Reading Journal (May 4) and April in Review

April was an unusual reading month because I spent the first two weeks reading very long, intense books. Once I finished those, I read some shorter works. It was a good reading month in retrospect, and I suspect I need to get in the habit of reading longer books more often! Crime and Punishment, in particular, was quite satisfying.

My May focus is on Milton, as is evidenced by yesterday’s post. I am enjoying Paradise Lost and I want to read and discuss some of his other works as well. In a sense, Milton in general is my project for the month. If I feel so inclined, I also, for my “project book,” may revisit a nonfiction book I read a decade ago that I loved. Jerusalem: The Eternal City by David Galbraith is a book about Jerusalem history and religious context. I read it in the months before my two months living there, and since this month marks the ten-year anniversary of my time there, I thought it might be appropriate to revisit it now.

Besides those reads, I saw a tweet on May 1 about “A Story a Day in May.” Apparently, this is a writing challenge. Since I am a reader and not a writer, I decided to make it my reading mini-challenge for May: I’ll read a short story every day. NextRead is also highlighting short stories this month. I’ve begun the month with a Dover Thrift anthology called Great Short Stories by American Women, which has short stories from the 1860s to 1940s. So far, I’ve enjoyed my daily selections. I have dozens of short story collections and anthologies, so I may dabble in a few different collections as the month goes by. Since reading short stories is part of my yearly goal to not “forget” the easy-to-forget genres, this seems quite appropriate. (I’ve “forgotten” to read any short stories thus far in 2010.)

My other May reading plans focus on my book club read (The Painted Veil) and the Classics Circuit reads (Murder on the Orient Express and Strong Poison). I also want to read Silence by Shusako Endo for the Japanese Literature Book Group for next week, and I’d love to finish off the Lord of the Rings trilogy this month (I’ve come to the conclusion that I am definitely not a fan, but I might as well finish it now that I’ve read 2/3 of it!).

I was a bit ambitious with my library requests last month, as I discussed in my vlog a few weeks ago, and I have made little progress on those world lit books I checked out. I’m enjoying God’s Bits of Wood (if “enjoy” is the right word) and The Makioka Sisters. As both are rather long, though, it is taking a while. God’s Bits of Wood is a mere 240 pages, but the print is quite small it feels like a dense read. The Makioka Sisters, on the other hand, is more than 500 pages. While it is engaging and a somewhat fast read, I’m still taking a while. Needless to say, I’ll probably have to return many of the books I checked out and get them again another time. I still have a few weeks, though, so I may surprise myself.

April in Review

Here is the month in review, with links to any posts on Rebecca Reads.

Finished Previously/Reviewed April

Finished reading in April

Children’s Books Reviewed

Non-Review Posts

For challenges progress and my reading projects, see the specific pages.

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. I hope you like The Painted Veil. It’s short and simple, but I really enjoyed it all three times I read it.

    1. Amanda, THREE times! I’m really looking forward to it, sounds like an Amanda favorite, if you’ve revisited it so many times!

    1. Lisa, it was always my dream to travel! Now I’m glad I have because I”ll be staying around home for the next 20 years, I suspect. lol. But yes, I loved my brief study abroad in Jersualem!

  2. Have you seen the movie “The Painted Veil”? It’s one of my favorite movies, but very different from the book. I decided to read the book after seeing the movie. It was good to re-visit W. Somerset Maugham–I read “The Razor’s Edge” and “Of Human Bondage” twenty or more years ago and now have recently finished “Cakes and Ale.”

    1. Susanna, I haven’t seen the movie yet — I have to read the book first (a personal rule) and I’m really looking forward to giving Maugham a try. Sounds like a favorite for you! YEAY!

  3. I’m reading Murder on the Orient Express as well — how are you liking it?
    I like your challenge of reading a short story a day — I try to read an essay every day, I don’t always succeed but the book is on the nightstand.
    .-= Suzanne´s last post on blog ..It’s Monday – What Are You Reading =-.

    1. Suzanne, I haven’t started yet. I’m hoping it’s a really fast read!

      That’s awesome about the essays. I haven’t been in the mood for essays lately. But I really should read some. Maybe after the short stories month and drama (which I’ve also been neglecting).

    1. Sasha, so it takes someone from Emerging Writers Network to make it official? Huh, I’d never even heard of EWN before, so that’s interesting. For me, it was official when I wrote this post! I definitely will be reading short stories this month! I’m always glad to see people promoting the format.

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