It has been a little quiet here so I played with my theme. I feel the need to do that whenever nothing is happening on this blog. Aside from that, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. In fact, it has been a long while since I managed to finish more than five books within a month. I checked my reading history and found out that in the first half of 2012, one of my two prolific reading years, I clocked in between five to seven books per month. I even set a record for May 2012: nine books.
Why am I obsessing over this? Surely, it’s not the quantity but the quality, eh? No, I don’t subscribe to that idea. There’s so little time that I must not waste for kissing and fondling my quality books for inordinate periods when there are so many more possibly quality books waiting to be discovered. Also, I like setting goals. If there’s a number that I have to beat, I feel compelled to keep reading. However, this does not mean that reading goals are my main motivation for reading. It’s a sort of challenge to make a solitary activity more exciting.
Okay, so there’s one ugh book in my report this month but it was assigned reading. I even got to write a review for it, which is quite ironic because I didn’t bother with the others. But I will make time for them. I’ll do my best to stop watching random videos on YouTube and to come up with write-ups.
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz – Our book of the month for May. 4 out of 5 stars.
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin – One of my picks for my book club discussion in August. 4 out of 5 stars. (USD 15.30, The Book Depository, May 7)
- The Middleman and Other Stories by Bharati Mukherjee – The Year of Reading the NBCC (18/40). 3 out of 5 stars.
- Monstress by Lysley Tenorio – One of my reading dares/challenges for this year. 5 out of 5 stars.
- October Light by John Gardner – The Year of Reading the NBCC (17/40). 4 out of 5 stars.
- Thirteen Reasons Why by James Asher – 1 out of 5 stars.
- Ubik by Philip K. Dick – 5 out of 5 stars. It looks like this will be the book that I’ll be discussing with the book club. We’ll find out in a few more days after the voting period is over. (USD 12.69, The Book Depository, May 7)
- Lila by Marilynne Robinson – On page 51 of 261. I restarted because I want to.
- Neuromancer by William Gibson – On page 101 of 271. I am so close to abandoning this.
- The Maltese Falcon by Dashielle Hammett
- Rabbit Redux by John Updike
- The Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
- The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard
- The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan
- The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro – A signed gift! Thank you! (from Bennard, May 19)
Here’s a little background about The Year of Reading the NBCC. When Lila won the 40th NBCC Award for Fiction last March, I decided to read all the NBCC fiction winners. Why? Because I have them all, because I think this award has a very good taste, and because so far, I don’t hate any of the winners unlike the other awards (Mambo Kings for the Pulitzer, Charming Billy for the NBA, and Last Orders for the Booker).
I have instantaneously made this official but think I mentioned this aspiration somewhere. If I have only imagined it, let me tell you that my to-read list is pretty much filled up by the 25 titles that I haven’t read yet. The 25 titles are now down to 22 (Billy Lynn last April, October Light and Middleman last month). So yeah, I’ll note my progress in these reports just like what I did above. As a matter of fact, I’ll also edit the previous report for Billy Lynn.