Reading Plans for May and June

Yes, you might call this an excessive amount of forward thinking, but I am rather enjoying having a plan that gives me a theme and a purpose, but is flexible enough to allow for additional recreational reading of whatever takes my fancy.

May Day dancing, painting by Maurice Prendergast.


I don’t seem to have read a lot of Arabic literature, so I will attempt to remedy that in May. I will ‘visit’ two countries very close to my heart, Egypt (my second-oldest friend from primary school comes from there) and Lebanon (one of my dearest Mum friends still has most of her family living there; incidentally, she is one of the most talented home cooks I know). For Egypt, I have The Book of Cairo from Comma Press; the book which I never got around to reading for the #1956Club Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz; and The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany. For Lebanon, there is a bit of a common theme going on: I have Rawi Hage’s De Niro’s Game about two brothers who find themselves on opposing sides during the civil war; Elias Khoury’s White Masks is another take on the civil war, based upon a true event, the murder of a journalist; while Pierre Jarawan’s The Storyteller tells the story of a young man who has grown up in Germany returning to the country of his birth to search for his father.

June – Netgalley Blast

Horrendous how many books have been lurking there for years and years, even though they seemed irresistible at the time. And I really need to improve my feedback ratio (currently only 52%).

Karl Kraus: The Last Days of Mankind – to continue a bit with the 1936 theme – although the book was published in 1922, Kraus himself died in 1936, and I have been waiting six years to read this one

Claire Fuller: Our Endless Numbered Days – has also been on my Kindle since 2015 – in honour of her being longlisted for the Women’s Prize with her latest book, I feel I owe it to her to read her first (I believe)

Valeria Luiselli: Lost Children Archive – this one has only been lurking on the virtual shelf for about two years

More recent ones too: Salena Godden: Mrs Death Misses Death; Lissa Evans: V for Victory; Catherine Ryan Howard: The Nothing Man; David Young: The Stasi Game; Joy Kluver: Last Seen; Minae Mizumura: An I Novel; Kotaro Isaka: Bullet Train (I just can’t seem able to stay away from those Japanese, right?)

Well, that all sounds like an ambitious plan and might end up spilling over into July and August as well. But it’s a nice combination of easy, quick reads and more challenging ones. After that… well, Women in Translation will no doubt loom large over the summer!

16 thoughts on “Reading Plans for May and June”

  1. Some treats in store here! I remember enjoying The YacoubianBuilding immensely. The device of using an apartment building as a miocrocosm of society works well. Also a fan of the Fuller, Evans and Godden. Happy reading!

  2. I’m impressed by your optimism! I usually find that a plan to read a book pretty much guarantees that I will read everything else except that title, which is a shame because I absolutely love book-planning. 😩🤣 And I feel your NetGalley pain. It is a comfort to know that I am not the only one with titles stretching way back……

  3. It sounds as though you have some fine plans, Marina Sofia. And I like the idea of planning out reading. It seldom goes according to that plan, but it gives a person a place to start. I hope you’ll enjoy your reading adventures!

  4. What good plans. I take it the Kraus is the recent “complete” version? I ought to read that, too.

    I love the idea of an Arabic literature project, and hope to do it someday, although it will need a university library that lets me in.

  5. I love reading the reading plans of others but rarely share mine as there chances of success are usually slim! Of the Arabic writers you mention, Elias Khoury is the one I know best (though not White Masks) – Yalo is a favourite.

  6. I’m impressed that you’ve planned so far ahead. I also have some NetGalley books going as far back as 2015 and even earlier – I’m glad it’s not just me!

  7. Lots of great plans there. I remember reading The Yacoubuian building, can’t remember if it was pre blog. I also have V for Victory tbr and I know I will love it when I finally settle down to read it.

  8. If it makes you feel any better, my NetGalley percentage is currently languishing in the mid-50s as well and bumping that closer to the magic figure of 80% is one of this year’s reading/reviewing goals. I absolutely loved The Yacoubian Building when I read it and Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days has stayed with me, it’s such a good debut. I hope you get to both of those and enjoy them!

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