Monthly Reading Pool

These are the books I have pulled for possible reading this month. Of course, during the month I may get a couple of books from the library, have a delivery from one of the online bookstores, download something interesting from the internet, or just change my mind when I discover a very juicy novel lost under the bureau with the dead frogs and the antediluvian dust bunnies: in other words, the list may be amended or extended without notice.

Note that my bookshelves are full and the library is just down the street but my aging eyes force me to give priority to digital books, especially those I can augment with a digital voice. So I am relying more and more on purchasing digital books over the internet or discovering classic literature on sites such as Project Gutenberg. Thank goodness for the internet and my trusty iPad.

September Reading List

Active, Read (19)

  1. The Turkish Gambit — Boris Akunin
  2. Stanley and the Women — Kingsley Amis
  3. Lionel Asbo: State of England — Martin Amis
  4. Glory — NoViolet Bulawayo
  5. The Cocktail Waitress — James M. Cain
  6. Robert B. Parker’s Colorblind — Reed Farrel Coleman
  7. A Darkness More Than Night — Michael Connelly
  8. The End of the Story — Lydia Davis
  9. The Glass Palace — Amitav Ghosh
  10. Les Misérables — Victor Hugo
  11. Kindness Goes Unpunished — Craig Johnson
  12. Three Ten To Yuma and Other Stories — Elmore Leonard
  13. Priceless — Zygmunt Miloszewski
  14. After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away — Joyce Carol Oates
  15. The Guermantes Way — Marcel Proust
  16. Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel — Gary Shteyngart
  17. The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom — Tobias Smollett
  18. The History of Henry Esmond — W. M. Thackeray
  19. The Use of Man — Aleksandar Tisma
  20. A Little Life — Hanya Yanagihara

Note: To keep the original reading pool intact, I maintain a separate list of unscheduled reading that might slip in along the way. I also use this auxiliary list to stash books held over from the previous month or big fat books I hopefully will finish soon.

  • The Origin of Species — Charles Darwin
  • The Good Soldier Svejk — Jaroslav Hasek
  • Whistlejacket — John Hawkes

You might notice I tend to have several books or eBooks in progress at the same time. Although this might suggest I can hold two books and read one with each eye, it actually is an artifact from my earlier days of reading when I would have a book to read in every room—office, bedroom, bathroom, car, kitchen, living room, etc.—for fear that I would ever sit down and have nothing with me to read. I can look back at my second year in college standing for hours in the registration line without a book or even a gum wrapper to read. I still have nightmares about that afternoon. With eBooks and an iPhone this has become unnecessary. Now I have hundreds of books to chose from as long as I make sure I travel with my iPhone in my pocket.

Considering Next Month’s Reading List

A work in progress that may change without notice. Still, it’s almost like a peek into the future. I have reduced the monthly pool to 20 titles: this allows plenty of choices for my typical 8 reads a month and still allows for more (and to think I used to pool 40 books each month!).

Unfortunately (or fortunately) the current CoVid outbreak has me locked-down in my rooms and reading is definitely a primary activity. Thus 20 titles is hardly enough to fill out the month. So far I have added unscheduled books when time allows but often there has not been sufficient time to commit to a big fat book from my Bucket List.

So, I hope to include a BFB from the Bucket List in the pool of twenty titles I select each month.

Planning Scratch Pads: Future and Supplemental Reading

  1. Inside Story: A Novel — Martin Amis
  2. The Bosnian Chronicle — Ivo Andric
  3. Diary of a Country Priest — Georges Bernanos
  4. Robert B. Parker’s The Bitterest Pill — Reed Farrel Coleman
  5. City Of Bones — Michael Connelly
  6. The Coffin Dancer — Jeffrey Deaver
  7. Troubles – J. G. Farrell
  8. Another Man’s Moccasins — Craig Johnson
  9. Ms Ice Sandwich — Mieko Kawakami
  10. Three Brothers — Yan Lianke
  11. The Bad Girl — Mario Vargas Llosa
  12. Woman — Peter Mathesen
  13. Women and Men — Joseph McElroy
  14. Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas — Herman Melville
  15. With Shuddering Fall — Joyce Carol Oates
  16. Sodom and Gomorrah — Marcel Proust
  17. Dates on My Fingers: An Iraqi Novel — Muhsin Al-Ramli
  18. The Hand — Georges Simenon
  19. The Adventures of Roderick Random — Tobias Smollett
  20. The Book of Blam — Aleksandar Tisma
  • Porius: A Romance of the Dark Ages — John Cowper Powys

4 thoughts on “Monthly Reading Pool

  1. Stumbled across your blog as I am looking for blogs that review books as my blog does. You read much more than I, but we seem to share an interest in well written literature. I read mostly fiction other than science fiction, mystery and romance. I also read non-fiction that ranges from science, to history, to politics and finance.


    1. I traditionally have aimed at 12 books a month but nowadays, what with eyesight problems and excessive napping, I target about 100 books a year.


  2. I’ve just found your site while searching for resources on experimental fiction. You’ve got broad and enticing reading lists for each month. I wish I could get through even half those books (and I mean the eight to twelve you actually read each month). I recently read The Flame Alphabet and Cloud Atlas and found both masterfully written – lovely use of language and brilliant ideas. So much more I want to read (and just seeing your list makes me want to pick some of them up today), but lately I’ve using most of my time to write and edit my own experimental novel – The Black Dionysia. It’s a collage of mythology, sci-fi, classic fairy tale, and contemporary fiction. Thought you might be interested in having a look: (



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