Make Mine March

img_0044Another make up month, this one to catch up on all the reading I missed last month when I was holed up in a small hotel room with only the dogs to talk to and a chilling urge to turn on the television and let my brain rot for a few hours.

I also have given in to reality (somewhat) and pared my monthly reading pool down to just twenty titles. This obviously gives me plenty of options for reading my usual eight books and even allows me to go for the high-end of traditionally shattered expectations and read twelve books or more during the month. Of course, I still have that ancillary list of titles I still have to finish from the previous month and unscheduled titles I discover at the library or bookstore (or under my still missing bed sheets in a moving box I just dug out of the storage closet).

Marvin 3 is still my eReader of choice but I have beaucoup de titles still loaded on the older Marvin or on iBook (even a few on the Kindle or Nook readers). A great advantage to digital readers like a tablet is that I can sit outside on my new brick porch in the evening with the buggy lights turned off and still enjoy my novel on the backlit screen of my iPad or iPhone … and I’m sitting in a rocker too … life is good!

So here is my new twenty title list without highlighting any specific authors (this month):

img_00431. How German Is It? — Walter Abish
2. Under Fire — Henri Barbusse
3. The Sense of an Ending — Julian Barnes
4. Concrete — Thomas Bernhard
5. Armadillo — William Boyd
6. Pilgrim At Tinker Creek — Annie Dillard
7. The Magic Kingdom — Stanley Elkin
8. Promise At Dawn — Roman Gary
9. Hill — Jean Giorno
10. Chateau d’Argol — Julian Gracq
11. Second Person Singular — Sayed Kashua
12. Doomed — Chuck Palahniuk
13. The Painter of Battles — Arturo Pérez-Reverte
14. When She Was Good — Philip Roth
15. The Russian Debutante’s Handbook — Gary Shteyngart
16. Shosha — Isaac Bashevis Singer
17. The Illogic of Kassel — Enrique Vila-Matas
18. Glue — Irvine Welsh
19. A Memoir of Misfortune — Su Xiaokang
20. Au Bonheur des Dames — Émile Zola

Add to this at least three books I am still reading from the February pool:

  • I Hate Martin Amis et al. — Peter Barry
  • Pattern Recognition — William Gibson
  • Violence: Six Sideways Reflections — Slavoj Zizek

5 responses

  1. For the first time in a lot of time, I don´t know what to read. I´m lost. I´m thinking of “Zorba the Greek”. Is it good? I have read “The Last Temptation…” in the past. It is also one of my favorites.
    P.S.
    Happy to know you´re confortable in your new house.

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    • When I was in my first year at the university my dorm roommate went to the movies with his friend and returned singing and dancing, telling me all about Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates in the film Zorba the Greek. Now this roommate cried whenever he saw a new flower blossom in the Los Angeles smog, had to run home to write a Keatsean sonnet (which sounded more like Edgar Guest), and transferred the next year to Berkeley to be where the real action was, but still, I went with another friend the next weekend and saw Zorba.

      It was great!

      Kazantzakis is a great writer. I’m not sure when I got around to reading the book but it was excellent and typically better that the movie. I highly recommend that you read Zorba the Greek (and try to see the film too: both are classics).

      Have you read Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry?

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      • Ok, thanks! I will take that into consideration. My two options right now are Zorba and something by Saramago, an author I have never read. The same with Lowry, but someone told me one time that “Under the Volcano” was very hard to follow. Is that right?

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      • Saramago is an excellent choice. I read The Siege of Lisbon first and was regularly confused and had to reread too much but as I read more and more of Saramago it all flowed easily. You might go with Blindness and followup with the “sequel” Seeing but The Names is good too.

        I don’t remember Under the Volcano as being hard to follow but it isn’t kiddie lit either. Oh, I believe they made a movie from the book but I don’t recall if I saw it. While I was reading Volcano I used Google to view the area of Mexico depicted in the novel. Of course several Walmarts and Targets had sprung up since the publication of the book.

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      • Ha, yes, they are even close to our pyramids, I believe. Well, thanks for the advice. I let you know which one I chose.
        PS.
        I notice in your lists you haven´t read anything by one of our classic modern writers: José Emilio Pacheco. I recommend you the short story collection “El principio del placer” (The Pleasure Principle) and especially two stories in that collection: La Fiesta Brava and Tenga para que se entretenga. Since they are short, they will give you less trouble with the language. You can even find them on the Internet.

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