Ah, February. You were so blissfully short. You see, January was one of the longest months of my life. It dragged on and on and I thought I would never see the other side of winter, mild one that it is. Then February came and went like it was nothing and I’ve never been so happy to see rainy, miserable March. I don’t know that I’ve ever so eagerly awaited spring and summer, even when I was a student. I can’t wait for warmth and walks in the sunshine and a garden on my balcony and trips to the beach.
All in all, though, I would say this was a lovely month for reading, if not for reviewing.
1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville – I conquered Moby Dick and now I see cultural references to it everywhere I look. I feel like my eyes have been opened to something I was missing before.
2. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon- I’d been meaning to read this one for forever and it was worth the wait. I really enjoyed it, though I don’t know if it’s really one of my favorite novels. I had some problems with it, structurally, though I loved the story. I do think that Chabon is one of the most talented and interesting writers publishing today and I would like to read everything he writes.
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – This was easily my least favorite book of the month. I read it for book club and while I enjoyed our discussion, I probably never would have finished this book on my own. I know it’s a lot of people’s favorites, but it just wasn’t for me.
4. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown – I didn’t expect to love this one as much as I did, but I just adored it. I thought the sisters were wonderful characters and I loved how much of a presence the town had. I am also very excited to see what Eleanor Brown writes next. I think she’s a wonderful writer.
5. The Amnesiac by Sam Taylor – This one was a recommendation from Ana from eons ago, because Philip Larkin plays a big role in the novel. I liked the book, but it took me a long time to get through it. I can appreciate the very Victorian tropes on this side of finishing the novel, but I’ll admit it frustrated me at times and I was a little disappointed by the “big reveal.”
6. Vita Nova by Louise Gluck – As much as I love Louis Gluck, this poetry collection did not work for me.
7. Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey – This, on the other hand, was poetry perfection.
8. Trip of the Tongue: Cross-Country Travels in Search of America’s Languages by Elizabeth Little – This is the book I broke the TBR Dare for! But… I couldn’t resist. I hope CB James will be able to forgive me. I have to admit, it was totally worth it. I really loved this book.
On the Blog and Around the Blogosphere
The Read More/Blog More Poetry event went swimmingly again. Kelly and I would like to do more throughout the month to promote it, but I think February got away from both of us. That being said, we still had an excellent turnout and I loved reading everyone’s posts. Slowly, poetry is becoming more and more prominent in my life and on this blog. I am reading it more and I feel the need to post about it more. I hope you’re okay with that. You can find the wrap up post and Mr. Linky for this month’s Read More/Blog More Poetry Event at Kelly’s blog.
There were a lot of intelligent, fascinating discussions going on around the blogosphere this month, but I mostly stayed out of them, except for a comment here or there.
Maggie Steifvater’s post on book reviews (“The Only Thing I’m Going to Say About Book Bloggers in 2012”) ignited a passionate and excellent discussion on various book blogs. Some of my favorite posts about the subject:
Nymeth from Things Mean A Lot in the post “On Objectivity, Again.”
Iris from Iris on Books in the post “On Celebrating Subjectivity”
Bettina from Liburuak in the post “The Review Continuum”
In My Life
I finished a huge freelance fact checking project that I’m glad to have behind me. I’m always grateful for the experience and the extra work, but it was a lot of extra work and not a lot of sleep. I’ve been a much happier (if much lazier) person since I finished. I went home for the weekend last weekend and I really loved my stay, though it was so short. I miss my family a lot and I hope they’ll be able to come visit us soon.
Exciting news: my sisters are coming into the city to go to the Hunger Games with me the weekend it comes out! I’m so excited!
Looking Ahead to March
Now that I’ve completely destroyed the TBR Dare (What? I gave it a valiant effort!), my reading seems a little bit more wide open. I’m currently in the middle of a ridiculous YA novel that is a lot of fun, though I’m embarrassed to say I’m enjoying it. Obviously, not because it is YA, but because it is just so cheesy. After that, I will be reading Quiet by Susan Cain for my book club. My goal is to read two books off my shelf for every other book I read, so that means I’ll need to pick 4 from my shelves to make up for those two.
I’d really like to get more reviews up, but I’m also preparing a lot of posts for April, which is National Poetry Month.
I’m going to a book launch party for Kevin Young’s new book The Grey Album this week. I’m really looking forward to it!
Well, I think that’s enough rambling. I hope everyone has an amazing March! (It’s almost spring!)