Friday, February 3

January 2012 - Wrap-Up

This was an awesomely fantastic reading month for me. I've managed to kick off the new year with, hmm insert a creative metaphor here, and that's what I've done for the first month of a year. Which is good, because other aspects of January kind of sucked. But, moving on to the positive, things will be better ahead, and some other fantastic changes will be happening very soon too - which will likely affect how much I will be reading in the next couple of months - likely reading less. So I got a head start. . This month has also been quite the Canadiana month for me as I read (and bought) a lot of books by Canadian authors and/or Canadian setting.  Also this month had a Virginia Woolf theme to it, unintentional, but I found our birthdays are on the same day! Which I think is very cool I share a birthday with one of the greatest literary women authors of the 20th century. So I also dedicated some time in reading and  erm allowing her book to follow me home. So overall, a good month in books.

This month also brought some changes to my blog - my old template is gone, and I went with a more generic one, provided by blogger, and added my own flair to it. I have to say, I love it. The old template was gorgeous, I loved the old book/scroll feel to it. But to many issues, and then something happened with the host and I didn't want t have to deal with those issues any more. It wasn't a custom template, it was a free one anyone can get, so I changed it, and it worked out great. Other bloggers still have a similar background as me, but I'm happy to be able to customize and play with it to match my personality and the personality of the blog more. Still playing with some formatting, and a few times I've deleted and saved thigns I didn't mean to do (like my reviews by year, oh that was bad, oh so bad. I had to find a cached version and copy and paste it and... yeah. So I plan on saving a hard copy now. Learn from mistakes.) I'm also loving the threaded comments. I'm able to respond to people easier now. Before I waited a while to see if others would post, then address everyone in one post. Now I can address every one individually and I'm better (so far) at responding to everyone's comments. And, now that I've rambled on more than I intended to (I wrote this in word, before I posted it in the morning, after a nice large cup of coffee! :D), here's my month wrap up below!

The Books

I doubt I'll be able to read as many books as I did this month every month - and although I am impressed with the amount I read this month, I don't want to read that much each month - well I don't want to feel I have to read that much, might be a better description. To reach my personal reading goal of the year I need to read about 10 - 12 books a month - which is a good pace. This month just got be way ahead, so in the upcoming months, where I may not have time to read a lot I've made up for it. Anyways, the books! I did read some great books this month, and quite a variety of them too. I read a couple collections of short stories, a collection of poetry, a book that was on my TBR list since 2004-5 (bought it in university still haven't read it till now). I finished a series I started when I was 13, and read a book I highly anticipated as being fantastic, that actually wasn't. My favourite book this month was Virginia Woolf's Selected Short Stories. Anil's Ghost, A Long, Long Way, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, and The Dream World are also highly recommend - as all were fantastic reads. My least favourite was Alone in the Classroom. Followed by Transitions, which was the biggest disappointment for me as well

The Challenges

I'm very happy with my challenges this month, and have a great head start on most of my challenges.  As usually, but unintentional, the one challenge to get control of Mount TBR is lower than it should be. I've made a tiny dent into it, but wanted to make a nice big dent - mostly it's because books follow me home, and I read them instead/it grows. I also finished a challenge already! Which was the Canadian Award Winners Challenge, where I read 5 books. I enjoyed the challenge, and it made me read some of the books that have been on my TBR list for a while, including Childhood. It also made my TBR list bigger as I saw a lot of books I may want to read in the future on the list of possible books to read too. I'm still reading books in the Canadian Reading Challenge V as well. Although I finished it back in October (it runs, until July 1, 2012). I'm now up to 30/13 books. So below is my challenge progress, and again, fairly happy with it.  I think I'll finish most of my challenges this year, and finish them early, but many of them of higher levels than what I choose - so ones that I finish early, I may aim for the next level. But I was careful this year to do things that would be challenging, but not over whelming, knowing I can aim or higher later.
Completed Challenges:
Canadian Award Winners Challenge - 5/5 COMPLETED January 24, 2012


Countries Visited

This month, I managed to visit a few countries including Canada (British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), I also visited Newfoundland - which was its own country during the time period of the book. Other countries I visited were, USA, England, Ireland, Belgium, Sri Lanka. I also journeyed to the Pegasus galaxy, visiting a few planets there too!

Books That Followed Me Home
If you saw my recent post, you know a lot followed me home. And unintentionally (sort of) I had mini themes for books this month including Canadiana, Virginia Woolf and WWI.

A Long, Long Way - Sebastian Barry (EBook)
Through the Black Spruce - Joseph Boyden
The Gate of Angels - Penelope Fitzgerald
Offshore People - Penelope Fitzgerald
WoT 13- Towers of Midnight - Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Light Lifting - Alexander MacLeod
The Last Salt Gift of Blood - Alistair MacLeod
On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan
The Soldier's Return - Alan Monaghan (Ebook)
Anil's Ghost - Michael Ondaajte
The Dream World - Alison Pick
Irish Country Village - Patrick Taylor
Guns of August - Barbara Tuchman (Non-Fiction, EBook)
Storm Glass - Jane Urquhart
The Return of the Soldier - Rebecca West (EBook)
Between the Acts - Virginia Woolf (EBook)
Night and Day - Virginia Woolf (EBook)
Selected Short Stories - Virginia Woolf (EBook)
The Voyage Out - Virginia Woolf (EBook)
The Years - Virginia Woolf (EBook)
The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai - Ruiyan Xu
Fauna - Alissa York

Harvest Moon - Mercedes Lackey, Michelle Sagara, Cameron Haley
The Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories - Edited by Jane Urquhart, various authors

And that was my January - a great blast off to the new year. I hope all of you were able to have a good month and read some great books. Happy reading!


  1. Congrats on finishing a challenge so early in the year. So far I just know I haven't failed any, meaning I haven't fallen so far behind that I can't, yet, catch up. *laughs* But I loved my January too: isn't it a great feeling, even if you think you can't sustain the pace through the year, to have gotten it off to what-feels-like a fantastic start?! Is there something in particular that you're looking forward to reading/doing in February?

    1. Thanks! It was a great challenge, and I found a few Canadian authors I've read in the past, that I never knew had one awards. It is a great feeling to have gotten off to a fantastic start. Glad to hear you got a great start too.

      I'm hoping to read the next book in the Women of the Otherworlds series and read Shannon by Delaney - those are my two goals to read, I have others, but they'll likly changed due to my mood. What about you?

    2. Did you know there is a challenge for the Women of the Otherworld series? Starts March 1st with Bitten and stretches one book/month until the last in the series is published next year...

      My goals are pretty general, to make progress with the ridiculously high stack of books from the library to my right, and to do the same with the kinda-ridiculously high stack of they-live-here books to my left. Problem is that I'm enjoying the stacks get bigger while I'm enjoying my current readsssss...

    3. I didn't know there was a challenge for that. Neat. Although I'm already far into the series, I may check it out. I'm close to catching up (I still need to buy the last one, but waiting till it's released in Paperback).

      I also have that problem, it seems for every book I read, about 5 more replace it in the TBR pile.

  2. Oooh, the collection of stories by Virginia Woolf sure looks interesting. I haven't read anything by her yet, but she's on my list. :)

    1. Oh you really should try her out, this is a good one to start at.

  3. It sounds like you had a wonderful month!

    1. In reading I did, I'm hoping February is just as good.