December 2008 Month in Review and January 2009 Reading Journal

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Happy New Year! I hope you had a nice holiday. I did, and yet my reading time has been rather cut short lately. We’ll see how January progresses!

In December, I reviewed a huge number of children’s picture books. I felt like my reading was rather light, especially at the beginning of the month, even though it adds up to a lot of books read! I certainly enjoyed my time with Dickens’ classic Christmas novellas, even though I didn’t actually like each story, and I enjoyed reading other Christmas-y things. It was a good reading month overall.

I shared my 2009 goals and “challenges” here and here. In January, I have lots I want to read, but I know I won’t get to it all! I have a number of personal things that will eat away at my reading time this month, but we’ll see how the reading goes in the end.

Fiction and Nonfiction Reviews

In December, I reviewed a few things I finished reading in November:

I also read a number of things.

Children’s Projects

I got a bit carried away with the Christmas children’s books I read and reviewed. And it took forever. But I did most of that during the beginning of the month, so when I got swamped with the holiday, I still had those posts I could share. I don’t see myself reading so many picture books in the coming months! Here’s the list of all the children’s books I’ve reviewed this month (in alphabetical order):

The list includes eight Caldecott winners. I also read some other children’s literature, as noted in the review list above. None of my reading related to my Children’s Literature: Reader’s History project; I’m in the middle of Pilgrim’s Progress, which does.

Challenge Updates

In December:

Whew! Is that enough for one month?

January Reading Journal

I’m feeling pretty ambitious with the New Year. Because I’m sure I’ll change my “plan” during the month, I’ll just share what I’m in the midst of reading right now.

  • I’ve started reading Borges’s stories in Spanish; it takes twice as long for me to read in a foreign language. This is part of my HTR&W challenge. I have ordered the English translation from the library; I think I will try the English. I’m not enjoying it at all.
  • I’m almost finished reading Pilgrim’s Progress (as part of my Children’s Literature: Reader’s History project). It is very slow reading as well; it was written in the 1600s. I’m struggling.
  • Because I had insomnia and didn’t want to turn on the light, I also began reading Grimm’s fairy tales, thanks to the public domain Project Gutenberg text on my handheld device. I have the complete stories in print, and I may go back and make sure I’ve read them all.
  • My husband and I have been reading The Silmarillion together over the past six months. We finished the book except for the appendices, which contain some more stories I want to read. If we finish, I may review it this month.
  • My husband got us The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters for Christmas. I don’t know if I will review it this month; we’re going to go through some recipes together as we read it and I’ll share it when I feel I’ve actually used it. So far, so good!
  • I’m in the middle of reading Fundamentals of Photography by Tom Ang, which I picked up thanks to this review. It is very technical, and because it is new, it is a 14-day library check out. Hopefully I can renew it for a second 14 days; it is slow reading for me but quite interesting.

What are you planning on reading this month, to start off the new year? Have you read any of these books too?

Reviewed on January 2, 2009

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.

  • That children’s project is intense-I’m impressed!  I have Borges on my radar this year (in English)-I’ve never tried him before.  I can’t imagine trying to read him untranslated!

  • I haven’t started anything yet this year but I’d like Alice in Wonderland to be my first (re-) read of the year.
    I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn a LONG time ago, read A Christmas Carol for the first time last month, & read The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus last year.

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