Michelle Bailat-Jones

Writer, Translator, Reader

As keeps happening, this blog has been sorely neglected lately. I don’t want to let it go, but I need to find a way to make it work and keep it going. I’ve never wanted my website to be a landing page with links to my publications – I like writing about books too much, and I like the discussions that still crop up. But I feel scattered these days across several social media outlets and many book conversations are reduced to photos and one-liners. I am as guilty of this as everyone else.


In any case, I am thinking very hard how to keep this book blog running. I find when I am not writing about the books I’ve read, that I forget them all too quickly (I’ve had to comb through various messages and posts to even put this list together).

Here is what I’ve been reading this autumn:

  • Day for Night – Frederick Reiken (a reread)
  • The Girls of Slender Means – Muriel Spark
  • The Plains – Gerald Murnane
  • The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
  • Push – Sapphire (a reread)
  • The End of the Affair – Graham Greene (a reread)
  • The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula Le Guin
  • The Accidental – Ali Smith
  • Imagine Me Gone – Adam Haslett
  • Over Sea, Under Stone – Susan Cooper (reading the 5book Dark is Rising series with my daughter)
  • The Master of Go – Yasunari Kawabata
  • Kudos – Rachel Cusk

My beloved book group and a novel class I’m teaching this fall have dictated most of these choices, but it’s been a rich reading period nonetheless. I already wrote about a few of these here.

I also read quite a few short stories over the last two months, jumping around between different collections like: David Hayden’s Darker With the Lights On, Shusako Endo’s Stained Glass Elegies, Grace Paley’s Complete Collection, Lispector’s Complete Stories, and What We Do With the Wreckage by Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum.

For some strange reason I did not finish Elizabeth Bowen’s The Death of the Heart, so I’m going back to that right away.  And I know I read something else while traveling through the US in October but I cannot recall what – hence the need to get back to writing, even a little, about each of the books that I read…

4 Responses to “Autumn reading”

  1. elizcoleman

    I get it! The reading I do means so much to me, and I’d also like to write about it. Sometimes I do this in my journal, but rarely keep that up. At least I underline in pencil or use sticky notes when reading a printed book or make e-comments when reading on my iPad. So I can always go back and see what struck me.

    • Michelle

      I do this, too. The books I love are such a mess of underlining and comments that I can almost never pass them on. I’ve at least switched to light pencil in my old age : ) out of respect for the pages.

  2. Anthony

    I didn’t know about Kawabata’s The Master of Go. I must seek a copy.

    We are in the same boat. Even if I don’t write about a book on my blog, the notes I take in preparation to write about it increase my ability to recall something for much longer than if I just drift from book to book without taking notes or writing something.

    • Michelle

      The Master of Go is an interesting novel. Apparently, Kawabata considered it his masterpiece and I read it with great expectations – which is always a mistake, I think. It’s extremely subtle and, I think, highly allegorical. I will be honest and say that I much prefer The Sound of the Mountain. I find that book exquisite and so far none of his other books have surpassed it as my favorite.

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