Reading plans

Sample Sunday: Why do I still have these books?

I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last Sample Sunday post. I could have sworn it was just a month ago but when I checked, it was actually in August. How on earth did that happen???

At least I can be sure that I’ll reach the end of the alphabet before this year is out since I have just three letters remaining. This week I dug into my list of unread books (physical and electronic) all beginning with the letter Y.

Out of these three, which should I keep and which should I let go unread.

is when I dig into my virtual and physical TBR, trying to decide which books to keep and which to let go. The idea is to help make sure I am giving shelf space to books I’m genuinely interested in reading. I’m now onto books whose titles begin withe letter W. i know we still have a few days of summer remaining but the shelves tell me it’s winter…..

Frog by Mo Yan

i think I bought this when I embarked on my quest to read books from 50 different countries. The background to the novel is the “one child policy” implemented in China from the late 1970s as a way of reducing population increases. Yan tells this story through a village midwife whose loyalty to the Communist Party comes under scrutiny when her lover defects. To prove her allegiance, she decides to strictly enforce the one-child policy, keeping tabs on the number of children in the village, and performing abortions on women as many as eight months pregnant.

The Verdict:  There isn’t going to be much joy in this novel that’s for sure but I think the topic is important enough to make me want to keep it.

Moving Parts by Prabda Yoon

This is a collection of short stories from a Thai author that apparently “illuminate the strangeness of modern cultural life in Bangkok. Disarming the reader with surprising charm, intensity and delicious horror, he explores what it means to have a body, and to interact with those of others.”

The Verdict: I’m not a lover of short stories and this description isn’t exciting me so I’ll release this one to a charity shop.

Chatterton Square by E H Young

Ali of the HeavenAli book blog is far more familiar with Virago authors than I am so when she says of Chatterton Square that it’s almost certainly E H Young’s best novel,” I sit up and pay attention! Ali describes it as a “complex, multi-layered and fantastically readable novel” about fastidious Mr. Blackett who rules his home, wife and three daughters with a gloomy and niggardly spirit. A new neighbour moves into the house next door, her unconventional behaviour and lifestyle repelling yet also fascinating Mr Blackett. Changes in the months leading up to the Second World War, are intensified by the certainty that nothing can be taken for granted.

The Verdict: Keep! I don’t have to ponder too long over this — it sounds wonderful. Maybe the ideal book to have on hand for the slump after Christmas Day lunch?

What do you think of the decisions I’ve reached? I could do with some insight from people who have read any of these books. So please help me out by leaving a comment


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

15 thoughts on “Sample Sunday: Why do I still have these books?

  • I don’t know any of these but I’m joining the popular vote for Chatterton Square.

    • It does seem to have built up a head of support 🙂

    • Thanks Katrina for confirming my suspicions that Chatterton Square would be an enjoyable book. I do like books that show people at times of social change

  • I don’t think I could read the first two but the third one sounds really good.

    • The Thai short story collection has been moved several times from the back shelves to my “read soon” shelves – and every time it gets returned unread so I suppose that tells me something about my level of enthusiasm!

  • Thank you Karen. ‘Chatterton Square’ is going onto my TBR even though you haven’t read and reviewed it yet! It sounds the perfect post-Christmas read, just as you suggest.

    • If it’s half as good as I’ve heard, I think we are both in for a treat Jenny

  • Smart choices, I think. I’d make the same decisions.

    • Oh good, always glad to have decisions confirmed…..

  • I haven’t read any of these but it looks as if you’ve made the right decision especially with regard to the E H Young – I’d certainly think of reading it as I like fiction that explores and reflects societal changes during periods of transition.


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