What I Read – March 2022

Read:

When We Lost Our Heads – Heather ‘Neill (HarperCollins Publishers, 2022)

Red Paint – Sasha taqwsablu LaPointe (Counterpoint, 2022)

Animal Person – Aexander MacLeod (McClelland & Stewart, 2022)

Heartbroke – Chelsea Bieker (Catapult, 2022)

The Figgs – Ali Bryan (Freehand Books, 2018)

The Annual Migration of Clouds – Premee Mohamed (ECW Press, 2021)

Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens (Everyman’s Library, 1993)

Astray – Emma Donoghue (Back Bay Books, 2013)

Life Together – Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Harper & Row Publishers, 1954) (translated from the German by John W. Doberstein)

Did Not Finish:

What is Written on the Tongue – Anne Lazurko

This was an ARC with a premise that really fascinated me. The perspective of a Dutch soldier in the Dutch East Indies following World War Two. This seemed to me like a portion of history not broadly explored in history. Unfortunately, the writing never grabbed me. I made it the first three chapters but felt like the characters were being painted too black-and-white. I may return to this one because I really think there is a good story to be told here.

Hideout Hotel – Janine Alyson Young

I was looking for a short story collection to break up Dickens and Bonhoeffer and read the first two in this collection but wasn’t as engaged as I wanted to be.

Currently Reading:

Darling Girl – Liz Michalski

The Pull of the Moon – Julie Paul

Bitter Orange Tree – Jokha Alharthi

The Further Adventures of Miss Petitfour – Anne Michael

Women Talking – Miriam Toews

2022 Goals:

Books Read: 26/80 (9 in March)

Books Reviewed: 20/26 (This compares my reading to reviewing ratio.)

Translated Works: 1/10 (Bonhoeffer kicks off my translated works for 2022!)

A Virtuous Reading Challenge: 5/12 (All from last year, nothing new to add here yet. The next three books on this list – Silence, The Road, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich – are all re-reads for me and I’m realizing it’s causing me to stall. Both Silence and Ivan Ilyich were recent enough reads that I don’t feel drawn to re-read them. It’s been over a decade since I read The Road but the idea of returning to it is a bit anxiety-inducing. I am probably going to just skip over all three…)

Books Owned: 6/20 (These are books I purchased myself, either new or used. I’m not including ARCs for this count.) I tried to emphasize this goal a little more this month, especially when I found myself caught up on ARCs. The Figgs and Astray were both books I bought secondhand. Life Together was given to me.

Books from the TBR pre-2020: 7/20 (Nicholas Nickleby: 2018; Astray: 2018; The Figgs: 2019; Life Together: 2015)

Current TBR: 230 books (previously 234) IT WENT DOWN!!!

Thoughts:

This was a funny reading month. As much as I enjoyed Nicholas Nickleby, its 800+ pages did get me bogged down and I spent most of the month feeling like I wasn’t getting much done in the reading department. I tried to balance it out with short stories and so I ended up reading 3 story collections this month. (4 if you count a DNF title.) I always aim to read ARCs ahead of their pub dates and then when I found myself somewhat caught up on that front, I turned my attention to my own shelves. While tidying the bookshelf in my room, I came across the book by Bonhoeffer and thought it might be a timely read for my own life.

In the end, I read 9 books in March and I’m very pleased with that total. And it turns out there were some real highlights. When We Lost Our Heads, Heartbroke, Nicholas Nickleby, Astray, and Life Together were all books I thoroughly enjoyed and have continued to think about, as different as they all are.

What’s Next:

In my struggle to feel motivated in my reading and check off some of my goals, I am now reading too many books at a time. (The Further Adventures of Miss Petitfour is a children’s book I am reading with my girls and while I don’t normally count the read-alouds we do together, this one is an e-ARC so I am going to count it because I will be reviewing it.) Does anybody else like to read different books at different times and places?

I like to read an e-book in the morning, while I’m still waking up, usually something contemporary and not too complicated. I like to read non-fiction or theology in the evenings before I go to bed. I like short stories to dip into throughout the day when I find myself with a free moment. (And if I read in front of my kids, I like them to see me reading a physical book, not an e-book.) I like to read something denser and more complex in the evenings, but before I’m too tired. (Dense books also have to be physical books because that seems to just be the way my brain is!) I almost always carry a book with me when I’m out of the house but it can’t be a library book or a hardcover. So I obviously need lots of different books to suit each of these situations!

I just picked up Women Talking from the library today. As always, I have a few more holds I’m waiting for but not sure what might come in next. Working my way through my older TBR books available at my local library, the next choice will be Normal People by Sally Rooney but not sure if I’ll get to it in April. I have an ARC of Steve Toltz’s new book Here Goes Nothing that I’d like to read before its May pub date. I also plan to start Philip Yancey’s memoir Where the Light Fell soon but I probably need to finish at least one of the books I’m currently reading.

How was your March reading? What were the highlights? Do you read lots of books at once or are you a one-at-a-time reader?

10 thoughts on “What I Read – March 2022”

    1. Three books is usually my sweet spot but sometimes I just get excited about too many books! I like balancing out a long novel with shorter ones or stories because then I still get the satisfaction of crossing books off my lists!

  1. I love all the rules you have for what to read when, and in what format. Is there a reason for the different formats, such as you want the girls to see you reading a physical book, but you don’t carry library books in your purse?

    I read from a book to Nick every night. I read my book club book with Biscuit. I read something for Grab the Lapels. I used to do an audiobook while commuting.

    1. They seem a little overblown when I put them all together like this! I generally try to keep off of screens when I’m with the girls. At their age, I’d rather they associate relaxation and fun with non-screen related activities. Plus, I’ll admit, I worry a little about being judged if I’m the mom at the park on my phone but reading a book seems ok! And I try to take care of any library or borrowed books and my bag always seems to end up full of snacks and empty wrappers so if I’m out with the kids it’s not with a valuable book!

    2. Hahaha, yes Mom Purse is a real problem. I even empty mine out frequently but the girls always seem to be handing me garbage or half-eaten snacks or cool rocks they’ve found.

    3. LOL, my ASL prof recently taught me the definition of GIVE-ME++ basically means “my daughter won’t stop handing me trash from her half-eaten snacks to put in my purse. She keeps giving me.”

    4. That’s spot on! Rose loves to hand me rocks that she finds with a very sweet, “This is for you, Mama!” So then I am literally carrying a bag of rocks around.

  2. I’m almost the opposite of you. I start the day with heavyweight factual while my brain is rested enough to take it in. Then I move on to “proper” fiction in the early evening and then end the day with “light” reading – genre stuff. Glad you enjoyed Nick Nick even if it did take up so much of your reading time!

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