March and April Bookish Update

I’ve been reading more slowly the last month or so, so consider this a catch-up post.

First, my crime fiction pick of the month of the past two months is Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum. It seems like a promising start to the Inspector Sejer series: an interesting protagonist and a story with enough twists in a small town.

Secondly, I’m making good headway in the Global Reading Challenge having read 3 out of 7 books. Finding authors from South America and Africa was a little time-consuming because I abandoned quite a few books I tried. I am grateful for a great statewide interlibrary loan system: I’ve been able to get lots of international crime fiction from Michigan State University’s library that’s hard to find elsewhere. My progress on the USA Fiction Challenge, on the other hand, is pitiful, and I plan on reading more from the US in the second half of the year.

Finally, I was a giver for World Book Night this past week for the first time. I gave away copies of Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia around town on a sunny day, and I capitalized on my location between the junior high school and elementary school in town. The only difficulty I ran into was people declining the book because they’ve already seen the movie.

Hope your reading is going well, and I hope to catch up on my blog reading soon.

8 thoughts on “March and April Bookish Update

  1. Rebecca – So good to hear you’re making progress through the Global Reading Challenge. I think that’s a great meme. And I agree completely that Don’t Look Back is a very well-written novel with strong plot and characters. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Aren’t those statewide inter-library systems fantastic? We’ve only had ours here for about a year but it’s really made my reading widely much easier as there might only be one or two copies of a book in the system but they’re out there somewhere. I kind of like the random way they are allocated to me too.

    I don’t do the Global reading challenge any longer and one of the reasons was my ‘issues’ with some of the regions – especially South America where so many books have that fantastical/magical realism element. My brain is just not wired the right way to process that stuff and I used to give up on lots of books before finding one I could finish.

    • I’m really happy with the ILL system here. I used to get books slightly faster when I was part of a larger regional network of libraries, but the statewide system has so many backlist books that I’m looking for.

      For the GRC, I not only have to deal with trying to find backlist copies of books, but there are so few crime novels from Asia, for example, that are translated in the first place. As for magical realism, I haven’t really read it since college so I’m not sure what my reaction would be today 🙂

  3. Glad to read this post and see that you are able to utilize your state’s inter-library loan system. I have to figure out if I can get in on New York’s.
    I have been able to find books from Latin America, Africa and Asia for the GRC for three years. This year I’m find it harder, but I have some ideas on how to accomplish this. I love Malla Nunn’s books set in early 1950s South Africa, and a new one is coming out this year. I do go back to Precious Ramotswe’s books when I need relief from relentless murder and cynicism.
    I can always find books from Asia, as Salvation of a Saint and The Devotion of Suspect X, unusual but brilliant books from Japan. Then there is Shamini Flint and a slew of books from India, including by Kishwar Desai, who wrote Witness the Night. Asia isi so huge one could read a book a week from that continent.
    Latin America stumps me a bit more, have read three books about Inspector Espinosa in Brazil and three books set in Argentina by Claudia Piniero. I haven’t read any books with magical realism, but I think I’m missing out on something. I agree my brain isn’t wired this way either, but I have to read one of the great works by the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who is being venerated around the globe. I must promise myself to do this.
    Good luck on your reading this year; hope you find exciting reads.

    • Thanks for your recommendations, Kathy! I haven’t tried any crime novels from India, and you’ve given me lots of places to start. I think I’ve checked out Flint and The Devotion of Suspect X sometime last year, but I wasn’t able to get to them (probably because I moved last fall).

      Finding South and Central American books is taking me a bit longer too, though I have some authors I want to try: Taibo (Mexico) and lots from Argentina. Patricia Melo was a little too deadpan and violent for me (The KIller), and I’ve tried a few by Ricardo Piglia that I just couldn’t get into.

      And I hope you enjoy Garcia Marquez: you’re in for a treat. I don’t mind his magical realism at all.

  4. Hi Rebecca. I’ve been remiss in writing on people’s blogs too although I have been reading your reviews that come to me by email. Like you, I’m trying to read more books from around the world and I find it very satisfying when I manage to do this.

    • Thanks for the comment, Sarah, and hello again. The lag between US and UK publication dates makes me skip a few of your posts lately (Asa Larsson, Fred Vargas), but I hope to have more blog reading time sometime in the next couple weeks. Can’t wait to find out the winner of the Petrona Award in a few short weeks!

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