Monday, June 29, 2009

In the mailbox and mid-year musing

I've been too busy with packing and moving to go book shopping lately but I have received a few books this month, all thanks to some generous bloggers and publishers.

The Crimes of Paris: A True Story of Murder, Theft, and Detection by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
This one arrived about a week before we moved, from the very generous Marcia of The Printed Page, as part of her Read it Forward project.

In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathon Scott Fuqua
Courtesy of Bancroft Press, it arrived the very day we got the keys to our new apartment and so was my very first piece of mail at our new address. How nice that it was a book instead of a bill or something else less appreciated.

No One You Know by Michelle Richmond
Won in a giveaway at Musings of a Bookish Kitty. Thanks Wendy!

Beyond the Blossoming Fields by Jun'ichi Watanabe and Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui
Both courtesy of Alma Books, these two Japanese titles will be perfect for the upcoming Japanese Literature Challenge 3.

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about mid-year reading…

Now that we’ve come to the middle of the year, what do you think of your 2009 reading so far? Read anything interesting that you’d like to share? Any outstanding favourites?

I'm quite pleased with my reading so far this year. As for the numbers, I'd only read 28 books by the end of June last year, and tend to average somewhere between 25 and 30. This year I've already read 37 books. If I keep at this rate I'll be able to have a yearly total of over 60 for the first time since I started keeping track. I'm unofficially aiming for 70 this year, but we'll see how it goes. However, even though I enjoy keeping track of the numbers and other various stats, it's the quality that's ultimately most important. Of those 37, only a couple of them were disappointing. Otherwise they've all been pretty decent reads.

If I had to choose favourites, I'd go with Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg, and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, as they're the two books that reached out and touched me the most so far this year.

I think I've also read a fairly nice variety of books, from my first experience with manga, to fantasy, literary fiction, and even a handful of classics. As for the rest of 2009 I'm hoping to read more Japanese literature and world literature in general, along with whatever else tempts me.

What do you think of your reading so far this year?

Musing Mondays is hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page.


  1. Congrats on winning No One You Know -- I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I also have a copy of The Crimes of Paris on my shelf.

    The cover for Paprika looks quite disturbing!

  2. I just got the Michelle Richmond book today too :)

    Looks like you are having a great reading year so far - yay. I still need to work in some classics but am hoping to do that when we go on vacation.

  3. Crimes of Paris and In the Wake of the Boatman look very interesting. I checked out No One You Know from my library. I love the covers of the 2 Japanese novels. You're doing great towards reaching your goal of 70 books read!! My reading has been really great this year! I've been pretty lucky and haven't read too many duds!!

  4. I'm behind this year as far as numbers go, but I'm trying not to let that get me down. I've been busy (and enjoying) with my photo blog and I suspect that's why I'm not reading as much as usual. Plus, I'm working close to 40 hours/week, which is more than in years past. However, I have read some GREAT books this year. I'm sure my Top Ten will be very difficult to narrow down to even a dozen.

    Happy Reading!

  5. The Boatman book is on my TBR pile. Gotta read it soon.

    And yes, it sure feels good to get books than bills at a new address!

    Here is my Monday post

  6. My book club just chose No One You Know for our August meeting. I look forward to reading your review!

  7. I'm adding the last two to my list of suggested books. Paprika is one that caught my attention a few weeks back, and I'm dying to read it! Can't wait to see your thoughts. I'm happy that you're getting settled, and there's nothing like a new book as your first piece of mail.

  8. I have for the most part - read some great books! I am pretty proud of our book club for making some really good choices in 2009 with just one or maybe two exceptions....
    I love the diversity I have found in my reading and I love trying different genres to see if they stick. :)

  9. there's that Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow again--I've got to get my hands on that one! I have Crimes of Paris sitting on the floor. I hope to get to it soon!

  10. The Wake of the Boatman looks good. So do those two at the bottom for the Japanese lit challenge. I'm doing that too so I look forward to your reviews on these-they are new to me. I listed all the four and five star reads so far this year for my Musings post. Happy reading for the rest of the year.

  11. I love reading the mailbox Monday posts! It's interesting to see what everyone has gotten in their mailblox. Not to mention finding new titles to add to my wish list. :-)

    I hope you will enjoy No One You Know! In the Wake of the Boatman is one I really am looking forward to reading. All of the other books sound so good too! I hope you enjoy them all.

    My reading seems to have slowed down from previous years. I think I have too much else going on. Makes me wish I could put my life on hold while I catch up with my reading. :-)

  12. Avis - Thanks, I'm really looking forward to reading No One You Know. And I agree with you - the cover of Paprika really is quite disturbing!

    Iliana - I'm quite pleased with the reading I've done so far this year. Of course there are tons more books I'd like to get to but I can't complain. :)

    Staci - Yay for not reading too many duds! I can't wait to read all of them! I need more hours in the day and to learn how to speed read. ;)

    Les - I wouldn't worry too much. It's fun to keep track of the numbers but ultimately it's the quality that counts and it sounds like you've got that covered. And yes, working almost full time certainly cuts into your reading time, even if you're surrounded by books all day. :P

    I miss my photo blog! Something had to give earlier this year and we really haven't been out to take photos as often as we have the previous couple of years. I'm hoping that will change now that we're living in a greener area of Tokyo so I hope to get back to posting to my photoblog later this summer.

    gautami tripathy - The fact that a book was my first piece of mail made me smile. :)

    Jess - I'm looking forward to reading it. I hope your book group has a good discussion with it.

    Bellezza - When I first heard about Paprika I thought it sounded like it had a certain Murakami flavour to it, which of course peaked my interest. I can't wait to read both of them!

    Sheila DeChantal - It's fun trying new genres and authors, isn't it? It sounds like you belong to a great book club!

    Trish - LOL. The atmosphere of that book made quite an impression on me so I can't help mentioning it again and again! :P

    Sandra - Thanks, I hope the rest of the year is a good one for you too reading wise. I'm really looking forward to reading some more Japanese Lit over the next few months.

    Wendy - Yes, the Mailbox Monday posts can be bad for the ol' wish list! My reading has certainly slowed down the last month with moving, but hopefully it'll pick up again soon. I can relate though to wishing I could put everything else on hold and just read. :)


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