Monthly Reading Pool

These are the books I have staged 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.

June Reading List

Active, Read (0)

  1. The Russian Girl – Kingsley Amis
  2. The Memoirs of Two Young Wives — Honoré de Balzac
  3. Life of Samuel Johnson — James Boswell
  4. Birnam Wood: A Novel — Eleanor Catton
  5. Blood Work — Michael Connelly
  6. American Dirt — Jeanine Cummins
  7. Death of a Blue Movie Star — Jeffrey Deaver
  8. Looking for Alaska — John Green
  9. White People — Allan Gurganus
  10. Annals of the Former World — John McPhee
  11. The Sea-Hawk — Rafael Sabatini
  12. Memoirs of an Invisible Man — H. F. Saint
  13. The Judge’s House — Georges Simenon
  14. Havana Bay — Martin Cruz Smith
  15. House of Day, House of Night — Olga Tokarczuk
  16. The Martian — Andy Weir
  17. The Golden Age — Gore Vidal
  18. The Intuitionist — Colson Whitehead
  19. The People in the Trees — Hanya Yanagihara
  20. The Book Thief — Markus Zusak

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.

  • Whistlejacket — John Hawkes
  • Joseph and His Brothers — Thomas Mann
  • Porius: A Romance of the Dark Ages — John Cowper Powys
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich — William L. Shirer

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) during the big Covid outbreak, being locked-down in my rooms has allowed my reading to blossom. But I’m getting old and slowing down. Also, there is a fateful tug-of-war dragging on my reading preferences: I always bemoan not having time to read those big fat ones but when I dedicate time to a long desired door-stop, I can’t believe all the smaller books I lust after reading.

For the last couple of months I’ve concentrated on those Big Fat Books lingering in my Bucket List, but I need room for the fun of genre fiction and the sparkle of the latest best-sellers. There’s just too many tempting books to read: big ones, small ones, fat ones, skinny ones, old ones, new ones, silly ones, serious ones. Time’s running out.

Planning Scratch Pads: Future and Supplemental Reading

  1. Lionel Asbo: State of England — Martin Amis
  2. The Deputy of Arcis — Honoré de Balzac
  3. Void Moon — Michael Connelly
  4. Hard News — Jeffrey Deaver
  5. Room — Emma Donaghue
  6. The Shards — Bret Easton Ellis
  7. Be My Knife — David Grossman
  8. I — Wolfgang Hilbig
  9. Setting Free the Bears — John Irving
  10. The Far Pavilions — M. M. Kaye
  11. Harlot’s Ghost — Norman Mailer
  12. A Door Behind a Door — Yelena Moskovich
  13. Ghost Wall — Sarah Moss
  14. John Saturnall’s Feast: A Novel — Lawrence Norfolk
  15. The Tavern Knight — Rafael Sabatini
  16. In Case of Emergency — Georges Simenon
  17. Wolves Eat Dogs — Martin Cruz Smith
  18. Three Streets — Yoko Tawada
  19. The Creation — Gore Vidal
  20. To Paradise — Hanya Yanagihara

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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