January was unofficially Novella Month for me, because I had a sudden craving to read most of the novellas that have been on my TBR. As a result, I read a lot of books. Twenty in all. According to my StoryGraph statistics, I read 4,740 pages. I also finished the first title in my Read Big Books challenge for 2021. That was Paradise Lost, which was fine. I’ve read it now, so I understand the cultural references now, so that’s good. As far as biblical fanfiction goes, it’s not my favorite. On to the next thing.
- To Be Taught, if Fortunate by Becky Chambers
- The Fourth Island by Sarah Tolmie
- The Tradition by Jericho Brown
- Windwitch (Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard, audiobook narrated by Cassandra Campbell
- Hotel Silence by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, translated from the Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon
- The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht, audiobook narrated by Daniel Henning
- Paradise Lost by John Milton
- All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells, audiobook narrated by Kevin R. Free
- Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells, audiobook narrated by Kevin R. Free
- Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries #3) by Martha Wells, audiobook narrated by Kevin R. Free
- The Searcher by Tana French
- Foundation (The Collegium Chronicles #1) by Mercedes Lackey
- The Daughters of Ys by M.T. Anderson and Jo Rioux
- Burning Roses by S.L. Huang
- The Book of Lost Tales, Pt. 1 (The History of Middle-earth #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries #4) by Martha Wells
- Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings
- Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark
- This is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar
- The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt
- Of the twenty books I read in January, 65% were written by women, 25% were by men, and 10% were a collaboration between a man and a woman.
- Nationality-wise, 55% were by American authors, 20% were by Canadians, 10% were English, while Australian, Irish, and Icelandic authors accounted for 5% each. I’m branching out country-wise, but I should still look into more works in translation, as translated work accounted for just one of the books I read in January.
- Genre-wise, 30% were science fiction novels, 25% were fantasy. Poetry and horror accounted for 10% each, while nonfiction, YA fantasy, general fiction, and gothic fiction accounted for 5% each.
- 60% of what I read in January came from the library, and 40% came from my own shelves.
- Publication years ran from 1667 to 2020.
My favorite new-to-me books of January were To Be Taught, if Fortunate by Becky Chambers, The Fourth Island by Sarah Tolmie, Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark, This is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar, and The Searcher by Tana French.
The books I didn’t care for in January were Paradise Lost by John Milton and The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht.
My TBR for February is mostly made up of books I already own, because I want to get through these books that have been hanging out on my shelves, mostly being ignored because I keep going to the library or using my Libby app. Which is kind of like going to the library. Whatever you want to call it, I’ve been neglecting the books I own. Plus, I got a bunch for Christmas, and I was excited about reading all of them. And there are a couple of reading challenges, as well as a couple of NetGalley titles I need to read and review.
- Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang
- The Wolf and the Whale by Jordana Max Brodksy
- The Forgotten Kingdom (The Lost Queen Trilogy #2) by Signe Pike
- The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
- The Lays of Beleriand (The History of Middle-earth #3) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- Queens of the Crusades: England’s Medieval Queens, Book 2 by Alison Weir
- The Councillor by E.J. Beaton
The first three on this list are books that I got for Christmas last year, and I am looking forward to all of them. The Luminaries was my Big Books Challenge pick for July (not September, as I have stated earlier), but because I saw the trailer for a show based on the book I decided to switch it to February. The show stars Eva Green, who is one of my favorite actors and it looks amazing. So I want to read the book before giving the show a try. Which means I moved The Luminaries from July to February.
The Lays of Beleriand is part of my History of Middle-earth project. I’ve read all or part of it before, though I think it was in high school, so it’s been a while and I don’t remember very much of it. It features stories that have appeared in The Silmarillion and other works, but they’re earlier drafts in verse along with other poems that haven’t appeared in other places. I don’t think it will take as long to get through that as it took me to get through The Book of Lost Tales, part two, since it doesn’t seem to be as dense.
I’ve already finished Queens of the Crusades by Alison Weir, which is one of my ARCs from NetGalley. Expect a review this week. The Councillor is also an ARC from NetGalley, but I’ll probably start it next week. It’s due out at the beginning of March.
All The Other Things:
I’m still working on the fuzzy crocheted blanket, and will be working on that for a while. There are some little sewing projects I’m eyeing, but nothing major and I’m not sure if I’ll do them this winter or if I’ll wait until the hot months, so I won’t have be working on a big fluffy blanket in July. There is a drawing project that I have in mind, too, that will– if I end up doing it– have many many steps and will take a lot of designing and time. But I can see the finished project in my head, and I want to do it. It might just take all year.
I want to get a big chunk of my current writing project done, too, because there are some events in the story that I’ve had planned out for so long, and they’re going to be a blast to write. But there are some political things and character events I have to get through first (they’re going to be interesting, but not quite as fun as the magic stuff), so I need to put my nose to the proverbial grindstone and get writing.
And that’s my month ahead, at a glance. February is a cold and snowy month, so I won’t be going out and doing much. Check that. I’ll be going out and doing even less outside the house, because even though COVID cases have been falling in my home state and vaccination clinics have been going smoothly (when the weather cooperates), I still don’t want to put myself or other people at risk if I don’t have to. Also, a lot of snow makes it difficult to go places, as I don’t have a big car or truck that can just plow through a snowbank.
Exciting times, huh?
When the weather cooperates, I do want to go out to the little state park I visited at the end of summer last year. I’ve never been there in winter, when the little waterfall is iced over. I’ve seen photos by other photographers I know, and it looks beautiful. So I just need the Nebraska winter to work with me a bit. We’ll see if that happens.