Sunday, December 13, 2009

November in review

I started the month off in England where I soon departed on a ship for the Arctic. We'd hoped to navigate the Northwest Passage but the weather was tragically against us.  Then I travelled to Japan with my band, who I soon abandoned in favour of staying in Japan with the object of my desire.  After that it was to Bath, England, for carriage rides, walks in the country, evenings at the opera, among other social events, followed by a short stay at Northanger Abbey.  I ended the month in Kyoto, Japan where I discovered some family secrets. Most of the month was spent living in the past and I have to say I quite enjoyed my time there.

Books completed
(click on the titles below to read my reviews; the book covers are linked to Amazon)
56. The Frozen Deep - Wilkie Collins
57. Big in Japan: A Ghost Story - M. Thomas Gammarino
58. Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
59. The Old Capital - Yasunari Kawabata (review pending, but the discussion is underway).

Favourite of the month?  Northanger Abbey, but they were all very good.

New-to-me authors:  Only one this month, with M. Thomas Gammarino's debut novel.
Books in translation: 1 (The Old Capital, translated from the Japanese). 

Books in: 5 (4 purchased: The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson, The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist, Metropole by Ferenc Karinthy, One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories; 1 review copy: Comfort Living by Christine Eisner)
Books out: 0

The Year of Readers: Reading for the Book Wish Foundation.
Money raised this month: $9
Total raised (year to date): $161

Reading Challenges Progress Report
(see sidebar for current challenges)

Dewey's Books Reading Challenge (by Dec. 31, 2009): 3/5
Lost in Translation Challenge (by Dec. 31, 2009): Completed - 17/6
Orbis Terrarum Challenge (by Dec. 31, 2009): 9/10
What's in a Name? 2 Challenge (by Dec. 31, 2009): 5/6
Herding Cats II: Attach of the Hairballs (until Dec. 31, 2009): Completed - 3
Manga Challenge (by Dec. 31, 2009): Completed - 7/6
Graphic Novels Challenge (by Dec. 31, 2009): 4/6
ARC Reading Challenge (by Dec. 31, 2009): Completed - Current ARC/Review status (for 2009): 16 read, 8 to go
Everything Austen Challenge (July 1, 2009 - Jan. 1, 2010): 4/6
Japanese Literature Challenge 3 (July 30, 2009 - Jan. 30, 2010): Completed - 4/1
Canadian Book Challenge 3 (July 1, 2009 - July 1, 2010): 1/13

Long-term Reading Projects (Total read in 2009)
Reading Japan Project: 18 (including manga, 2 in October)
Orange Prize Project: 0

Reading plans for December  
My main goal for the month is to try and finish some of the reading challenges that only run to the end of this year, plus a couple of review books that I'm behind on. I'm not sure I'll finish all of the challenges but I'm pretty close in several of them so I'm going to give it my best shot. I can't wait for some time off for the holidays and hopefully I'll be able to get some quality reading time in then.

I hope you all have a great December, what's left of it. Happy reading!

The small print: Links in this post to Amazon (including book covers) contain my Associates ID.  Purchases made via these links earn me a small commission.  For more information visit my About Page.


  1. I spent some reading time in the Arctic this month too (The Terror by Dan Simmons). It looks like you are making good progress on your challenges!

  2. You always seem to read the most fascinating books!

  3. I loved the way you wrote this entry. For a moment there, I thought you really did go to those places and my only thought was "Dang!" You reminded me of a poem by Emily Dickinson. "There is no frigate like a book / To take us lands away / Nor any coursers like a page of prancing poetry."

  4. Alyce - I keep hearing about The Terror. I'm going to have to get it at some point I think, but maybe not until I've read Drood. He really does write chunksters, doesn't he?

    readerbuzz - Well thanks.
    I promise I don't do it on purpose, it's just the books that end up at the top of the pile. :)

    Nomen Arcanum - That's a great poem! I wish I could actually travel to all the places books take me (or at least most of them, not sure I want to freeze to death in the Arctic!), but armchair travel is the next best thing. :)


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