February Wrap-Up and a Look to March

by Kim on March 4, 2013 · 25 comments

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February is the shortest month of the year, but I still managed to finish as many books as I did in January. I call that a success! And for the most part, I really enjoyed the books that I read, getting in a good mix of review copies and my own books.

I’m hoping to read and blog more in March. For February, my goal was three posts per week. I’m upping that number to four, which I think will be doable since I’ve for a little backlog of reviews (mostly fiction) to keep things going here. I think March is also going to be fabulous reading month — I have some fun books to look forward to.

But anyway, on to the lists!

Books Read in February

  1. Sepinwall, Alan: The Revolution Was Televised (nonfiction)
  2. Maaharaj, Rabindranath: The Amazing Absorbing Boy (fiction)
  3. Gee, Alison Singh: Where the Peacocks Sing (memoir)
  4. Ackerman, Diane: One Hundred Names for Love (memoir)
  5. Miller, Madeline: The Song of Achilles (fiction)
  6. Parnell, Sean: Outlaw Platoon (memoir)
  7. Harkness, Deborah: A Discovery of Witches (fiction/audio book)

Books I Want to Read in March

  • Possession by A.S. Byatt for a readalong co-hosted with Lu (Regular Rumination)
  • Lessons from the Heartland by Barbara Miner, a book about the history of the Milwaukee school system that I’m reviewing for a freelance piece
  • Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier, a look at how being able to “crunch vast collections of information” will impact the world
  • The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan, the story of the women of Oak Ridge, Tennesse and their role in the Manhattan Project
  • Historia, Historia by Eleanor Stanford, short essay collection by a Peace Corps volunteer about her time in Cape Verde
  • Capital of the World by Charlene Mires for a TLC Book Tour
  • We’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down by Rachael Hanel, a memoir of a gravedigger’s daughter from Waseca, Minnesota
  • Does Jesus Really Love Me? by Jeffrey Chu, a memoir/investigation about the “intersection of faith, politics, and sexuality in Christian America”

Elsewhere on the Blog

I shared some of my favorite Tumblr mash-ups and wrote about bribing librarians to pick out books.

2013 Goals Review

  • Essay a Day, Take Two: This went better this month, but still not ideal. I gave up on The Atlantic Ocean by Andrew O’Hagen (the essays individually were good, but I was bored with them collected) and started on Paper Trails by Pete Dexter. Again, I like the essays — mostly newspaper and magazine columns — individually, but when I read one after the other I get distracted. I may need collections with multiple authors to keep my attention.
  • 12 Ebooks and 12 Audiobooks: (2/12) A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness | (2/12) The Revolution Was Televised by Alan Sepinwall
  • Balance Books In/Books Out: I’m currently at 27 books in (I KNOW!) and only 17 books out… so, a balance of +10. I might be able to read/donate 10 books in March, we’ll see.
  • Balance Review Copies (40), My Books (30), and Borrowed Books (30): After this month I am at 38 percent Review Copies (5 books), 54 percent My Books (7 books), and 8 percent Borrowed Books (1 book). Not too shabby.
  • Leave One Comment Per Day: I have been doing pretty well at this. I use an online task list manager (Astrid) to keep track of my to-dos. I added a daily “Leave a comment” reminder to my list, which has been helping.
  • Read My Shelf of Doom: I didn’t read any Shelf of Doom books this month, but I have Possession on tap for next month.
PHOTO CREDIT: ROB WARDE VIA FLICKR

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane March 4, 2013 at 5:34 am

Wow lots of memoirs in Feb. I enjoy them as we’ll.

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Charlie March 4, 2013 at 7:17 am

Having a backlog of reviews is a good way to start your new schedule, takes the pressure off a bit. Well done on the goals, you’re doing pretty good, and the stats are always interesting. Here’s to a good March – reading wise and the schedule.

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Thanks! I think keeping track of goals monthly is keeping me on track better than I might be otherwise.

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Lynn @ Books on the Bay March 4, 2013 at 11:42 am

I noticed The Glass Castle is on your shelf of doom – it’s so good, one of my favorites for sure! Sounds like you’ve made great progress this month!

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm

I’ve put off reading that one for so long, and I have no idea why! I think the dysfunctional family memoir scares me a little bit, but I’m definitely going to get to it.

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Vasilly March 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm

You’re doing pretty well. I’m also hoping to post four times a week which is a drastic change from my usual 1-2 times a week. Now I’m curious about Lessons from the Heartland since I love reading books about education. I hope you have a good month.

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Lessons from the Heartland ended up being fascinating. My boyfriend is from the Milwaukee area, so he helped fill in some gaps and made the book seem real in a way it wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ll have a review of that one up next week, maybe. It depends when the site I sent it to puts it online.

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Nikki Steele March 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I am literally taking a break at the library to read up on my blogs and have Ackerman’s One Hundred Names of Love right next to me to check out. So looking forward to reading it after your review.

Good luck on the four posts a week!

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:08 pm

You will love it! It’s so beautifully written. I want to get more of her science writing.

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Emma @ Words And Peace March 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

great month. I want to read your # 4 and 5!
here is my own Feb recap: http://wordsandpeace.com/2013/03/01/2013-february-wrap-up/

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Both were awesome!

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susan March 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm

It looks like you had a good February reading and will have a good March as well. I’m interested in “The Girls of Atomic City.” That one could be fascinating. I’ll see what you think. cheers. http://www.thecuecard.com/

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I’m excited about that one. I think I’ve read some books about the Manhattan Project before — the names escape me at the moment — but this one has a new perspective I’m excited about.

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Alex in Leeds March 5, 2013 at 6:01 am

Big Data sounds rather intriguing, I do like a good tech book. :)

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I’m enjoying it so far — it’s a touch repetitive, but the anecdotes more than make up for that.

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Jeanne March 5, 2013 at 7:41 am

Are you going to write about The Song of Achilles? I loved it.

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Yes! Tomorrow (Friday)!

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Jennifer March 5, 2013 at 9:49 am

Lovely month of reading :) I just finished Historia, Historia and I just started Capital of the World…great minds!

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Great minds indeed! I can’t wait to hear what you think of both.

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Belle Wong March 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm

What a great reading month! After a very good start to February, I started too many books (I was just too excited after months of too many deadlines and very little reading time) and since most of them were borrowed, I had to return them before I could finish them. Did much better with non-fiction reads, for some reason. I’ve always wanted to read Possession, but if I say I’m doing a readalong, I probably won’t be able to keep up!

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I do that all the time — try to read everything and then end up reading nothing. I’ve been trying to cut back on that, but I’m only intermittently successful.

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maphead March 5, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Big Data sounds quite promising as does Does Jesus Really Love Me.
Happy Reading!!

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Big Data seems right up your alley. I’m hoping to review it next week!

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Buried In Print March 8, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I really enjoyed The Amazing Absorbing Boy and it also inspired me to make a pilgrimage to some of the various Toronto settings; and, okay, it also inspired me to buy a bunch more of his books, yup, it did.

I like the way you’re tracking your goals for the year: all about balances rather than the details (though they’re there!). Good thought!

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Kim March 9, 2013 at 9:01 am

That’s so cool! It did make me wish I could visit Toronto to see the things he was talking about. Do you have other books of his to recommend?

I think the thing with reading goals is balance — it’s impossible to meet all of them, so it’s a matter of meeting the spirit if not the technicality.

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