At the end of March, I set myself a personal reading challenge. So, how did I do in August?
My reading this month has been skewed by the challenge I’m doing over on The Reader’s Room. Try as I might, I found it difficult to combine a specific book category set in or written by an author from a specific country with my attempt to read more works by female authors. Read Different worked out a little better, though, purely because basing my reading choices on themes & writers relating to Olympic sports and competing countries helped me be more diverse.
I read seven novels and a short story. Only two of the novels were by women, but they were among my favourite reads this month. Who Fears Death was a revelation, and Bonjour Tristesse chimed hard with how I’ve been feeling lately. The Investigation by Jung-Myung Lee was another stand out. I love books that send me off at tangents to discover other writers, and this one reawakened my love of poetry.
W G Sebald’s Vertigo was my book of the month. I have fallen in love with his writing. He made me want to read Borges again.
The short story I read was by Lesley Downer, whom I discovered through another Reader’s Room challenge. I read her book about Madame Sadayakko and loved it, so when I finished a book while travelling to work and didn’t have my next planned novel with me, I entertained myself with the sweetly romantic and poignant A Geisha for the American Consul. Tweeting about it meant that Lesley got in touch to ask if I would read and review her next novel, due out in November. Of course I said yes. Look out for my review in the coming weeks.
My male vs female stats may not have evened out any this month, but I knocked three books off my TBR (and then almost instantly replaced them with three more – shhh). Not a bad reading month, all things considered. Although I did notice that watching the Olympics distracted me a lot from reading. Especially the cycling, gymnastics, hockey and tennis. GB were second in the medal table. I love the Olympics.