The bookish life: January recap

I am starting very late this evening, so how’s about an easy topic?

As in: the reading recap of my first month working towards my 2021 reading challenge!

Black & white photo of mystery author Mary Roberts Rinehart reading a book in what appears to be a home library or study.

As a reminder: I’m focusing on categories for the Around the Year challenge, choosing titles as they are randomly drawn from my “jar of prompts.”

I also have a fair percentage of titles chosen for the PopSugar and Book Riot challenges—a fact which became pertinent quicker than I planned it to.

And anyone who desires can see the full list of categories & planned titles on this spreadsheet.*

So without further ado, here’s the Around the Year categories I collected during the first month of the year.

  • (#1) Related to “In the beginning…”—The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
  • (#15) Features siblings as the main characters—The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • (#17) With a Muslim character or author—Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
  • (#22) Posted in one of the ATY Best Book of the Month threads—I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  • (#32) Cover shows more than 2 people—Hard Times Require Furious Dancing by Alice Walker
  • (#36) Six or more words in the title—We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • (#39) Involving an immigrant—I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez
  • (#44) Title contains a negative—I’m not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal

And then, because I was a little bit obsessively focused on earning all the badges in Amazon’s utterly-meaningless Kindle Challenge

A display of badges earned in Amazon's January 2021 "Kindle Challenge":
- Bronze reader (7 days)
- Silver reader (15 days)
- Gold reader (30 days)
- Goal setter (set a reading goal for 2021)
- I'm a fan! (follow an author)
- Book-in-hand (buy a Kindle e-book)
- Prime reader (borrow a title from Prime reading)
- Kindle Unlimited (sign up for a Kindle Unlimited trial)
- Series Starter (start reading a title in a series)
- Night Owl (activate Dark Mode on your Kindle)
- Quitters Day (read on Jan. 19th: the day most folx quit their New Year's resolutions
- Finisher (finish a Kindle e-book)
- Overachiever (earn all the other badges)

…I also collected a couple of PopSugar titles. (I read those on Kindle alongside of the ATY ink-and-paper books offered up by the jar of prompts.)

  • (#20) Do-over or fresh starts—Black Panther: a Nation Under our Feet, v. 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates & Brian Stelfreeze
  • (#28) Set in a restaurant—Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

So: 10 books for the month, all counting towards one of my challenge lists.

A collage of book covers against a purple background, with the heading "January reading round-up"

Under the sub-header, "Around the Year":
- The Beginning of Everything
- Ayesha at Last
- I Capture the Castle
- I'm Not Dying with You Tonight
- The Nightingale
- Hard Times Require Furious Dancing
- We Were Eight Years In Power
- I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Under the sub-header "PopSugar":
- Garlic and Sapphires
- Black Panther: A Nation Under our Feet, v. 1

Now, 10 books sounds like a lot, but allow me to puncture the mythos here, at least a bit.

  • 4 of these books were YA/youth titles.
  • 1 was a slim book of poetry.
  • 1 was a straight-up comic book.

No wonder I was able to finish some of these so quickly.

I expect the pace to slow down significantly this month. If I don’t start working on my grad school applications, I will be sunk, so that will cover my weekends and evenings for the next several weeks!

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*Once a stage manager, always a stage manager.

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