Monthly Round-up: July 2017

With just one month to go in the 20 Books of Summer 2017 challenge, I need to pick up the pace with my reviews. I’m running a bit off schedule, but I don’t feel too bad about it. I’ve been making huge strides in my own writing—10,000 words this past weekend! That’s a degree of productivity I haven’t had in years.

Books Read:

  1. Dead Wake by Erik Larson
  2. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
  3. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  4. The Dinner Party and Other Stories by Joshua Ferris
  5. Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood
  6. Sleep Donation by Karen Russell
  7. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Books Reviewed:

  1. Dead Wake by Erik Larson
  2. The Stargazer’s Embassy by Eleanor Lerman
  3. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
  4. The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein

Books Remaining for the Summer 20 Challenge:

  1. The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri
  2. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  3. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
  4. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  5. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  6. Hungry Hill by Daphne du Maurier
  7. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

The Terra-Cotta Dog is the 2nd Inspector Montalbano mystery. I read the 1st early in the challenge and decided to review both together in a combination review. So far, White Teeth is wonderful (and funny) as is The Sun Also Rises. The plan is to save My Brilliant Friend for the end since everyone says it’s hard to put down and I should expect to read books 2-4 straight after.

Current State of the TBR:

  • Kindle Titles: 76 (includes rereads)
  • Paperback Titles: 175 (includes rereads)
  • NetGalley Queue: 168
    (42% Feedback Ratio)

Monthly Round-up: June 2017

I’m pretty pleased with my start on the summer: I’ve read 7 books towards the 20 Books of Summer 2017 reading challenge. I still have a high daily page count to deal with, but it hasn’t gone up since the start of the summer. Not falling behind counts as progress, right?

My computer/reading glasses distort everything outside book distance which has been an adjustment, but they do make it easier to focus on the page and nothing else. We’ll see whether the extra pair of specs speeds up the reading or slows it down. I might slip in an audiobook, but who knows. Audiobooks are still ridiculously pricey and dependent on the reader’s voice and skill. Why can’t they synthesize Hugh Laurie’s voice so there’s always a read-by-Hugh-Laurie option?

Books Reviewed:

  1. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
  2. Radio Sunrise by Anietie Isong
  3. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  4. Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  5. She by H. Rider Haggard

Books Read:

  1. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
  2. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
  3. The Punch Escrow by Tal Klein
  4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  5. Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  6. She by H. Rider Haggard
  7. Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri

Current State of the TBR: (with correct math this time, oops!)

  • Kindle Titles: 77 (includes rereads)
  • Paperback Titles: 171 (includes rereads)
  • NetGalley Queue: 9
    (50% Feedback Ratio)

Monthly Round-up: May 2017

It’s good to have a light month before the 20 Books of Summer 2017 reading challenge, but more on that June 1… (so excited!)

Books Reviewed:

  1. The North Water by Ian McGuire (4.8)
  2. Minds of Winter by Ed O’Loughlin (3.8)
  3. House of Names by Colm Toíbín (4.9)
  4. The Ballad of the Sad Café by Carson McCullers (5.0)
  5. New Boy by Tracy Chevalier (3.4)
  6. The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami (4.6)

Books Read:

  1. …I didn’t keep track this month. Oops! Work was hectic and my reading comprised short fiction before bed. I’ve joined NetGalley and shifted my queues around to review books near their publication dates. Most have been good with a few being excellent: House of Names and Manhattan Beach are first to mind. The latter, by Jennifer Egan, isn’t out for a while yet so the review will be up in October.

Current State of the TBR:

  • Kindle Titles: 79 (includes rereads)
  • Paperback Titles: 175 (includes rereads)
  • NetGalley Queue: 12

The TBR Shuffle 2

Like all book bloggers in the blogosphere, I endeavor to get my TBR pile under control. My books have piled up over the last decade (especially classics—they’re free!) and I rarely have as much reading time as I’d like. (For the record, not all of these are unread—some were read more than a decade ago and in line for a reread.)

The list gained a number of additions when I realized there were a number of omissions from my list. Of the stack of books I sold, I recalled three books and bought two with the proceeds…

Current Stack of Unread (and Unfinished) Books: 240
Books Read Since January 24th: 9
Books Added Since January 24th: (it’s complicated)
Goal: To get this list to 175 by June 30, 2017 — 65 to go! (Hrm. This goal was much more attainable before I updated the list.)

  1. Absurdistan
  2. Acceptable Time, An
  3. Ahmed and the Oblivion Machines
  4. Airframe
  5. Alias Grace
  6. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
  7. All the Light We Cannot See
  8. All the Pretty Horses
  9. Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, The
  10. Amber Spyglass, The
  11. American Psycho
  12. And the Mountains Echoed
  13. Angels and Demons
  14. Angel’s Game, The
  15. Appointment, The
  16. Art of Disappearing, The
  17. At Bertram’s Hotel
  18. Atonement
    Ballad of the Sad Cafe, The (read!)
  19. Baudolino
  20. Beloved
    Big Little Lies (read!)
  21. Bitter Water
  22. Black Swan Green
  23. Bleak House
  24. Bloody Chamber, The
  25. Blue Mars
    Body in the Library, The (read!)
  26. Book of Disquiet, The
  27. Brave New World
  28. Breathing Lessons
  29. Brideshead Revisited
  30. Brief History of Seven Killings, A
  31. Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The
  32. Bring Up the Bodies
  33. Brooklyn
  34. Brothers Karamazov, The
  35. Buried Giant, The
  36. Burmese Days
  37. Caribbean Mystery, A
  38. Case of the N0t-So-Nice Nurse, The
  39. Catch-22
  40. Choke
  41. Christine Falls
  42. Christmas Carol, A
  43. Chronicle of a Death Foretold
  44. Cider House Rules, The
  45. Cold Mountain
  46. Collected Stories (Hemingway)
  47. Collected Stories (Marquez)
  48. Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard, The
  49. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
  50. Consider the Lobster
  51. Cosmopolis
  52. Crime and Punishment
  53. Crimson Petal and the White, The
  54. Crying of Lot 49, The
  55. Cryptonomicon
  56. Crystal World, The
  57. Dandelion Wine
  58. David Copperfield
  59. Dead Wake
  60. Devil in the White City, The
  61. Disorder Peculiar to the Country, A
  62. Double and the Gambler, The
  63. Drown
  64. Drowned World, The
  65. Dubliners
  66. East, West
  67. Eternal Wonder, The
  68. Everything Is Illuminated
  69. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  70. Familiar (One Rainy Day in May), The
  71. Fortress of Solitude, The
  72. Four Books, The
    Frankenstein (read!)
  73. From the Dust Returned
  74. Gathering, The
  75. General in His Labyrinth, The
  76. Girl on the Train, The
  77. Girl with a Pearl Earring
  78. Golden Compass, The
  79. Goldfinch, The
  80. Gould’s Book of Fish
  81. Green Mars
  82. Green Road, The
  83. Half of a Yellow Sun
  84. Hallucinations
  85. Ham on Rye
  86. Handmaid’s Tale, The
  87. Hanging Shed, The
  88. Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, The
  89. Heart of Darkness
  90. Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, A
  91. Hello America
  92. His Bloody Project
  93. Hologram for the King, A
  94. How We Are Hungry
  95. Hungry Hill
  96. I Do Not Come to You By Chance
  97. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
  98. In the Garden of Beasts
  99. Independence Day
  100. Intuitionist, The
  101. Invisible Circus, The
  102. Invisible Man
  103. Invisible Man, The
  104. J
  105. Jane and Prudence
  106. Jane Eyre
  107. Joseph Anton
  108. Journey to the Center of the Earth, A
  109. Keep the Aspidistra Flying
  110. King in Yellow, The
  111. Kingdom Come
  112. Kingdom of Ohio, The
  113. Kite Runner, The
  114. Knife Thrower, The (and other stories)
  115. Let the Great World Spin
  116. Let the Right One In
  117. Life After Life
  118. Little Life, A
  119. Little Women
  120. Lolita
  121. Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, The
  122. Long Way Down, A
  123. Lord Jim
  124. Lost Symbol, The
  125. Love in the Time of Cholera
  126. Luminaries, The
  127. Madame Bovary
  128. Man in the High Castle, The
  129. Mansfield Park
  130. Many Waters
  131. Master, The
  132. Master and Margarita, The
  133. Memories of My Melancholy Whores
  134. Middlesex
  135. Mind’s Eye, The
  136. Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, The
  137. Moby Dick
    Moor’s Account, The (read!)
  138. Moriarty
  139. Moving Finger, The
  140. Murder is Announced, A
  141. My Brilliant Friend
  142. My Name is Red
  143. Namesake, The
  144. Nemesis
  145. Never Let Me Go
    Northanger Abbey (read!)
  146. Number 9 Dream
  147. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  148. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  149. One Summer, America 1927
  150. Out of the Silent Planet
  151. Outer Dark
  152. Paradise
  153. Passage to India, A
  154. Pattern Recognition
  155. People of the Mist, The
  156. Play It as It Lays
  157. Pocket Full of Rye, A
  158. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, A
  159. Pride and Prejudice
  160. Prisoner of Heaven, The
  161. Quicksilver
  162. Quo Vadis
  163. Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus
  164. Reader, The
  165. Reading Lolita in Tehran
  166. Red Mars
  167. Redwall
  168. Revolutionary Road
  169. Rising Sun
  170. Roverandum
  171. Russian Debutante’s Handbook, The
  172. S. (Ship of Theseus)
  173. Sandman
  174. Satanic Verses, The
  175. Seize the Day
  176. Series of Unfortunate Events, A
  177. Shape of Water, The
  178. She
  179. Sherlock Holmes (stories inspired by)
  180. Shipping News, The
  181. Sign of the Four, The
  182. Silas Marner
  183. Sleep Donation
  184. Sleep Room, The
  185. Sleeping Murder
  186. So, Anyway…
  187. Sound and the Fury, The
  188. Sphere
  189. Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
  190. St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
  191. Station Eleven
  192. Stone Mattress
  193. Stonekiller
  194. Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, The
  195. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The
  196. Stranger, The
  197. Stuck
  198. Subtle Knife, The
  199. Sun Is God, The
  200. Super-Cannes
  201. Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, A
  202. Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness
  203. Suttree
    Swiftly Tilting Planet, A (read!)
  204. Sympathizer, The
  205. Tale of the Unknown Island, The
  206. Terra-Cotta Dog, The
  207. Tess of the d’Ubervilles
  208. Thank You For Smoking
  209. Then We Came to the End
  210. There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby
  211. They Do It With Mirrors
  212. Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About
  213. Things We Carried, The
  214. Things We Don’t Do, The
  215. This Is Where I Leave You
  216. Thousand Autums of Jacob de Zoet, The
  217. Thousand Years of Good Prayers, A
  218. Time Machine, The
  219. Tinkers
  220. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
  221. Underworld
  222. Unlimited Dream Company, The
  223. Unnamed, The
  224. Visit from the Goon Squad, A
  225. Waiting for Godot
  226. Water for Elephants
  227. Watership Down
  228. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
  229. Where I’m Calling From
  230. White Boy Shuffle, The
  231. White Noise
  232. White Teeth
    Wind in the Door, The (read!)
  233. Wool
    Wrinkle in Time, A (read!)
  234. Wuthering Heights
  235. Yiddish Policemen’s Union, The
  236. You Are Not a Stranger Here
  237. You Don’t Love Me Yet
  238. You Play the Black and the Red Comes Up
  239. You Shall Know Our Velocity
  240. 4:50 from Paddington