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Book 57 of 80

September 14, 2010

Honestly, I thought I’d be at least in the sixties by now. August was a disappointing reading month and we’re already embarking on halfway through September and my numbers are catastrophically low. Unfortunately, that means that this next book was picked by one important criteria: Length.

Way back in January, I picked up Brothers by Yu Hua in hardback on a whim one Saturday morning. This was set-aside for China and I was super excited about it! The reviews were glowing, the subject matter totally suited to my tastes. Except…with December bearing down upon me like an oppressive hug from a large and sweaty, albeit well-intentioned, man…at nearly 700 pages, Brothers seems like a poor choice. If my reading has slowed to 200 pages a week…there’s no way I can read Yu Hua’s book and finish the challenge on time. (Remember when I said I wanted to avoid a Julie and Julia-esque finish? A mad-cap race? Guess what? Winter Break for me = fires, apple cider, and fiendish reading. This girl will forgo holiday parties in an effort to steadily climb toward the North American finish.)

Okay, okay — it’s not dire yet. I can still find a good rhythm here as I move away from the start of the year and into a schedule that works. (By the way, giving your students a 50 minute pre-assessment test is an excellent way to sneak in a blog entry. Noted for the future.)

So, what book for China looked interesting enough to hold my attention and passed the length test?

Why, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, of course! Given to me by a friend (so…available on my bookshelf with no cost or library trip needed) and recommended by several people, I have turned to this reported “charming” book as a substitute for the bawdy and Quixotic Brothers. It celebrates the love of books too and the joy of reading — which could act as a gentle reminder as to why I embarked on this challenge to begin with.

PS. If anyone has hints for Korean literature, I’d appreciate it. Granted, I’m limited by my library, Powell’s and time (more importantly)…but that should be my next stop and I’m currently bookless.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2010 12:24 pm

    Can’t wait to hear what you think about this one, a selection of the Vintage East series, this looks very promising.

    as for Korean, something written by Chang-Rae Lee? Your library will surely stock his novels.
    Good luck!

    • September 14, 2010 7:49 pm

      His books look great!!! I’ll need to shortlist them. But it looks like many of the ones my library has are set in other countries besides Korea. Bummer for the challenge, but I’m excited to discover him soon.

  2. Jessica permalink
    September 14, 2010 6:08 pm

    I loved this book! Glad it made the cut…

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