Thursday, 2 February 2012

January 2012 Wrap-Up

We're back for another year of reading and reviewing, and it's time for my first monthly wrap-up for 2012.  On the spur of the moment, January became my Women Writers Month, with a couple of delights from each of my specialist areas (plus one bonus featurette!), all written by women - which means that they have a big head-start on the men this year!  But enough waffle, let's get on to the numbers...

Total Books Read: 11
Year-to-Date: 11

New: 10
Rereads: 1

From the Shelves: 3
Review Copies:
From the Library: 2
On the Kindle: 4

Novels: 8
Novellas: 2
Non-Fiction: 1

Non-English Language: 6 (2 Japanese, 2 German, 1 Spanish, 1 Korean)
In Original Language: 2 (2 German)

Books read in January were:

Murakami Challenge: 0 (0/3)
Aussie Author Challenge: 2 (2/12)
Australian Women Writers Challenge: 2 (2/10)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 2 (10/1)

Tony's Turkey for January is: Kyung-Sook Shin's Please Look After Mother

My inaugural monthly turkey (the 'award' has been established so that I'll have a dozen plump birds to choose from at the end of the year!) is Please Look After Mother, a book which has somehow made the shortlist for the Man Asian Prize.  I have no idea how, as it is a weak, sickly-sweet, poorly-written (and poorly-translated) slip of a book.  The central idea is a really good one; I just find the execution totally lacking.  Until I read this one, I had assumed that The Seamstress would be taking home the drumsticks - the reality is though that despite its flaws, I actually quite enjoyed Dueñas' book at times, something I can't say for Shin's...

Tony's Recommendation for January is: Alexis Wright's Carpentaria

The chillingly dark Hotel Iris was excellent, and my latest find from the electronic graveyard, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach's study of nature versus nurture, Das Gemeindekind, was also a front-runner.  However Wright's lengthy story of life in Australia's far north won out for its blend of social commentary and magical story-telling - definitely one that any reader can enjoy :)

That's all for January then.  I'll see you all again in February, when I'll probably have a few books by men to review - and about time too ;)