Sunday, June 28, 2009

Musing Mondays

Hosted by MizB at Just One More Page.

"Today’s Musing Mondays post is about mid-year reading… Now that we’ve come to the middle of the year, what do you think of your 2009 reading so far? Read anything interesting that you’d like to share? Any outstanding favourites?"

Of the 70 books read to date none were a waste of time for me. I did abandon three that were not keeping my interest. I seem to be exactly where I was last year for books completed (143 read in 2008). I choose very carefully and I rated over 60 of them with 4 or 5 stars so no complaints here.

These were the outstanding books to my mind. My standard is simple; was I strongly emotionally engaged with the characters, the story, and/or the writing? Highlighted titles are linked to reviews or comments.

To wit:

We Need to Talk About Kevin***** by Lionel Shriver
Through Black Spruce***** by Joseph Boyden
Tomato Girl***** by Jayne Pupek
The Madonnas of Leningrad***** by Debra Dean
What We All Long For***** by Dionne Brand
The Seamstress***** by Frances De Pontes Peebles
The Cellist of Sarajevo***** by Steven Galloway
Mercy Among the Children***** by David Adams Richards
Mudbound***** by Hillary Jordan
The Gargoyle**** by Andrew Davidson
Little Bee**** by Chris Cleave
An Audience of Chairs***** by Joan Clark

The Blue Fox***** by Sjon

Wanting***** by Richard Flanagan

Historical fiction about Sir John Franklin's years as Governor of early Tasmania. He would later disappear with his ship and crew while trying to find the Northwest passage.

I Had a Black Dog***** by Mathew Johnstone

Non fiction graphic novel, 48 pages. A unique and humourously encouraging perspective of depression.

The Disappeared***** by Kim Echlin

Fiction about the disappeared of Cambodia.

The Lieutenant***** by Kate Grenville

A fictional account of an18th century English lieutenant who became an astronomer and sailed with the First Fleet to the shores of what would become Sydney, Australia. Based on a real person.

The Madwoman of Bethlehem***** by Rosine Nimeh-Mailloux

Fiction about Arab Christian women in Israel.

The Winner of Sorrow***** by Brian Lynch

A fictional account of the details of last years of the English poet William Cowper, set at the end of the 1700's. A very interesting and well written account of Cowper's final years of doubt and melancholy and those around him.

Possession***** by A.S. Byatt

Fiction that follows the love and lives of two Victorian poets through letters and manuscript research.

Becoming Abigail***** by Chris Abani

My review will be posted tomorrow.

I welcome questions about any of these or other books I've read. Feel free to leave links to those you've reviewed. I'd love to read them.
I will be around to your blogs looking for good reading recommendations of literary fiction, although I welcome them at all times.

Today's other posts: Mailbox
What are You Reading on Mondays?


  1. The Disappeared looks interesting, I'm researching a lot of Cambodian history at the moment.

    Non-fiction graphic novels are also strangely finding their way on to my bookshelf (no complaints though).

    Thanks for the bookmark! Hope you find something interesting to read ^_^

  2. I've seen The Cellist of Sarajevo on some other lists. I have it on my Kindle and think I need to get to it pronto!

  3. The only book we seem to share from that list is The Gargoyle, and it seems you liked it more than I did. Just ok for me..

  4. Great list. But you know I love your taste in books! Loved CELLIST, MADONNAS. of course POSSESSION is my all time fave; so glad you liked it too!

  5. I've read Mudbound too. A few of the others are on my TBR list. Happy Reading the rest of the year.

  6. Wow, lots of interesting books. I have the Cellist of Sarajevo on my wish list. I'll have to come back and read through some of your reviews because many books I haven't heard of. My MM post is up now at

  7. 70 books is an amazing number! I read Tomato Girl and Mudbound last year and they were 2 of the top 3 for the year for me. I really want to read The Cellist of Sarajevo. You have some great books on your list.



"25 Books That Caused A Commotion" (1) 4 1/2 stars (5) 4 stars (6) 5 stars (8) American literature (21) Asian American authors (1) Australian literature (3) book awards (10) book giveaways (23) book news (4) booking through thursday (3) Books Read This Week (2) Books TBR in 2009 (1) Burma (1) Cambodia (2) Canada (11) Canadian lit (3) Canadian literature (11) Columbian literature (1) Cover Attraction (3) doctors (1) education (1) elephants (1) England (3) English literature (5) environment (1) epistolary fiction (4) Ex-Cottagers in Love (1) family (3) fiction (2) five stars (2) forewords (1) four and a half stars (1) four stars (1) French literature (3) Friday Finds (6) Giller Prize (2) Giller Prize longlist (1) Giller Prize Winner 2008 (1) guest reviews (10) Hachette (2) haiku (4) Haiku Friday (5) historical fiction (6) humour (1) immigrants (1) Index of Books Reviewed (1) interview (1) Iraq (1) Israel (2) Israeli literature (1) It's Monday What are you reading this week? (2) Italian literature (1) Italy (1) Jerusalem (1) Jewish Book Month (3) Jewish Literature (6) Jewish Literature Challenge (2) Judaism (1) Latin American literature (1) Latin American Reading Challenge (1) library books (1) Library Loot (28) Library Loot July 22 (1) literary fiction (38) literature (20) literature in translation (1) love stories (2) Mailbox Monday (19) male friendship (1) marriage (1) medicine (1) memoir (1) music (1) Musing Mondays (2) My Favourite Reads (1) my work (1) mystery (1) Native Canadians (1) New Crayons (6) New Crayons July 5 (1) New England (1) New York (1) Nigeria (1) Nigerian literature (1) Nobel author (3) Nobel authors (1) Nobel Laureate (1) non-fiction (1) Norway (1) Norwegian literature (1) Nova Scotia (1) Orange Prize (2) ornithology (1) Orthodox Judaism (1) psychological fiction (3) Pulitzer Project (1) rating system (1) Read 'Em Yet? Wednesday (1) Read in 2008 (1) reading challenges (62) reading challenges 2010 (1) reviews (46) Russia (1) Russian literature (1) Salon Sunday (1) Scandinavian mystery (1) short stories (2) Show Me 5 Saturday (2) Spanish literature (2) Sunday Salon (3) The Complete Booker Reading Challenge (1) The Martel-Harper Challenge (1) The Sunday Salon (12) Thursday Tea (4) Toronto (1) translation (2) triplets (1) TSS (2) TSS June in Review (1) TSS March in Review (1) TSS May in Review (1) TSS Week in Review (2) Turkish literature (2) Venice (1) Waiting on Wednesday (8) Waiting on Wednesday July 15 (1) war stories (2) Weekly Geeks (11) What Are You Reading On Mondays? (10) What's On Your Nightstand? (8) winners (14) women writers (2) Wondrous Words (1) Wordless Wednesday (3) writers (1) WW II (2) Wyoming (1)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin