Rearview Mirror // March 2019

Well, it seems as though spring should be well underway, but the weather remains rather cool.  Still, I am hoping to get some things going in the garden in the next week or two, and bits of green are starting to pop up in defiance of the chilly temperatures.

It’s been a pretty regular month of book reading and blogging.  I was still reading some Redwall books at the beginning of the month, but put those on pause to get some other reading done.  The next three in the series are in the queue for the future, though.  I’m still quite behind with reading everyone’s reviews, although I’m slowly but surely catching up.  After FINALLY finishing my main TBR purge (I didn’t quite hit the 400 mark, but I was very close!) I still want to do a big edit on some other sections of my TBR, so that may happen this month as well.

Favorite March Read:

I didn’t have any books that just jumped out and grabbed me this month, although I had a lot of really solid, enjoyable reads.  I think my favorite is probably The Rosemary Tree by Elizabeth Goudge.  This is the fourth Goudge book I’ve read (and the second adult novel), and her writing continues to impress me with its gentle maturity and thoughtfulness.

Most Disappointing March Read:

Although it wasn’t the lowest-rated book I read this month, I think I’m going to go with Pearls of Lutra by Brian Jacques.  I have really enjoyed the Redwall books I’ve read so far, but Pearls (the ninth installment of the series) was really comparatively subpar.  The story was choppy and based almost entirely on visions and coincidences, and the ending seemed weird and sappy.

By the Numbers:

In March…

  • I completed 25 books for a total of 6819 pages.  That is up from February (although down from January still), and I have to admit that 581 of those pages were a large print book so I’m not sure if they should count!  It’s still an average of almost 220 pages per day.
  • My average star rating was 3.62, so I’ve gone steadily up every month this year!
  • While the books were almost evenly decided between ones I personally own and ones from the library or Kindle Unlimited (11-13 + one ARC), I’m still reading way more physical books than Kindle books – only six titles were ebooks this month.
  • For some reason, the 1950’s were oddly popular this month – four books from that decade, including this month’s oldest books, Show Lamb published in 1953.
  • My longest book was technically the large print book at 581 pages – The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer.  In second place was a Redwall book, Salamandastron by Brian Jacques.  My shortest book was a novella by K.M. Robinson, Virtually Sleeping Beauty.

TBR Update:

For those of you who don’t know, I’m weirdly obsessive with organizing the TBR, and have it on a spreadsheet divided into five different tabs:

  • Standalones:  424 (down 245 from last month, and down THREE from my official “end of the purge number” of 427!)
  • Nonfiction:  86 (up 1)
  • Personal (which includes all books I own (fiction and nonfiction), but lists any series I own as only one entry…):  667 (holding steady, despite the fact that I have, in fact, read several books!)
  • Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series):  254 (up 13 – sadly, some of the books that left the main TBR actually just migrated here!)
  • Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 115 (up 6, thanks to more migrating titles)

Awaiting Review:

I have the first two books in the Island series to review (Appaloosa Summer and Wednesday Riders).  I picked them up because I do have a soft spot for YA horse stories, but while they were alright, I’ve found that I’ve lost interest in them and probably won’t bother reading the other two books in the quartet.

As part of my effort to read new books by authors I’ve read (and liked), I read Jennifer E. Smith’s Field Notes on Love, which, like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was adorable and also completely impractical.

Finally, I’ve started a new mystery/crime series – an older one that starts in the 1950’s and runs for roughly one billion installments – the 87th Precinct.  I’m halfway through the second book.  The first, Cop Hater, wasn’t stunning, but was still good, classic fun with an interesting setting, likable characters, and a wry sense of humor.  I’m going to read the first five in the series and then decide if I want to keep going or not.  Seriously, there are 55 books in this series, so it would be a long-term commitment!

Currently Reading:

Right now I’m in the second 87th Precinct book, The Mugger.  I’m also in travel guide mode as I’m prepping for our trip to Great Smoky National Park, coming up in May.  The current book to that end is Great Smoky Mountain Vistas by Tim Barnwell.  It’s actually a pretty fun book, slightly oversized with loads of photographs.  It’s obvious that Barnwell has spent a lot of time in and around the park, so it’s been an interesting way to get an overview of the different regions of the park.  My only complaint is – no map?!  What is the POINT of a book about a certain region if the book doesn’t have a map?!?!?

The Probable Next Five(ish) Reads…

I always do this and then pretty much never actually read the next five books.  However, I’ve once again readjusted my reading schedule into something that seems to be working, so maybe I actually WILL read these books next??

  • The next three books in the 87th Precinct series – The Pusher, The Con-Man, and Killer’s Choice.
  • Jill the Reckless by P.G. Wodehouse.
  • Two more travel guides about the Smokies.
  • The next five books in the Judy Bolton series (books 21-25).
  • Home Sweet Home by Kim Watters, the next Love Inspired book in the pile.

All in all, I’m pretty stoked for April – warm weather, everything greening up, getting out into the garden, and, as always, plenty of good books!!  Happy spring!!