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January reading - Off the Cliff

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Mon Feb 1st, 2016

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09:34 pm - January reading
So, um, I have a reading challenge this year, just a rough thing: 5 each of African lit, Chinese lit, African diaspora, Chinese diaspora, writer of colour, translated work, Shakespeare as a character, and non-fiction, plus one each of the fun oddities: a book you've had for over five years but never read, a book from your home town, author's surname starts with the same letter as yours, French fiction not from France, Spanish fiction not from Spain, a book with only one colour on the cover, a book with a colour word in the title, family relationship word in the title.

And all must be from the TBR shelves, not new or the library.

Cogman, The Masked City
Yu, Auntie Lee's Delights and Auntie Lee's Deadly Specials
Dickinson, Merlin Dreams
Singer, Gimpel the Fool
Hornung, Raffles the Amateur Cracksman
McKay, Binny in Secret
Hurston, Their Eyes were Watching God
Tan (ed), Singapore Noir
Woolley, The Queen's Conjuror
Otsuka, The Buddha in the Attic

The Ovidia Yus and Singapore Noir would count nicely for Chinese diaspora, family word, and writers of colour respectively: and are disallowed because they came from the library. Toronto Noir would have been my home town except a) it too came from the library and b) I didn't finish it- Toronto the Dull, and they got the locations wrong as well. Truly, a hospital at Queen and University is *not* the same as The University, which is three subway stops away.

This leaves me with Singer as Translation 1, Hurston as African Diaspora 1, Woolley as non-fiction 1, and Otsuka as WoC 1. She calls it a novel but it's more an agglomeration from many sources of the experience of Japanese 'picture brides' in America, and quite as depressing as one might expect.

(6 comments | post comment)


[User Picture]
Date:February 2nd, 2016 03:25 am (UTC)
Many people do not accrete books. Also many people do not collect books on such a broad range of topics. There is for example, no African lit or African diaspora in this house at all. Excluding the library and the ability to acquire new books seems counter productive unless the goal is to limit the participants to a select group.
[User Picture]
Date:February 2nd, 2016 03:43 am (UTC)
The TBR rule is my own invention because god knows I do accrete books, to say nothing of the ones I inherited from my parents' libraries. The idea was to get rid of all the books I picked up (usually quite literally) thinking 'oh I should read that' or 'mhh that looks interesting' and then never read, either because I was in detective-fic doldrums or because the Classics of whatever genre are too much like work. Calling this a reading challenge gives me a definite goal for reading and a sense of accomplishment when I do, should the book itself fail to enthrall me. Somehow 'read all the books' alone doesn't satisfy, as I found out in '13; but give me a category to be filled and it's like getting a gold star.

(To say nothing of the treasure hunt aspect of 'do I actually *have* five books with Shakespeare as a character?' I have three I can think of, at least.)
[User Picture]
Date:February 3rd, 2016 06:46 am (UTC)
Ah, well, if it's your own imposition, then you can modify it as you please! I think it's pretty good to have a goal list like that. I should start one for my crafty stuff...
[User Picture]
Date:February 3rd, 2016 02:23 pm (UTC)
Focusses the attention wonderfully, to paraphrase Dr. Johnson. ("Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.")
[User Picture]
Date:February 2nd, 2016 04:24 am (UTC)
Will be commencing on Singapore Noir soon ... so yes uhmm

My daughter will get a literature book list soon and so I may read what she has too. Apparently the texts for next year will be on American lit. So yes we'll see first what books she gets. I have a feeling that at least one of them will be 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and one Arthur Miller (death of a salesman or the crucible?)) ... it's been quite a while since anyone has studied lit in family and it's been too long.
[User Picture]
Date:February 2nd, 2016 02:38 pm (UTC)
Let me know what you think of Singapore Noir. Is it at all likely, or is it pure fantasyland?

I want to say American lit argh, but Mockingbird and Salesman are exactly the sort of middlebrow stuff that kids have always been taught over here.

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