Quarterly Reading Review 1 of 2015

Sunday Salon 3-29-15

I began the year looking to start the slate afresh  by not reading crime fiction or as much anyway. However, like Barbara Bartels of Well2Well, I did say that it was my intent rather than resolve.

Here was the original list and how I’ve done, with the ones in bold I’ve read:

  • A Year With Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journal, Selected and Edited by Jonathan Montaldo GIVEN UP ON
  • Yes Please (the audiobook version) by Amy Poehler OPTED NOT TO WAIT FOR (since already read the book)
  • The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin GAVE UP ON
  • The Martian by Andy Weir 
  • The Removers: A Memoir by Andrew Meredith Decided not to get
  • Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan STILL WAITING ON AUDIOBOOK
  • Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder
  • So, Anyway… by John Cleese Decided not to read after reading a fellow blogger’s review of it was less than stellar.
  • High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  • Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms The Way We Think, Feel, and Buy by Joel Beckerman GAVE UP
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore STILL OWN BOOK AND ON MY SHELVES

So read four of the 12…still have two on the list. Gave up, or decided not to read, the other six. So half and half, not bad. All four were good, by the way, with The Martian probably being the best of the lot and High Fidelity, just okay.

And here’s what I have read so far, in addition to the four, the last 10 this month:

    1. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, attempted its sequel, Ancillary Sword, but couldn’t get into it like the first one.
    2. The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid
    3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    4. Cop Killer by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö
    5. The Terrorists by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö
    6. A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen
    7. Still Midnight by Denise Mina
    8. Eva’s Eye by Karin Fossum
    9. Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski
    10. Hell & Gone by Duane Swierczynski
    11. Point & Shoot by Duane Swierczynski
    12. Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum
    13. The Wire in the Blood by Val McDermid

Yes, 12 of out of the 13 were crime fiction, which like I said here, I have decided to embrace. Numbers 5 through 8, I read during #flashreadathon co-sponsored by Andi, Heather, and Monika, which was the weekend of March 7-8 and could appear again at any moment. Two of the three photos in the collage above were from the #flashreadathon.

The best? Hands down, To Kill A Mockingbird. The worst? Easily, Still Midnight, which ended up being more of a romance than a thriller than I wanted. Most fun? Duane Swierczynski series. Genre I’m about to give up on? Science fiction, but not really a surprise since crime fiction is my niche. Series I’m most looking forward to continuing? Inspector Sejer by Karin Fossum. Series I’d highly recommend? The Martin Beck series by Sjöwall and Wahlöö, which is a must for crime fiction aficionados.

So how was your reading for the first three months of this year or even for this past month? What was your favorite read this first quarter? Your least favorite read?

Scheduling my reading

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Photo via www.planetofsuccess.com/blog/ on Flickr

Last September, I wrote about “scheduling ourselves so down time is worked into the equation,” and now I find myself writing about scheduling my reading. For the past couple of weeks, I have been putting my reading time on my calendar and I have to say it gives me something to look forward to.

Since my work schedule is fairly consistent, I don’t keep that on my calendar, unless there is a change, or for the one Saturday a month I work. Instead, I add special events so when I see the next event on my calendar on the home screen of my phone, it is a special event. For example, today my sister, brother-in-law and their two children are coming over to visit and we’re going out to local sugar shacks that is part of a maple weekend event. I have it in the calendar as “Maple Weekend.” But then the next big event after that is tomorrow:  “Read Ancillary Sword,” which is the second in Ann Leckie’s science fiction series. For more on the series, see Stephanie of So Many Books’s posts on the books: Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword since she is one of two bloggers – the other being Sarah of Sarah Says Read – who got me interested in reading the books.

Besides Ancillary Sword, I have been reading mostly crime fiction as I mentioned last week. The two series that have caught my attention as of late are the Inspector Sejer series by Karin Fossum and the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series by Val McDermid. Last night, I finished the second in Fossum’s series, Don’t Look Back in Fossum’s series, and started McDermid’s series, The Wire In The Blood, which I probably will finish later today. I’m still waiting for Food: A Memoir by Jim Gaffigan on audiobook to come in from on hold at the Free Library of Philadelphia. I keep checking but haven’t moved up very far on the list since the last time I checked. I think I’m in the 30s now, but it will be worth the wait, I’m sure and I want to listen to this one because with the last memoir written by a comedian, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, I didn’t and then wished I had.


Earlier this week, I wrote an aside post “I am a book blogger! Ahem…yes, again.” That led me to updating my “About” page yesterday, which leads me to this: I won’t be participating in this coming week’s Bloggiesta, because that’s basically what I wanted to do: update my “About” page…ahem, yes, again. So hmmm…maybe I’m not really a book blogger after all if I can’t participate in all their book blogger games. <– Should add that I am half joking about this and that I think Bloggiesta is a great way to reset your blog from time to time. I have used it in the past and probably will again, but just not this time around.

So this week’s questions: Do you schedule your reading or do you just read whenever you can find a free moment at work or in your otherwise busy life? Who knows…maybe like Ti of Book Chatter, you even have a shameless reading spot? Also are you participating in this week’s Bloggiesta? If so, what are you doing?