Reading report for March 2009

I have amazed myself again by reading a total of 22 books in one month. By the 18th it looked like I would manage, without having planned it, to read a book a day in March. That’s when I decided to slow down for a few days to rest my eyes. I’m happy I did, because while reading is good, so is spending time with friends and family.

Besides that, I had my tax report to turn in. It was unusually complicated this year, as I had five sources of income to report besides my regular salary, including a grant, some per diem money and my freelance translation work. Some of this was tax-deductible while some wasn’t, and some was tax-free and some was not. Sometimes, especially come tax-time, I think this freelance business is really too complicated to bother with, but now all I have to do is look at my new car and think "I wouldn’t have this if it wasn’t for my freelance work", and it stops being a problem.

The challenges are rolling along on schedule or better. I finished:
5 Top Mysteries challenge books,
4 Icelandic books, and
6 books that had been in my TBR stack for over a year, plus 3 more that I have owned for less than a year.

I am still accumulating new books slightly faster than I can read and cull the old ones, mostly because books from my vast wishlist keep becoming available on BookMooch.

Books I read in March:
Annette Blair: The Kitchen Witch (romance)
Meg Cabot: All American Girl (young adult book)
G.K. Chesterton: The Man who was Thursday (novel)
Joseph Conrad: The Secret Agent (psychological thriller)
Edmund Crispin: The Moving Toyshop (mystery)
Colin Dexter: The Dead of Jericho (mystery)
E.M. Forster: A Room with a View (classic romance)
Mark Hebden: Pel and the Faceless Corpse (mystery)
Patricia Highsmith: Strangers on a Train & The Talented Mr. Ripley (psychological thrillers)
Pico Iyer (issue editor) & Jason Wilson (series editor): The Best American Travel Writing 2004 (collection of travel articles)
Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (mystery thriller)
Cathie Linz: Between the Covers (romance)
Rory Maclean: Stalin's Nose (travelogue)
MasterCard Iceland: Umhverfis jörðina með MasterCard (travel guide, promotional)
Frances Mayes: Under the Tuscan Sun (fixer-upper memoir/travelogue)
Ruth Rendell: A Judgment in Stone (psychological thriller)
Stefán Jón Hafstein & Kristinn Jón Guðmundsson: New York! New York! (being there story/travelogue)
Fred Vargas: The Three Evangelists (mystery)
Pat & Dennis Welch (text); Mike Dowdall & Pat Welch(images): Humans (humour, comic book)
Yrsa Sigurðardóttir: Þriðja táknið (Last Rituals) & Sér grefur gröf (My Soul to Take) (mysteries)

Next month’s upcoming reads include 5 more Top Mysteries challenge books that I have on loan from the library and need to return before the end of the month. I plan to read fewer mysteries in April than I did in March and concentrate more on other types of novels and on non-fiction. I hope to take at least half of what I read in April from the TBR stack.


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