Essential Reading: May 2014
I felt that I neglected my reading for the month of April. First, I was unable to finish If On A Winter’s Night a Traveler, our book club’s pick for April, on time. Second, I was also unable to read Margaret Atwood’s Dancing Girls and Lorrie Moore’s Still Life so my April was male-heavy and that’s something unacceptable because I swore to give equal attention to both male and female authors this year. Anyway, here are the books that I’ve read for April:
- Longitude by Dava Sobel (3/5)
- Blankets by Craig Thompson (5/5)
- Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders (5/5)
- Nobody Move by Denis Johnson (3/5)
- Day of the Oprichnik by Vladimir Sorokin (4/5)
I’ve decided to fill my May reading list with female authors since, as I have said, I quite neglected them last month. Here’s my reading list this May:
- The Athenian Murders by Jose Carlos Somoza – Recommended to me by one of my friends from the book club, The Athenian Murders is a mystery with a postmodern twist. The events in the novel happen in two different planes of existence. First is the one that happens in Ancient Greece where the main murder mystery takes place and the second narrative is set in the present where a translator is translating the text that comprises the main arc of The Athenian Murders. I can tell that the book already has a lot of potential.
- Speedboat by Renata Adler – Next to John William’s Stoner, Speedboat is probably one of the most well-known NYRB Classics out there. Semi-plotless and told in an unconventional way, Speedboat is certainly the kind of novel that I might like or despise depending on how well the author wrote the story.
- To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf – This is my 2nd attempt to read a novel by Virginia Woolf. My first attempt was trying to read Mrs. Dalloway but I failed because I didn’t have the peace of mind and stillness that you apparently need to read and comprehend Woolf’s style. I am hopeful that I am now prepared and equipped to read To The Lighthouse although some people call it one of the most difficult books to read in the English language. Anyway, even if I fail, I believe that there is still something in the attempt.
- The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri – I have been meaning to read this book ever since some of my bookish friends gave it stellar reviews and I think now is the perfect time to stop putting this off and just read it. I don’t know why I was putting it off before because some of my favorite short story collections are in the same vein as The Interpreter of Maladies (Lysley Tenorio’s Monstress and Yiyun Li’s A Thousand Years of Good Prayers) and there is a huge possibility that I will love this collection as well.
- La India or The Island of the Disappeared by Rosario Cruz-Lucero – La India is my Filipiniana pick for the month and I must say that this is the book I am most excited to read for May. My enthusiasm for Cruz-Lucero’s short story collection may come from the fact that her contribution to Manila Noir was one of my favorites in the collection or because I had the same feeling of anticipation when I was just about to read my first Munro. Either way, I am quite confident that she will not disappoint.
In other news, May is National Short Story Month so I guess it’s quite appropriate for me to choose two short story collections for this month’s reads. I also had the sudden urge to do a 24-hour novella readathon this May but I might have to pass that up depending on my mood. That’s about it for me this month.