Essential Reading: October 2013

September flew by so fast and here we are again. October is here and it means new lists to create and new books to read. Last month was a novella-reading month + Lolita and it was a great month in which I read of the works of authors that I have read before and those that I have not read yet. As usual, it was rewarding and awesome. The books I’ve read for September, here they are:

  • Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser (5/5)
  • May Day by F. Scott Fitzgerald (4/5)
  • The Eye by Vladimir Nabokov (3/5)
  • The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciascia (3/5)
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (5/5)
  • The Porcupine by Julian Barnes (4/5)
  • The Fatal Eggs by Mikhail Bulgakov (4/5)

Of the books I’ve read last September, the unbelievable imagination of Millhauser and the aesthetic concentration of Nabokov is what truly captured me. Millhauser and Nabokov are two storytellers that do not have anything in common except their ability to astound their readers. But I guess I should elaborate on another post (if I ever get the will to create reviews for their books).

Anyway, for the month of October, I plan to read works by women’s authors (plus the compulsory TFG book of the month) which is, if my memory serves me right, the same theme that I had last year. Here they are:


  • The Courilof Affair by Irene Nemirovsky – I read Le Bal and Snow in Autumn, two short works gathered in one book, last year and it was a fair read but Nemirovsky’s writing had a certain quality to it that made me want to revisit her works. The Courilof Affair, a story set in revolutionary Russia, seems like something that I would like.
  • The Oasis by Mary McCarthy – Melville House published this once out-of-print work by McCarthy about a Utopian commune of intellectuals that, over the course of their stay, wage an ideological war with each other. McCarthy has been recommended to me by both The Paris Review (Art of Fiction interview) and The New Yorker (articles) so it seems that this time of the month is as good as any month to start on her works.
  • A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li – This was recommended to me by one of my friends when he noticed that I was in a short story craze. I have not yet read anything about Li and I didn’t know her before my friend’s recommendation but I do trust his taste.
  • Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay – TFG’s theme for the month of October is High Fantasy and the book that one is this tome by Kay. I’m actually quite excited for this one since it’s been a while since I’ve read anything in this genre.
  • We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson – I think it’s time for me to read a full-length work by the writer of one of my favorite short stories, “The Lottery”. Plus, it’s October so Shirley Jackson is a perfect fit for Halloween.

October is here and, with it, a new month of reading.

2 Responses to “Essential Reading: October 2013”
  1. I see Infinite Jest! Sorry, troll comment, haha. I’ve read Millhauser’s novel Martin Dressler. I wasn’t wowed by it, probably because I read it when I was a still bumbling college student. Or probably because his strength lies in short stories?

    • Infinite Jest is that nagging book at the corner of my mind that I don’t have time to read yet. Hahaha. Just like in the picture.:D

      I haven’t read Martin Dressler yet but the general consensus on what I’ve read about his works is that his short story writing is his strength.:)

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