Goodbye January, Hello February!

So I noticed in my email this morning that Devourer of Books posted her January wrap up. I mention this for two reasons: 1) I think that email alerts for new posts is the way for me to go to keep up with the blogs that I love – Google Reader just isn’t cutting it anymore – and b) it’s been a long time since I’ve wrapped up a month. It’s a good practice, so here I am in my car writing this post during my lunch break.

January: A Banner Reading Month

I finished 11 books during the month of January. 9 of those were completely read during the month. This has to be some kind of a personal record for me. I didn’t feel as though I was spending an inordinate amount of time reading. I think that the time I spent reading I was more likely to actually spend reading and not on Twitter. Twitter is essential to my reading and blogging life, but it does have the ability to divide my attention like nothing else. Here’s the list of the books I read during the month of January:

The Night Swimmer by Matt Bondurant (began in December)
Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer (began in December)
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Year and Six Seconds by Isabel Gillies
First You Try Everything by Jane McCafferty
Goldfinger by Ian Fleming
Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
Restoration by Olaf Olafsson (released on 2/7/12)
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

Here are my favorite print and audiobook reads during January 2012:


Of note was my reaction to Less Than Zero. It’s still early days, but I believe that book has a good shot at being my least favorite book of all time. Yes, I would read Moby Dick and The Heart of Darkness again with great pleasure rather if it could only erase the few hours I spent reading my first and only Bret Easton Ellis book.

January: NORC Drop Out

God. I was in such a good place toward the end of last year. I dug myself out of a 15-review hole and vowed to never find myself in the red again. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. As always, life and my job got in the way of my reading and reviewing. Despite my best attempts, I began January in a 10-review hole. I first set a goal to get finished with older reviews by my 5th Blogoversary (thanks to everyone for their well wishes!). I still had 10 reviews left to write when that date came and went. Then, I was sure, I would be out of the hole by the end of January. During the last week of January, I was making progress and was excited to contemplate earning my way back into the NORC fold. I had gotten my total review count down to 8. Then I noticed something. There were books that I finished that were not listed in Library Thing to review. Ugh.

As of today, I’m now 11 reviews in arrears.  In addition to the titles listed above without links to reviews, I need to review the following from December:

Dr. No by Ian Fleming (a November book, actually)
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Holy Ghost Girl by Donna Johnson
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston

Ugh, indeed. February, you’ve got some reviews to write. STAT!

February: Looking Ahead

I’ve got a full docket of books to read this month. Here’s what I’m looking forward to the most:

A Good American by Alex George (2/7/2012)

The Mirage by Matt Ruff  (2/7/2012)

History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason  (2/7/2012)

The Book of Lost Frangrances by M. J. Rose (for a book tour date of 2/21/2012)

A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein (for Algonquin Books’ Book Club on March 4th)

So, I think that’s a wrap on January. What has been your reading highlight for 2012?


  • At 2012.02.01 14:28, Jules said:

    I look forward to read A good American too! Maybe not in February but my plan for 2012 is to read at least an English book per month. It’s going to be this year for sure!

    • At 2012.02.02 12:28, Literate Housewife said:

      Jules, I’m nearing the halfway point and I’m really enjoying it. A Good American reads pretty fast. I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s another Amy Einhorn victory in my opinion.

    • At 2012.02.01 15:29, Terri B. said:

      You did have a banner reading month in January! I read quite a few (for me) too, but I’m very quickly getting behind in my reviews. Apparently I like to read more and faster than I like to write. Sometimes it is just a matter of needing to dwell on it for a bit, but if I wait too long then the words to talk about it elude me. Sigh. Hope you get caught up 🙂

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      • At 2012.02.02 12:29, Literate Housewife said:

        What I really need to do is lock myself away with the list of books I need to review, copies of said books, a computer without the Internet and that’s it. I can come out when the reviews are finished. It might be my only salvation. LOL!

      • At 2012.02.01 17:58, Anita said:

        I finished 5 in January, and 3 were complete reads. I’m also looking forward to A Good American in February, along with Defending Jacob and The Underside of Joy, for book club This Beautiful Life, and on audio finishing The Language of Flowers, Whew, crazy days!!
        Happy Reading!!

        • At 2012.02.02 12:30, Literate Housewife said:

          Okay, I haven’t heard of Defending Jacob, The Underside of Joy, or the This Beautiful Life. Must investigate further! I also need to get a copy of The Language of Flowers. So many good books. Hooray!

        • At 2012.02.01 18:01, Lilian Nattel said:

          I’m curious about why you prefer the email alerts to Google Reader? What I like about the reader is that I can scan down the side and see all my subscriptions and what new posts there are.

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          • At 2012.02.02 12:32, Literate Housewife said:

            My problem isn’t with Google Reader, per se. It’s with the fact that I never open my Google Reader. I tend to open my email, which is why I really need to think about making the switch. 🙂

          • At 2012.02.01 19:27, Marg said:

            I am really hoping to get to A Good American, but I am not sure it is going to happen before my galley expires. I have it on request at the library as well, just in case.

            • At 2012.02.02 12:32, Literate Housewife said:

              Marg, it is a fast read. I should finish it tomorrow or maybe Saturday. I’m loving it.

            • At 2012.02.02 00:49, Kailana said:

              I personally love wrap-up posts. I hope you do keep them up. 🙂

              • At 2012.02.02 12:33, Literate Housewife said:

                Thanks! I am going to plan on it. It’s good to reflect back on what you’ve done – or not done – at the end of each month.

              • At 2012.02.02 12:05, Emma @ Words And Peace said:

                Thanks for the email post idea. I follow Devourer of Books but have not received an email from her. Good job on your month of January, mine was also a record. 2012 for me is the big year of Reading Challenges, and I enjoy so much the 52 countries one. here is my January wrap-up: http://wordsandpeace.com/2012/02/02/january-wrap-up/

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                • At 2012.02.02 12:35, Literate Housewife said:

                  I clicked on the Notify me of new posts by email button and like magic I get an email from her blog just about every day. I really like it. I am working on a few challenges, but nothing I can’t handle. I usually poop out on them and feel guilty. LOL!

                  • At 2012.02.05 22:53, Emma @ Words And Peace said:

                    well of course, thanks for your comment on email. I did not realize you were talking about this. I believe that helps a lot at having a quite constant number of readers

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                  • At 2012.02.02 13:12, Serena said:

                    I think you did well in January. I haven’t been by in a long time…and I now notice that you and I are of the same mind about keeping up with blogs. Email alerts are the way to go for me as well with the little one running me around. I am going to subscribe to you via email now that I see you have an email subscribe button!

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                    • At 2012.02.04 13:00, Lisa said:

                      I just started The Mirage — I think it’s going to be a great read!

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                      • At 2012.02.06 01:08, Sheila (Book Journey) said:

                        Sounds like you had a wonderful month! I agree with you , I prefer to get blog post updates by email for those blogs i love to follow.

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