Notes from a Poly-Reader: February 2018

At the beginning of this year, I knew I wanted to make a serious effort to read more than I did last year. I picked up some good lessons learned about how to build the habit (or destroy it, as the case more often was), and have structured my time to accommodate more time with the written word. So far, it’s working pretty well: I’ve finished four books this year (not amazing, but far more solid than last year), and the habits have held up for the first month. I need to get a little better about the reading log, but at least I’m reading regularly!

To start of 2018, I scrapped a few books that had been on the roster for months last year that for whatever reason I just hadn’t gotten to yet. I still intend to get to them this year, but I’m not focusing on them for the time being. Right now, my list includes:


*And Be a Villain – Just picked this one up from my mom a few weeks ago, because I’m going through an Archie Goodwin withdrawal. It’s an easy read, I just spend the last couple weeks focusing on finishing a couple other books, so it hasn’t gotten the love it deserves. I’m hoping this one will be done by the end of the month.

*Clockwork Angel – This one I’m reading as part of a series of clockwork-fantasy related books, partially market research, partially because I’ve never read anything by Cassandra Clare before, and feel like I ought to. I’m about a fifth of the way into this one, and hope to finish it this month.

Bored and Brilliant – Started this one a bit back, and it’s interesting-ish, though not quite as engaging as I’d expected. But it’s not a slow read, so I’ll try to get this one off the docket pretty quickly.

*The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh – I’ve been reading this one since JULY 2017 (AAAAAH!) so I really need to just commit to it. It’s actually incredibly interesting as an insight into a great artistic mind, and the common artistic challenges he describes in his letters to his brother really make a fascinating portrait of him as a person.

The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony – I love, love, love this book, and YES, AGAIN, I just need to commit to it. What I’ll probably have to do is pick one “challenge” book per month that I seriously need to finish, and then load the rest of the month with things I think will be easier to finish. So I may not finish this one this month if I’m tackling the Van Gogh, but if I don’t, it’s ON next month!

*The Everyday Parenting Toolkit – I just picked this one up again after several months (having set it aside to read what felt like more urgently finishable things). But I’m really enjoying it. It’s a book recommended by my mother (a mental health councilor) for working with (rather than against) a feisty toddler, of which Bug most definitely is. Already even some of its little recommendations have smoothed out a lot of back and forth nagging (Here are your shoes, no your shoes, yes, come put them on, Bug. BUG. Shoes! Yes! Now! Here. Do you need help? BUG! Yes, shoes now. Put them on. Yes. We’re going. Yes, you need shoes. YES. PUT. THEM. ON.), and I suspect some of the other things I’m learning will be helpful in future years, too, even for a kid who at least thus far is an ordinarily defiant three year old and otherwise a total sweetie. This one’s pretty short, and I’m motivated, so I suspect I’ll be able to finish this this month.

Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights – Okay, I am like…maybe two or three hours away from being done with this audiobook. Its a very engaging book, but it’s not Bug appropriate to listen to out loud, so I’m much more limited on when I can tune in, and then there’s the joy of holds/returns on the library app I use for audiobooks, which means I’m now stuck in a waitlist to get it back so I can finish the last two sections… If I possibly can, I’m going to try to finish this one this month, but I’ll have to see when it’s available again.

*The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2014 – I promised myself this year I would read several of these to get back into shape for writing short fiction again (MAN do I miss getting rejections! How mad is that?!). I’ve decided to start with this one, because I started it a long while ago and am about a third through it. I don’t know if I’ll finish it this month, but I’m going to try to get through some of it.

*Starred = Focus books. I feel like I do better finishing books I’m poly-reading if I have a handful that are prioritized over others. So I’ve got five starred books, and the others may have to wait until next month, depending on how my reading’s going.

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