Masterpiece
*****
Excellent
**** 1/2
Very good
****
Good
**** 1/2
Just okay
***
Not for me
**
Definitely not for me
*

Short Story Monday: Bolaño

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Right now I’m halfway finished with Roberto Bolaño’s book of short stories, Last Evenings on Earth. I started reading this book solely because it was on the 2006 NYT Notable List and because I needed another foreign language (I’m committed to 10) for my Reading Across Borders Challenge. Bolaño is a Chilean author, and his stories were originally published in Spanish.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started this book, but I’m finding Bolaño’s stories very readable. In fact, some of his stories seem to have no point at all, and yet I’m still enjoying them. I find myself gravitating toward this book when I need to be finishing up some other challenge books as well. Maybe it’s the international settings–I’m a sucker for that. Many of his characters are literary types. Another thumbs up. He also writes in first person, which makes the stories seem all the more real; reading them seems almost voyeuristic.

I’ll give the final verdict on Bolaño when I finish the book, but here, hopefully, is a small glimpse into a relatively unknown (at least to me) author.

3rd Quarter Report 2007

Here it is November, and I just realized that I never did a 3rd Quarter Report. Here it is.

July
47. The Sea** by John Banville
48. The Door in the Wall**** by Marguerite de Angeli
49. Gathering Blue****1/2 by Lois Lowry
50. Messenger**** by Lois Lowry
51. The White Stag**** by Kate Seredy
52. Stardust**** by Neil Gaiman
53. The Higher Power of Lucky**** by Susan Patron
54. The Blind Assassin ***1/2 by Margaret Atwood
55. The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books***1/2 by Peder Zane
56. The God of Small Things***1/2 by Arundhati Roy
August
57. The Secret Life of Bees****1/2 by Sue Monk Kidd
58. Stargirl**** by Jerry Spinelli
59. A Death in the Family****1/2 by James Agee
60. We****1/2 by Yevgeny Zamyatin
61. The Little Prince ****1/2 by Antoine De Saint Exupery
62. The Amateur Marriage**** by Anne Tyler
63. O Pioneers!**** by Willa Cather
64. The Known World**** by Edward P. Jones
September
65. The Tale of Despereaux****1/2 by Kate DiCamillo
66. Bud, Not Buddy**** by Christopher Paul Curtis
67. Blue Like Jazz***1/2 by Donald Miller
68. The Bookseller of Kabul **** by Asne Seierstad
69. The Travels of Marco Polo****

Books read: 23
New authors: 17
Male authors: 11
Female authors: 11 (2 Lowry’s)
Rating of 4 and up: 19
Rating 3.5 and below: 4

Favorite book: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
Least favorite book: The Sea by John Banville

Challenges Completed:
Non-Fiction Five Challenge–5 of 5
Southern Reading Challenge–3 of 3
Summer Reading Challenge–4 of 4
Newbery Challenge–6 of 6