I tend to read a lot in January, if only because there isn’t much going on in the first- and often coldest- month of the year. In January 2022, I read twenty books. This January, I read twelve things. I’m not bothered by this, as there were a few books I did not finish, a couple of long book that just took a while to get through, and I started reading War and Peace, which is an undertaking even if you only read two or three chapters a day, as I did through most of the month.
So I read twelve things for a total of 4,254 pages.
What I Read in January:
- Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith, audiobook narrated by Peter Noble
- The Adventure of the Gloria Scott by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Medieval Kitchen: A Social History with Recipes by Hannele Klemettilä
- How to: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems by Randall Munroe, audiobook narrated by Will Wheaton
- Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett, ARC provided by NetGalley
- In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration by Shane O’Mara, audiobook narrated by Liam Gerrard
- ‘The Musgrave Ritual’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
- ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band‘ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages by Dan Jones
- The Luminaries by Susan Dennard, audiobook narrated by Caitlin Davies
- The End is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses by Dan Carlin, audiobook narrated by the author
- 66.7% of what I read was written by men, while 33.3% was written by women
- 41.7% was written by English authors, 25% was by American authors, and 8.3% each were written by Irish, Canadian, Finnish, or Australian authors
- Half of what I read was nonfiction (a definite change from normal), 25% were mystery stories (thanks to the Sherlock Holmes substack I subscribed to), and 8.3% each were fantasy, YA fantasy, and general fiction
- Half of what I read came from my own shelves, 41.7% came from the library, and 8.3% was from NetGalley
- 41.7% of what I read were audiobooks, 33.3% were ebooks, and 25% were physical books
- Years of publication ranged from 1892 to 2023
My favorite new-to-me books for the month were Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries, How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems, and The Medieval Kitchen. The books I was just “meh” about were The Luminaries and The End is Always Near.
I managed not to record the numbers for either my StoryGraph TBR or my physical TBR at the end of last year, so I’ll just have to start again on keeping track of those each month.
TBR counts, February 1:
- StoryGraph To-Read Pile: 137
- Physical TBR: 75
What’s On Tap for February:
I have no idea. I’ve decided to stop putting together a monthly TBR, and just grab whatever book off my shelves sounds most interesting at the time. I have 75 owned but unread books, so I have plenty to choose from, and given that I’m going down a rabbit hole of medieval history (and because I’ve recently purchased a bunch of niche medieval history books), I am really spoiled for choice. There are several fairly short books on my shelves, so I’ll probably tackle a bunch of those to counter some of the long books I took on in January.
There were three books I carried over from January:
- Hell Bent (Alex Stern #2) by Leigh Bardugo
- Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell #1) by Hilary Mantel, audiobook narrated by Simon Slater
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, translated from the Russian by Anthony Briggs
After waiting a couple of months, my number came up on my library hold for the audiobook of Sue Lynn Tan’s Daughter of the Moon Goddess, so I’ll be starting that shortly. I have several other books on hold, but I have no idea when they’ll arrive. It could be next week on some of them, it could be April. We’ll see what shows up when.
As for right now, I anticipate that I will be reading a lot of niche medieval history books, so look forward to that. It’ll be interesting.
7 thoughts on “January Summary, February Preview”
I hope February is a good month for you! I need to get to Hell Bent this month too.
I hope dropping the monthly TBR works well for you. I’ve found having strict TBRs doesn’t work well for me, but I do keep a list of things I think I’d like to read sooner than others just so I can remember some of them. The order of the list is constantly changing, and like you mention, based on my mood I might pick something from the top or the very bottom of the list (or something not even on the list).
I’ve always been meaning to give War and Peace a shot someday and sometimes wonder if it’s the kind of read that will suck me into the world and make me want to read a lot or if it’ll feel better to read a chapter or two per day and eventually complete it. I hope February is a good month for you! 😀
So far, I’ve been having a good time with War and Peace. It’s not like what I thought it would be, and so far it’s been pretty easy to get through in spite of the many, many characters. I know a lot of people in the W&P reading group have been intimidated by that, but I figure that I’m accustomed to learning large casts of characters thanks to fantasy novels, so I’ve been breezing through and having a good time with it. I think, though, that as I get further into it, I’m going to want to read more than the one or two chapters per day that I’ve been reading, just because it makes it easier to keep track of everything that’s going on.
We’ll see how dropping that TBR goes. I’m not too worried about it either way- I just want to get through a bunch of the books I own that I haven’t read. So far this year, that’s going okay. I’ve finished three books so far and started a fourth, and got rid of an entire series I owned, but ended up deciding not to continue with halfway through the second book. Right now, I have a stack of fairly short, but undoubtedly dense academic texts about the medieval era (they don’t fit on the nonfiction shelf right now), so those are going to be my focus this month, I think.
Thanks! I hope it’s a good month for you, too. I finished Hell Bent last night, and it was a ride. Super fun, and just as much of a puzzle as Ninth House. I’m looking forward to book three now, and hoping it doesn’t take another 3.5 years to get it.
Yes! That’s one of the reasons why I haven’t picked up Hell Bent yet lol.