December Reading Plans

Blogging, and especially hosting Novellas in November – which was a roaring success, for which I am grateful! – has felt like a full-time job at points over the past month.

It was a record-breaking month in terms of my reading total, and I also wrote 24 blog posts. What with all the novellas, a focus on nonfiction review books, and a few rereads, I was able to contribute to several challenges in addition to #NovNov, such as Nonfiction November, German Literature Month, and Margaret Atwood Reading Month.

November was extra stressful for me because of trying to buy a house, starting my McKitterick Prize judging, and my mother being in and out of hospital since September. I know I’m not the only one feeling burnt out after a busy month. I now need to focus on paid work so I can take my upcoming two weeks in the USA off.

So, for December’s reading, the plan is mostly to finish a good number of 2021 releases and review copies currently on the go. Here’s my planned set:

I will also likely slip in a few novella-length Christmas or winter books; my first is An Advent Calendar by Shena Mackay.

Meanwhile, the books keep coming in. This was my belated birthday and early Christmas haul from a holiday get-together with family over here:

I actually contemplated taking a complete break from blogging in December, but I still have a number of review copies I owe feedback on, as well as other ideas for themed posts that I want to fit in. Plus drawing up the Best-of lists and statistics is my favourite task of the blogging year, so I wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun. But I will definitely be scaling back this month, especially during our time in the States.

In other news, today it’s off to London for my first time since December 2019 (and only my second time on a train since then). We will have a nice chilly walk along the river from Richmond to Ham House and then grab a meal at a vegan diner before at last getting to go to our several-times-delayed Bell X1 gig at Union Chapel.

Lots of other good stuff coming up in the next week and a half, too, including a few Christmas concerts, a book club get-together, and the Barbellion Prize longlist, which is due out on the 13th.

 

Happy December reading!

30 responses

  1. Five Tuesdays in Winter is a treat. Enjoy this evening and here’s to a less frenetic December!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, good, I hoped you knew about it — it’s right up your street! I took it on the train to London yesterday and got halfway through.

      The second half should be nice and relaxing. No plans at all for our America trip as of yet, just catching up with people.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Some great titles there. And Bellx1, such a great band, enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve been fans since 2006 or so when my husband heard “Flame” on the radio. Ironically, we’d seen them twice in the USA but not on this side of the Pond until now.

      Like

  3. I hope you enjoy Islands of Abandonment. I found her prose a bit flowery at times, but there were some really interesting ideas at the core of most of the chapters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve been enjoying it but only in small doses. I can see why you found it overwritten. I generally admire her prose and approach, but it’s been a slow read for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. For goodness sake, you call that lot a break?! All the same, time given to reading Islands of Abandonment is not wasted. I don’t remember feeling like Laura about the prose style though. I unreservedly enjoyed it and found it thought provoking too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha, I always like to have lots of options, even if I don’t get to them all. I do wish Flyn had won the Wainwright or Baillie Gifford Prize. I think the scope and quality of the research was deserving.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve had a busy month! Wow! Hope you find some rest and relaxation for the holidays. 🙂 I haven’t heard of any of the titles in your post. But I saw “Miss Marley” and had to look that one up. Oooo…..looks very good! Perfect for December! Hope you have a wonderful visit to the US. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been hankering to read Miss Marley for a while now. Vanessa Lafaye was a local author to me who died of cancer a few years ago, leaving this holiday novella unfinished, so a fellow writer finished it for her. I was tempted by the Dickens connection.

      Happy holidays!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooh, is that a new Daisy Johnson? Enjoy your reading month Rebecca and a well deserved break. Look forward to hearing what you think of Build Your House Around My Body, it’s one I hope to read this month too,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fen was her first book, a story collection. I’ve been meaning to catch up so put it on my wish list.

      I think I’ll start Build Your House Around My Body later today.

      Like

      1. Ah ok. I must check that out.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry to hear about your mom. I hope you get some rest! I’ve always wanted to read Cold Mountain, I love the movie so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We hope she’ll be settled at home soon and up to receiving guests for the holidays.

      Cold Mountain was one of my rare early DNFs back in 2003. I started reading it either right before or after seeing the movie, but never made it through my library copy. So I’m going to try again! I don’t remember much about the plot, so it should feel fresh.

      Like

      1. I loved Cold Mountain when I read it years ago. But I’ve always loved books about people surviving in the wilderness, which I *think* it mostly is. I can see why some people might think that’s boring. Hah!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You definitely deserve a break! Everyone would totally understand if you took a month off. I hope your mom gets better, and enjoy your fun gatherings this month!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never taken an ‘official’ blogging break before, but I know the posting rate I kept up last month isn’t sustainable. I almost feel like taking a break would be punishing myself, though, because I do enjoy it plus I would miss the interaction with book friends.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a good sign then, that you genuinely want to keep posting!

        Like

  9. Happy reading and glad you’ll still be popping in. Best wishes for the difficult bits and may they get easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think things are looking up!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. OMG… A Place Called Winter… really good. Based on his grandfather’s life, actually. I adore Patrick Gale! Have you read anything else by him?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We read Notes from an Exhibition for my book club in early 2020 and it was one of our top-rated selections! I’ve been meaning to read more by him.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was my first Gale, but I lost track of him for a while. However, I’ve read almost all of what he’s written in the last few years (and friended him on FB, as well).

        Liked by 1 person

  11. 24 posts in a month! You definitely deserve to take it easy. But I know what you mean about not wanting to miss out on the end-of-year fun. The past few October/Novembers I’ve felt the same way – it just got to be too much for me, which is why I dropped most things this year. I also have a new job this year with more hours. Too bad we have to make money! 😉
    I hope you have a wonderful time in the US, and that your mother feels better! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If only blogging could be a full-time job!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. As I’m slow to catchup online, I hope, by now, you’re feeling like you’ve rested up a bit, and that you’ve had some reassuring news about your mom’s health, and are feeling good about the focus on paid-work once more.

    November was a big reading month for me too, but not a big posting month. What you say is true though, socially it’s noticeable when one doesn’t post as often…you miss the bookchat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like I’ve barely worked in two months. In January it’ll be back to the grind!

      My mom is home and doing okay, but needs lots of help from nurses and other services. We did a lot of cleaning and food prep for her while we were up there. It’ll be a slow recovery but I hope by the time we see her next year she’ll be back to normal.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: