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Reading report for January 2013

Edit: Have I ever mentioned that I !#*&>"% hate it that the Undo command on Blogger is utterly  useless and that certain actions can not be undone at all, such as retrieval of accidentally deleted posts and pages? I think I have.
I wrote this post at home last night and published it this morning from work and then went to write a post that I then decided to delete. I must have had a cross-eyed moment, because I deleted this post accidentally instead. Arrrrgggghhhhh!
However: I am fortunately not completely helpless around computers and was able to retrieve it from my home computer's cache. Imagine if I'd had to write it all over again. Somehow such writings never seem as good as the lost original. 
Folks: I heartily recommend setting Blogger to send you a copy of all your blog posts by e-mail, which is what I have done now and should have done much sooner. It may save you a lot of time and prevent panic in the future. And now we resume regular programming:

My reading tally for the first month of 2013 comes to a whooping 25 (oops! forgot one) 26 books. I did not set out to read so many books in January, but once I had started it was hard to slow down.

The explanation is simple: January tends to be a difficult month for me.
The dark clouds that constantly hover on my mental horizon usually get pushed all the way to the edges over the Christmas holidays, but around mid-January they tend to start creeping back. One of the ways I use to battle this cloud-bank of depression is reading, especially something I can immerse myself in – series are always good for this – and with guaranteed happy endings. And what could be better for this purpose than romance novels?

As luck would have it, some weeks ago I acquired a trove of (mostly) short romance novels by Nora Roberts, most of them from the time when she was still writing category romances for Silhouette books. I read a number of them in December and continued in January. There were several series in this collection, including four loosely interconnected ones that led me from one to the next until I had finished three of them, a total of 12 books. By the time I‘d finished those and one trilogy more, I‘d finally had enough of Nora for the time being and turned to other matters.

The Roberts novels were entertaining enough, but I didn‘t find one single keeper among them, neither cover nor book. They were unfortunately mostly reissues with boring covers, which was a pity because I have an appreciation for the old Silhouette covers that always have the couple looking like they are either on the verge of an orgasm or suffering from acute stomach pains. If the covers had been more interesting, I might have kept some of them even if I had no plans to reread them. Therefore they have gone to the charity shop where they have hopefully already been picked up by other readers. As the TBR challenge is to read books that have been languishing in my TBR stack (the rule of thumb is 6 months or more), they didn‘t count towards that challenge – I didn‘t even enter them into my library database before reading them.

I got started on my goal to read more Icelandic books, with 2 finished, and I‘m back to reading poetry, with 2 books finished.

Of the 25 26 books I read in January, 8 were TBR, which puts me just about on course for finishing 50 TBR books before the end of June (if I can keep it up). I decided to focus on finishing the short books in the stack first, but without letting that goal stop me from reading longer books should I get the urge to read a particular book. I am also going to try to finish some of the many, many books that are collecting dust in odd corners of my apartment with bookmarks sticking out of them.

My two favourite reads of the month both came from the TBR stack. The first was Georgette Heyer‘s An Infamous Army, which I wish I had read much, much sooner, because it has shot into the top 5 list of my favourite Heyer books (along with Venetia, These Old Shades, Devil‘s Cub and The Unknown Ajax).

The other was Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas. I was already familiar with this poetic play from the animated version, which of course meant that when I read the familiar lines I kept hearing the voices of Richard Burton (who narrated it) and the actors who provided the voices for the characters. The edition I read was a critical edition, with a background history of the piece and a textual history of the changes it went through. Thomas died before it was (perhaps) fully polished, and it was fascinating to see how he kept polishing and moulding it right to the end.

The Books:
  • Georgette Heyer: An Infamous Army - Historical novel (romantic)
  • Alan Hunter: Gently Through the Woods - Murder mystery (police detective)
  • Ed McBain: Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here - Police procedural
  • Terry Pratchett: The Dark Side of the Sun - Science fiction/Space fantasy
  • Nora Roberts: Taming Natasha; Luring a Lady; Falling for Rachel; Convincing Alex; Waiting for Nick; Considering Kate - Romance, contemporary
  • Nora Roberts: Reflections; Dance of Dreams - Romance, contemporary
  • Nora Roberts: The Last Honest Woman; Dance to the Piper; Skin Deep; Without a Trace - Romance, contemporary (1st 2 books) and Romantic suspense (2nd 2 books)
  • Nora Roberts: Dance Upon the Air; Heaven and Earth; Face the Fire - Paranormal romance
  • John Michael Scalzi: Uncle John's Presents: The Book of the Dumb - Trivia
  • Sigurður Þórarinsson (texti) & Gunnar Hannesson (ljósm.) : Vatnajökull: Tignarheimur frosts og funa - Geography/geology; photo book
  • Stefán Sigurðsson frá Hvítadal : Ljóðmæli (formáli: Sveinn Bergsveinsson) - Poetry
  • John Steinbeck: The Short Regn of Pippin IV - Satire
  • Amy Stewart: Wicked Plants: The weed that killed Lincoln's mother and other botanical atrocities - Botany/toxicology
  • Dylan Thomas: Under Milk Wood - Verse play
  • J.R.R. Tolkien; read by Rob Inglis : The Hobbit - Fantasy, children‘s book (audio)


Alex in Leeds said…
I'm impressed - you managed to cover almost every genre of book in one month! :)

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