July 2013 Wrap-Up

While I may have posted plenty of reviews in July, there was a lot less going on behind the scenes.  You see, I spent half the month tackling a classic of world literature, a monster I’ve been steeling myself to confront for a long time now (but more of that next month!).  So if the numbers aren’t that great, you know why 😉 

Total Books Read: 9

Year-to-Date: 71

New: 9

Rereads: 0

From the Shelves: 3
Review Copies: 5

From the Library: 1
On the Kindle: 1 (review copy)

Novels: 5
Novellas: 1

Short Stories: 2
Non-Fiction: 1

Non-English Language: 8 (2 German, 2 Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Icelandic, Italian)
In Original Language: 2 (2 German)
Aussie Author Challenge: 0 (3/3)

Books reviewed in July were:

1) Snakes and Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara
2) Distant Star by Roberto Bolaño
3) A Handful of Sand by Marinko Koščec
4) The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally
5) Rituals by Cees Nooteboom
6) Diplomat, Actor, Translator, Spy by Bernard Turle
7) animalinside by László Krasznahorkai
8) Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye
9) Varamo by César Aira
10) An einem Tag wie diesem (On a Day Like This) by Peter Stamm
11) Professor Borges by Jorge Luis Borges
12) The Name of the Flower by Kuniko Mukoda
13) The Aleph and The Maker by Jorge Luis Borges

Tony’s Turkey for July is: Nothing

No turkeys this month – perhaps in August.

Tony’s Recommendation for July is:
Marie NDiaye’s Three Strong Women

I have to say that this was a tough decision (again), not because I have a selection of great books to choose from, but rather because nothing really stood out above the rest of the pack.  In terms of writing, I would go with the Krasznahorkai piece, but it’s really too short to warrant the award, and while I enjoyed the two by Borges, they weren’t my favourites this time around.  I also loved Peter Stamm’s novel, but I’m not sure it deserves to be up with my top picks of 2013.  In the end, then, Ndiaye’s book of three related novellas was the only real choice in a month of good, but not great, books.


What does August hold in store?  More of the same, I suspect.  I’m still working my way through some intriguing-sounding review copies, and I have a couple of library books to read to finish off my Spanish-language adventure.  Having said that though, it’s all overshadowed by my previous review (the first of the new calendar month) – get your climbing boots on…

2 thoughts on “July 2013 Wrap-Up

  1. Now I'm dying to know what beast of a book you've “slain”. You can't say you've “only” read a few; in my opinion your July was marvelous! I think I read six books, and my year total is 58 not in the 70's. and I feel myself mourning because school is starting on two weeks therefore severely cutting in to my reading time. I do want to read Snakes and Earrings as you have, and thank you for reading Japanese with me as always. xo


  2. Bellezza – That was the review I posted last Thursday, a true mountain of a book 😉

    I have to admit, I ended up reading more than I thought I would – after a slow start to the month, I polished off four or five in the last week or so…


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