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February Wrap-Up and a Look to March

by Kim on March 3, 2012 · 21 comments

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I had a really good month of reading in February. Things were a bit slow in the beginning, but picked up after I took a little blogging break. By the end of the month I was able to finish 11 books, for a total of about 3,784 pages:

  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (essays/memoir)
  • Avatar The Last Airbender: The Lost Adventures by Bryan Konietzkio (fiction, graphic novel)
  • Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku (nonfiction)
  • Raised Right by Alissa Harris (memoir)
  • Quiet by Susan Cain (nonfiction)
  • My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster (memoir)
  • The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey (fiction)
  • My Life at Liz Claiborne by Jerome Chazen (memoir)
  • In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (narrative nonfiction)
  • Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckhoff (narrative nonfiction)
  • Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl (memoir)

And that makes 19 total books for the year, which still surprises me. I think part of the reason I was able to read so much this month was that I didn’t travel anywhere. After being gone a lot around Christmas and the New Year, I haven’t left my small town in about two months. I’ve liked that, but I think I’ll be doing more traveling soon which will probably mean I’ll be reading less.

And Looking to March…

One of the things I like about keep tracking book stats (I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of notes about every book that I finish) is that it helps me have an accurate picture of what I’m reading. Around the middle of February, I started to feel really grumpy about how much “required” reading I was doing. I felt like I was only reading review copies and books for the Indie Lit Awards, which, as it turns out, isn’t a true assessment of what I’ve been reading at all.

Based on my stats, only eight of the 19 books I’ve read this year have had some sort of obligation tied to them — two review copies, one professional review, and five for the Indie Lit Awards. In fact, I’ve read very, very few review copies all year; a ton of what I’ve read has come from the library.

That’s nice, but I do hate having books I accepted for review consideration sitting around and judging me (you know they’re on the shelves, grumpy that they haven’t been read yet). So I think for March I’m going to try and focus on catching up with those books (which shouldn’t be hard, since they all sound pretty great):

Outside of that, I’m not sure what else is on my plate for this month. I went on an online book buying binge about a week ago, so I’m anxiously awaiting those packages and the books they contain. I’ll try to do a big post about it when they come… so excited!

What are your reading plans for March? Any books you’re really excited to read, or books you think I should move to the top of my pile?

Photo Credit: Rob Warde via Flickr

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Emma @ Words And Peace March 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Great month! Here is my wrap-up: http://wordsandpeace.com/2012/03/01/february-wrap-up/
in March, I need to read Henry V, and a book on Guatemala for reading challenges. I’m also reading books set in Denmark, the Maldive islands, and Italy

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Kim March 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm

How fun! You’re going to get to visit so many cool places in reading this month.

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Kailana March 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I look forward to seeing what you bought! I have a few books I would like to buy, but I am putting them off because I have too much else I really want to read.

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Kim March 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I was doing a really good job not buying new books, but I just went on this binge a couple weeks ago and ordered a ton (well, I think nine total).

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Diane@BibliophileBytheSea March 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm

You are off to a great start–19 books in 2 months is great. Have a nice weekend.

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Kim March 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm

It is pretty good, faster than I’ve been reading for awhile!

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Tanya Patrice March 3, 2012 at 8:45 pm

That’s a great start to the year! For March, I’m going to concentrate on reading for the 2 challenges that I haven’t started yet – they are just weighing on my mind (and 1 of them is my own challenge)!

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Kim March 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Oh, yes, challenges. I need to read a couple of books for the TBR Challenge this month to stay on top of my Shelf of Doom.

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softdrink March 3, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Grumpy books are the worst! And did you think about how those books are going to feel when the new kids arrive at the house? ;-D

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Kim March 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm

They’re going to be extra grumpy… new book envy and all of that!

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Suzanne March 4, 2012 at 10:53 am

I like your term “grumpy books” — I have a few (ok, a lot) of those on my shelves as well.
India Becoming is definitely going on my to-read list; I love reading about India and I hope to one day be brave enough to visit.

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Kim March 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I’ve been curious about that book since I first read about it in like October, I think. I was so glad a publicist e-mailed and offered to send a copy!

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Vasilly March 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm

My reading plans for March is to make a dent in my review pile. :-) So far, I’m off to a great start. I’m on my second ARC of the month. Good luck with your goals.

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Kim March 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Nice! I took a break (I know, I know, already!) from the review books for one of my new books, but a review book is next off the pile :)

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Lu March 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I’m reading Quiet by Susan Cain for my book club this month. I hadn’t been terribly excited about it, but I heard her TED Talk was excellent, so I’m looking forward to it a little bit more now.

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Kim March 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I liked the first couple of sections of Quiet quite a bit, but the last two sections (about the last third of the book, probably) was a little more self-help than I was interested in reading. The first parts though, about the culture and biology of personality, were fascinating.

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Amy March 6, 2012 at 7:38 am

I need to try to read some review copies this month as well, and Devil in the Grove is on my shelf too :) Indie Lit Award reading killed me in February but I’m glad to report that I got them all read. (Some were painful…)

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Kim March 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Indie Lit reading took a lot of my February reading too. None of mine were painful, but they were pretty long!

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Buried In Print March 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

That’s one of the things that’s surprised me about keeping a reading log too; I can’t count the number of times that I’ve thought that one thing was true about my reading and then have gone to see if that was actually the case, and it wasn’t.

This happens regularly for me when it comes to making an effort to include a new element in my reading; it feels like I’m constantly thinking about it, whatever the “new” thing is, so surely it will take centre stage in the log, I think; but then, when I actually look at the log, it’s really just a presence, not at all an overwhelmingly evident effort. Somehow the idea of it got so much bigger than the reality of it, y’know?

I hope both the stack of new books and the catch-up reading that you’re planning leave you feeling good at the end of March!

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Kim March 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I love being able to look back at a log to see if the thing I think about my reading is true. And I totally know what you mean, when you start to think about one facet it seems to dominate all the time.

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