March Reading List
Phew. February was a busy, busy month. It almost always is. It’s tax season here in Canada, which means I have get my documents ready for filing and sent off to my accountant. That’s on top of February being a relatively short month, followed by the fact work always gets very busy!
I’m never quite sure why I manage to book so many editorial projects in February, but I do. February is possibly the busiest month of the year for me, almost every year. C’est la vie.
Keeping Up with Commitments
As you might imagine, February being so short and so busy can mean it’s difficult to keep up with commitments. Even just the loss of those two to three days makes February feel particularly short, which means everything seems to happen on a compressed timeline.
Whether you’re trying to finish up a project, keep up with you gym commitment, or meet a tax filing deadline, those two or three days are precious, precious things, it turns out.
So it is when it comes to reading books! I actually cheated a bit and started reading one of the books on my February reading list early, because I knew this was going to happen. I was also interested in reading the book on marketing because I released Submerged at the end of January, so I wanted to spend some time with marketing initiatives in February.
Let’s just say I learned a lesson from that: You start marketing much, much earlier. The good news is I did learn a few things, at the very least. I’ve already started drawing up plans for A Stranger Sort of Fairy Tale.
Did I mention I also had a push to finish the first draft of that book? If nothing else, I like to bite off more than I can chew most of the time. Some would call it ambition, but I’m beginning to think that’s a code word for “stupid.”
Learning Swedish … Still
My other book was Farlig Midsommar, by Tove Jansson. I first started learning Swedish about five or six years ago. I spent a summer in Sweden, in school to learn Swedish. Turns out, Swedish itself isn’t difficult for English-speakers. On the whole, it’s pretty easy.
The bigger problem is virtually every Swedish citizen knows English, and they’re very excited to practice their English skills with a native speaker. I can’t tell you how many times I was told to stop trying to speak Swedish and just to speak English, because my Swedish acquaintance wanted to practice. If I protested, I was told Swedish is a silly language to learn anyway! It’s not very useful—much better to know English!
So, it can be fairly difficult to get some practice. One thing I did do was learn to read, however. I have a few books, most of which are children’s books. When I visited some friends in Stockholm last summer, I grabbed up another of the Mumin books.
I knew reading Farlig Midsommar would be a challenge, because it’s new to me. I’ve read Trollvinter over and over again, but I still don’t understand every word with perfect clarity. I get enough to get by, but virtually every read-through provides a new word or a new insight.
Farlig Midsommar, being entirely new to me in written form, would present more of a challenge. It’s why I re-read Trollvinter in January. I was shaking the rust off my Swedish skills. I’ve also watched various versions of Farlig Midsommar, which also helped my understanding.
Completing Two Books
So, despite the struggles of a compressed month with a lot going on, I did manage to read my two books during February. I’m still on track to meet my goal of reading 24 books for pleasure this year.
Last year, despite promises to read more books, I didn’t do much more pleasure reading than I had previously. It was a major accomplishment for me to finish two books in January, and staying the course through February—one of the most challenging months of the year for me—is definitely noteworthy. Now it remains to be seen if I can stay on-track through March.
We’re four down, 20 to go.
What’s on the March Reading List?
I had actually toyed with the idea of adding a third book to February’s reading list. At the end of things, I didn’t because I knew, realistically, getting through two books was going to be an uphill battle. I wasn’t wrong.
Hey! Maybe I’m learning something after all.
March is a longer month, and thus far, it doesn’t look like I’ll have nearly as much work. I mean, I still have lots on the go, but the projects won’t be flying in and out nearly as fast. It also looks like my deadlines are spread out a little bit more; there’s no bunching up near the middle or the end.
Will that mean I have more time for reading? Should I be really ambitious and add three books to the March reading list?
I could. Would it be wise? That’s another story.
Since I like to feel accomplished, I’m going to stick with my original pace of two books per month. I like to estimate negatively, then be pleasantly surprised when things turn out differently than I anticipated.
If I estimate I’ll read two books, I won’t be disappointed or feel like a “failure” if I don’t manage to read more than that. I think two books per month is a reasonable pace for me, so I’ll stick with it.
If I added a third title, I won’t get that sense of accomplishment if I don’t get all three books read. Worse, I’m taking away an even bigger potential accomplishment: If I assign myself two books, read both, and then start a third, that’s a huge triumph! If I just go ahead and assign the book, I’m sort of setting myself up to be disappointed, not pleasantly surprised.
What’s on the March Reading List?
All right, now for the good part. What have I actually decided to put on the March reading list?
I’m going to grab a new release, so the availability of this title will affect when I can read it. I’ve heard a lot of chatter about Bishop’s Move by Santino Hassell and Piper Vaughn, and I did take a gander at the sneak peek.
I’ll say from what little I’ve sampled of Hassell’s writing, I’m a fan. I’ve read Vaughn’s work with Avon Gale, Permanent Ink. It will be interesting to see how these two authors work together. I like the virtual reality/futuristic setting, and I was definitely intrigued by the set up.
My second pick for my March reading list is Hexbreaker, the first book in the Hexworld series by Jordan L. Hawk. This book was suggested to me by the lovely Emily Eden, and Hawk’s work definitely sounds like it’s up my alley as a reader. (I’m pretty big into supernatural, paranormal, and fantasy, although you probably wouldn’t guess it from my current oeuvre.)
Will there end up being a third book on the March reading list? Who knows. I might find the time for it—or maybe I won’t. My TBR pile isn’t that long just yet, but I’m sure I’ll keep finding titles to add to it as I continue to work my way through the pile.