Monday, April 2, 2012

April Reading List

Inspired by Amanda at Fig and Thistle, I've decided to plan out my reading this month.  I've never done it quite like this before, so we'll see how it works.  I know which books I'll have to read for various book groups and challenges, and which ones I went to knock off the TBR list.  I read eight books in March so I'm going to be ambitious and shoot for ten in April.  Hence, this month's tentative reading:

First, my current read:

The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West (also for the TBR challenge)



A couple of books for my library book groups:

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Sing



Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck (also for my 75 Classics Challenge)



Some YA lit, also work-related:

Ship Breaker by Paolo Balcigalupi



Ruby Red by Kerstin Geir



Some more books for my 2012 Challenges:

Don't Tell Alfred by Nancy Mitford



South Riding by Winifred Holtby



A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin



And just for fun, a couple of books to fuel my obsession for Downton Abbey:

Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison



The Shooting Party by Isabel Colgate



That's ten books, and exactly half of them are from my own shelves, so that's a pretty good ratio.  Some are short, but there are a couple of whoppers which I'm hoping will be fast reads.  I may also try to squeeze in a classic, especially if I can get it on audio.  What do you think, bloggers?  Any standouts?  Anything you hated?

22 comments:

  1. An impressive list, Karen! I loved South Riding, it's one of those books that keeps popping into my mind a year after reading it. The Shooting Party is a wonderful read but there are so many characters that I had to make a chart to keep them all straight!

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  2. Well, I probably won't get them all finished, but I really hope I can get through South Riding -- I won it last year from Thomas at My Porch during Virago Reading week and I still haven't touched it. The BBC adaptation is still on my DVR because I don't want to watch it until I've read the book.

    I'm looking forward to the Shooting Party also. Thanks for the tip about the chart -- I wish I'd had one when I watched Gosford Park! I've seen it three or four times now and I'm finally getting all the upstairs people straight.

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  3. I am kind of doing the opposite this month. Since I adhered to the TBR Double Dare for the past three months, I want April to be as free form as possible. You know, the good people at Virago gave me a book or two as well last year and South Riding is one that I chose. Like you, I haven't opened it yet. Unlike you, however, I did watch the TV version and was rather bored by it. I think I am turning into a cranky old man when it comes to book adaptations. I think they try and condense the books too much, or leave too much out, or put too much in given the time constraints and the results just aren't as good as they should be. Like Downton Abbey, the longer that went on the less and less I liked it. It wouldn't have hung together as a book, the writer tried to throw too much in and it all became rather one-dimensional and implausible. I am not saying South Riding was like that necessarily, I am just saying that I think the BBC is getting lazy. I think they think all they need to do is throw in some period costumes and sets and call it a day.

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    1. Well, I feel better knowing you haven't read your Viragos either! And I agree with the BBC, some adaptations are wonderful and some are just meh. I was really disappointed with the 2005 Room with a View, and I watched the first episode of Great Expectations last night, and I was a little underwhelmed. I'll give it more time, but I think some of the casting was odd.

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  4. I've got The Shooting Party in my April stack as well, so I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts on it if you get to it. I'm really curious about the Game of Thrones books. I'm not wild about fantasy, but I have a dd who is, which has me reading more of it than I'd care to. I don't know enough about it to know which one in the series you are on with this one, but I will check back with interest on it.
    Happy reading to you!

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    1. I hardly ever do high fantasy in adult books, though I will occasionally read it for children -- I'm more of a low fantasy person. I just don't have the patience for all the world-building. I got hooked on Game of Thrones because of the TV series, and after I'd watched the first season I didn't have any trouble imagining the world in my head. However, I've finished four of the books and I'm getting discouraged by the amount of characters.

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  5. Good for you, making a list like that. I sort of have a list in that I make a mini-TBR stack of what I plan to read in the not too distant future, and that tends to work well for me.

    I really want to read South Riding--loved the mini-series, and absolutely love the cover!

    Happy April.

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    1. I love the cover too! Much nicer than the TV tie-in which I tend to avoid like the plague.

      I don't know if I'll keep planning out monthly reads like this, and of course it could change. I have too many book groups to be completely spontaneous about my reading.

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  6. South Riding-liked very much.

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    1. Excellent! I've heard so many people loved it, and I have another book by Winifred Holtby on the TBR shelf.

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  7. Pavilion of Women is such a great story... really enjoyed the audio version last year. South Riding will be remembered as the one last book I couldn't fit in my bag when we left London last year. It's been on my wish list ever since!

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    1. I think Pavilion of Women will be the May read for my new library book group -- they told me to pick whatever I wanted, though I hardly know these people and have no idea how they'll react. But I loved The Good Earth and this was the only other book by Pearl Buck that had enough copies at the library.

      And how sad that you had to leave a book behind!! Did you actually pay for it, or just one that was left behind at the bookstore? I always pack waaay too many books when I travel, so I sympathize.

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    2. I'd already bought nine or ten books on the trip, and my husband just about died when I wanted to pick up one more in the airport to start on the flight home. I'll still get to South Riding one of these days...

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  8. I really want to read Nancy Mitford. The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate are on my Classics Club list. Since I don't own them, however, I probably won't get to them for a while.

    I've heard fantastic things about Don't Tell Alfred. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on that one!

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    1. I thought the first two MItfords were wonderful, and I finally got three more when they were reprinted in 2010. This will behoove me to finally read one of them! I have The Sisters, the Mitford biography, on the TBR shelf as well.

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  9. I am dying to read the Mitford -- looking forward to your review. I have finally finished a spate of promised reviews, and I am taking a step back -- you've inspired me to plan the next few week's reading!

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    1. The BBC miniseries adaptation is really good too. I hope planning the reading out won't be too restrictive. I think that's the only bad thing about having my TBR list on Goodreads. It makes me less spontaneous about my reading.

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  10. I'd love to get my hands on the Rose book!

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    1. There are some Downton Abbey-ish books in the library, and I'm all the way at the end of the waiting list! These should keep me busy until it's my turn.

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  11. I haven't read any of the books on your list, but I own a few of them. The Fountain Overflows is something I want to read this year as is South Riding.
    I have only read the first in the Song of Ice and Fire series, but I love the tv series!

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    1. I've been trying to save Dance with Dragons as long as possible -- once I start it I won't want to put it down. The fourth book was a little muddled, in my opinion, but I've heard DwD is back on track. A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords were really good.

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  12. I will be looking out for your Rebecca West review. Love The Fountain Overflows.

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