Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday Salon: May in Review

This was quite a busy week as the packing got into full swing. It's amazing how much stuff we've squeezed into our current place! Except for a few stragglers, I've pretty much finished packing my books, all 28, or was it 29 boxes! I sure don't envy the moving guys having to lug all those heavy boxes up and down the stairs! The boys have been having fun though playing on the empty bookshelves and jumping on the boxes! Today I've been working on emptying out the storage room, otherwise known as the room of chaos!! Why didn't I sort through some of this stuff earlier? Sigh. So needless to say, I've barely been online all week and I miss blogging! I'm looking forward to getting settled in our new place so life can find a calmer rhythm again.

I only managed one post this week, my review of The King's Bride by E.T.A. Hoffmann, a short fairy tale that was such fun to read. This edition was published by Oneworld Classics, an independent publisher in England that reminds me of Hesperus Press, of which I am also a fan. I like reading classics sometimes but I often shy away from the big chunky ones, so reading short, lesser known classics is right up my alley. Tomorrow I'll have a review up of The Museum Guard by Howard Norman. And then, I also hope to add my review to the growing number of rave reviews for Last Night in Montreal, the beautifully written debut novel by Emily St. John Mandel, but with moving day fast approaching I haven't had the time to really sit down and work out my thoughts on it so I'm not sure I can do the book justice right now. We'll see how it goes, but before that I suppose I should wrap up my reading for last month.

In May, my reading took me to Three Pines, a small town in Quebec to solve the murder of one of its long time residents. Then it was to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and my job there as a museum guard. Next, I went to boarding school in Alabama where I met some great friends, and my life changed forever after one fateful night. After that, I spent some time in Cape Breton, remembering our family's Scottish history. And finally, to a small town in Germany, where a sneaky gnome tried to get me to marry him!

Books completed:
(click on the title to read my review)
30. Still Life - Louise Penny
31. The Museum Guard - Howard Norman (review pending)
32. Looking for Alaska - John Green
33. No Great Mischief - Alistair MacLeod
34. The King's Bride - E.T.A. Hoffmann

My favourite book of the month is The King's Bride because it was just so much fun to read! I suppose my least favourite is The Museum Guard. I wanted to like it more than I did, but it was still worth reading. All of these books were by authors that I'd never read before, and of these I'm most looking forward to reading more by E.T.A. Hoffmann, and Louise Penny.

New-to-me authors: 5
Books in Translation: 1

Books in: 3
Books out: 4

The Year of Readers: Reading for the Book Wish Foundation.
Money raised this month: $8
Total raised to date: $97

Reading Challenges Progress Report
(see sidebar for current challenges)

Book Awards II Challenge: Completed

Once Upon a Time III Challenge: 3 read, 0 to go (March 21 - June 20, 2009)
2nd Canadian Book Challenge, Eh?: 9 read, 4 to go (by July 1, 2009)
Non-Fiction Five Challenge: 0 read, 5 to go (May 1 - September 30, 2009)
Dewey's Books Reading Challenge: 3 read, 2 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
Lost in Translation Challenge: 7 read, 0 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
Orbis Terrarum Challenge: 3 read, 7 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: 5 read, 1 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
Herding Cats II: Attach of the Hairballs: 2 read (until Dec. 31, 2009)
1% Well-Read Challenge: 0 read, 10 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
Manga Challenge: 6 read, 0 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
Graphic Novels Challenge: 2 read, 4 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)
ARC Reading Challenge: currently 7 read, 7 to go (by Dec. 31, 2009)

Long-term Reading Projects (Total read in 2009)
Reading Japan Project: 11 (including manga, 0 in April)
Orange Prize Project: 0

Reading plans for June
Other than a review book or two, I'm planning to focus on Canadian books for the month of June in an attempt to complete the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge which will end on July 1st. I'm reading another one right now, The Delicate Storm by Giles Blunt. It's the second book in his Detective Cardinal series, and I'm enjoying it, whenever I get a chance to read a chapter or two in bed at night.

What do you plan to read in June?


  1. As soon as I finish Ish's "Nocturnes" (which should be very soon!), I'll start Toibin's "Brooklyn," which I just got from the library. Then it will be Faber's "The Fire Gospel," one of the books in the Canongate Myth series.

  2. I have really enjoyed the Louise Penny novels, and also Giles Blunt. So you see we have a bit of reading DNA in common, although you have much broader tastes in general than I do, addicted as I am to crime fiction

  3. Glad to hear that you got all the packing done. You had a good month..loved reading your thoughtful and well written reviews!!

  4. Why didn't I sort through some of this stuff earlier?

    Oh, this is my lament every single time we have to move!! Good luck, Nat. You'll be settled before you know it.

  5. Good luck with your Canadian book binge!

    I plan to cram in as much fantasy as I can before the Once Upon A Time challenge ends on the 20th.

  6. You've been busy! Twenty-nine boxes of books! I wonder if I will have that many when I get around to packing mine up. I was thinking of hiring a moving service, but most likely we'll be doing it ourselves. Ugh.

    I am reading Last Night in Montreal right now. It really is beautifully written, isn't it?

    I hope you have a great week, Nat.

  7. Yeah, last time I moved the amount of books that moved with me was crazy! Now I have even more, so the thought of packing them all up scares me at times! The good thing is that my books are my main possessions, so once I get them packed everything else is a piece of cake! lol

  8. That's a lot of book boxes! Best of luck with the move. The good thing to look forward to is of course arranging your books in their new shelves. It's almost as if you have new books! haha...

    What am I planning to read in June? I have the Emily Listfield book on my nightstand and a P.D. James for book group. Other than that maybe I can read some for my reading challenges. I'm falling very behind on all of them. sigh.

  9. Best of luck on your move, Nat! I've been missing your posts.

  10. Blogging misses you too! I'm glad the move is going well, though.

  11. WOW, 29 boxes of books? You may have me beat!!

  12. Teresa - So how was Nocturnes? I still haven't read any of the Canongate Myth series but one of these days..

    Thanks Sylvie! :)

    Kerrie - I'm actually still pretty new to crime fiction but am enjoying discovering a few fun series that I plan to continue with.

    Staci - Thank you! Packing was a big job, now the fun of unpacking and figuring out where to put everything.

    Les - I have good intentions right now to go through some of this stuff but we'll see how much of it I actually get around to. I'll probably be saying the same thing next time we move. LOL.

    Memory - I hope you managed to cram in lots of fantasy reads this month. :)

    Wendy - There's no way we could have done all the moving ourselves especially with all the appliances and everything. Good luck with your move whenever it ends up happening. And I'm looking forward to reading your review of Last Night in Montreal.

    Kailana - I really do have too much stuff, lol. I was so glad to have the moving company pack up all the dishes and pots and stuff from the kitchen. It would've taken me forever! But other than that, my books definitely do take the longest to pack. :P

    Iliana - Yes, I'm quite looking forward to re-arranging the books in our new place, and re-discovering them. I've convinced H that we can squeeze in another shelf so that should help a lot. Now we just have to buy it. :P

    I still haven't got to Best Intentions but it's high on the pile for July.

    Nancy - And I've been missing yours. I feel like it's been ages since I've been by to visit. I can't wait to have some time to catch up with everyone.

    Nymeth - Aw, thank you! :)

    Stephanie - Of course a few of those boxes are reference books, my teaching textbooks, etc. so they're not all fiction. LOL.

  13. At times while reading "Nocturnes," though I always enjoyed the prose, I wasn't sure where Ish was going and/or what he was doing, but I knew I could trust him. And, sure enough, I was rewarded. Though these are five separate stories, they definitely belong together.

    Two of the stories are very funny to the point of ridiculousness (not a complaint, but something I don't think I've seen from him before) and, while the humor in those two isn't subtle at all, even they speak to the overall themes in Ish's subtle, understated way.

  14. Teresa - Humour isn't something I usually associate with Ishiguro either, but it sounds like a great collection. I'm adding it to my wishlist and really should get to one of the other of his books that I've got here waiting.


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