Thursday, March 05, 2009

February in Review

At the start of the month I was in Ireland, where I enjoyed many walks on the beach. Then it was to New York, to meet the unforgettable Holly Golighty. Next my reading took me to Japan, and the life of an artist in the years before and after WWII. After that, I spent a summer by the sea in southern France. And then I ended the month in Russia. So I acquired quite a few literary airmiles this month! The best thing about armchair travelling though is no jetlag!

All of these books are on the original 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die List, and I do feel a little more well-read as a result. I still have a very long way to go though, if the list is any indication.

Books read
(clicking on a title will take you to my review)
6. The Story of Lucy Gault - William Trevor
7. Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote
8. An Artist of the Floating World - Kazuo Ishiguro
9. Bonjour Tristesse - Françoise Sagan
10. The Death of Ivan Ilyich - Leo Tolstoy

It's really hard to choose a favourite this month as they were all pretty close in rating, but Breakfast at Tiffany's does stand out a little bit. Holly Golighty is such a fantastic character and I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed Capote's stories as much as I did since I haven't loved the other stuff of his I've read.
My least favourite would be The Story of Lucy Gault I suppose since I did have a hard time buying into the circumstances that underlie the whole story, but it was still worth reading and I'd like to try something else by Trevor sometime.
I'd like to read more by all of these authors actually, but the one I hope to read again the soonest would be Kazuo Ishiguro. I have one more title by him on my shelves, and some of his other books look quite intriguing too.

New-to-me authors: 2
Books in Translation: 2

Books in: 5 (2 won in giveaways)
Books out: 2 (for 3 year blogiversary giveaway)

The Year of Readers: Reading for the Book Wish Foundation.
Money raised this month: $10
Total raised to date: $33

Reading Challenges Progress Report
(see sidebar for current challenges)
Ended in February
1% Well-Read Challenge: COMPLETED!
Book Awards II Challenge: 5 read, 5 to go (by June 1, 2009)
2nd Canadian Book Challenge, Eh?: 4 read, 9 to go (by July 1, 2009)
Dewey's Books Reading Challenge: 1 read, 4 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
Lost in Translation Challenge: 5 read, 1 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
World Citizen Challenge: 0 read, 3 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
What's in a Name? 2 Challenge: 3 read, 3 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
Manga Challenge: 0 read, 6 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
Graphic Novels Challenge: 0 read, 6 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
ARC Reading Challenge: currently 2 read, 6 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)

Long-term Reading Projects (Total read in 2009)
Reading Japan Project: 3 (1 in March)
Orange Prize Project: 0

Reading plans for March
I've started off the month reading a couple of manga for Nymeth's Try Something New Mini-Challenge. I was hoping to read Colleen Gleason's latest, As Shadows Fade, next but Amazon Japan has failed me for once, and it looks like I won't get my copy for another couple of weeks. Instead, I think I'll focus on some of the review copies I have here waiting to be read, and maybe add something else just for fun into the mix later on in the month.


  1. No jet-lag is a good thing! :)

    Looks like you had a great reading month and congrats on your Year of Readers progress!

  2. I'm sorry to hear Amazon failed you...I hated it when that happens with books I'm really looking forward to. Ah well...hope you enjoy your reads until the book arrives!

  3. You're doing very well. I enjoyed that Tolstoy story and want to read The Floating World. I like Ishiguro very much, When We Were Orphans is my favourite so far. I joined The Year of Reader's after seeing it on your blog. Thirty books read so far but no sponsors yet.:(
    I did a February in Review for my Salon Sunday but didn't think to put my challenge updates in it. You are well along in several of yours, me too. I've been sick enough this year that all I can do is read so I have an advantage so to speak. Happy reading in March.

  4. I just finished reading Breakfast at Tiffany's and loved it too. Boy. Holly Golightly...what a character. I liked Truman Capote's In Cold Blood but I liked this one better. I still can't get the song Moon River out of my head from the movie.

  5. Looks like you had an awesome month! You read some heavy tomes.

  6. Iliana - Thanks. It was a pretty good month. I'm glad I managed to finish the challenge even though I kind of cheated by reading all short books. :)

    Nymeth - Ah well, what can you do? I was in the mood for a vampire story so I ended up starting Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer. :P

    Sandra - I don't have any sponsors either so you're not alone in that. But I think even the amount we make on our own will help a little bit at least.
    That's too bad that you've been quite sick lately but it's nice that you can read though. It's terrible to be unwell and not even able to read. I hope you have another good reading month in March.

    Amanda - Holly really is quite the character! I'm looking forward to watching the film for the first time sometime soon.

    Beth F - Thanks, it was a pretty good month. True, they were mostly heavy themes, but all well-written so they were still good reads. Probably explains why I'm in the mood for something fun and light now though.

  7. Looks like your travels took you to many great places. Hope March is just as good to you!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  8. My February was so uneventful that I just couldn't bring myself to do a wrap up this time around. I am glad you had a good reading month though, Nat. You're doing wonderfully with your challenges. I need to sit down and look at my progress. I'm doing well in some and horrible in others. :-) And here I go and join another one! It's fun in the trying though!

  9. Anna - Thanks, it was a good month for armchair travelling. I hope you have a great month of reading in March too!

    Wendy - You're right, it is the trying that is the fun part. I still have quite a few books to read for some challenges but I figure I still have some time. I hope March is a better month for you!


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