Books Read In January
1) George Orwell – The Road to Wigan Pier (Non-Fic)
2) John Sutherland – Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet (Non-Fic)
3) Daniel Defoe – A Journal of the Plague Year (Non-Fic)
4) Haruki Murakami – Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche (Non-Fic)
5) Vladimir Nabokov – Details of a Sunset and Other Stories (Fic)
6) Marghanita Laski – The Victorian Chaise-Longue (Fic)
7) Simon Rich – The Last Girlfriend on Earth and Other Love Stories (Fic)
8) Yoko Ogawa – The Housekeeper + The Professor (Fic)
9) Evelyn Waugh – The Loved One (Fic)
10) Julia Strachey – Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (Fic)
11) Judy Fairbairns – Island Wife (Non-Fic)
12) Helen Oyeyemi – Mr Fox (DNF) (Fic)
13) Sue Wilsea – Staying Afloat (Fic)
14) ed. Alan Walbank – Queens of the Circulating Library (Non-Fic)
Failed the 100 Page Test in January:
Artemis Cooper – Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure (Non-Fic)
Natsume Soseki – The Gate (Fic)
Yasutaka Tsutsui – Paprika (Fic)
Nicholas Royle – First Novel (Fic)
David Lodge – Language of Fiction (Non-Fic)
Maria Semple – Where’d You Go Bernadette (Fic)
Books read: 14 /Books ‘Surfed’: 6 / Books marked Did Not Finish: 1
Fiction: 11 / Non-Fiction: 5
Female authors: 8 / Male authors: 11 /Multiple authors: 1
Titles in blue will be reviewed here on Alex in Leeds shortly.
January’s Highlights: There don’t seem to have been many, looking back. It’s been a good varied month of reading but the best books I read were back at the start of the month – the Nabokov, Defoe and Sutherland.
January’s Low Points: I wasn’t crazy about the sub-text in Simon Rich’s short story collection, the surface of each story was creative and shiny but it was all a bit grubby and one note if you looked any deeper.
Other Reviews Posted In January
January in Japan – I’ve discovered that actually I don’t much like the J-Lit I’ve tried. Not quite what I was expecting (or else I wouldn’t have signed up to the challenge) but I guess it’s another piece of my reading tastes jigsaw.
Century of Books – 34/100 – I added a round up page which I’ll be updating with all the books read and links to reviews. I crossed off another two years this month but managed to track down some interesting titles for the tricky 1900-1910 stretch which I aim to tackle in January along with some 1970s titles.
Essay Reading Challenge – I’m really enjoying this experiment of reading an essay a week but I discovered when I tried to write a round up for the whole of January’s essays that it got way too long. I’ve broken it up into weekly chunks and posted Week One but need to get the other four up this week. :)
Claire Tomalin Challenge – I wrote an Introduction post and pulled her first book on Mary Wollstonecraft down from one of my bookshelves to read in February.
Classics Club – 11/52 – I took part in the CC readathon at the start of the month, crossing off three more titles, which I really must review here, and I answered this month’s question about favourite/least favourite reads so far.
Elsewhere On The Blog
I wrote about HMV not learning the lessons that Waterstones had about improving the browsing experience for customers and making the conversation about more than just ‘the internet is cheaper’. I added a list of Persephone Books to the site so I can track which ones I’ve read – I often read them in older editions so it’s handy to see which of them I’ve already read. I also decided to change the way I score DNFs – these days I am ‘book surfing’ a lot more books (especially contemporary fiction titles) and trying the first 100 pages on for size just to see how it works out.