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December, the last month of the year has arrived! Only 25 days left to finish up all 2009 challenges… Got to hurry! Actually, I think I am going to stretch my personal 2008-2009 challenge into 2010 ;)

A more difficult problem to tackle will be reviewing the books I’ve read :\ At the end of this Sunday Salon you’ll find a list of all books I still need to post about…

But first: something wonderful happened this week! Natakiya from Bentoanarchy has given me the Kreativ Blogger Award! Unfortunately I am not too good at the memes which seem to accompany awards, nor very good at passing them along. So instead of really picking it up I will just announce my extreme gratitude here!

In my last November Sunday Salon I already talked about another happy event: the Cloud Atlas music cd I got from Elsje. I feel I am a very lucky grrl!

Book reviews written in November

Right now I am reading the second part of I Am a Cat. Waiting for me on the shelf is The Gargoyle, this month’s Boekgrrls read — and I’ve been looking forward to it for a year now!

Books read in November

  • In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
  • The Old Capital, by Yasunari Kawabata
  • Persuasion (audio), by Jane Austen

Books waiting to be reviewed
In order of priority.

  • The Old Capital ~ Yasunari Kawabata
    Japanese Literature Book Group, JapLit Challenge, Classics Challenge
  • In Cold Blood ~ Truman Capote
    Classics Challenge, What’s in a Name Challenge, Boekgrrls
  • The Grapes of Wrath ~ John Steinbeck
    Classics Challenge, Bookcrossing book, personal 2008-2009 challenge
  • Brideshead Revisited ~ Evelyn Waugh
    Classics, What’s in a Name Challenge, Boekgrrls
  • Revolutionary Road ~ Richard Yates
    Classics Challenge, Boekgrrls
  • The Remains of the Day ~ Kazuo Ishiguro
    What’s in a Name Challenge, personal 2008-2009 challenge
  • Be With You ~ Takuji Ichikawa
    JapLit Challenge

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Advertenties

I am a cat. As yet I have no name. [p.5]

Logo Japanese Literature Read-a-longI started reading I Am a Cat (Wagahai wa Neko dearu) during the 24 hour read-a-thon and finished part 1 on October 31st. I’m reading this classic from 1905-1906 for the Japanese Literature Read-along. I wish I had the edition shown on Wikipedia, because I absolutely love that cover! But the picture on my ‘complete edition’ resembles my own cat Juno, so I am happy with that as well :)

I am a catWhat do I think of the book so far? Unfortunately I read the preface first, so there wasn’t much to find out for myself :\ This way I knew beforehand that the first chapter had been written as a short story, to be published in the journal Hototogisu. Originally it was not meant to be a book at all! But one of the the magazine editors persuaded the author to expand it into a novel because of its success.

I’ll let the introduction introduce the story ;)

[..] though Sōseki’s total book is held together by the continuing theme of a nameless cat’s observations of upper-middle-class Japanese society of the Meiji period, the essence of the book resides in the humor and sardonic truth of those various observations, not in the development of the story.

The preface also gave away that the voice of the cat gets more and more human. I recognized that in the following quote from the 3rd (and last) chapter of volume 1:

The more that humans show me sympathy, the more I am inclined to forget that I am a cat. Feeling that I am now closer to humans than to cats, the idea of rallying my own race in an effort to wrest supremacy from the bipeds no longer has the least appeal. [..] Moreover, I have developed, indeed evolved, to such an extent that there are now times when I think of myself as just another human in the human world.

Reading that, a relation to the song I Am a Kitten became apparent. Momus wrote the piece of music originally in French for the Japanese pop star Kahimi Karie. The booklet of his 20 Vodka Jellies cd even acknowledges that it owes something to this “excellent novel”.

The song is about a cat falling in love with a human being (= impossible love). I don’t think that’s going to happen in Natsume’s story, but you never know ;) Here’s Momus singing I Am a Kitten (in English), while you read along. We’ll save Kahimi’s performance for another time ;)

And though I’d love to be loved
The gods ordained it that
You were made a human being
And I turned out a cat
(I am a kitten)

[complete lyrics]

Cover I Am A CatBack to the novel. I’m not really sure what to think of it. Of course it’s interesting to read about Japanese intellectuals and their surroundings in early 20th century — seen through the eyes of a cat. But how realistic is it? And what is there to ‘learn’ about Japan it if I can’t determine that? Okay, I admit to not having a taste for satire. And yes, I’m embarrased to say so; it’s like confessing to not having a sense of humor — in other words being a sourpuss :\

Anywho. Aside from the above, I am not able to identify with the cat, even though it is portrayed lifelike (that is to say: the way we humans perceive feline characters). And this time it can’t be designated my shortcoming because in Barbara Gowdy’s book The White Bone I actually imagined I was the elephant Mud.

Am I not enjoying the read-along of I Am a Cat? Oh yes I am! :)

I really had to laugh about a scene where ‘the cat’ — I am going to baptize it Neko here and now — gets its jaw stuck in a rice cake. JumboI transcribed part of it for a mini challenge in the 24 hour read-a-thon, but it actually goes on for several pages and it is very evocative.

I guess this novel, for me, is about cherishing specific quotes; I’ve jotted many down in my notebook. In my blogpost about the graphic novel Coraline I have already talked about reading synchronisity on the basis of some similar quotes. But I was also affected by a scene in which ‘Neko’ finds Rickshaw Blacky sunbathing in his garden. This part reminded me very much of our belated tomcat Jumbo (who was HUGE and named Jumbo because of that by the animal shelter when he was only a few weeks old). He was a shy guy btw, not some bully like the cat of the rickshaw owner ;)

[..] and there I saw an enormous cat fast asleep on a bed of withered chrysanthemums, which his weight had flattened down. [..] there he was, stretched out at full length and snoring loudly. I was amazed at the daring courage that permitted him, a tresspasser, to sleep so unconcernedly in someone else’s garden. He was a pure black cat. The sun of earliest afternoon was pouring its most brilliant rays upon him, and it seemed as invisible flames were blazing out from his glossy fur. He had a magnificent physique; the physique, one might say, of the Emperor of Catdom. [p.9-10]

In conclusion I just think the cat(s) in the story interest me, and not so much the storylines about the people. Yes, I am a cat person :)

For surely even humans will not flourish forever. I think it best to wait in patience for the Day of the Cats. [p.7]

Part 2 of I Am a Cat needs to be read (and reviewed) before December 15th and the final part in the middle of January 2010. To be continued…

Note: I had a hard time deciding whether I should write Natsume Sōseki or Sōseki Natsume. The Western way would be Sōseki Natsume, since Natsume is the writer’s last name. But the Japanese put their family names first. In the end I considered decisive that 1) in my museum profession author and creator names are usually documented in the way the person presents him-/herself publicly and 2) that is probably also why I know the author by the name Natsume Sōseki best myself.

Since I Am a Cat is a Japanese Classic I’ve also admitted it to Bellezza’s Japanese Literature Challenge and the 2009 Classics Challenge.

Here’s my review of part 2!

During Dewey’s 24 hour Read-a-Thon I read Neil Gaiman’s book Coraline as a graphic novel (adapted by P. Craig Russell). Technically it might not have been the first graphic novel I’ve read, but it certainly was the first one I bought myself, knowing it to be one!

About 15 years ago, shortly after I had met Mr Gnoe, I read the Pulitzer Prize winning work by Art Spiegelman: Maus, a Survivor’s Tale — an autobiographical story about Jews (depicted as mouses) surviving the World War II Holocaust. At that time I also got acquainted with the (just as grim) comic books of Tardi. Both I did not consider to be graphic novels at the time, because the term seems to be in in vogue only since the last few years.

So what is a graphic novel exactly? Well, there’s no real consensus about that :) Some consider it to be a posh term for all kinds of comic books provided they’re bound in a durable format like printed books, others believe there’s a distinction in artistic quality (which of course is a subjective matter).

Neil Gaiman himself — yes, I will get back to Coraline in a short while — considers it to be nothing more than a marketing term, a sales category.

[..] there’s no meaningful difference. For some reason the term “big thick collected or original comic published in book form” has never really caught on, while “Graphic Novel” did.

Cover Best of MuttsMyself, I am still in doubt whether or not to distinguish graphic novels from ‘ordinary’ comics. It just doesn’t feel right to call the collected Best of Mutts (Patrick McDonnell), that I bought along with Coraline, a graphic novel as well — even though it is a beautiful hardcover ‘coffee table book‘. I think I would like to hold on to the idea that a graphic novel is a story or collection of short stories in comic format (a balanced combination of narrative art and dialog or explanatory text), that holds something more than plain, popular entertainment. Like: could it be a novel without the image art? Does the story have some sustenance? I know I’m walking on thin ice here ;)

Do you have an opinion about graphic novels?

Cover Coraline

Back to Coraline now. It’s the fantasy/horror story of a girl moving with her family to a huge house that’s divided into four apartments. Exploring the house, Coraline finds a door into an ‘other world’, where her ‘other mother and father’ live. These parents tempt her with things that are all better than at her real home, because they want her to stay.

Doesn’t that immediately make you think of Alice in Wonderland? It does even more when you read about the neighbours persisting in mispronouncing Coraline’s name as Caroline in the first pages (think Lewis Caroll). It’s been too long since I read about Alice’s adventures (I must have been a child of about 9), but it would be fun to compare the stories.

Another book Coraline reminded me of is the classic Japanese novel I was reading for the read-a-thon as well: I Am a Cat, by Natsume Sōseki (from 1905). It begins as follows:

“I am a cat. As yet I have no name.” (p.5)

And here’s when Coraline meets a cat at the new property (p.41):

Whats your name

And it explains to us on the same page:

“Now, you people have names because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names.”

Or, when Coraline first sees the cat on ‘the other side’ (p.39):

I'm no other anything

Cats naturally being wise, it has a theory about it on the next page (p.40):

“You people are spread all over the place. Cats on the other hand, keep ourselves together. If you see what I mean.”

Back to I Am a Cat:

“Cats are truly simple. If we want to eat, we eat; if we want to sleep, we sleep;” (p.26)

Reading synchronisity!

I guess the fact that Coraline reminded me of these classics helps in making it more of a reading experience than simple entertainment. Although it was also just plain fun to read Coraline ;)

Like Maus, the graphic adaptation of Coraline by Russell has won an important prize: the 2009 Eisner Award (an ‘Oscar’ for comics) in the category of Best Publication for T(w)eens. Er.. that’s not my age group! And since I’ve grown up I don’t really like reading YA or children’s books. But it didn’t bother me now ;) At least it’s obvious that a targeted audience of adults is not a condition for being called a graphic novel (as some argue).

Russell, who’s some sort of god in the graphic novel world, says about his adaptations:

“The appeal of an adaptation is in starting a piece secure that there’s literary worth in the source material. If it fails, I can’t blame it on that. I’ve always been fascinated by the challenge , the puzzle-solving challenge of taking a piece apart line by line and reassembling it into an entirely different art form.

[..] It’s the beautiful writing. It also helps that Neil has a huge following so I know all the effort I put into the work will actually be seen. I’ve done plenty of work that left me feeling I’d thrown it down a well. Doesn’t happen with Neil’s stories.”

Covers Persepolis 1 & 2I bought my comics for the read-a-thon following advice from veteran participants. Next to Coraline and The Best of Mutts I ended up with Persepolis and Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi. But during my 24 hours of reading I only got to read Coraline! Which indeed made a nice change of palate. And as you notice I’ve come to learn some things about the graphic novel world at the same time ;)

Now that I’ve crawled out of my familiar reading nook I might also try one of Gaiman’s actual fantasy books — next year. For the rest of 2009 there’s something else to consider: with my other graphic books on Mt. TBR I might join the Graphic Novels Challenge I would only need to decide on two more before December 31st to make the minor level of six books. Why not reread Maus volumes I & II?

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Just a short Sunday Salon today. No new books came into the house, so that’s good news ;) And I haven’t started any new reading challenges — although I am contemplating participating in the Women Unbound Challenge :\ But I said I wouldn’t join any new challenges before I had finished one of my current, so… Cover The PillowbookThen again, I’ll be reading The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon anyway for my personal and Classics challenge.

A book of observations and musings recorded by Sei Shōnagon during her time as court lady to Empress Teishi during the 990s and early 1000s in Heian Japan.

For the Women Unbound Challenge participants are encouraged to read nonfiction and fiction books related to the rather broad idea of women’s studies (the multidisciplinary study of the social status and societal contributions of women and the relationship between power and gender). As a philogynist I would need to read at least two books of which one non-fiction. The Pillow Book would fit in great!

Cover I Am A Cat

I finished part 1 of I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki. I’ll need to review it before November 15th because of the Japanese Read-along. That seems early enough but I’m way behind on my book reviews and it’s getting a bit frustrating. Hopefully November will prove better! Books read in October that I want to review aside from I Am a Cat: Coraline graphic novel (Neil Gaiman), The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) and Be With You (Takuji Ichikawa).

But I also have a review backlog from before October: Revolutionary Road (Richard Yates), Brideshead Revisted (Evelyn Waugh) — and many more as you can see in the challenge overview below… Sigh. And these are only book blogposts :\ Well, at least I did write a short review of ‘The Piano Man‘ (De pianoman) during the 24 hour Read-a-Thon!

Cover In Cold BloodMy current book is In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. It’s the November read for my online book group. I haven’t gotten really far yet, even though I said I would participate in this week’s Spooky Booky Readathon at Bookcrossing. I hoped to beat the result of my first attempt in the September readathon, but with only 2:30 hrs read from Friday until now, that will become pretty difficult. Oh well. I knew I was going to have a busy week ahead and my priorities lie elsewhere ;)

I guess that’s it for now. I’ll just leave you with the monthly progress update of my reading challenges.

Challenges / Bookgroups etc.

Current Bookgroup reads:

  • Boekgrrls November book: In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote (now reading)
  • Japanese Literature Read-along for November 15th: I Am A Cat (part I), by Natsume Soseki (read, to be reviewed)
  • Japanese Literature Book Group for November 30th: The Old Capital, by Yasunari Kawabata (TBR)

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Well, obviously this week was dominated by Dewey’s 24 hour read-a-thon. You can’t have missed it! Not only if you’re a visitor of Graasland: we also made it a trending topic on Twiter. Yay!

I had a lot of fun, but it was much more difficult than I had expected. From the total of 24 hours I’ve slept six and a half — the rest was spent on the event (except for some eating and stuff). Because of that my totals seem a bit meager!

Read-a-thon totals

Hours spent on the read-a-thon: 17:30
Hours read: 6:24
Pages read: 319
Books read: 2
Mini-challenges: 8

I couldn’t keep track of time spent behind my computer, but it didn’t feel as if I was cheering or blogging or twittering too much. So it was the community aspect of this read-a-thon that made it great, but also more difficult to read as much as I would have normally been able to. Time flies when you’re having fun! ;)

Read more about what I read and what I found hard about the read-a-thon in my last progress update and the ‘End of the Event Meme‘.

During the read-a-thon I took part in the following 8 mini-challenges. Unfortunately several times I’ve forgotten to admit my link to the challenge post; who knows what prizes I would have won otherwise! ;)

Other bookish stuff

Cover Be With YouWas there no other bookish stuff going on this week, you ask? Of course! I finished Be With You (Takuji Okigawa) just before the read-a-thon started. I absolutely loved it! I will be adding it to my Japanese Literature Challenge so you might look forward to a review.

Cover ZijdeAnd I bought another book (thinking I could read the novella during the read-a-thon, dôh): Silk, by Alessandro Baricco, in Dutch: Zijde. Unfortunately the book cover is not original but shows the movie poster… I don’t like it when publishers do that! I do not plan to see the film; here’s what Mee wrote about it.

And last but not least: our Bookcrossing Monopoly mission was ‘restaurant’, so De Boekenleggers released a Dutch copy of Como Agua Para Chocolate (Rode Rozen en Tortilla’s) at the moped of a Mexican Delivery Boy. Have you seen it crossing Utrecht city? We know it has been caught, but unfortunately there’s no journal entry yet!

Bookcrossing Monopoly release wk 2: restaurant

Cover De pianomanYay, I have finished my first book! De pianoman, by Bernlef. I liked it, but as I said in my previous update post I didn’t get to concentrate as much I should :( I hope that will get better with my next read: I am a cat by Natsume Soseki. I need to review it for the Japanese readalong, so I’d better know what it’s about!

The Piano Man

The Piano Man is fiction based on a true story of a man washing ashore in Sheerness in 2005. Because of his taciturnity, the authorities couldn’t identify him for quite some time. Once identified as the German Andreas Grassl, he was put on a plane home.

The fictional Piano Man is a Dutchman named Thomas Boender, who prefers to keep silent because his upbringing in the northern part of my country never taught him to speak his mind very well. Like Andreas Grassl he’s lower-class and homosexual. Not being good with words, he is rather clever at playing the piano (taught to him by his school teacher). That’s why the English call him Piano Man. The book is about him ending up in Sheerness — and getting back home. Keeping all thoughts for themselves makes people heavy, talking makes you (feel) lighter.

Bernlef is fascinated by language. Even his pseudonym has something to do with it: he named himself after a 8th century, blind lyrical poet from Friesland (in the upper part of The Netherlands).

Status report

16:30 – 19:00

Currently reading: I am a cat (starting with the first chapter at page 3)

Progress since last update

Time read: 0 hrs 54 mins
Amount of pages: 44 pages
Books finished: 1 book (De pianoman)

Mini-challenges I participated in: 1 (Bart’s Title challenge)
Blogging time: hard to keep track of… So I won’t bother you with it anymore.

Totals

Hours read: 2:05
Pages read: 88
Books read: 1
Mini-challenges: 4

ReadathonpileThis is my final readathon pile! The third book from above (Model Gliding by Marcel Möring in Dutch: Modelvliegen) I will actually not read on paper: I have the audiobook waiting on my iPod. With thanks to Elsje las!

Listening to the advise of oldtimers I’ve decided to start with a short book to get a feeling of accomplishment: The Pianoman (also in Dutch: De Pianoman), by Bernlef. It’s the boekenweekgeschenk from 2008: ‘book week present’. Each year in March there’s a week devoted to books and reading. If you spend 20 euro’s on Dutch literature, you’ll get that year’s gift written by a famous author. This started as early as 1930! In the beginning the public had to guess who the author was by reading the novella.

Oh my, I suddenly discover I forgot to put one book in the photograph… The China Lover! Well, I might even never get to it anyway ;)

I wonder what this readathon will do to my daily post statistics… LOL The hard part of coming 24 hours will be not to spend too much time behind my computer blogging and following other readathonners! Beneath you can see my starting position. Good luck to all! :)

startingposition

24hrreadathonbuttonI know the correct spelling of Dewey’s 24 hour read-a-thon, but from now on I’m going to write it without the negative signs: readathon — because it is so much quicker to type! I’m really exited because I’ve got less than an hour to go before the readathon starts at 14:00 Amsterdam time. Last minute preparations have started! And some last minute additions, as you can see in the picture…

And yes, that includes the side table! We’ve had our eyes on this for a long time now but today I really really need it! :) So I went by the furniture shop this morning, after I had my hair cut. I als picked up another book: Silk by Alessandro Baricco (in Dutch: Zijde). bijzettafelI already told you that I liked to add it to my pile of readathon books and I had to go to the bookshop anyway… because I had lost the bookmark I wanted to use for my current read: I Am a Cat (Natsume Soseki). I got so frustrated by it that I decided to buy the exact same bookmark again: a Japanese white-eye bird made by Hiroshige. But then I found an even better marker of a black cat in autumn! It is by Hishida Shunso — I have not heard of the artist before, have you?

I hate losing favourite bookmarks, but this proves it can be a good thing too ;) Have you heard of our adventurous bookmark from Cappadocia?

Well, I’d better stop blogging and get the rest of my preparations done… See you in a bit!

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

This is very exciting: on Wednesday the Monopoly 2.0 release game got started! My teammate myranya and I are called De boekenleggers, which can be translated into bookmarks — but it is a better name in Dutch because it is literally ‘the book layers’ (people laying books). Our first assignment is to leave a book at an IKEA shop… This is my 2nd time playing Bookcrossing monopoly and it was great fun last year!

Cover The CorrectionsSpeaking of Bookcrossing: I received no less than two RABCK’s this week! (Weekly Geeks made us improve our weblogs, so I’m referring you to my new glossary for the explanation of RABCK ;) First came Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections from Marsala. It is #1 on the list of Best Fiction of the Millenium (so far)! Marsala read the book during the September readathon. And yesterday my surprise gift for joining in that same monthly readathon arrived! I had joined in preparation of the 24 hour Read-a-Thon of October 24th. I am really excited that I already got my pile of books done! Here’s what I will be reading during those 24 hours (although I probably won’t manage all of the books/hours):

  • short stories: Nocturnes, by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • De pianoman (‘The Piano Man‘), by Bernlef
  • audiobook: Modelvliegen (‘Model Gliding‘), by Marcel Möring
  • [my current book of that moment]
  • Dromen van China (The China Lover), by Ian Buruma
  • graphic novel: Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
  • graphic novel: Persepolis & Persopolis 2, by Marjane Satrapi
  • comic: The Best of Mutts, by Patrick McDonnell

There’s just one title I would like to add: Zijde (Silk), by Alessandro Baricco. So if anyone has got a copy available, in Dutch or English..?

Buying graphic novels for the upcoming read-a-thon was a first for me! I figured it would be great for variety. But the funny thing is I can hardly wait to start reading them now! I should keep myself from picking them up first thing on THE Day ;)

My mailbox really had to work overtime this week: I also received my three online Japanese book group reads yesterday!

    Japanese book group books

  • I Am a Cat (Wagahai wa Neko dearu 1905), by Natsume Sōseki — readalong, part 1 TBR before November 15th
  • The Old Capital (Koto 1962), by Yasunari Kawabata — TBR before November 30th
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor (Hakase no aishi ta sūshiki 2003), by Yoko Ogawa — TBR before January 30th 2010

Next week I hope to have finished John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath… I’ll see you then!

Sunday Salon logoThe Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

Let’s start this Salon post with a confession: I have been a bad grrl and bought 3 more books for myself!

  • I Am a Cat (Natsume Soseki)
  • The Old Capital (Yasunari Kawabata)
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor (Yoko Ogawa)

I’ve got a great excuse though: I joined the new online Japanese Literature Book Group and Read-along at In Spring It Is The Dawn — and these are the first books on the agenda. I am really looking forward to it!

Hello Japan! logoAnother fun thing to do over there is this months Hello Japan! mini mission:

Read or watch something scary, spooky, or suspenseful, and Japanese of course!

DarkWaterSince I have enough to read already I decided to rent a movie that has been on my wishlist for a long time now: Dark Water (Honogurai mizu no soko kara), by Hideo Nakata. You might have heard of the American remake with Jodie Foster, but I prefered to see the original. I’ll tell you why in my upcoming review post! It was a nice Friday night activity to surprise Mr Gnoe with, especially with the stormy autumn weather that has set in :)

But back to bookish things. For the last three months of 2009 I am also participating in the Set It Yourself Challenge (SIY) #10. Just to keep the pressure on my challenges: I have listed all 5 books I need to read before the end of this year:

  • The Chosen (Chaim Potok)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
  • The Pillowbook (Sei Shonagon)
  • The Sea, the Sea (Iris Murdoch)
  • The Old Capital (Yasunari Kawabata)

I have joined this Bookcrossing challenge before in 2008 and 2009; succeeding twice, failing once…

Speaking of Bookcrossing: I made a first attempt at the Bookcrossing monthly readathon. 24hrreadathonbuttonBut instead of 24 I read for 15 hours and 8 in the last week of September. So technically I failed but I am actually quite proud of the result because it was an awfully busy week. You can read about my thoughts concerning the readathon in Friday’s post. Now I am really looking forward to the autumnal 24 hour read-a-thon of October 24th! I am already making a list of books and snacks to lock myself in with :)

Partly thanks to the readathon I finished more books in September than I usually read in a month:

  • Vlinder in de wind (Butterfly in the Wind) by Rei Kimura (reviewed)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (review pending), #4 on the list of Banned and Challenged Classics
  • Het pauperparadijs (Pauper Paradise) by Suzanna Jansen (no review planned)
  • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (review pending)

Current book: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Wednesday’s update post will tell you why I picked this book. I am ‘buddy reading’ with two Boekgrrls: MaaikeB and Manon, so one of these days I should mail them my thoughts so far!

Another exciting thing going on this week is BAFAB! Buy A Friend A Book. One of my favourite reads of the past years is on its way to a long time friend that is on a busy schedule at the moment. I’ll give the book a chance to arrive for a few days longer, so I can’t say more! ;)
Do you BAFAB?

Challenges / Bookgroups etc.

Progress update on my challenges that I have not yet mentioned above:

Current Bookgroup reads:

  • Boekgrrls September book: Away, by Amy Bloom (read and reviewed in Dutch on the mailing list)
  • Boekgrrls October book: Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates (read, to be reviewed)
  • Japanese Literature Book Group for November 30th: The Old Capital, by Yasunari Kawabata (TBR)
  • Japanese Literature Read-along for November 15th: I Am A Cat (part I), by Natsume Soseki (TBR)

That’s it for now. I need to get up my review of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird a.s.a.p. so that I can send this Bookcrossing book along to the next reader. Better get on with it!

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