At the beginning of the month, my friend gave me a calendar called “The Reading Woman.” Apparently she knows I like to read. Each month has a different painting of a woman reading. I’ve decided to use it to keep track of the books I’ve read each month: when I finish a book, I write the name and author in on the date. That way at the end of the year, I’ll see where I’ve been and it will be full of books finished by date.
I liked January’s lady, but I rarely read sitting at a table and not with such a huge book. It’s calming all the same. As you can see (although you problem can’t read it), it took me a week to finish my first book in January. But I got plenty of reading in overall! I really enjoyed the books I read, for the most part, and while a few were not favorites, I’m ultimately glad I read them. I think finishing each month with “no regrets” is a goal for the year!
Because I have red hair, February’s picture kind of looks like me (but not really). I like it already and I look forward to another great reading month. I’m going to try to get a number of African-American books read in honor of Black History Month, but I also have my book club books, the start of the Lord of the Rings readalong, East of Eden, and some other classics and retellings. We’ll see how it goes this month!
I was going to get my Langston Hughes review up, but I figured the “month in review” would be quicker to get up. And since I wrote half of it and then my laptop turned off (apparently it wasn’t plugged in) I had to start over so it’s even later than I intended. And I’m not as long-winded as I was the first time (which you’ll probably consider a good thing). I guess later postings is what happens when I unplug for Sunday and Saturday my blog was down for about 16 hours. Oh well, we do what we can.
My February project book is DNA by James Watson. Since it’s about 400 pages it may not be tough going. I may try to read my mom’s PhD dissertation as well. It’s about Eve’s role in Medieval English literature.
How was your reading January?
Have you ever lost a blog post after writing a good portion of it?
Fiction and Nonfiction Reviews
In January, I reviewed a few things I finished previously:
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (190 pages; children’s fiction).
- Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (about 150 pages, from Project Gutenberg; children’s fiction).
- Growing a Reader from Birth by Diane McGuinness (250 pages; nonfiction).
- The Touchstone by Edith Wharton (120 pages; fiction).
- A Shropshire Lad by A.E. Housman (105 pages; poetry).
- Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (350 pages; fiction).
- The ABCs of Literacy by Cynthia Dollins (250 pages read; nonfiction).
I also read the following:
- Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersad (50 pages; poetry).
- Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss (about 12 hours audio, equal to about 400 pages; children’s fiction). Began in 2009.
- The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon (380 pages; fiction/really old classic). Began in 2009.
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (195 pages; fiction).
- Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (350 pages; fiction). (a reread)
- Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (124 pages; fiction). (a reread)
- Jazz by Toni Morrison (230 pages; fiction).
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A New Verse Translation trans. Simon Armitage (200, but half of that is the original Middle English; fiction/really old classic).
- The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (190 pages; fiction).
- Golden Slippers, an anthology of Negro poetry for young readers (200 pages; poetry).
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (310 pages; fiction).
- History of the English-Speaking People by Winston Churchill, abridged by Henry Steele Commager (470 pages; nonfiction).
- Moses, Man of the Mountain by Zora Neale Hurston (300 pages; fiction).
I discussed the following picture books as a part of the 1000 books project.
- Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
- The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
- Corduroy by Don Freeman
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems (and again)
- Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown
- No, David! by David Shannon
- Terrific Trains by Tony Mitton
- I Drive a Snowplow by Sarah Bridges
- Oh Say Can You Say? by Dr. Seuss
Not all my posts were about books I reviewed.
- December in Review
- 2010: A Year of Reading Deliberately
- Reading Journal (6 Jan): Starting Off the New Year
- Bloggiesta To-Do List
- 2009 in Review + Stats
- Reading Journal (13 Jan): Exhausted
- Reading Journal (20 Jan): Distracted
- Reading Journal (27 Jan): Addicted
- Any Interest in a May Read-a-Long of Paradise Lost?
The Japanese Literature Challenge [ended 31 Jan 2010]. 2/1.I enjoyed my first two Japanese books and it’s alerted me to fact that I need to learn more about this literature. I’m starting my own personal challenge; see below.
The Really Old Classics Challenge [ends 28 Feb 2010]. 4/4 old classics + 1/1 retelling. I enjoyed all the books I’ve so far. Although I’ve technically finished, I still want to read the Christopher Logue retellings of the Iliad that I checked out.
Clover, Bee, and Reverie [ends 31 December 2010]. 0/14. A poetry challenge! YEAY! The fun is the “expert” badges: we choose our poetry to fit in certain categories so we can gain some level of “expertise.” I’m going to have figuring out which types of poetry to read this year for this project.
Scottish Literature Challenge [ends 31 December 2010]. 0/1. A challenge to read pre-1914 Scottish literature. I am not very familiar with it, so I’m hoping to read a few things. Maybe Burns’ poetry. Maybe some children’s literature. Maybe Boswell’s Life of Johnson (abridged!). I haven’t decided yet. Amateur Reader’s goal is open discussion about these books.
JLit Personal Challenge [ends 31 Decmber 2010]. My goal is to read as much as I can from Japan and about Japan during 2010.
Challenge Progress Lists
These link to my internal pages where you can see my ongoing progress, updated as I get the chance throughout the month.
(links to pages on this site)