Month in Review: January 2017

This month I’ve been bridging the old year and the new, sharing my favorite reads from 2016 and wrapping up the Reading New England challenge with a giveaway, while also looking forward to some new challenges and other projects.

I also shared my intention to post a bit less often for a while, with just one or two posts per week. This was supposed to allow me to get some other writing done, but at the moment I’m completely distracted by the bizarre antics of our dysfunctional government, and our now clearly deranged head of state. Reading still remains my lifeline, and as long as I am able, I will still be reading and sharing my thoughts with you.

I have also decided to start a real-life book club in my area to bring together people who want to try to understand and meet the challenges of our time. I hope to have our first meeting next month (reading The Unwinding, reviewed below), although who knows what else will have happened by then. As Robert F. Kennedy put it, “There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not, we live in interesting times.”



  • I found Katherine Arden’s debut novel The Bear and the Nightingale to be the best kind of fairy tale fiction.
  • For a readalong hosted by Hibernator’s Library, I read The Unwinding by George Packer, trying to understand the situation we find ourselves in now. Many, many thanks to all who took the time to read this post and share their own comments as well.
  • I read Britannia Mews for Jane’s Margery Sharp Day, an annual event to celebrate.

Other Books Read

  • Soul Music, Hogfather, and Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
  • Troy Chimneys by Margaret Kennedy – Review to come, Mount TBR
  • The Great and the Good by Michel Deon – Review to come
  • Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • War Diaries by Astrid Lindgren – Reading All Around the World
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson – Reread
  • Midnight Is a Place by Joan Aiken – Reread, Mount TBR
  • I Was a Stranger by John Hackett – Reading All Around the World, Mount TBR
  • The Lord’s Prayer and Rudolf Steiner by Peter Selg
  • Carry On, Mister Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham – Mount TBR


Other Features and Events


Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer, the Month in Review linkup at The Book Date, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction

27 thoughts on “Month in Review: January 2017

    1. I’ve heard now from a couple of people it didn’t resonate with as it did me, so I hope you find it a worthwhile read – but if not, there are plenty of other compelling titles to delve into for this topic.


    1. It’s so hard not to freak out. I took a day off from media yesterday to regroup and it was really good. The fear and anxiety is making me snap at my family and the people I care for and that’s exactly the wrong thing to do. I’ve got to connect to the good and the true, and act from there. Courage!


  1. Australia has as much news as you do there about US president. Everyone here is 1. sick of hearing it 2. worried. I listen to news 15 min on radio when I get up then ignore it the rest of the day except what might be happening locally. I find I am reading more. Playing with dogs, taking walks, anything to have a gentle life away from that fuzzy headed buzzard that is turning the world upside down. Thank goodness for books.


    1. It must be hard to be in another country where you really feel as though you can’t do anything. However, you can. Small actions make a difference. Your attitude makes a difference. Evil has a purpose: to awaken and strengthen the dormant forces of good within us. Let us strive to turn it to that end.


  2. Reading’s been a huge lifeline for me as well. My most recent read was not great, but pretty much everything else I’ve read in January has been amazing. And I have a zillion books checked out of the library right now that I’m excited about, so full speed ahead in February.


  3. Reading and writing has helped keep me grounded, and helped counter this terrible sense of powerlessness. As a non-American I can’t contact a representative to fight the system, but I can try and use my reading choices and writing to help build empathy and understanding.


    1. Support and sympathy from people in other countries is enormously important as we struggle to communicate and work with each other in our own. Thank you for not giving up on us.


    1. I’m excited about the book club. I feel an urgent need to understand better what is going on, and talking with others who are also concerned seems like it may help. I will let you know how it goes!


    1. Thank you! I’m excited to see who may come.

      I have picked two books for our first two monthly meetings, The Unwinding (which I reviewed last month) and Dark Money. After that I have a list of suggestions I would like to read, and i suppose we’ll see what interests everyone the most.


    1. Thanks, Tina. I think it will be a great way to focus beyond the headlines and meet some other people who want to look deeper into what’s going on.


    1. I’m so glad – I always feel some trepidation when recommending a book so highly, even though it’s only my personal opinion and everyone is free to disagree. I hope you enjoy the latter 2/3 as well!


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