February in Review and March Reading Journal

I said February was going to be slow. But then I rediscovered the joy of audiobooks. It meant that I still could “read” a few things this month. I also finished a few books I started last month. In the end, looking at this list, I feel like it was a lot read, especially with my move.

Fiction and Nonfiction Reviews

In February, I reviewed two books I read in January:

I also read or listened to the audio of a few more things:

  • Animal Farm by George Orwell (about 90 minutes audio or 110 pages; fiction) I listened to 75%; I read about 25%.
  • Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart (188 pages; nonfiction)
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (about 13 hours audio, equal to about 450 pages; fiction)
  • Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (206 pages; children’s fiction) I read this aloud to my son in January and February.
  • The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (630 pages; fiction/short stories) I read this in January and February.
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus (140 pages; fiction)
  • Golgol’s Wife and Other Stories by Tommaso Landolfi (180 pages; fiction/short stories)
  • Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt (about 15 hours audio, equal to about 380 pages; nonfiction/biography)

Children’s Projects

Here are the picture books I reviewed in February; the first is a Caldecott Medal winner.

  • The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes
  • Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth

Challenge Updates

I have added a Current Challenges page to keep track of the challenges I have in progress.

March Reading Journal: Books in Progress

I’m not going to list everything I’m in the midst of reading. Suffice it to say that this month I’m focusing on just a few books.

First, The Odyssey by Homer, trans. by Robert Fagles (135 read of about 560 pages; epic poetry). I am surprised at how much easier this is to read compared to The Iliad.  I’m torn as to whether that’s good or bad.

I’m also focusing on The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin (270 read of 690 pages; nonfiction/history). I began reading this book a year ago, aloud with my husband. After six months reading it aloud together, we were only 70 pages through it. We decided to read something together that was a bit more conducive to read-alouds. Since I really did enjoy reading it, I decided to revisit it this year for the 9 for 09 challenge (“Long”).

I am also reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein (110 read of 228 pages; children’s fiction) aloud to my 17-month-old son. Parents: am I nuts? I realize he doesn’t care. But I wanted to read it, and what a perfect excuse! The library copy I got is beautifully illustrated. Nevertheless, my son doesn’t really “listen” as I read to him. We get through anywhere from five pages to a chapter a day.

I’m also in the midst of a few other books, one of which counts for the Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge. Since that challenge ends this month, I can’t imagine I’ll finish all three of my chosen books! I’ve decided that I want to read what I want to read, and not be as concerned with challenges. So, I won’t list all my “in progress” books here. If I finish them you’ll hear about them!

There are a few interesting projects I’m joining, tentatively or for sure. We’ll see how the reading aspect goes! First, I’ve joined the Try Something New Mini-challenge inspired by Dewey and started by Nymeth. I’m partnered with Jackie at Farm Lane Books; we are going to read Fun Home together, which is pretty far out of my comfort zone, both as a graphic novel and as a memoir.

Matt at A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook is hosting a Gone With the Wind read-a-thon. I’m hoping to join in, at least as soon as I finish The Discoverers and The Odyssey; I may be a week or two behind. My copy of the novel is 1000+ pages, so I’ll be glad for company. Have you read Gone with the Wind?

Also, my LibraryThing Group Reads group is reading two books in the coming months: Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov and The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy (Vol. I, which is three books out of nine). I probably won’t start until I finish the other books on my plate.

I’m reading a lot. But to be honest, I’m getting tired of writing reviews of everything. Maybe it’s because, with my move, I’m now 5 books behind on reviews, but sometimes I finish a book and want to just move on to the next. But, my blog is meant to catalog the books I’ve read for myself, and I’d like to have all the reviews up for future reference, again for myself. So I’ll probably keep coming back and reviewing my books, maybe in a more abbreviated format.

What about you? Do you review everything you read? What are you reading this month?

ETA: Quick! Add your Really Old Classics Review to this post to be entered in the giveaway! I’ll choose a winner tomorrow night!

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 do try to review everything I read, but then again, my reading pace seems to be much slower than the average in the book blogging community (I’m lucky to finish one book/week). I still find writing book reviews a lot of fun, and I would write notes for myself after finishing a book anyway (I did this for a few years before starting my blog), so I think that keeps me motivated. I’ve fallen behind in posting recipes lately, however, so I’ll probably just pick the 2 – 3 favorites over the past two weeks or so and post those but dump the rest. Oh well, c’est la vie!

    I can’t wait for your review on The Odyssey. I have the exact same translation, but have yet to read it, so I’ll wait anxiously for your thoughts!

  2. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on The Stranger.

    I don’t think you’re crazy for reading The Hobbit to your son. Jason read it to Morrigan when he was an infant, starting when he was just a couple months old. I’m sure Morrigan didn’t get anything out of it at that point, but he did love listening to his dad. He’s read the Hobbit since, and loved it.

    Pale Fire is a marathon book, one of the weirdest formats I’ve ever seen. Someone has an online edition, all hypertexted to deal with the gazillion footnotes. I’ve heard someone else say Pale Fire was the world’s first hypertext novel. You’re supposed to read it according to the footnote paths and not straight. It was an interesting format, but definitely not my favorite Nabokov.

  3. Steph, yeah, I’m reading too much, is my ultimate problem. But I’m once again trying to slow down!

    Amanda, working on the review for The Stranger right now. I found it strange. But I couldn’t put it down. As for Pale Fire, I wasn’t sure how to read it. I was thinking I’d read it straight, but sounds like that is not how it is meant to be read. Hmm. Not sure how the group read is organizing the forum. Ah, well, I’ll take my time!

  4. I love that you are reading THE HOBBIT to your little guy. Even if he doesn’t understand or seem interested, like you said, it is a great way to get through the book yourself. And he may come to enjoy the classics if you continue reading these types of books to him as he gets older.

  5. Hey, I love this site, I’m linking to this on my sidebar. I do review everything I read, but in my own book of books with pen and ink, not online. If I do it on my blog I feel like it influences what I read in the wrong directions. Call it pride. I like to keep my reading lists to myself. Otherwise what would I talk to friends and family about? They’d already know it all through the blog… Just my quirk.

  6. Heather J., Oh, good. I’m glad the consensus seems to be that I am not nuts! I am enjoying reading it to him. You’re right, he may come to like these books if I keep reading them. As it is, he loves to “read” his books himself!

    Mary, glad you like the site! I’m sure reading and reviewing online influences my choices, but I like the directions I go — a bit more out of the box than I’d be otherwise! And I love the recommendations I get through the web. My family hasn’t shown much interest in my compulsive reading — in fact, I think you may be the only family who has returned! I started last January when I put a few reviews on my personal blog, but no one commented — by separating my reviews into a separate blog (from last May on), I felt I could better target those who may be interested in just books. But it’s OK if my family doesn’t read this site because like you said, I can still talk to them about what I really liked reading because it’s all new to them!

    I never recorded my “book reviews” before I started blogging. I wonder how my reading may have been influenced had I written reviews without an “audience” to read them! I think that’s great that you do that. I personally love being able to return to books I liked by revisiting my thoughts about them.

  7. I have been trying to review everything I’ve read this year, but I’m starting to think I may only review challenge books or other books I really like, and do mini-reviews of books I didn’t like or that were just *meh*, mainly because time spent writing a review is time I could be reading!

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