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February To Be Reads

January was not a good month for reading for me. I only completed one book – Midwinter Murders by Agatha Christie.

Midwinter Murders is a collection of short stories set during the winter. I enjoyed all of the stories but I would say my favorite was the last one – Christmas Adventure. That story had an older Poirot. It involved a family in a manor house at Christmas where the children decided to fool Poirot into thinking someone had died. After the prank was done and the victim did not get up, they realized they had a real murder. Luckily Poirot was there to solve the mystery. The rest of the stories included a few more with Poirot and Miss Marple but some had random characters. It was an enjoyable read for a cold winter month. Since I love Christie, it will be a keeper.

Each month I plan to also choose my favorite read for the month and then at the end of the year, narrow them all down to my favorite for the year. January is simple this month since I only have one book to choose from but I will move forward to find my favorite for the year.

So far February has started out much better, I have completed one novel already in my TBR stack. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I will follow up with a review of that book with my next post. I have four books chosen to read this month so besides Thursday Murder Club, I would like to read The Butterfly Sister – Amy Gail Hansen, All Creatures Great and Small – James Herriot, and All the Devils Are Here by Louis Penny. I have already read a few chapters of both The Butterfly Sister and All Creatures Great and Small. So hopefully I can reach my goal of four books this month.

Today we are in a winter advisory with snow all morning and several car crashes on the interstate and a blizzard warning north of us. I have spent the day doing a little laundry, reading, and watching the snow. It truly is a good day to read.

I made it through my first month with the happiness project. When I started this project, I acknowledged that I wasn’t unhappy but I felt I could be happier. Considering what we have been dealing with, I am sure everyone has been struggling with staying home more and the inability to see friends and family. I can’t say I succeeded but I made progress. The main goal for January was to have more energy. So get more sleep, walk or exercise, eat better, and de-clutter my home.

I rarely hit my designated bed time but I did figure out that I may have been trying to go to bed too early, so I pushed my bedtime back a little and did make that goal sometimes.

I really was not able to change my time to shower and dress daily. I still hang out in my pajamas longer than I probably should. I know that will change when we are able to get out and do more and as soon as Spring arrives so I am okay with that but will continue to work on that again in February.

Steve and I had been fairly successful with walking until the weather turned but we do take advantage of the good days. We made a little road trip to a furniture store about an hour away. We figured if nothing else, we could walk around inside and add some steps on our Fitbit. Well we did more than just walk. We bought new furniture for the formal living room and formal dining room. After we’d found a loveseat, tables, and lamps, and while the sales clerk was doing the paperwork, we found the table and chairs we’d seen a year ago but had put off buying. We both really liked that set so much that Steve told the clerk to add it too. Because of Covid we have to wait for a couple items so we will be getting the living room furniture the end of this month and our new table and chairs the end of May or early June. They actually have to make the table the size that we wanted. It is solid wood and made by the Amish. Steve plans to paint the rooms and clean carpet once the old furniture has found its new home. I guess maybe I am happier than I was on January 1st but new furniture always makes me happy.

We continue to work on our diet but that will be on-going. I always say baby steps. As long as we move forward.

So I am continuing with the Happiness project. For February, I am learning to be more kind, stop nagging, and don’t expect praise for things that I do. I will let you know how that goes.

Happy reading and until next time,

Virginia

P.S after I was done, I realized there is a series that I started reading last summer and really want to get back to so if I can, I will read the next Diane Mott Davidson book in my stack of her books to be read.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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January 2021 To Be Read

Today we are being pounded with a snow storm. Sounds like a good day to read a book. I am almost done with one of my December reads and plan to have a review posted on Thursday.

This is a fairly ambitious stack of books for next month but hey it doesn’t hurt to stretch ourselves. As always I will always feel good if I read at least four a month. Even though I am retired, I seem to have found so many things to do to keep busy. Besides starting a new writing project next month, I am also President of our local chapter of Sisters in Crime. Though we only meet monthly, and in 2020 most meetings were virtual. We will be continuing that until it is safe to meet in person. This year besides focusing on writing, we will be reading a few books and reviewing, as well.

I will post a follow-up for my December reads early in January. Did I meet my goal of at least four or did I surpass it? You will have to wait and see.

As I said, I am developing a new mystery novel to write and I am excited to start something new. After a conversation at my last Sinc meeting, it became clear most of the authors and writers swear by Hallie Ephron’s – Writing and Selling the Mystery Novel. I am basing my writing goals around using this book. Currently I am reading and filling out the worksheets to develop the story now. I will be aiming for a first draft by the end of June. I will slip a little bit about this goal into my blog posts to keep you informed, just in case you’re interested.

I am enjoying our rather one-sided conversations but it would be great if you could chime in once in a while. I would love to see how many other people out there actually read my blog and either like it or have some suggestions to make it better. I watch a lot of YouTube and the BookTubers on there. I am trying to fashion this blog after some of those. There is something comforting to hear others talk about books. My reviews are deliberately vague because I don’t want to be guilty of spoilers.

I also will be choosing my favorite book read each month and for the year. I will probably slip in more bookish content as I find it to add, as well. I do enjoy writing this blog and I do hope someone finds it interesting enough to follow.

I really would appreciate your comments and if you have a blog that you would like me to support, please comment and let me know.

Until next time, happy new year.

Virginia

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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