Hi there… thought I’d try something new for 2019 … a monthly reading report. Not sure what I’m doing here but at least I’m doing something, right? The topic is . . . books!!! Why not… this is a book blog, after all.
Here’s the plan. I want to list my books attempted for this month, then as the month goes by, comment on them and post videos or whatever else I find about them. In this sense, this page is a living document for January 2019 – in other words, I give myself permission to write on, add to, change, and have fun with this page all of January 2019. When the month ends, the page is done, and I’m on to the next one. Sounds like a plan.
One thing I’ve decided is that my blog doesn’t have to be like everyone else’s. I’m a creative individual (I expect you are too, since you’re probably human) and my blog will be my fun place to play and doesn’t have to follow anyone else’s plans. That’s why these “living documents” I’m creating are not set in stone but rather are flowing with the rivers of thought that pass through my mind.
Let’s get started…
My Haiku of the Month
Bleak landscapes of white
Drifting everywhere I go
Books I plan to read during January, 2019…
☆ – I own a copy of the book
☆☆ – I own a copy and am currently reading the book
✓ – Finished
PSRC = 2019 PopSugar Reading Challenge
✓ Recent Fiction: The 7+1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton – [PSRC #39: A book revolving around a puzzle or game] . . . I’m planning to read this as it was chosen as our January read by the Goodreads Ultimate PopSugar Reading Challenge group, which I’m a member of again this year. I know it is a unique book format, and I’ve already purchased a (pricey) copy of this for my Kindle. It was published on September 18, 2018. 438 pages.
Finished 1/4/19. My Goodreads review.
Here’s a short video of the author. Intriguing, right??
✓ Recent Fiction: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern – [PSRC #19: A book told from multiple character POVs.] It was published in 2011. I’ve been planning to read this for a while, and have had the audiobook since July 15, 2016. It is about time I read it. For the last few years I haven’t listened to audiobooks… and I do want to get them back into my life because I’ll be buying a van and traveling during the coming year, and hopefully years to come. Right now, however, I don’t have that van that will play Audible.com files for me, so I’ll have to listen while exercising. I have an exercise bike and go for 1/2 hour at a time while listening to audiobooks. This audiobook is 13 hours and 40 minutes, so I’ll have to exercise 27 days out of the month in January to get through this book. I can do that! 387 pages.
Finished 1/14/19. My Goodreads review.
Here’s an interview with the author, Erin Morgenstern.
✓ Classic: Beowulf, by Anonymous – [PSRC #23: A book set in Scandinavia] … I’m glad this came up. I’ve been wanting to read Beowulf for a long time. I think I saw the 2007 movie. Maybe, maybe not? But I will want to see it (again?) after reading the classic record of this long-time Scandanavian legend. One can only wonder how much of this is based on fact, and how much became fictionalized over time. It started as oral history, and passed through many generations before being written, so accuracy might have been lost many centuries ago. Still, it is a wonderful story. 213 pages.
Finished 1/5/19. My Goodreads review.
This is a video class on the history of Beowulf:
✓ Nonfiction: Year of No Sugar, by Eve O. Schuab – [PSRC #10: A book with “pop,” or “sugar,” or “challenge” in the title.] I need this book! It is about a family that gives up sugar, for the most part, for an entire year. It is one of those contrived sort of books that came into being because someone decided to undertake something unusual and momentous. Though I’m not a big fan of contrived books, I think this idea, to give up sugar for a year, is awesome.
This is actually a reread for me. I read it several years ago as well. This time I want to read and give up sugar at the same time. I’ve identified sugar as the thing that contributes most to my eczema, a skin condition that is a plague upon humanity. I’ve pretty much conquered the eczema now thanks to the Lord God who who guides me, and I don’t consume a lot of sugar anymore… but when I do, the itchies come up again and I need to try this sugar-less living. I’ve also learned that sugar stimulates the appetite and it is easier to diet without consuming any sugar. It is worth a try – I do have some weight to lose! 303 pages.
Finished 1/10/19. My Goodreads review.
Here’s a speech by the author, Eve Schaub:
✓ Nonfiction: Volcanic Momentum, by Jordan Ring – [PSRC #37: A book with a two word title.] Very interesting! This is a productivity book written by a Christian. I wonder what possible difference that could make. Productivity is productivity, right? So, I need to discover what’s in here. It is one of those books that feels like a mystery to me… and the mystery is – “What’s in there?” I want to know. 176 pages.
Finished 1/11/19. My Goodreads review.
Here’s a book review I found on YouTube – with no spoilers.
And here’s a podcast about the same book.
✓ YA: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green – [PSRC #5: A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads] . . . it is about time I made time in my busy non-schedule to read this uber-popular YA book. It was published on January 10th, 2012, a long time ago. The author’s success is very well-known on Booktube and everywhere.
I originally purchased the book over a year ago as I intended to read it in 2017, but I never got to it . . . so January 2019 is the time. This is now a movie and I haven’t watched it… I will watch after reading the book. 313 pages.
Finished 1/17/19. My Goodreads review.
✓ Art: The Art of Whimsical Lettering, by Joanne Sharpe – I’ve already read (and used) most of this art book but I’d really like to finish it and do a review of it so this is definitely on my TBR list for January 2019. This book kept jumping out at me (well, not really jumping, but it kept attracting me) at various places until I finally bought it, then I took a few classes from the author in 2017. What a great experience. I love to review art books on this blog. 136 pages.
Finished 1/17/19. My Goodreads review.
Here’s a video showing Joanne Sharpe, an artist at work! (I love this lady.)
✓ Christian: How to Pray for Lost Loved Ones, by Dutch Sheets – from the 2017 challenge list . . . Our women’s Bible study group chose to study another book by the same author, Dutch Sheets. The other book is very well known – Intercessory Prayer: How God Can Use Your Prayers to Move Heaven and Earth. While we were reading that book, we found out Dutch Sheets would be speaking at a church nearby. Our entire Bible study group went to see him speak, and I bought this book while I was there, at Victory Faith Church in Spokane. 112 pages.
☆☆ Bible: Gospel of Matthew . . .I’ve read the Gospel of Matthew before, and I’ll probably read it again. This is part of my intention to read all four Gospels and the Torah during 2019. 18346 words / 250 per page = 73 pages.
Here’s a good overview of what the Gospel of Matthew is about.
That’s it. I’m attempting 2151 pages for January 2019. I’d better devote a lot of time to reading this month, because that’s about 500 pages more than I normally read on a good reading month!
What else is happening in my life during January 2019? Well, I’ll find out as the month progresses and I’ll hopefully add more to this posting as time goes by.
Adding on January 15, because I made fast progress on the other books:
✓ Classic: Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen – PSRC #14: A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie
My January Reading Diary
January 1 – I started out just after midnight, reading the first chapter of The 7+1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I finished People of the Book within an hour of the end of 2018 and wrote a review of it on Goodreads, then needed a new novel to read. I’m trying to limit myself to one novel at a time right now. I still have quite a few half-read nonfiction books. I’ll continue with them as time allows. [Later] End of day … I’ve read to chapter 6 out of 60, and will go to bed and read more before sleeping.
January 2 – I got to chapter 10 in The 7+1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle last night before getting too tired to read. The book is getting really strange and I’m excited to read more today.
January 3 – I’m currently in chapter 24 of The 7+1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and am already starting my blog post review. The book continues to be insane but I at least am used to it now. According to my Kindle I’m 38% into it. Strange that my Kindle isn’t telling me page numbers!
January 4 – I am loving this book… I’m now 75% through The 7+1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and am hoping to finish this evening. I counted all the books I want to read this year and did a little math, and realized I’m going to have to read one book every 4 days to finish, so I’d better get with it!
January 5 – Just listened to the Seamus Henry audiobook translation of Beowulf. It is EPIC. Definitely a call to courage for whoever reads it. I reviewed Beowulf on Goodreads. After that I started my reread of Year of No Sugar.
January 6 – I DNF’ed an audiobook last night and am about to start The Night Circus via audio instead.
January 7 – I’m already starting to get distracted. I bought a health book for seniors and want to read that too, but I still haven’t proven to myself that I can get through this reading list so I’m putting it off right now. If I get through January’s list, I’ll add a health book selection to the following months. Anyhow, still reading A Year of No Sugar and am more than 25% through it. Also, started The Night Circus on audio but am only about 2 chapters into it.
January 8 – I listened to a couple of sermons about the book of Matthew, chapter 1. I will be listening to the sermons as I re-read this gospel. Still reading Year of No Sugar. I tried listening to more of The Night Circus on audiobook. I’m having a little trouble getting into it. I’ve had this problem with audiobooks the last few years and want to re-establish my audiobook usage this year. I’ll be traveling so digital books, both audio and Kindle, will be important to me this year. There won’t be much room for books in my van.
January 9 – Still reading Year of No Sugar. I wanted to finish it today and spent a lot of time reading. Made it all the way to 90%. Didn’t quite finish.
January 10 – Finished Year of No Sugar! Reviewed it on Goodreads. Next I’ll be reading Volcanic Momentum on my Kindle and will still listen to The Night Circus on audiobook. I’m also reading the Gospel of Matthew. Today: Intro texts, and chapter 1 in my NKJV Bible.
January 11 – I finished reading Volcanic Momentum. My Goodreads review.
January 12 – Spent most of the day listening to my audiobook version of The Night Circus and started reading The Art of Whimsical Lettering.
January 13 – Church! It was amazing as always. Lunch with friends, and later, a very short nap. A bit of art. Then, listening to more of The Night Circus.
January 14 – I finished reading The Night Circus, and will start reading John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars this evening. I’m finishing up Gullivers Travels as well, on Kindle – a novel I started reading in 2018, then stalled on. I’m at 70% and want to get to the end.
January 15 – Loving The Fault in Our Stars so far . . . and this evening I watched a PureFlix movie, “Love Finds You in Charm,” and chose a book the MC was reading for PSRC prompt #14 (A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie) … it will be Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen! I’m adding it to this month’s reading list as I’m doing so well on fiction reading already. I will start reading it when I’m done with The Fault in Our Stars. Also, making progress with Gullivers Travels… now in Part IV, in which he captains a ship only to be mutinied and deserted on yet another strange island (it is the story of his life, being deserted on strange islands repeatedly).
January 16 – Last night I read something from all three books I have going on at this moment. This morning I woke up and found out about George McDonald, whose fiction inspired Lewis Carrol, JRR Tolkein, Madeline L’Engle, and CS Lewis! I hope I’ll have time to read his stories later this year – if I can stay with my current reading schedule and pace . . . right now, I’m feeling good about it. But what comes next? I need to do a book review for each book I read this month, so that will occupy a lot of my time during the later half of this month. I’m working on it.
January 17 – Finished The Art of Whimsical Lettering early in the day, and then finished The Fault in Our Stars just before sleeping, late at night.
January 18 – Updating my pages. I’m now 92% done with Gullivers Travels and hope to finish it today.
January 19 – Finished Gullivers Travels and am starting Sense and Sensibility.
January 20 – I went to a bookstore today and got a copy of Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, as I’ll be reading it in February.
January 21 – Slow reading day. Nice nap. I did continue reading Sense and Sensibility – I’m in chapter 17 now. Also, read more of Matthew 5 in the Bible. I’ve decided I’ll probably not read as many Bible books as I originally planned. It would be easy if I were just reading the Bible text, but I’m also reading all the notes in the Life Application Bible at the same time, and that’s slowing my progress there. I will not finish Matthew by the end of this month. I’d rather learn deeply than rush through it without studying to understand more.
January 22 – My January Book Talk video is finally out . . .
January 25 – I forgot to update for a few days! Well, same thing is happening. I’m about 1/2 way through Sense and Sensibility. I’m only one chapter from the end of How to Pray for Lost Loved Ones, and I’m still reading the Gospel of Matthew – and won’t be finishing that before the end of the month because I am reading a lot of notes along with it rather than just reading the Gospel text, which would be a lot easier.
January 27 – Today I finished Sense and Sensibility so I’m starting another novel, Winter Loon. This was to be my February reading, but will start a few days early.
January 29 – I DNF’ed Winter Loon after 10 chapters and wrote a review at Goodreads. Now, shhhhh… don’t tell, but I’m starting on my first February book now. It is To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han. Verrrry YA.
January 30 – I made some progress on reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before; I’m in chapter 12 now… out of 70+ chapters. That feels like slow going! There are 384 pages in the book! I have to say, this is not the kind of book I like to read these days. I have veered away from YA-love, somewhat, into literary fiction and classics. Nevertheless, I’ll continue as it is the Goodreads PSRC group-read for February, and I respect the group-made choices (via polling) and enjoy reading with the group. I do get more varied types of literature that way! Today I also picked up and started reading God’s Chosen Fast, by Arthur Wallis. This always seems to happen to me – that I find something I feel I must read, that isn’t on my list. I hope to finish this book. I don’t like leaving books only partially read.
January 31 – I won’t finish my study of the Gospel of Matthew before the end of the month… it will continue on in February. Also didn’t read the last chapter of How to Pray for Lost Loved Ones. [Update: I finished How to Pray for Lost Loved Ones on February 1.]
Image credits: The white horse photo came from Pixabay.com. . . . the book covers come from Amazon.com. All the videos are from YouTube.