Well I missed joining the salon last week so let's see what I've read in the meantime.. oh yes, two weeks ago I'd just finished How I Live Now and was debating what to start next. I was leaning that way and I did end up choosing Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami and what a fun, compelling read that was. The first couple times I read Murakami I just didn't get it and his open endings left me frustrated but I must say he has really grown on me. I still don't necessarily understand the deeper meaning of his books but I sure enjoy the ride. He really is quite the storyteller.
After my Murakami fix, I picked up The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. What a cute story! I finished it Saturday but haven't read anything yet today (and it's past midnight already) except for a few articles in a month-old issue of TIME magazine. (I'm so behind on my magazine reading, it's really quite sad.)
As for new book acquisitions, 4 more have showed up in my mailbox in the last couple of weeks. Dingo by Charles de Lint that I won at the beginning of the Once Upon a Time Challenge (Thanks Carl!), Beauty and Sadness by Yasunari Kawabata and Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch by Dai Sijie, both from Madeleine (Thank you!!) and earlier today, I was thrilled to receive my first review copy sent to me by an author! I don't get offered review copies very often - a problem of geography - so I was thrilled to get Down to a Sunless Sea by Mathias B. Freese in today's post. I look forward to starting it when I head to bed in a little bit but I have so many books I'd like to be reading right now it's quite overwhelming.
It's hard to believe another month has passed already (I say the same thing every month!) but since it has, here is my monthly recap for May.
(click on the title to read my review)
18. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats - T.S. Eliot
19. Other Voices, Other Rooms - Truman Capote
20. Every Secret Thing - Laura Lippman
21. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes - Eleanor Coerr
22. How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff
23. Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
24. The Tale of Despereaux - Kate DiCamillo
A pretty good month for me, 7 books completed. Granted 4 of these were quite short children's books but I think that's what I needed this month. I finished Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats before the 5th so for the purposes of Book Binge, which started on May 5th, I suppose it's technically 6 for that.
Favourite of the month: Kafka on the Shore - definitely!
And even though I was a bit disappointed with a couple of the other books, I don't regret reading any of them. I still took away something from all of them.
Books in: 8 (5 of which I either won or were given by the generosity of other bloggers, and of the other 3 that I bought myself, I read 2 of them! That's got to be a record turnaround. Other than the later Harry Potter books, new books around here tend to end up getting shelved and there they may remain unread for months or years!)
Books out: 0
Reading Challenges- Progress Report:
(see sidebar for all current challenges and reading projects)
Once Upon a Time II Challenge - 5 down, 0 to go (by June 20th)
Book Awards Challenge - 10 down, 2 to go (by June 30th)
Non-Fiction Five Challenge - 0 down, 5 to go (by September 30th)
tl;dr (Herding Cats) Challenge - 1 down, 2 to go (by November 30th)
Orbis Terrarum Challenge - 0 down, 9 to go (by December 20th)
My Year of Reading Dangerously- 5 down, 7 to go (by December 31st)
What's in a Name Challenge - 3 down, 3 to go (by December 31st)
Austen Mini-Challenge - 1 down, 1 to go (by December 31st)
Plus I joined one new challenge in May.
1% Well-Read Challenge - 1 down, 9 to go (by Feb. 28, 2009)
Long-term Reading Projects:
Reading Japan Project - 2 books read in May which makes 7 read so far this year. My list of Japan-related books read (by Japanese and non-Japanese authors) here.
The Orange Prize Project - 1 book read in May which is the first this year, my list of previously read titles here.
Reading Plans for June:
I read 4 Book Award Winners in May so I'm now within reach of completing the challenge at the end of June. And I'm already planning to sign up for the 2nd Book Awards challenge that starts in August! I'm also finished the required 5 books for the Once Upon a Time II Challenge but I may squeeze in one more before the Summer Solstice so I won't post a wrap-up until then.
But I really need to start reading more international literature for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge. I've read some Japanese authors but not the one on my list. I know we can change our lists but I'd still like to read it so I won't count Japan until then. But that's it. All the authors I've read so far this year (except for one book by Henning Mankell (Swedish) in January before the OT challenge started) have been American, English, Canadian or Japanese. Must do better. Plus I'd like to start reading some of my non-fiction choices. The stack of books that I'd like to read soon, by my desk, is dangerously tall. But it's true that too many books is always better than not enough!
Here's hoping for another good reading month in June.