Welcome to the first wrap-up of 2022! It’s been a pretty good month, though I’m getting tired of the cold and I know a lot of people who dealt with Covid this month. Hope you’re hanging in there.
First, I want to introduce you to Max and Jasper, two 7-8 month old tabbies (friends, not littermates) we adopted in December from a rescue service. They’re adorable and mischievous, wanting lots of attention. Max is a climber (crawling onto our bookshelves and kicking off books) and Jasper loves to curl up on our stairs (where he’s of course likely to be stepped on). Our house is chaos and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here’s what I read in January:
- Well Met by Jen DeLuca (audio)
- The Puma Years by Laura Coleman
- The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (audio)
- Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
- The Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy
- Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney (audio)
- The Warden by Anthony Trollope
- Being Heumann by Judy Heumann
My favorite reads: Being Heumann is not just an inspiring memoir, it’s also the history of the disability rights movement from the 60s to the present day. Heumann’s writing is funny and heartwarming. I was surprised to learn the ADA was only passed in 1990, I thought it had been around much longer. The Warden was dry at times but also very clever, and by the end I found myself really caught up in it. And see my review of The Puma Years.
Most disappointing reads: I’m still thinking about Sally Rooney’s book, though I often found myself hating her characters. This was kind of true of Normal People too. Sometimes I find Rooney’s writing pretentious and her characters awful, yet the powerful emotions in her stories really stay with me.
Books for challenges:
- TBR Pile/Backlist Reader: The Island of Sea Women, The Warden
- Nonfiction: The Puma Years
- Nature/Environment: The Puma Years
- Historical Fiction: The Island of Sea Women
- Reading All Around the World: The Island of Sea Women (S. Korea), The Puma Years (Bolivia)
What I’m reading now: I’m finishing up Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo. I’ve just started Inheritance, a memoir by Dani Shapiro (a fascinating story about the author finding her biological father based on a DNA test). And I’m listening to Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson, a very timely read with the football playoffs this month.
What’s coming up: I’ve signed up for way too many ARCs in the first half of this year. This month I’ll be reading Not the Witch You Wed by April Asher, Come as You Are by Jennifer Haupt, and Mala’s Cat by Mala Kacenberg (review copy provided in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day).
Things that made me happy this month: Just a few things…
- Amy Schneider, Jeopardy champ! I loved her on the show, and was always amazed at her breadth of knowledge and her calm, happy demeanor (I’d be a quivering mess). I love her even more after finding out she has a large Ozma tattoo on her arm – she explains in an NYT article that she identifies with Ozma, who grew up as a boy before being returned to her true identity. You already know Ozma is one of my favorite literary characters, but now I see the character in a whole new way.
- Abbott Elementary — I almost never watch network sitcoms, but this one is so well-written, so funny, and it deals with real education issues in a way I haven’t seen on TV before. Usually shows about schools aren’t actually about teaching, but this one is.
- Yoga with Adriene – while I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be, I love Adriene’s online yoga workouts. They are short enough to fit in my day and always leave me feeling energized and strengthened. Each month she creates a free 30 day series. If you’re thinking about trying yoga, she’s a great way to start.
- Encanto – Lin-Manuel Miranda did it again. I loved the movie and can’t get the songs out of my head. The whole cast was excellent.
How has 2022 been for you so far? Hope you’re staying safe and reading something good!