January Recap

When I first shared my plans for the 3 reading challenges I’m working on, I think I mentioned something about how I could milk tons of post topics out of these lists by doing individual book reviews, monthly recaps, and so on.

Well, here I am at the end of Month 1, and I’m trying to figure out exactly how I want to arrange this recap. As expected, I’ve already started swapping some “bonus reads” into categories where I had sketchy choices, so the lists as originally posted are no longer quite accurate. Still, it seems way excessive to post the lists in their entirety every darn month, just for the sake of capturing a few changes here and there.

So here is a more localized report on the expectations-vs-reality matrix so far as my 2019 reading plans and challenges are concerned. This may not be the approach I take every month, but it’s making sense to me tonight.


I read 6 books overall in the month of January. Five of them were drawn from my initial challenge lists, and all of them ended up counting towards challenge categories once I did one title/category swap. My overall numerical goal for the year is 75, which averages out to 6.25 books a month, so I’m gonna call that close enough to be on-track.

I completed all 4 books I’d scheduled for January’s Around the Year categories:

As previously discussed, the variance in book length meant I couldn’t maintain an even pace of 1 book per week, but I’m, like, really okay with that detail.

I also read the Hygge book I’d chosen to cover a seasonal PopSugar category, and swapped in The Fifth Risk to cover a Book Riot category (journalist/journalism) for which I initially had a somewhat-sketchy choice.

I also gave some MLK Day book recommendations. And I expanded my (self-assigned) mandate to include TV and film, with reviews/reflections on Rent Live and It (2017). Who knows? Next month I might take on music, too!*

Finally, out of the 31 days in January, I managed to get blog posts up on 29 of them.***

Gotta say, I’m quietly pleased with myself for all this.

Now, I am already off-pace for February, what with the combined influence of last week’s travel, the Super Bowl, and last’s night’s SOTU.**** With any luck, I can carve some cozy reading time out over the weekend and get caught up again.


* Can I say something clever/snarky about how that title, though intended to refer to the purchasers of Perenyi’s art, is as valuable a warning for the purchasers of his book? (All in all, I suppose that’s legit snarky, but not very clever at all…)

** Dare say I’m doing everything in my power to claim the position of (self-appointed) cultural critic.

*** Full disclosure: I’m counting that 12:08 AM post from Jan. 31 as if it went up on Jan. 30.

**** Yeah, I watched it.


Image credit: Flickr user Philippe Martin, via a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

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