have been somewhat distracted. These are the five books I read in July:

  1. Toby’s Room by Pat Barker 
  2. Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe 
  3. Freedom : the Story of My Second Life by Malika Oufkir 
  4. Fasting, feasting by Anita Desai 
  5. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami 

I thought Toby’s Room was good and then my reading sort of went into a slump with Arrow of God. I was inspired by Malika Oufkir’s determination to live on after being in prison for 20 years. Then things start to pick up by one weekend with Anita Desai’s Fasting, Feasting and end with a high with South of the Border, West of the Sun, which talks about loss of love and what happens when it is at your doorstep again.

July sees me paid tribute to the death of the world’s famous leadership guru Stephen Covery in The Legacy of Stephen Covey. The corporate world mourn the loss but his legacy lives on.

The 26th July sees the opening of the London 2012 Olympics. With the sparks and fire, people around the world came to celebrate the sporting spirits with an inspiring opening which showcases the essence of Britishness.

The Man Booker Prize longlist was also announced in the same day as the Olympics opening. I have expressed ambivalent over the man booker prize longlist 2012, besides The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng and Mantel’s which I would be interested to read, I’ll sit out on this one and see which book will win the prize on the 16 October.

After years of contemplation, I have finally found a suitable time to read A Suitable Boy.

By coincidence SamAths. Ana and I have decided to come together to organise a A Suitable Boy readalong. My edition is a 3-volume collection. I also have Alison P and Amritorupa and Jackie may tentatively join too.

The schedule is broken down in three parts, a duration of one month for each book:

Book 1 : 1.1 to 7.46 (July to August)
Book 2 : 8.1 to 13.38 (August to September)
Book 3 : 14.1 to 19.16 (September to October)

This is going to be a very relaxing read-along, at 450 to 500 pages a month, you will have plenty of time to read the book. We aim to post at the end of each book but for those who are interested you can post as many reviews as you want, just link back to any of our blogs. So far, I have read 380 pages and loving it and I still have the whole of August to go! I will post about my initial thoughts soon.

The kind people at Penguin Books UK also send over four promising books to me and here they are:

Leanne Shapton is a Canadian artist and graphic novelist, now living in New York. Her second work, Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry, has been optioned for a film slated to star Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman. The novel, which takes the form of an auction catalog, uses photographs and accompanying captions to chronicle the romance and subsequent breakup of a couple via the relationship’s significant possessions or “artifacts”. I am into the first 30 pages of Swimming Studies and I like it. The book recalls Leanne’s days as a competitive swimmer trained for the Olympics trial for the Canadian team. The first part contains 12 pages of what appears to be watercolour smudges but are impressionist art of swimming movements. There are many more illustrations to come and I can’t wait to read about it.

The next three are all new authors to me. I have reviewed Toby’s Room and can’t wait to read Waterline by Ross Raisin as Judith @leeswammes love it and said it is authentically Glaswegian and the story is filled with hearts. Hari Kunzru is another author whose books I would like to read. This book is about mix meshed of different characters, somewhat like Cloud Atlas they say, that wander and got lost in the desert. I hope to see how this will pan out.

Another thing that is worth mentioning is about this draft library loot post and a picture of the loot sitting in my draft since April 2012……..

For the past few months, I have maxed out the number of available library book loan (20 books) in my account. Every time the numbers of books borrowed goes down, I felt a little relieved. As at end of July, for the first time in 12 months, my library loan is down to 6 books. 😉

I made weekly trip to the library with my two young sons but there was one particular very satisfying trip to the Reading Central Library in April 2012 which I brought all these books home:

I thought it was a great loot as I brought home books from 4 continents at one time, The America, Africa, Asia and Middle East and from 7 different countries. I can’t remember where there is a library loot that is as diverse as this (I speak for myself, your library may have better collections than mine!). Out of the 8 books I have read 6.

Do you remember a time when you are particularly happy with you library loot? Perhaps you stumble upon books you have always wanted to read, or like me you have brought home books which covers so many parts of the world?

That’s all for now. I am not sure how August would work out for me. I got no plan and I am a bit anxious about my work schedule with a project running at full gear and Olympics updates every hour of my waking life. Whenever I can, I will read and blog about it but most important of all….. Enjoy your summer!!

About JoV

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


39 thoughts on “It’s a wrap : July 2012

  1. I am catching you up – I’m on page 350 now. I need to force myself to slow down and not get ahead of the schedule too much, it’s just an addicting book.

    I have the House of the Mosque waiting to be read, it’s supposed to be good. Have you read The Colour Purple before? If not, you are in for such a treat!

    Posted by Sam (Tiny Library) | August 7, 2012, 1:36 pm
    • Sam,
      I read both House of Mosque and Colour Purple June last month and they are both great! I just left A Suitable Boy at 370 Pages and I thought I will get back to it soon. Yes it is such an addicting book! Why would ever be daunted by it in the first place? 🙂

      Posted by JoV | August 8, 2012, 10:05 am
  2. That little pile from Penguin looks great! Yes, I loved Waterline – had to think of it when I stayed at a hotel on holiday (the main character works at a hotel for a while).

    I try to take out just one or 2 books at the time at our library – I can go whenever I want and I have so many other books to read (for review, my own books) that I try to limit my haul. Yours looks great!

    Happy reading!

    Posted by Leeswammes | August 7, 2012, 2:51 pm
    • Judith,
      That’s amazing discipline and self-restraint you got for not looting so many from the library! 2? I salute you! I can’t wait to read Waterline. 😉
      Happy reading to you too.

      Posted by JoV | August 8, 2012, 10:07 am
      • Jo, it’s easy. The books on the NEW table, that are out on display, they are hard to walk by without grabbing one or two, but otherwise, the books are only facing towards me with their spines (on the book shelves) and I’m less tempted that way. 🙂

        Posted by Leeswammes | August 9, 2012, 10:58 am
        • Judith,
          I still cannot resist walking over to the A to Z and scanning at every spine on the bookshelves! 😉 self control, self control, I must exercise self control!…. 🙂

          Posted by JoV | August 9, 2012, 7:45 pm
  3. Enjoy your summer too JoV. I have to admit I have become rather obsessed with the Olympics 🙂

    Posted by jessicabookworm | August 7, 2012, 4:19 pm
  4. I don’t think you’re particularly late with your July reading post…or, at least you’re way ahead of me! I think I should get started on July 2013 now! 🙂 You’ve read such a wonderful selection of books, and I am anxious to read South of The Border myself.

    I’d like to join you on A Suitable Boy but I just can’t with kicking off the new school year. Still, I’ll watch and cheer from the sidelines. xo

    Posted by Bellezza | August 7, 2012, 4:21 pm
  5. a great pile from penguin ,good luck with suitable boy ,all the best stu

    Posted by winstonsdad | August 7, 2012, 8:12 pm
  6. Just 6 library books! Amazing! I’m currently at 21 (including a CD, some board books and magazines!)

    Posted by olduvai | August 8, 2012, 3:35 pm
    • Olduvai,
      That’s what I used to have about 21.. and that’s not counting my little boys’s books and I happen to have another library card with London Westminter Library as well! lol but thank goodness I am keeping it in check now. self control, self control…. 😉

      Posted by JoV | August 9, 2012, 7:44 pm
  7. Hope you’re still powering through ‘A Suitable Boy’ 🙂

    Posted by Tony | August 9, 2012, 11:32 am
  8. Oh oh oh, I wish I can borrow all those books that you picked up in the library!! Every one of those is in my wish list. I think I have read What The Chinese Don’t Eat, but wow….what a library you have! 5 books a month I think is great reading – at least by my standards. I am stuck so far this month having read just 90 pages.

    Posted by SM | August 10, 2012, 3:17 pm
    • Soul,
      Yes, yes, yes!! 🙂 Only if I go to my borough central library do I get such haul. Many of those books I read this month are all quite thin. So the 5 books achievement is easy. 😉

      Posted by JoV | August 10, 2012, 6:42 pm
  9. Five books isn’t so bad, is it? Also, you were busy with work, family AND reading A Suitable Boy! I love that library book shot 🙂 I haven’t gotten read many Chinese books lately, and probably won’t in the near future (despite my huge to-read pile. On the shelf…) I try to not max out my library lending, but it’s very hard to do. I keep finding books that I want to bring home, whether I end up reading them or not o___o
    Can you believe the Olympics are almost over? So soon 😦
    The weather is sort of picking up again, hope you have a lovely August!

    Posted by Chinoiseries | August 12, 2012, 4:34 pm
    • Chinoiseries,
      Yeah 5 books not bad, except they are all very thin! I try not to max out the library card too but I couldn’t resist the books! Olympics are over… 😦 but hope the Olympic spirits live on. 🙂 Unfortunately it’s pouring here this week!

      Posted by JoV | August 13, 2012, 7:00 pm
  10. That’s still a great number of books and such good ones at that! The cup is half full, Jo 🙂 And your loot looks lovely, too. I always find that I want to loot from other people’s loot, looks so tempting 😉
    I really admire you all for reading a suitable boy. I finished my own chunkster (well “only” 500 pages), American Gods last night and loved it. Next chunkster will be 2666, ahhh 😉
    Remember to enjoy your summer, too!

    Posted by Bina | August 12, 2012, 5:30 pm
    • Bina,
      Thanks! 😀 I am glad you love American Gods, I can’t get into it and don’t understand it but I am still happy that you enjoy it. 🙂 All the best with 2666! Happy Summer!

      Posted by JoV | August 13, 2012, 7:02 pm
      • Might be because I did American studies, so the focus on the idea of America definitely kept me going. But I was surprised because I didn’t like Gaiman’s wirting style in Neverwhere, think he’s improved ;P
        You’re reading a suitable boy, I’m in awe of you! 🙂

        Posted by Bina | August 13, 2012, 7:50 pm
        • Bina,
          Come join me! it is a suitable time for A Suitable Boy, otherwise A Suitable Girl is coming soon! lol 🙂

          Posted by JoV | August 13, 2012, 7:54 pm
          • Hahaha! Or is she really coming? I’ve got to get through 1000 pages for 2666 so I feel I can’t commit to another chunkster at the moment…till when are you guys reading?

            Posted by Bina | August 13, 2012, 7:55 pm
          • Bina,
            One a month, mine comes in 3 volumes. Starting August lasting till end October. I’m sure you will power on and chase us up in no time. if you do want to read, let me write a post to welcome you in the end of August! 😉

            Posted by JoV | August 13, 2012, 7:58 pm
          • Bina,
            Yes A Suitable Girl is coming next year, 2013. Forgot to mention you can grab a button on my right side bar and you are ready to go!

            Posted by JoV | August 13, 2012, 7:59 pm
          • Wow, that’s great. Oh cheers, so tempting. Let me check if my library has a copy, then I think I’ll try to join you 🙂 And there’s the DuMaurier as well..haha you keep me busy!

            Posted by Bina | August 13, 2012, 8:04 pm
          • Bina,
            Yes to stop you from getting up to mischief! 😉

            Posted by JoV | August 16, 2012, 7:58 am
    • I did a readalong of 2666 with a few fellow bloggers last year. It definitely has its highs and lows. Good luck with it 🙂

      Posted by Chinoiseries | August 13, 2012, 7:29 pm
  11. You read more than me. I didn’t read any book on July as I am busy rereading my favorite Manga, it’s a 62 volume manga and it consumes all my free time to read them

    Posted by Novroz | August 13, 2012, 5:49 am
    • Novroz,
      I wish there is a day where I can say, I am not reading this month! but 62 volume manga is definitely a more tempting alternative than paperback! Tell us what manga you are reading now. 😉

      Posted by JoV | August 13, 2012, 7:03 pm
      • It’s a yearly activity, I am rereading One Piece. For me, it’s the best manga ever created, it will go farther than 60, I think it will reach 100 volumes one day. praying that Oda-sensei will not die before he finishes his amazing saga.

        Posted by Novroz | August 15, 2012, 12:23 pm
  12. Jo, I see several of the same books on your piles that I plan to read as well. House of Mosque was one I hope to get to soon. Can’t believe you had the patience for A Suitable Boy —a major door stopper:)

    Posted by Diane@BibliophilebytheSea | August 27, 2012, 11:13 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
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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