January started out with a BANG. David and I attended two New Years Eve parties and had more fun at NYE than we’ve had in years. It was the perfect start to a wonderful year.
This month, we went to see Rent the Musical. It’s hard to believe Rent is 20 years old! But, that was obvious in the theatre when a parent around me had to explain how old-school answering machines work (“You can hear them speak in real time and then pick up the phone to interrupt their message and talk to them immediately…”) and what the AIDS epidemic was. Yup. Rent is now a period piece.
Last week, I was in Orlando Florida for an Operational Excellence Convention. I learned a TON and I’m looking forward to sharing that back at work. Meanwhile, I obviously went to Epcot, read on all my flights, and took lots of photos of palm trees when I was there too. It was great to have so much time dedicated to reading.
Unfortunately, I came back from this convention with some sort of bug. Cold variant? Who knows. All I know is that it’s bad. I’ve spent the last few days laying around in bed just hoping it goes away before my bachelorette party this month! Wedding planning is going well. We’re in the final stretch now…
List of Reads
One of my reading/blogging related goals for 2018 is to ensure my blog is a source of joy. From a blogging perspective, that means not pressuring myself too much, overworking myself, etc. But from a reading perspective, that means reading fun, fluffy books when I need to. January was a source of joy for reading on so many levels. I couldn’t be happier with my books this month. I am lucky to have 6 highly rated reads, plus a lot of lighthearted fun in there.
Read – 11 total books
MUST READ this month:
Rilla of Ingleside – It has been a LONG time since I’ve read so many 5-star books in a single month. I feel incredibly honored to have read three 5-star and three 4-star books out of my 11 this month. That’s QUITE rare for me! That said, Rilla of Ingleside is the 5-star book I know will stick with me the longest. A beautiful and evocative story of the Canadian home front during World War I, I recommend it to everyone. Yes, even though it is the last book in a series– you can totally treat it like a stand-alone.
Check out my review here.
Meh. I wasn’t into it this month:
Amos Fortune, Free Man– Read as part of my Great Newbery Quest, Amos Fortune, Free Man gives an idealistic view of life as a free black man in 18th century northern America. Based on a true story, it comes across as naive. But, as a middle-grade biography of a black man written by a white woman in the 1950’s, well, it’s much better than I expected it to be.
- Our Shared Shelf – Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Kids Lit – The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford and Kelly Murphy
- West Side Stories – The Bear and the Nightengale by Katherine Arden
- Brunch Books – TBD
- VACB Book Club – Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
- Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
- The Great Newbery Challenge – Miracles of Maple Hill by Virginia Sorenson
- Overall 2018 Reading Challenge: 11/80 (13% complete)
- State of the ARC Reading Challenge: 1/12 (8%)
- Total Non-Fiction Books Read: 0 (0%/5% of overall reading challenge)
- 2018 Great Newbery Challenge: 1/20 (5% complete)
- Read Along Participation 0/1
Wow! What a solid start for reading in 2018! I didn’t read any non-fiction, but we’re still early in the game. Jillian just recommended Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain to me, a WWI memoir. Also, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is high on my to be read list, but I’m 76th in line at the library. And that’s it for my non-fiction queue. Oops! It looks like I need some non-fiction recommendations here. Suggestions are welcome!
You can follow The Great Newbery Challenge over the years here.
It wouldn’t be tsundoku if I didn’t have a gigantic pile of books and bookish things going on in my life!
On the Blog:
January started off strong with quite a few blog posts! I will admit, I didn’t get everything posted which I wanted to, but so is life, right? The discussion in the comment section has started off strongly this year, as well. I hope I can keep that momentum going throughout the entire year.
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
- Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery
- Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Death by Tsundoku Series Posts
- #AnneReadAlong2017: The End of Anne Giveaway
- Building Better Book Clubs: An Insider Glance
- Solving for Tsundoku: Embrace the DNF
- #AnneReadAlong2017: The End of Anne
Top Ten Tuesday
- Top 10 New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2017
- Top 10 Bookish Resolutions for 2018
- Ten Books I Really Liked But Can’t Remember Anything About
Blog Goal Updates:
- 1/3 of blog posts are reviews each month: 0/12 (0%)
- New sets of discussion questions: 1/12 (8%)
- Anne of Green Gables discussion questions
- Total series posts: 4/36 (11%)
I just barely missed my goal for total book reviews this month, coming in at only 25% of my posts were reviews. I have a few other reviews written an in the wings, but due to sickness I never had the focus or energy to get them posted. With a strong start to reading this year, it should be easy to improve that goal!
#AnneReadAlong2017 is over. Wow. I cannot believe that our Anne of Green Gables series read along is over already! I feel like we just started it. To end things with a BANG Jane and I hosted a giveaway featuring an AOGG tote, print, and leather-bound copy of Anne of Green Gables. A HUGE congratulations to Shouni @ The Book Portal who won!!
…Wait, there are no other projects on the horizon?! I am both excited and disappointed this is how my Blog Projects section is ended. I am getting married on March 25th, so a lot is happening in my life outside the blog. I don’t plan on taking on any new projects before April. Just focusing on reading, developing good blog habits, and working on achieving my goals. I’m still pushing myself, just trying not to overdo it!
What an amazing way to start 2018! With so many amazing 5-star reads, wonderful posts, and great feedback from the community I ready and refreshed. Let’s make 2018 the best year yet!
What do you think?
- What amazing things happened to you in January? What reads would you recommend?
- What was your favorite Death by Tsundoku post this month? Why?
- What non-fiction books do you recommend I read ASAP?
- Do you aim for a percentage of certain types of posts on your blog? If so, what is it? If not, why not?