Sunday, January 29, 2012

TSS: January 2012 in Review

The Sunday

January has turned out to be a very busy month for me, but I've managed to get in some reading in spite of the busyness and a winter head/chest cold. I've also managed to make progress on all three of my commitments: the Merely Mystery Reading Challenge, the TBR Double Dare, and the Clarissa Group Read.

Merely Mystery Reading Challenge

This month I read three mystery novels and one short story for the Merely Mystery challenge. The novels and short story have all been quite different from each other (except for the mystery angle). I've written one "review" which you can link to below. I do plan on writing reviews for the others.

A Morbid Taste for Bones (Brother Cadfael medieval mystery) by Ellis Peters (thoughts)
The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin Russian mystery) by Boris Akunin
"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (short story) by Edgar Allan Poe
In the Bleak Midwinter (Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne upstate New York mystery) by Julia Spencer-Fleming

TBR Double Dare

So far, so good. All of my January reading has been taken from my TBR collection. There is one title that is probably "gray area," but I consider it a TBR book. I received In the Bleak Midwinter in early January from the publisher. I was told in December that I would be receiving this book. What do you think? Does it count or did I cheat?

Clarissa Group Read

I've read Letters 1-6 of Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. So far I'm really enjoying it and can't wait to read February's letters. I still need to write up my thoughts and I'll be putting the Mr. Linky post up this coming Tuesday, January 31st so participants can link to their thoughts. I'm looking forward to what you all have to say! On a side note, reading older literature like Clarissa and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" gave me an idea for a blog post that I hope to put up soon.

Books Purchased

As you all know, I'm trying to read down my TBR collection and trying not to purchase too many books. I'm keeping a "Books In/Books Out" spreadsheet to help me try to send more books out than I take in. By and large the spreadsheet is keeping me accountable. The books I purchased this month are classics that I want to have in my permanent collection, which is another goal. Two of them are the new Penguin Clothbound Classics. Want to see them?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens

Well, that was my January in book news. How was your January?

P.S. See that lovely little leaf plate in the photo above? I'm not sure I ever posted about it, but I received that courtesy of Bellezza at Dolce Bellezza several years ago. I love it.


  1. Penguin's clothbound classics are gorgeous. Excellent buy!

  2. I need to get busy and write a Clarissa post, too. If the first six letters are any indication, I'm going to enjoy this quite a bit.

    You're still good with the TBR Double Dare because you accepted the book lat year. I downloaded a sample of 11/22/63 to my new nook and started reading, so no excuses for me!

    The Penguin clothbound editions classics are beautiful. Very nice editions to your collection!

  3. I'm glad you're enjoying Clarissa! Keeps me optimistic for when I tackle it in April. :)

    And yay for Penguin clothbounds! They are such great additions.

  4. I love those gorgeous Penguin editions! And Bellezza's leaf plate is lovely.

  5. Aww, I can't wait to try out Akunin's mysteries. I have all of them, but my silly self-imposed limit on the number of modern books I can read this year prevents me from picking them up. Also, you're awesome for reading Poe (my favorite author ever)! Just thought I'd throw that in.

    I hope I can manage to write up a little post on Clarissa tomorrow to join the conversation. Doesn't help that I have two more posts sitting in drafts! Wish me luck!

  6. I don't think you cheated...

    Those Penguin editions are so pretty! And Bellezza's leaf plate, too!

  7. Memory, Allie, Nymeth: Thanks! They are so pretty. I keep looking at them.

    JoAnn, Kailana: I'm glad y'all agree with me that I didn't cheat ;)

    Tasseled: Yay! A fellow fan! I plan on reading some more Poe this year too.

  8. I see the Japanese maple plate I sent you! It looks so lovely on the stand in which you've placed it! I'm glad you have it, and it touches me that you like it after all these years. xoxox

  9. Love those Penguin clothbounds--as well as the Puffin ones for children's books that are like ice cream sorbet colors. Love!

  10. I have been lusting after that Bleak House for months! I suppose I shouldn't complain since I own ten from the Penguin Clothbound collection...but that Bleak House is so beautiful!