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.

July Reading List

Active, Read (36)

  1. The Last Taxi Ride — A. X. Ahmad
  2. Foundation: Foundation 1 — Isaac Asimov
  3. The Professor — Charlotte Brontë
  4. Libra — Don DeLillo
  5. Forever Flowing — Vasily Grossman
  6. De Niro’s Game — Rawi Hage
  7. Old Rendering Plant — Wolfgang Hilbig
  8. The Folding Star — Alan Hollinghurst
  9. At Dusk — Hwang Sok-yang
  10. Second Person Singular — Sayed Kashua
  11. Sometimes a Great Notion — Ken Kesey
  12. Dancing in the Dark: My Struggle Book 4 — Karl Ove Knausgârd
  13. The Flood — J. M. G. Le Clézio
  14. Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River — Jung Young Moon
  15. Teeth — Hannah Moskowitz
  16. A Book of American Martyrs — Joyce Carol Oates
  17. Vengeance Is Mine — Mickey Spillane
  18. Arcadian Nights — John Spurling
  19. Hummingbird Salamander — Jeff VanderMeer
  20. L’Argent — 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.

  • The Ruin of Kasch — Roberto Calasso
  • The Origin of Species — Charles Darwin
  • Garbage — Stephen Dixon
  • The Rabbit’s Rebellion — Ariel Dorfman
  • The Wild Palms — Willian Faulkner
  • The Circus of Dr. Lao — Charles G. Finney
  • The Bostonians — Henry James
  • Up the Down Staircase — Bel Kaufman
  • The Rainbow — D. H. Lawrence
  • The Con Man — Ed McBain
  • The Red Death — Walter Mosley
  • The White Butterfly — Walter Mosley
  • Black Betty— Walter Mosley
  • Quincannon — Bill Pronzini
  • Mercy of a Rude Stream: From Bondage — Henry Roth
  • Mercy of a Rude Stream: Requiem For Harlem — Henry Roth
  • Black Wave — Michelle Tea
  • Territory of Light — Yuko Tsushima

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. Homeland Elegies — Ayad Akhtar
  2. Foundation and Empire: Foundation 2 — Isaac Asimov
  3. The Rabbit Factory — Larry Brown
  4. Americana — Don DeLillo
  5. Styx — Bavo Dhooge
  6. The Parade — David Eggers
  7. North & South — Elizabeth Gaskell
  8. Klara and the Sun: A Novel — Kazuo Ishiguro
  9. Some Rain Must Fall: My Struggle Book 5 — Karl Ove Knausgârd
  10. Deacon King Kong — James McBride
  11. Panther In the Basement — Amos Oz
  12. Morte d’Urban — J. F. Powers
  13. Weymouth Sands — John Cowper Powys
  14. Bodega Dreams: A Novel — Ernesto B. Quinonez
  15. An American Type — Henry Roth
  16. The Counterlife — Philip Roth
  17. Queen of America — Luis Alberto Urrea
  18. Fu Ping: A Novel — Anyi Wang
  19. The Chrysalids — John Wyndham
  20. Son Excellence Eugène Rougon — Émile Zola

Possible BFBs:

  • The Sleepwalkers — Hermann Broch
  • Shadow Country — Peter Matthiessen
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich — William L. Shirer

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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