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Sam van Zweden

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a month of reading

A Month of Reading

With the extra day in February this year (a leap year), I’d convinced myself I’d have the upper hand and be able to read an extra book this year… Perhaps a whole book is a bit ambitious, but I am about a hundred pages ahead of where I’d be without the 29th of February. So thanks, Leap Year.

It’s been hard, but I have managed to stop myself from buying new books constantly. I’ve still “bought” a lot of books, but my book-buying budget’s reasonable now. I bought a book I want to review for the uni magazine (the new Daniel Handler – aka Lemony Snickett), as well as a weight-loss book. I bought books I need for school, and was quite impressed that the total cost of this semester’s texts came to a grand $39. Anything else that came in was a reading copy, a gift, or a used book.

The lovely director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, Lisa Dempster, is leaving Melbourne at the end of the year. In preparation, she’s selling all her books. They’re cheap, in good nick, and there’s still quite a list up there. I picked up five books from Lisa for $20; three books I’ve been looking for cheap copies of for a while, plus two random grabs. Not only will you be buying good cheap books, you’ll be helping Lisa downscale and get some cash together for whatever adventure she takes on next. (If you’re not familiar with Lisa’s adventures, try here or here).

One last note on what’s come in: I started a book-sharing group, and it’s been pretty well-received. I made a Facebook group of my friends that I know like reading and have a lot of books like I do. Whenever we come across a book we don’t feel the need to hang onto any more, we post it to the group for another book-lover to adopt. The books in the “gifted” section this month came from that group. If you’re in a similar position to me and my friends (toooooo many books! But we all still want more…), I’d recommend giving something like this a try.

What have you read this month?

Books Bought:
Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler
Lose Weight Fast, by Susie Burrell
The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl, by Shauna Reid
Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts
A Bend in the River, by V.S. Naipul
Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
Marching Powder, by Rusty Young
Trojan Women and Hippolytus, by Euripedes
The Psychology of Love, by Sigmund Freud
The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James
Symposium and Phaedrus, by Plato

Reading Copies:
The New Republic, by Lionel Shriver
Mateship With Birds, by Carrie Tiffany
Running Dogs, by Ruby J Murray

Gifted:
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
Look At Me, by Jennifer Egan

Borrowed:
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
All Of Us: The Collected Poems, Raymond Carver
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins

Books Read:
Flying With Paper Wings, by Sandy Jeffs
Bright Lights, Big City, by Jay McInerney
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
A Visit From The Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

Currently Reading:
Killing, by Jeff Sparrow
The Confidence Gap, by Russ Harris

A Month of Reading

The first month of the new year, and I feel like I’m off to a good start. I’m just about on track to beat my personal best of 53 books in a year. I’m sure that extra day in February this year will make all the difference, too.

A major perk of my new job is reading copies – pre-release ones. A review of After the Snow is on its way, folks…

I’ve been thinking about my reading habits again, in terms of how what I read breaks down. So far it’s all been fiction – though I’m reading some non-fiction currently. Two new releases. Two Australian books. Two women, two men. Out of four books read thus far, I think I’m pretty comfortable with that being representative of my reading habits… As the year goes on I would like to keep the fiction:non-fiction ratio roughly equal though…

What did you read this month?
Books Bought:
The Confidence Gap, by Russ Harris
Household Wisdom, by Shannon Lush & Jennifer Fleming
Bright Lights, Big City, by Jay McInerney
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
Women’s Stuff, by Kaz Cooke
No Excuses Cookbook, by Michelle Bridges

Reading Copies:

After the Snow, by S.D Crockett

Books Read:
Rocks in the Belly, by Jon Bauer
What The Family Needed, by Steven Amsterdam
Obernewtyn, by Isobelle Carmody
After the Snow, by S.D Crockett

Currently Reading:
Killing, by Jeff Sparrow
The Confidence Gap, by Russ Harris
Flying With Paper Wings, by Sandy Jeffs

Welcome to 2012, and A Month Of Reading

Two posts in one today, this first day of 2012.

I started 2012 standing on a plastic chair on a roof in South Yarra. I started 2012 with arms around me, leaning on the shoulder of a man who loves me very much. I started 2012 with red toenails. I started 2012 with a skirt on. I started 2012 with pizza in my belly. I started 2012 with a wheel of brie (yeah, I ate about half of it. Take that, 2011 belly!). I started 2012 watching fireworks. I started 2012 with a head full of resolutions, as always.

I just found this amazing resolutions list attributed to Woodie Guthrie, posted on Facebook.   Isn’t it great?

Wake up and fight!

Here’s my last “Month of Reading” from 2011, ending the year on a measly 46 books. I failed in my attempt to beat 2010’s 53 books, but hey… Welcome to 2012!

Books Bought:
A Spy in the House of Love, by Anais Nin
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, by David Sedaris
Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
Obernewtyn, by Isobelle Carmody
Unless, by Carol Shields
Flying With Paper Wings, by Sandy Jeffs
Voiceworks Summer 11/12, “Play”

Books Read:
A Spy in the House of Love, by Anais Nin
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin

Currently Reading:
Consolations of Philosophy, by Alain de Botton
The Little Red Writing Book, by Mark Tredinnick
Killing, by Jeff Sparrow

 

What did you read in December?

A Month of Reading

It’s been a bit quiet this month; I’ve only finished two books. That’s not to say that I haven’t been reading, it’s just that I’ve got a billion things on the go at the moment. AND it’s that joyous time of the uni semester where everything’s due. So my Month of Reading list is perhaps a little less impressive than usual. But hey. These things happen.

What have you been reading?

 

Books Bought:
Our Deathbeds Will Be Thirsty, by Shane Koyczan
Voiceworks ‘V’

Library:
Visitations, by Jenny Erpenbeck

Won due to (amazingly) winning the KYD Trivia Night (again):
Her Father’s Daughter, by Alice Pung
Known Unknowns, by Emmett Stinson
Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene

Books Read:
Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
Adverbs, by Daniel Handler

Currently Reading:
Consolations of Philosophy, by Alain de Botton
The Little Red Writing Book, by Mark Tredinnick
Eating Animals, by Johnathan Safran Foer
Visitation, by Jenny Erpenbeck
Disgrace, by J.M Coetzee

A Month Of Reading

A MONTH OF READING: JANUARY 2010:

Books Bought:
The Great Gatsby, by F Scott Fitzgerald

Books Borrowed/Received:
Library:
With Borges, by Alberto Manguel
Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris

Books Read:
The Best Australian Stories 2010, edited by Cate Kennedy
The Crying of Lot 49, by Thomas Pynchon
Lullaby, by Chuck Palahniuk
With Borges, by Alberto Manguel
White Teeth, by Zadie Smith

Reading:
Yellow Dog, by Martin Amis
Poemcrazy, by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge

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