Thoughts on my January 2022 Reading

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I felt as if I didn’t read much last month. It was a pleasant surprise to check my notes and discover I’d read 17 books. Last week, my friend and I had a laugh over this article about reading spreadsheets. We’ve tracked our reading in a shared one for a long time (after years of each having our own) and use it to recommend books to each other and comment on our reading.

This year I adjusted what I track; I’m curious about publication dates and number of pages. Do I read only recent books or is there a range? I like big books. While I still have this bias in digital books, is that actually true of what I read? Thanks to my data, I can attest that in January, the average publication date of books I read was 2015 and with an average page length of 351, the shortest was 100, and the longest book only 432.

The Book List

Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews (2012), 388 pages, The Edge Series (#4), Urban Fantasy/Paranormal, reread, library book. As I mentioned last month, this is a good series. Perhaps it’s not as popular as some of their others but I like the world building in a different way than the Innkeeper Chronicles.

The Wild Girls: Plus … by Ursula K LeGuin (2011), 100 pages, Fiction, library book. I checked this out on a whim wanting something different and short but still LeGuin. “The Wild Girls” is a fascinating short story with lots to unpack. I also enjoyed the essay from Harpers (2008) “Staying Awake While We Read”, which I don’t know if I’d read before in other collections. There were also a handful of poems and an interview. I highly recommend this for the variety and depth of LeGuin’s writing in a mere 100 pages!

True Dead by Faith Hunter (2021), Jane Yellowrock (#14), 384 pages, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal, library book. This is an interesting series mostly because of all the character/plot threads that are in play. This newest book was published after my tear through the series last March. In the ten months between finishing Shattered Bonds and picking up a copy at the library, some of the details were forgotten. Thankfully there were reminders sprinkled through that helped make the story enjoyable.

Dune by Frank Herbert (1965), 412 pages, Science Fiction, reread, library ebook. I checked this out because we tried to watch the new movie and I was incredibly confused, the opening scenes didn’t match what I remembered of the story. It didn’t help that the laptop we were using crashed, so we haven’t yet made it past the first 30 minutes or so. As I was rereading it was surprising to me how fuzzy my memory was for this story, I last read it in 2006. It was interesting that I my recollection of many details wrong and it almost felt as if I was reading it for the first time. I don’t know if I really care enough to continue in the series. As it just received a slew of BAFTA nominations, I think we will try to watch the entire movie.

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris (2018), 336 pages.
A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris (2020), 291 pages.
The Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris (2021), 304 pages.
Gunnie Rose Series (#1-3), Urban Fantasy/Alternate History, Library ebooks. While overall this series could be a bit predictable, I enjoyed it. It had been on my to be read (TBR) list for a while and my friend reread it at the end of last year and nudged me to give it a read. I’m happy I did.

Cursed Luck by Kelley Armstrong (2021), 364 pages.
High Jinx by Kelley Armstrong (2021), 349 pages
Cursed Luck Series (#1-2), Urban Fantasy, Library ebooks.
This was a light series and is set in the same world as “Goddess of Summer Love”. A novella that I read in Shards and Ashes, last month. It was nice to have more of the characters back stories, and watch them develop. I hope there will be more.

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong (2016), 403 pages.
A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong (2017), 416 pages.
This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong (2018), 432 pages.
Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong (2019), 384 pages.
Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong (2020), 368 pages.
A Stranger in Town by Kelley Armstrong (2021), 356 pages.

Casey Duncan Series (#1-6), Mystery, Library books & ebooks. The first book took a little for me to get into, but the series had come with a strong recommendation so I persevered. Once I did, and I’m thankful for library e-books! This is a mystery series that feels like a desert island, but it’s actually set off the grid in the wilds of Canada. Honestly reading when the windchill read -11°F helped the story.

How the Other Half Eats : the Untold Story of Food and Inequality in America  by Priya Fielding-Singh (2021), 326 pages, Sociology; Nutrition; Public Health, Library book. It turns out I have a lot to say on this topic and may write that in a future post. The shortest version is I grew up on the edge of food insecurity, even if I didn’t fully recognize it at the time. But it may be why today I’m notorious in the family for my diligence to meal planning, budgeting, and trying to avoid highly processed foods. With all that in mind, I’m curious how others make choices on food and why. Fielding-Singh’s readable overview shares the story of modern society, food, and inequality in one small — yet diverse — slice of America.

Boundaries : all-new tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey (editor) (2021), 354 pages, Fantasy, Short Story Anthology (#15), Library Book. I still enjoy the stories written in the world of Valdemar. One day I’ll write about challenge of feeling seen in books and discovering the author or their partner was/isn’t the best of people. For now I’ll keep reading these stories.

Current Reads

I didn’t finish most of what I started reading last month. In fact, many of those were returned to the library after I removed bookmarks at chapter two. There’s nothing wrong with them, I just am not sure what I want to read right now. There’s a whole new batch of books that I’ve started. As always I have a few books I’d like to finish and review, but my main goal is to enjoy what I read.

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