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 without notice.

February Reading List

Active = Bold, Read = Blue (26)

  1. Looking For Bapu — Anjali Banerjee
  2. They Were Found Wanting — Miklós Bánffy
  3. An Ice-Cream War: A Novel — William Boyd
  4. Agnes Grey — Anne Brontë
  5. Villette — Charlotte Brontë
  6. The Pilot; or, A Tale of the Sea — James Fenimore Cooper
  7. Ghost Town — Robert Coover
  8. Medea — Rachel Cusk
  9. Carnival: A Novel — Rawi Hage
  10. The Marble Faun: Or, The Romance of Monte Beni — Nathaniel Hawthorne
  11. Stealth — Sonallah Ibrahim
  12. Cities of the Plain — Cormac McCarthy
  13. Lookout Cartridge — Joseph McElroy
  14. Earthlings — Sayaka Murata
  15. Miss Iceland — Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
  16. Home: A Novel — Marilynne Robinson
  17. Innocents Abroad — Mark Twain
  18. Jailbird — Kurt Vonnegut
  19. Interior Chinatown — Charles Ya
  20. Une Page d’amour — Émile Zola **

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.

  • Christine Falls: A Novel — Benjamin Black (John Banville)
  • Life of Samuel Johnson — James Boswell
  • Tomboyland: Essays — Melissa Faliveno
  • The Balcony — Jean Genet
  • The Arabian Nights — Hasain Haddawy
  • Histories — Heroditus
  • History. A Mess. — Sigrún Pálsdóttir
  • An Instance of the Fingerpost — Iain Pears
  • Bedtime Eyes — Amy Yamada

** Change made to reserve Le Docteur Pascal as final R-M novel in series.

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.

Putting Together 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 or jumped ahead to start reading the next month’s big book. At least for now will not be expanding the pool beyond twenty titles.

Planning Scratch Pads: Future and Supplemental Reading

  1. Cousin Betty — Honoré de Balzac
  2. They Were Divided — Miklós Bánffy
  3. The Untouchable — John Banville
  4. Wieland; or the Transformation — Charles Brockton Brown
  5. East Is East — T. C. Boyle
  6. Romola — George Eliot
  7. The Informers — Brett Easton Ellis
  8. My Brilliant Friend — Elena Ferrante
  9. Transcendent Kingdom: A Novel — Yaa Gyasi
  10. The Fifth Child — Doris Lessing
  11. A Martian Examines Christianity — Arthur Levett
  12. Boy Toy — Barry Lyga
  13. More Tales of the City — Armistead Maupin
  14. Suttree — Cormac McCarthy
  15. Lila — Marilynne Robinson
  16. Patrimony: A True Story — Philip Roth
  17. Monestary — Sir Walter Scott
  18. The Ice-Shirt – William T. Vollmann
  19. Galápagos: A Novel — Kurt Vonnegut
  20. Le Faute de l’Abbé Mouret — Émile Zola

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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