Essential Reading: May 2016
This post is incredibly, stupendously late. Oh well.
True to TS Eliot’s words, April has been a cruel month. Well, at least it has been cruel to my reading as I have finished less than the average number of books that I usually read on a monthly basis but that’s the cynical view. Of course the optimistic view would be that I managed to read three books despite the distraction that is the remastered release of Final Fantasy IX for PC. Here are the books that I read last month:
- Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman (4/5)
- Mary Wept Over The Feet of Jesus by Chester Brown (4/5)
- The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien (4/5)
Call Me By Your Name, arguably Aciman’s most popular novel, is a near-perfect novel if only Aciman ended it at the third part. What initially felt like a novel suspended in time and place became a more conventional at the end when Aciman decided to wrap the whole novel neatly in a bow by giving it what I deemed to be an unnecessary ending. Chester Brown’s graphic novel about the biblical implications of prostitution was an intriguing read with good artwork and storylines although the overall premise seemed a little bit far-fetched. Edna O’Brien’s The Little Red Chairs was a competent enough novel although it can’t match O’Brien’s short stories in terms of mastery and beauty. I have also started on Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk but I’m beginning to think that now is not the time for me to read it so I might put it off for a different month.
Anyway, here’s what I plan to read this month:
As you may know, May is the National Short Story Month which is why I decided to mostly read short stories this month. Of course, I won’t be able to finish all of these but those that I want to are those written by Sam Lipsyte, Kelly Link, Stuart Dybek, Annie Proulx, and Tim O’Brien. Reading the New American Stories edited by Ben Marcus would also be a treat. I’m also going to read my book club’s selection for May which is Patrick Ness’ We Just Live Here. I have also been trying to read some of the graphic novels and the novellas that I’ve bought recently in my attempt to make a sizable dent on my TBR. Anyway, this is probably the first month ever in which I didn’t make a concrete list of books to read and just decided to wing it. We’ll see how it goes.
For the books that I’ve bought recently, here they are:
Except for the graphic novels, all of these have been bought at various used bookstores across the city. I am particularly happy at my procurement of the three NYRBs; the first novel of Ferrante’s Neapolitan Cycle; the short story collection from Moore, Alesie, and Everett; and the two anthologies: The Next American Essay and The Portable Atheist. I’ve been in a revitalized mood of buying books once again, visiting used bookstores across the city in between trips to the museums, the movies, or author signings.
So that’s been my April. I do apologize for the lateness. Til next time.