March 2020 Month-in-Review

How is it that I read so few books in March when it was at least five months long?  March was . . . wild.  No, that isn’t the right word for sitting at home on lockdown.  But it certainly hasn’t been boring.  We preemptively pulled no-angel out of daycare (now shutdown), all my class transitioned to online, and my wife certainly won’t be taking any business trips anytime soon.  So I am spending early mornings and nights working and taking care of a toddler all day.  It doesn’t leave much time for reading or writing (or ’rithmetic).

My stats look better than they are because I decided to DNF two books—Bleak House and Red State Blues—that I didn’t touch all month.  At least I was good about acquiring new books, although I did order three more to support my favorite local bookstore.  I just don’t have them yet.

I actually managed more blog posts—six—in March than I did in February.  But one of those was my February month-in-review and one announced a temporary, quasi-hiatus at Hillbilly Highways.  (I published four posts at my blog on hiatus and two posts at my blog not on hiatus ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.)  Not bad, considering, I think.  I do want to post more at Every Day Should Be Tuesday this month, but the blogs aren’t a priority at the moment.  I do have a super special surprise cooking.

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Black Leviathan is Moby Dick . . . with dragons, airships, and an endless sea of clouds

A retelling of Moby Dick set on an endless sea of clouds, featuring dragons, airships, birdmen, and enchanted spears?  Sign me up!  Black Leviathan is also notable for being my first German book in translation as best I can recollect.  I have a couple nits, but overall I love the worldbuilding here and had tremendous fun reading this book.

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February 2020 Month-in-Review

I would beat myself up for writing all of four posts across two blogs over the course of an entire month and for only finishing four books, but February was in fact a fabulously productive month.  I just spent it doing the stuff I get paid to do instead of blogging.  Such is life.  The next couple months won’t be much better, but at least I have hit the halfway point of what is surely the busiest semester of my academic career.

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Rereading The Eye of the World, chapters 13-30

In which the Fellowship arrives in Baerlon, Nynaeve catches up with them, Whitecloaks and Min are introduced, the three ta’veren get their first taste of battle, a desperate choice is made to enter Shadar Logoth, Mat takes up the dagger, the Fellowship splits, the boys take a river cruise Perrin becomes a wolfbrother, Thom falls, ravens hunt, and Perrin kills.

For a series known for a gobsmacking number of POVs, Jordan eases us into things with only three POVs in The Eye of the World (not counting the prologue and the very last one).  The vast majority of the chapters are from Rand’s perspective.  It helps a lot, and I wish a lot more writers today would start things a little slower.  But The Eye of the World really gets going when the characters split fleeing Shadar Logoth.

no-angel looks like she has theories about wolfbrothers

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Review of The Bard’s Blade by Brian D. Anderson

It was an unexpected arrival, but book mail is always welcome at la casa de martes.  I started reading The Bard’s Blade in part due to comparisons to The Wheel of Time.  As it happens, I had just started a reread of The Eye of the World.  I am afraid The Bard’s Blade suffers in comparison.  And for other reasons.

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January 2020 Month-in-Review

I am going to keep this very short because I did very little reading in January, and even less blogging (only seven total posts in January).  I only finished one book.  Although that does understate things a bit: I have been working on several heavy books I didn’t finish but made progress on.

There is one excited bit of news: I finally started a reread of The Wheel of Time and, despite any promises I made to myself when I did, I promptly wrote a post.  I am sure more are to follow.

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Rereading The Eye of the World, chapters 1-12

I really wanted to start a reread of The Wheel of Time.  It was one of my 2019 Bookish Resolutions.  I also really wanted to do a blog series following my reread.  If Every Day Should Be Tuesday search results have taught me anything, it is that me writing about The Wheel of Time is what the people want.  Realizing I needed to spend less time across my two blogs, not more, made me kill that idea.

So on January 15 I embarked on a reread of the series, taking solace in the fact that it would come with no writing requirement.  And here six days later is my first post on my reread.

So we will see how this goes.  I make no promises.  I will certainly cover more book and write less than I would have otherwise.  I won’t stick to a regular, weekly schedule.  This might be the last one you see.  But the spirit compels me to write on it.

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