Tuesday, March 1, 2011

For the Record: February 2011

I said goodbye to February by having book club at my house.  We discussed Everything is Illuminated (my pick!) and my fabulous husband came home from an extraordinarily stressful day at work and cooked us all an incredible 5 course meal on the spur of the moment.  Great company (there were 6 of us altogether), great conversation (if you've read the book, then you can imagine), and great food:
1. melted brie with honey, cashews and crackers
2. salad with toasted capicola, sliced figs, blue cheese, heirloom tomatoes, and homemade tarragon vinaigrette
3. mushroom ravioli with a creamy white wine reduction sauce
4. roasted and fried sausage, carrots, and potatoes in honor of our book
5. vanilla-bean gelato with fried cinnamon roll bites for dessert

A-mazing.  Wish I'd thought to take a picture or two!

Viewed through the bookish lens, February felt like a heavy month.  I discovered how much is too much in regards to how many books I should be reading at a time, and have since eliminated some of those 12 burdens for my own sanity.  I have discontinued installments of Daniel Deronda for now, saving the rest for a time when I can concentrate on it more fully--either while I'm on vacation (I leave in 2 weeks for Ireland!!) or when I get back--because the story has reached a point that I want to be able to spend some time with it.  I should be able to do that as soon I finish my reading-straight-through-the-chronological-bible-as-quickly-as-possible project (I started on January 29th, and am just over halfway through).

I ended up reading 10 books in February, 23 year-to-date:

Aloud to my kiddos (also qualify for Newbery Challenge):
Adam of the Road, Elizabeth Janet Gray (Newbery Medal)
Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry (Newbery Honor)

Review Copies:
The Boat and Sea of Galilee, Lea Lofenfeld Winkler (review on LibraryThing)
A Kidnapping in Milan, Steve Hendricks

Book Club:
Everything is Illuminated

For Personal Challenges:
Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut (From the Authors of my 2010 Top Five)
The Fates Will Find Their Way, Hannah Pittard (Published in 2011)

Because another Book Blog inspired me to:
Wench, Dolen Perkins-Valdez (reviewed by Bibliophiliac)
The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing (The Prairie Library reviewed a similar book)

And One Simply Because I Wanted To:
Remarkable Creatures, Tracy Chevalier

It actually isn't a bad spread of books, now that I can look it over objectively.  What the list doesn't show is all the other things I'm concurrently reading, and all the work I need to do to prepare for my vacation (my mom is going to substitute-teach my 3 home-schooled kiddos!  Is that incredible or what?  I just need to come up with lesson plans).  Not to mention the inevitable dilemma of trying to decide which books to bring with me.  Maybe some goals would help...

Goals for March:
  - Catch up on writing book reviews.
  - Finish Villette before leaving for Ireland.
  - Update links to reviews and other stats on my blog.
  - Finish the following books by the end of the month:
        - the bible
        - At Home
        - The Troll Garden
        - Expiration Date, Sherril Jaffe (ARC from LibraryThing)
        - either Gilead or Revolutionary Road (they've been on my nightstand for too long!)
        - The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing (on loan from a book club member)
        - How to Be Good (also on loan from book club buddy)

How's that for goals?  That's at least 8 books on my goal list alone, although what I finish in the next 2 weeks will greatly determine what I take on vacation.  And always better to take too many than too few, I say.  Picking out books is one of my favorite things!


  1. Congratulations on a great month of reading!
    I'm envious of your trip to the old country. Enjoy & best of luck on your goals for March :)

  2. The book club and food sound absolutely delightful.

  3. First of all, it's dinner time as I'm reading your post and the food sounds INCREDIBLE... making me even more hungry than I am.

    Second, Ireland!?!? I'm so jealous (in a good way)! How very, very exciting! :)

  4. I'm so looking forward to Ireland. I've wanted to go for a very long time. I'm never very good at taking enough pictures while I'm on vacation, it's like I'm too busy enjoying myself, but I'm hoping to fix that this time around!

    Book club and food last night were so much fun. It was one of those nights that I wish I could rewind and share with everyone!

  5. Haha, unlike Wallace, it's breakfast time here, but I still want that brie so BADLY! Wish I could come to your house for dinner.

  6. What an amazing meal. And on the spur of the moment. Yes, next time take pictures. I love food pictures.

  7. I want to be in YOUR book club! Mine has had some good meals, the best of which MIGHT qualify as an appetizer at your meeting. Seriously, though, sounds like a great time and a great group.

    P.S. Impressive month of reading. You put me to shame. :-)

  8. Lyndsey, brie for breakfast? why not? One of these days you'll get over to CA and we'll feast. :)

    Robyn, I know--the spur of the moment thing just amazes me. I'm definitely not the creative one in the kitchen, I'm glad he is!

    Jay, usually we meet in a coffee shop, so this was out of the ordinary! It was great though. Actually, February had a little too much reading for me (as if that's possible??) and I ended up not enjoying it as much as I'd like. What's the point of reading like a fiend if it isn't enjoyable? At least I get do-overs each month! March should be different. :)

  9. Thanks for the shout out! I'm the same way with the camera on vacations. It feels like I'm constantly stopping to take a picture but when I get home I think there's never enough! Have a great time in Ireland. I'm so jealous!


I'd love to hear what you have to say, leave a comment!