August 2011 Wrap Up

Not sure why, but this month of August appears to have had a low reading average.

I read 7 books,with a total of 1500 pages only, which is an average of 48.38 pages/day

and listened to 2 audiobooks, with a total of 27 hours, which is an average of 52 mn/day

Novellas:
Of Mice And Men, by John Steinbeck – 72 p. Read for the Classics Circuit
The Touchstone, by Edith Wharton – 54 p. Read for the Art of the Novella Reading Challenge

Novels:
Everything Beautiful Began After, by Simon Van Booy – 416 p.
Leaving the Atocha Station, by Ben Lerner – 184 p.
Caught in the Winds, by L.D. Wenzel  – 328 p.
hmm, I just notice that these 3 novels were received for free from the publisher and/or the author!

Non-fiction:
Fire Season: Field Notes From a Wilderness Lookout, by Philip Connors – 240 p. (upcoming review)
Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life And Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica  – 206 p (upcoming review)

Audiobooks:

Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel – 24:19 hours
Blizzard: The Storm That Changed America, by Jim Murphy – 2:40 hours (upcoming review)

My favorite titles this month are for fiction, non-fiction, and audiobook:

This past month, I have come up with a new Meme, entitled ‘I love France‘, I invite you to come and visit every Thursday and link your own posts where you write about books, movies, food, culture related to France. The link here is to the one posted last.

As for Reading Challenges and the like:
2011 Audio Book Challenge – Addicted- Listen to 12 Audio Books: 8/12
My Dewey Decimal Challenge – Master Level =4.  And I am at 23!
2011 Non-Fiction Challenge – 7-9 books from different categories: Future Jeopardy Champion. And I am at 20 different categories!
Art of the Novella Reading Challenge: I completed the “Level: Fascinated — Read 3 novellas, during the month of August 2011″. I actually read 4, but stopped as I realized that I did not enjoy novellas as much as novels.
– It was really fun participating in the Classics Circuit Tour

On September 29th, I will celebrate my 1st blogiversary: I have set up a giveaway and am offering 2 books. Be sure to check it out (if you checked that out last month, go again, now you do NOT need to buy any hand-painted rock to win!)

This September will also be the first time I participate in the BBAW. This is so exciting! I have done all my votings, and my book blogger partner I’m supposed to interview is Tif at Tif Talks Books

For the end of this year, I plan to focus on 2 challenges: the Europa Challenge, and the Japanese Literature Challenge.

ARE YOU HAPPY ABOUT YOUR AUGUST READING MONTH,
AND WHAT ARE YOU UP TO IN SEPTEMBER?

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Art of the Novella Challenge – wrap up

 

Level: Fascinated — Read 3 novellas, during the month of August 2011
Hosted by MelvilleHouse Publishing

Novella #1:  The Dead, by James Joyce
Novella #2: Bartleby the Scrivenerby Herman Melville
Novella #3: The Death of Ivan Ilych, by Leo Tolstoy
Novella #4: The Touchstone, by Edith Wharton

 

That will be it for this Challenge. I’m discovering that I don’t like novellas as much as novels – though I just read Of Mice and Men, by Steinbeck, and I enjoyed it very much – my review will be posted on Aug 22 for the Steinbeck Classics Circuit Tour

 

Review #62: The Touchstone

The Touchstone

by

Edith WHARTON

54 pages

Publication:  1900/ 2004, by Melville House

Read for

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

This is I believe my first book by Edith Wharton. I like her writing style, the psychology around her characters. There are many themes in here that could be comparable to Jane Austen’s books, but I think Edith’s writing is much more profound and subtle as well. Deception and/or self-deception is surrounded by lots of  circumstances that could work in the favor of the character at play, so much so that I was leaning more towards compassion than judgment.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

This sly, masterful, story about a poor young man who finds himself with an opportunity to get rich by selling off love letters from a scorned–now famous–lover is classic Wharton, with social status, money, self-deception and love all intertwined in a deft social and psychological portrait. [Goodreads]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses.” The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family’s return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith’s creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the age of eighteen she had written a novella, (as well as witty reviews of it) and published poetry in the Atlantic Monthly.

After a failed engagement, Edith married a wealthy sportsman, Edward Wharton. Despite similar backgrounds and a shared taste for travel, the marriage was not a success. Many of Wharton’s novels chronicle unhappy marriages, in which the demands of love and vocation often conflict with the expectations of society. Wharton’s first major novel, The House of Mirth, published in 1905, enjoyed considerable literary success. Ethan Frome appeared six years later, solidifying Wharton’s reputation as an important novelist. Often in the company of her close friend, Henry James, Wharton mingled with some of the most famous writers and artists of the day, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, André Gide, Sinclair Lewis, Jean Cocteau, and Jack London.

In 1913 Edith divorced Edward. She lived mostly in France for the remainder of her life. When World War I broke out, she organized hostels for refugees, worked as a fund-raiser, and wrote for American publications from battlefield frontlines. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her courage and distinguished work.

The Age of Innocence, a novel about New York in the 1870s, earned Wharton the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1921 — the first time the award had been bestowed upon a woman. Wharton traveled throughout Europe to encourage young authors. She also continued to write, lying in her bed every morning, as she had always done, dropping each newly penned page on the floor to be collected and arranged when she was finished. Wharton suffered a stroke and died on August 11, 1937. She is buried in the American Cemetery in Versailles, France.  [Goodreads]

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK ?
OR ANY OTHER BOOK BY EDITH WHARTON?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE