2.09.2015

January Reading Roundup: with numbers!

I know this is a boring and pedestrian book-blog thing to do . . . but I actually really like reading these from other bloggers, so here ya go.

I read fifteen (15) books in January. If you're my Facebook friend, you know that I said I read sixteen. I WAS WRONG I AM SO SORRY. How can you ever forgive me, right? I was counting a book that I was sure I was going to finish by the end of the month . . . but I finished it on February 1st. Ah well. You know what they say about counting your books before they've . . . hatched, eh?

Anyway. Here are the books I read in January, the serious as well as the fluff, in the order in which I read them, and with links to Goodreads:

Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey
Fields of Blood, Karen Armstrong
The Professor and the Madman, Simon Winchester
On Immunity, Eula Biss
Breakfast at Tiffany's And Other Stories, Truman Capote
Franny and Zooey, J. D. Salinger
Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine
Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl
Spiral Path, Katharine Kimbriel
Nothing More to Lose, Najwan Darwish
Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear
The Duty of Delight, Dorothy Day
The Wandering Falcon, Jamil Ahmad
The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo
Flatland, Edwin Abbott

If there are titles anyone is interested in hearing me talk about at greater length, just add a comment and I'll do so in another post.

In numbers, last month I read:

46% women
26% authors of color
40% fiction; 47% nonfiction; 13% poetry
20% ebooks; 80% Real Books
20% books I would characterize as "fluff;" 80% books I would characterize as "meaty."

I read 9 books published in the 21st century (though one of these was written in the 20th and only published later), 5 books published in the 20th century, and 1 book published in the 19th century.

Books I loved (and links to my full reviews of them):

If the sole criterion is Just Plain Loving It, my favorite book last month was Franny and Zooey.

If the criterion is sheer beauty, my favorite was Nothing More to Lose. In terms of cultural importance, however, definitely Citizen took the cake. Have you read it yet? Read it. 

Books I did not love:

Maisie Dobbs was a huge disappointment to me and I wouldn't recommend it to a lover of period mysteries. Not at all. The characterization was awful, the background was full of anachronisms, and she solved the day through the power of her intuition and singing. Ugh.

Spiral Path was mediocre, but at least not so disappointing; I went in expecting a fluffy YA fantasy, and that's exactly what I got. The premise here is supposed to be: It's Little House on the Prairie! But with MAGIC!

Sadly this installment wasn't as fun as the prior two books, so I doubt I'll continue with the series (unless the next one, when it comes out, seems like it will pick up a bit). I like my fluff have fewer plot holes, or if holes it must have, at least to be so egregiously full of them that it's laughable. What I'm saying is that I like Quality or Drivel, and Spiral Path produced neither. Sigh.

Plans for February:

Eh. While I'd like to bump my reading of authors of color up to 30% (my goal), my only real plan this month is to read down my TBR books a bit. I reorganized my shelves last night and obsessively put a sticky note flag on every TBR book and realized I had a lot more of these than I thought. I'm therefore planning to conserve my book-buying dollar and buy only ebooks (because I know I don't have the impulse control to stop, so I'm not even gonna try!) and books that I "need" for BookRiot's Read Harder Challenge. And maybe more authors of color, so I have a bit more choice when browsing my shelves / ebook library.

"Need." I know, I know . . . but BOOKS!