Saturday, December 09, 2017

December (second week) 2017 Reads

A good reading week and now snow so there will be plenty of time for more reading.

The  Deal Me In story this week is Hill Clan Cross from Crimes in Southern Indiana: Stories by

Card: Ace of Hearts. Considering the body count in these stories this card from crackmatrix at DeviantArt seems like a good choice.

from my shelves...

Ramen Is Revolutionary: A Book for Beginners and Fans by Yoshihiro Kaneda (Kindle ed)
A short and savory read. There are several delicious illustrations.


The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen; translated from the Finnish by Lola Rogers (Kindle ed)
Mystery, myth, magic, and the creative process come alive as the newest member of the Society tries to figure out what she's gotten herself into.


Affections by Rodrigo Hasbún; translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes
Outstanding novel based loosely on the family of cinematographer/explorer Hans Ertl, who resettled in Bolivia from Germany after World War 2.
Free finished copy from publisher through Goodreads giveaway.

The Italian Party by Christina Lynch
A young mixed-up couple living in Italy in 1956. They have lots of secrets from each other and from everyone else--or so they think. It's a fun diversion and pretty accurate about how things were in the 50s.
Free advance review copy through Goodreads giveaway.

Like the era appropriate cover.


René Magritte: Selected Writings by René Magritte: translated from the French by Jo Levy; Kathleen Rooney (Editor), Eric Plattner (Editor) 
Short pieces, notes, commentaries, interviews, etc.


Traces of Time by

Saturday, December 02, 2017

December (first week) 2017 Reads

Calling it December since it will be posted on Dec 2. A dreadful Deal Me In short story this week. But the other short stories I read were great and/or pretty good. The novels I read were fine.

Still having browser problems. My Firefox wasn't broke until they "improved" it. This entry looks blah without images but I just don't want to mess with it.

Story:  Razor Blades by Lina Meruane (in The Future is Not Ours), translated from the Spanish by Janet Hendrickson
Yuck! Gross mean girls.

Card: King of Spades - not bothering with looking for a card this week.

from my shelves...

I'd Like by

Vaseline Buddha by Young-moon Jung; translated from the Korean by Jung Yewon
Surreal stream of consciousness which is, at times, hypnotic. An excellent read.

Flames of Quiet Light: Thirteen Tiny Tales of Love and Loss by

After Rain by William Trevor (Kindle)
Great collection of stories.

Now and at the Hour of our Death by Susana Moreira Marques; translated from the Porteguese by Julia Sanches
Non-fiction. Observations by an observer of a palliative care unit in rural Portugal.
from the library...

Uncertain Glory by
I really liked this novel of the Spanish Civil War. The politics of that war always confuse me and this shows that the participants were pretty confused too. Sales was involved in the war.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old by
An old geezer in a old folks home--reminded me of the Brit-com Waiting for God.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

November (fourth week) 2017 Reads

This week was a mixed bag of short stories, non-fiction, a mystery, and not much time for making notes on the books and uploading cover images. I'm really surprised that I've been pretty faithful with the Deal Me In challenge

Deal Me In
Story: The Boar-Pig (in  Beasts and Super-Beasts by Saki)
A short piece involving party crashers, a mischievous girl, and a ferocious beast. This is a gentle story, not one of Saki's macabre pieces.

Card: Ten of Diamonds.
This card from Roy at Deviant Art has nothing to do with the story. I just thought it was a fun design.

from the library....
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (Kindle edition)

from my shelves...
Conversations on Art and Aesthetics by

Russian Émigré Short Stories from Bunin to Yanovsky by

Old Rendering Plant  by

Three Stones Make a Wall: The Story of Archaeology by

Sunday, November 19, 2017

November (third week) 2017 Reads

Browser problems this week so post is light on images.

Deal Me In Story:  The cat in the attic by Valerie Martin  (Sea Lovers: Selected Stories)
Not a bad story, but I don't care much for her style. I won this collection in a GoodReads giveaway, read a few of the stories and decided not to review it. Lots of animals being mistreated by people.  Not sure why it's still on my shelf or why I put it on my roster--maybe I decided to give it another try. Will donate to book sale.

 Card: Nine of Hearts: Not looking for a card image this week.

from my shelves...

North Station by

A Son at the Front: A Library of America eBook Classic by

Island of a Thousand Mirrors by

Free advance review copy.

Bat City Review, Issue 8, 2012

Botchan by Sōseki Natsume (Kindle ed.): translated (1918) from the Japanese by Yasotaro Morri
An enjoyable read. This classic 1906 Japanese novel tells of the adventures of a novice school teacher in a small rural community.
(Also available on Gutenberg)

 Gutenberg finds...

When I Was a Boy in Japan by Sakae Shioya; published in 1906
What a happy find--just as I was about halfway through  Botchan by Sōseki Natsume. Both books were first published in 1906. Botchan is a novel about a young teacher in a rural school. The purpose of this memoir " to provide an introduction by telling some of the experiences which are common to most Japanese boys of the present time, together with some account of the customs and manners belonging to their life."

California Missions: A Guide To The Historic Trails Of The Padres, by Karl F. Brown; Illustrated With Seventy-Eight Photographs by Floyd Ray; Foreword by Rexford Newcomb; 1939, Garden City Publishing
Just fun to look at all the old photos.

San Juan Bautista

San Buenaventura

Saturday, November 11, 2017

November (second week) 2017 Reads

A fine week of reading which included a super novel, excellent poetry, and a fine collection of short fiction. All this whilst workmen were crashing about overhead installing plywood flooring in the attic. Then there is the story of the week...

“Deal Me In 2017!”

Story: The Vacant Lot (in The Wind in the Rose-bush and Other Stories of the Supernatural, by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman, first published in 1903)

This story goes nicely with strange sounds in the attic. A family gives up small town life and buys a bargain house in a good Boston neighborhood. They find out why it was so cheap when strange things happen in the empty lot next door and then right in their house itself. A good ghost story, I will certainly read more in this collection. A Gutenberg gem.

Card: Four of Diamonds
I couldn't find a sufficiently creepy four of diamonds, but I did find this book on Amazon. It shows diamonds as signifying money. Money was the motive for the purchase of the house next to The Vacant Lot so I'll go with it. Looks like a fun book, if you're into that sort of thing. (It averages 4.5 stars from the 37 Amazon reviews)

from my shelves...

Kensington Gardens by

Miami Century Fox by Legna Rodríguez Iglesias; translated from the Spanish by Eduardo Aparicio
Bilingual editions of poetry translated from languages I have some familiarity with always fascinate me. They teach me so much about what I don't know. If I were to sit down with this collection of poems,  my minimal knowledge of Spanish and a good dictionary or two I could probably decipher some meaning of the text but the result would hardly be poetic and certainly not fifty-one Petarchan sonnets. I would totally miss the point and give up early on. A collection to make one appreciate the Cuban-American experience, poetry, and the art of fine translation.
Free review copy from publisher through LibraryThing giveaway.

I Am the Brother of XX  by Fleur Jaeggy; translated from the Italian by Gini Alhadeff
These strange short stories seemed to go perfectly with the strange noises coming from the attic. I almost expected the workmen to come downstairs and tell me they had found some weird artifacts from the 178 year history of the house. No such luck so I had to be startled by the odd goings on in this Gothic collection. The cover, by the way, is deceptively calm for the the sharp, sometimes brutal, world view in the stories.