Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 2014 Reads (Pre-Readathon)

Dewey's 24 hour Readathon is Saturday October 18 so I'm posting my October Reads in three parts: pre-Readathon, Readathon, and post-Readathon.

I am currently reading  The Complete Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino, William Weaver (Translation), Tim Parks (Translation), Martin McLaughlin (Translation). It's a library book, due Friday and not renewable. I want to savor these stories so I'll probably end up buying it.

Books finished so far this month
(All from my local libraries)

How's the Pain?; 

The Front Seat Passenger; by

Prison Noir (Akashic Noir); Joyce Carol Oates (Editor) 
 Another great book from Akashic. Fifteen short stories by inmates or former inmates in various prisons in the USA. No hesitation about giving this five stars. Brief reviews posted to Goodreads and LibraryThing.

Horrorstör; Hendrix, Grady
 A satire on big box (especially Ikea) stores. A quick, fun read with lots of paranormal activities, gore, ghosts, peril, corporate greed, and other fearsome stuff. I wish I saved this one for the Readathon. 

Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People; by Elizabeth A. Fenn
 A very readable history of the Mandan people of the area around what is now Bismark, North Dakota. 

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher; by Hilary Mantel
 Oh, hum collection of ten short stories. Nothing particularly memorable. I suppose author reputation and title will sell the book. Actually the title story was the best with the opening story "Sorry to Disturb" a close second, but neither is really worth the price of the book.

Gutenberg's Apprentice; Alix Christie
 This is a beautifully designed book as is appropriate to its subject its author who is a printer. The problem with this book is in the detail--there is far to much of it. The descriptions of the process of refining the various techniques required to successfully print the Bible quickly went from being very interesting to being incredibly boring. The same for the discussions of church corruption and  political intrigues. The tension in the personal relationships between Gutenberg, his financial backer Fust, and the apprentice Peter (who was Fust's foster son) was lost in all the minutia.

The Better Bean Cookbook: More than 160 Modern Recipes for Beans, Chickpeas, and Lentils to Tempt Meat-Eaters and Vegetarians Alike; by Jenny Chandler
 Quite a sub-title and it is accurate. Very good cookbook, brief review posted on Goodreads and LibraryThing. Umm, pretty pictures.

Some online reading 
Words Without Borders, October 2014: New Writing from Guatemala
Last month I read Two Books by Eduardo Halfon (see my post of September 30, 2014, September 2014 Reads). This month one of my favorite online magazines has published writing from Guatemala, with Halfon as guest editor. 

A Side of Short Stories: 5 Translated Stories to Read with Your Lunch Today on the World Literature Today (another favorite for online reading) site. The five selections are:
  “Turning Thirty” by Abdellah Taïa; Translation by Daniel Simon
  “Continuity of Hell” by Andrés Neuman; Translation by George Henson
  “The Surprise” by Lili Potpara; Tranlsation by Kristina Zdravič Reardon
  “Loneliness” by Eduard Màrquez; Translation by Lawrence Venuti
  “In Search of a Man for Friendship and Possibly More” by Empar Moliner; Translation by Novia Pagone

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