Now that Christmas has passed, I have time again! In spite of the many posts I wrote in December, I feel like I had very little time thanks to a month of six-day workweeks and lousy weather that kept me inside during the first two weeks of the month. I was completely worn out by Christmas Eve and much of my reading was done because of NetGalley ARCs. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy them. I did! Katherine Arden’s The Winter of the Witch ended up on my list of favorite books I read in 2018. But I think that I would have read less than I did had they not been ARCs.
I read 8 books in December:
- The Winter of the Witch (The Winternight trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden (ARC)
- Words are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, with A Journal of a Writer’s Week by Ursula K. Le Guin, audiobook narrated by Laural Merlington
- The Monster Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade #2) by Seth Dickinson (ARC)
- Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him by Tracy Borman (ARC)
- Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (Rise of the Empress #2) by Julie C. Dao
- The Tale of the Shining Princess adapted by Sally Fisher from a translation of the story by Donald Keene
- The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad #5) by Tana French, audiobook narrated by Stephen Hogan and Lara Hutchinson
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
While I only read seven books in December, it brought my 2018 total to 160, which is the highest number of books I’ve ever read in one year. I don’t feel like I strained myself to do it, either, nor do I feel that I sacrificed quality in the name of quantity. I read a lot of books I truly enjoyed. Audiobooks and ebooks helped me add to my ‘Books Read’ list, but what it comes down to is that I devoted a lot of time to reading rather than watching television or movies. I watched a lot less television than I usually do in 2018. I also cut back on my time spent on Facebook, which not only increased the time I had for reading but cut down on my stress levels, too.
With a new month and a new year upon us, it feels like I have a totally clean slate to work with, even though Tuesday is really just going to be another day, nothing super special about it. We’re just turning the calendar over to 2019.
I have two books in progress that I’ll carry over into 2019:
- The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad #6) by Tana French, audiobook narrated by Hilda Fay
- The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye, ARC provided by NetGalley
January is, generally, a bitterly cold month of wind, snow, and ice. It’s a great time to curl up on the couch with a good book. I’m also planning to visit my indie bookshops if only to get out of my apartment and have face to face conversations. What a concept! I bought a new camera earlier this month, and I want to put it to good use this month when the cold makes the air and light seem so different from any other time of year.
I’m also planning to rewatch Star Trek: Deep Space all the way through, from the first episode to the last without skipping any episodes. For the most part, I love this show but there are some dreadful episodes like Fascination, and some that just don’t interest me like The Magnificent Ferengi. It’s been a long time since I watched Deep Space Nine at all, and it seems like a good time to give it another go, given that the second season of Star Trek: Discovery begins in a couple of weeks. Prepare for a lot of Star Trek talk in the next couple of months!
I think I talked about my January TBR in a previous post, but here’s an actual picture of it. Most of the books are fairly short, so I’ll be able to get through them in short order.
I’m also planning to at least start on one of my larger books such as Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry or Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin, but I haven’t decided which one. I’d like to start on The Sagas of Icelanders. I’ve already bookmarked the individual sagas which take up just over half of the book, so the three major sagas are marked and I can approach them like they’re individual books, instead of feeling like I’m chipping away at a gigantic tome. Winter feels like that time to read a good Icelandic saga. It also feels like a good time to read Winter’s Tale, though, so we’ll see which one I decide on.
Once again, I’m taking part in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure, a monthlong series of assigned tasks designed to clean, declutter, and refresh one’s living space for the rest of the year. I keep my space clean all the time (it’s easy, since it’s a tiny space with just me and the cat to clean up after), but it’s good to be reminded to do things like pull the sofa out and sweep behind it and clear the kitchen cupboards out and get rid of expired things. One of my projects will be to get my bookshelves sorted out, cleaned up, and arranged. Right now my books are a bit scattered around my apartment with no rhyme or reason, and when I think about it, it drives me a bit nuts. But I’m going to take care of that in January!