Now reading (3rd quarter 2012)

This quarter I must have slowed down my reading, because the total of books read is appallingly low. I did feel I was slowing down, both in reading and in blogging, but I didn’t think it was so slow. On the other hand, the page count is higher than usual, so maybe the only fact here is that I worked my way through some chunky books. All in all, I’m not dissatisfied — I prefer quality to quantity, and I did get some good reads this quarter. (I’m less satisfied with diversity, in language and in nationality. Too bad.)

Total books read: 16
(Year total: 56)

Total pages read: 6657
(Year total: 19019)
(See my last update for the method I am using to count e-book pages.)

By language:

  • in English: 11 books, 4898 pages
  • in Italian: 2 books, 1096 pages
  • in Portuguese: 1 book, 154 pages
  • in French: 1 book, 222 pages
  • in German: 1 book, 287 pages

By author’s nationality:

  • 8 books from USA
  • 3 books from UK
  • 1 book each from Australia, Germany, Iceland, Italy and Ivory Coast

Highlights (or, books I would recommend): Jellicoe Road (if you haven’t read it yet, go grab a copy right now!) and Scruffy (one of the funniest books I’ve read in ages)

Down low (or, don’t bother to read that): Neuromancer (complete nonsense, if you ask me) and Outlander (definitely the most boring book I’ve ever read, and at over 800 pages it was a torture)

From you to me (or, additions to my wishlist — *’ed books have already reached my TBR pile as well):

Challenges update:

  • Medieval Challenge: 1/4
    I tried to read a second one and was stalled into my first DNF in ages. Too bad. I have a feeling I won’t end this one.
  • Reading Round Rome: 3/7
    Slowly working my way. Who knows, maybe I can make it?
  • Greek Classics: 1/2
    No advance here.
  • Antonym Challenge: 5/6+1
    I had the last two books for this one listed for September but never got around to them.
  • Middle East Challenge: 0/3
  • Aussie Author Challenge: 1/3
    There’s hope here.
  • Back to the Classics: 7/9
    I am currently readalonging Wuthering Heights, which could fit both the missing categories.
  • Dewey Decimal Challenge: 3/6
    Just bought several non-fiction, so I’m positive I can make it.
  • Africa Reading Challenge: 3/5
    I must admit I am not getting much from these ones
  • Chunkster Challenge: 4/6, and then some more
    I may not be counting right, but chunksters are good always.
  • South Asian Challenge: 1/3
    Not too committed here…
  • Classic Double Challenge: 1/2
    Another one I was hoping to finish before the end of September and failed 😦
  • R.I.P: 0/1
    There’ still time…
  • Summer 2012 Book Challenge: 15/15
    DONE! YAY!

Finished this quarter: Semi Charmed Summer 2012
Failed this quarter: none, but I must abandon some.

Now reading (2nd quarter 2012)

In the past few weeks, you may have noticed that things were a bit slow around this blog, but if you kept a close eye on my reading list (which I know you haven’t, but don’t worry, I’ll fill you in right away!), you’ll know I’ve been catching up with some reading. I had the chance to travel around a bit, which always leaves me less time to blog and more time to read, which means that now, right in the middle of the year, I’ve reached the halfway mark to my goal of 80 books. Yay! Down to the figures:

Total books read: 21
(Year total: 40)

Total pages read: 6263 (*)
(Year total: 12362)

By language:

  • in English: 10 books, 4282 pages
  • in Italian: 7 books, 1360 pages
  • in Portuguese: 3 books, 432 pages
  • in French: 1 book, 189 pages

By author’s nationality:

  • 6 books from UK
  • 3 books from USA
  • 2,5 books each from Italy and Portugal
  • 1 book each from Cape Verde, India, Iraq, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand and Russia

Highlights (or, books I would recommend): Neverwhere (123) (but that’s a reread and no surprise at all!), Blessed Are the Cheesemakers (link coming soon added)

Down low (or, don’t bother to read that): I’d rather not mention names this time, but there were a lot.

From you to me (or, additions to my wishlist — *’ed books have already reached my TBR pile as well):

Challenges update:

  • Medieval Challenge: 0/4
  • Reading Round Rome: 2/7
  • Greek Classics: 1/2
  • Antonym Challenge: 3/6+1
  • Middle East Challenge: 0/3
  • Aussie Author Challenge: 0/3
  • Back to the Classics: 6/9
  • Dewey Decimal Challenge: 1/10
  • Africa Reading Challenge: 2/5
  • Chunkster Challenge: 2/6
  • South Asian Challenge: 1/3
  • Classic Double Challenge: 0/2
  • Summer 2012 Book Challenge: 5/15

Finished this quarter: What’s in a name
Failed this quarter: none

(*) A note on page count
I’m still confused about e-book page count. In my last update, I said I was going to use Calibre’s count, but the one e-book I read this quarter was Bleak House, which in Calibre has a staggering page count of over 1900 pages, and while it was a long read, no paper edition went even near that figure, not even the most annotated ones. My new page count policy is to consider the page count of the corresponding paper edition when possible, or of the most similar paper edition (for Bleak House, based on the fact that I read a non-annotated and non-illustrated edition, I chose the one with the lowest page count), and only resort to Calibre when a paper edition is not available. Still, if you have any thoughts on the matter, I’d be happy to hear them.

Now reading (1st quarter 2012)

Although a little bit late (due to Bloggiesta and Easter commitments), here I am with a roundup of my readings this first quarter of 2012. But before, a small note on page count: this quarter I started reading e-books and I wondered how to count pages with them. After considering several options, the one that I found most consistent and that I decided to use is the page count given from the on-screen reader of Calibre (which I use to convert formats and found very good up to now). Still, I’m interested in hearing what you think: if you count pages, what method do you use for e-books? Please share in the comments!

Without further ado, the figures:

Total books read: 19

Total pages read: 6099

Oh my, I thought I was doing well, but I am actually down in comparison with last year 😦

By language:

  • in English: 11 books, 3394 pages
  • in Italian: 6 books, 2294 pages
  • in German: 1 book, 396 pages
  • in French: 1 book, 15 pages

By author’s nationality:

  • 6 books from USA
  • 4 books from Italy
  • 2 books from Gibraltar
  • 1 book each from France, Germany, Greece, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and South Africa

Highlights (or, books I would recommend): The Geometry of Love, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, Fall of a Sparrow

Down low (or, don’t bother to read that): The Prague Cemetery, In Honor to Cain, Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name

From you to me (or, additions to my wishlist — *’ed books have already reached my TBR pile as well):

  • Cane River by Lalita Tademy, suggested by Steph whose blurb captivated me
  • The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, which is a great idea that I first heard about from Alyssa
  • *The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which I saw everywhere, but what made me finally give in and buy it was this non-review by Alex
  • The Passion by Jeanette Winterson, suggested by Dolce Bellezza who wrote that it brings together magical realism, Biblical references, and Venice
  • How I Killed Pluto And Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown, reviewed by Alex, whose post fostered an interesting discussion and also brought to my attention The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, which was brought to my attention by this review on BermudaOnion’s blog and picked my curiosity as do all things related to Masada (and Israel history in general)

Challenges update:

  • Medieval Challenge: 0/4
  • Reading Round Rome: 2/7
  • What’s in a Name: 3/6
  • Greek Classics: 1/2
  • Antonym Challenge: 2/6+1
  • Middle East Challenge: 0/3
  • Aussie Author Challenge: 0/3
  • Back to the Classics: 2/9
  • Dewey Decimal Challenge: 1/10
  • Africa Reading Challenge: 0/5
  • Chunkster Challenge: 1/6

Finished this quarter: Venice in February
Failed this quarter: none

Into the new year: noteworthy from 2011

From me to you: a list of the best books I read in 2011 (while waiting for the stats)

From you to me: a list of books I saw on the blogosphere (since October) and immediately added to my wishlist

  • Vanished by Sheela Chari (mentioned by Read Handed)
    A book that contains the words berimbau and wyvern in the same story is a must read.
  • The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama (mentioned by Joanna)
    Japan culture here I come!
  • The Drops of God by Tadashi Agi & Shu Okimoto (mentioned by S. Krishna)
    A graphic novel about one of my themes for 2011? Cool!
  • Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge (mentioned by Alex)
    I cannot skip a book that was defined “written as a gushy Valentine to the English language”!
  • The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley (also mentioned by Alex)
    And it fits my myth-reading-plan too 😉
  • Between Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore (mentioned by Shanra)
    I didn’t even read the whole review for fear of spoilers…
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (mentioned by Nymeth)
    Go and read Nymeth’s post, and see if I’m not right in adding this to my wishlist!

Shameless: Top Ten Books on My Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme for the list lovers among book bloggers, created and hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme is “Top Ten Authors I’d Love To Have At My Thanksgiving Feast”. Except that I don’t feel at ease at all with that theme, because we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving around here, but most of all because I am not a fan of meeting authors. For much that I admire them, I would stammer and be at loss as to what to say and eventually say something that I then would recall cringing for the rest of my life. That’s me for you, and I’d rather never invite authors to dinner.

So what am I doing with this post? Because I am completely shameless, I decided to anticipate a future theme, one that I probably won’t have time to do in December (I won’t be around too much in Dec. anyway): “Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings”. Santa may be already looking for the perfect gift, and Dec. 20th may be too late for him to choose from my list — just saying. (I told you I am completely shameless!)

So here goes, top ten books I would love to hold in my hands soon:

  1. Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss: it’s been a while since my last Indian read.
  2. Scott Lynch, The Lies of Locke Lamora: already been waiting for too long…
  3. Mohsin Amid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist: with this I could complete one of my unfinished challenges for 2011.
  4. Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: another one I’ve been stalking for ages.
  5. Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Firebrand: this has been popping up again and again this year, from completely different sources, and I need to put my hands on it!
  6. Alice Vieira,Os Olhos de Ana Marta: because I’m looking forward to some good Portuguese reading and this comes recommended by all the Portuguese book bloggers I know.
  7. George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows+A Dance With Dragons (yes, it’s two books, so I’m cheating on the total of 10, so what?): I’m trying to wait a little, so as to get nearer to the publication date of the last two in the series and not have to keep waiting with my mouth watering for too long — but of course if I was to find these under the Christmas tree I’d devour them!
  8. Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games: everyone seems to love this, but left on my own I’m not sure I’ll ever get to it.
  9. Sarah-Kate Lynch, By Bread Alone/Blessed Are the Cheesemakers (see Two books! I’m doing it again!): someone mentioned these two back in the days of my first blog. They sure sound interesting.
  10. or whatever else crosses your mind, Santa, really! 🙂

See, the Christmas tree is already up, I've been a good girl! (Photo credits: Jim Nix / Nomadic Pursuits on Flickr)