I added another 17 books to my Read shelf (Goodreads link) last month. It was a great month for quantity and quality – four 5-star, four 4-1/2-star, eight 4-star, and one 3-star. Close readers might note that the “4-1/2 star” category is a new one. Five stars is a really tough grading system. I rarely even finish something that doesn’t merit at least three … so most of my books are gonna land in four star territory. I still want a way to differentiate between “I loved it” and “I REALLY loved it, but it wasn’t as AMAZING as …”, so … 4-1/2 stars.
Here are a few more stats from March’s book journal summary page:
- less than 60% (10/17) were words on a page – four of the audio books were 1-2 day listens (A Thousand Ships, Summerwater, Exciting Times, and Slaughterhouse-Five) … those shorter books fit a lot easier into my listening life these days.
- nearly a third – 65% (11/17) – were borrowed, two I owned, and four were purchased … only one of them “new” (Writers & Lovers, for Modern Mrs Darcy bookclub – my sister also belongs so I know any paper books will be read at least twice … and I do love to own bookclub books so I can mark them up freely)
- only three (18%) were non-fiction – apparently that spike I saw in February (4/13) was an anomaly!
My Reading Intentions leaned heavily toward Connection and Delight:
Connection – 16
Growth – 9
Diversity – 7
Delight – 16
Again, not every book was a Delight. Against the Loveless World was the “no” here. I read the book because it was on the Aspen Short List (and because Margene and Sarah read it too – yep, I take both tea AND book recommendations from these smart ladies!). I do think the book belongs on that list. and I’m glad I read it.
One book was simply a Delight. Love Lettering. I loved the NYC setting, the happy ending, and the smart writing. This was the book I read in bed on my Kindle when everything else I was reading (on the page) was a heavy, or dark. and of course once I got about 2/3 through, I read the rest in one sitting.
Five books nailed all four intentions:
1. The Office of Historical Corrections
2. Dust Tracks on a Road
3. Girl, Serpent, Thorn
4. Sabrina & Corina
5. Stories of Your Life and Others
Other notes from my journal summary (and yes, these are all listed with those ♥):
♥ all the short stories! I read four (and my first two finishes for April were also short stories)
♥ Ted Chiang. favorite discovery of the month for sure! (see below)
♥ Pride & Prejudice re-read, focusing on the humor and snark, and reading along with Novel Pairings.
I joined Novel Pairing’s Patreon Classics Club (another virtual bookclub, with classes and special podcasts) and that re-read of Pride & Prejudice was because of that. I had so much fun with this re-read because they encouraged me to focus on the humor and snark. and oh my, there’s a lot of both. I laughed out loud reading parts of it and I don’t think I ever did that before. and I still teared up for the happy ending(s). Slaughterhouse-Five was another Novel Pairings pick (for April … it just arrived a bit early in my Libby queue) and I’m looking forward to their discussion. Chelsey & Sara are the english teachers I can only wish I’d had 🙂
My book journal is still providing endless enjoyment … seriously, those little covers that I print, cut, and paste! and then putting pen to paper … and flipping through so many filled-up pages.
and, finally, this month’s sleeper recommendation* is Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others. I’m not sure a “sleeper” can really be a book that was published back in 2002; and Ezra Klein interviewed Ted Chiang on last week’s podcast. and yet …
This book nailed all four of my intentions. I can’t stop thinking about/talking about it. the themes of Time, God, Free Will, and Math … I especially loved that Chiang mentioned Slaughterhouse Five in the end notes … I thought the two books paired well, too.
One of the things I love about my book journal is writing things in my own hand. This book challenged that! so I printed my Kindle highlights, and then noted them. Still paper and pen (with a little glue and paper).
Ezra Klein says “listening to Chiang speak, I I understand his stories better. He speaks like he’s carving marble.”
Oh my. and yes.
Have you stumbled across some unappreciated backlist this month? please share!
*a book I haven’t seen All Over the Place. Granted, it’s not like I’m going anywhere, so my “place” is Goodreads, Instagram, and a few blogs.