Taking Stock: January 2021

I’ve experimented with monthly wrap-ups, but I think a mid-month update is better for me . . .

Looking Back

Four posts and a Sunday Short have gone up this month:

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky has become one of my go-to recommendations for short fiction, but it does have difficult/upsetting moments. I added a widget for my “most recommended” books but I find myself wanting to fuss with it all the time.

Looking Around

  • Read more than in 2020. Very much on track!
    I’ve read four books so far. Given that I only managed 36 last year, this goal should be easily met.
  • Read more classic fiction. Sort of.
    None of the four books was on my classics list. I’m starting with The Lord of Rings because it’s the longest of the bunch and have been surprised to find it’s much warmer and more entertaining than I remember. (They’re still a long way from Mordor.)
  • Whittle down the TBR pile. +11
    Books pile up over the holidays! It would have been +12, but I read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd so quickly there was no time to add it.
  • Commit and stick to a posting schedule. So far, so good!
    I’ve settled on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule and didn’t realize until I got out a calendar to schedule NetGalley posts that a lot of books come out on Tuesdays. It’ll be easy to schedule reviews for the release dates.
  • Continue reading (and posting) books in translation. Yep!
    I’ve read one book in translation and reviewed two: The Dangers of Smoking in Bed and Tyll. That pie chart will be looking snazzier in no time.

One big change from previous years is that I’ve been listening to more audiobooks. It’ll be mentioned in my reviews which books I listened to vs. read, but as far as the “books read” tally goes—I’m counting audiobooks as books read. Listening to Tom Hanks read The Dutch House radically changed my opinion of audiobooks for the better so I’m trying to find audiobooks read by the author (autobiographies) or an actor (fiction). I’m currently listening to The End of the Affair as read by Colin Firth and it’s much better for his performance. But more on that later.

Looking Ahead

Four more reviews are coming, but the order may change depending on how long it takes me to stop crying over the end of Hendrik Groen . . .

  • “Ghosts and Empties” by Lauren Groff (Sunday Short)
  • On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
  • The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
  • The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen by Hendrik Groen
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

(I wouldn’t ordinarily review two books by the same author in one month, but this will wrap up The Winternight Trilogy.)

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