The first 6 weeks of 2013 have been challenging. In a case where life reflected art, the house was transformed into something ressembling the Gorbeau slum – why are decorating jobs never straight-forward? I suppose it helped me empathise somewhat with Hugo’s Les Miserables – but not much. Hugo’s wordiness drove me to distraction and if you can follow mindmaps, you will see from the picture below


that I distracted myself with many an interlude as I worked my way through the 530,892 words of the French masterpiece. Am I elated now it is done? Not really, just relieved. So relieved in fact that I have no interest in seeing the film.

Hugo’s loquacity seems to have dried up my own and It has been 6 weeks of very little blogging. Lots of reading though. The books I highlighted in pink are books read in January, those in yellow the ones read so far in February. (Reviews will follow for the best of the bunch.) Those not yet highlighted are the immediate TBR and books I intend reading before the TBR Double Dog Dare finishes at the end of March. Looks like I’m going to be spending plenty of reading time in Germany (mindmap – top left) and a goodly amount in Italy (mindmap – top right).

Choosing books by association with something already read is proving an interesting experiment. It’s certainly one way for the books in the TBR mountain range to fight their way to the summit. it also gives me the feeling of reading whimsically. Plus there’s only one unhappy face in the choices i made so far. Les Mis doesn’t count – it was a book group choice. I’m sorry, Simon at Stuck In A Book, but Cheerful Weather for A Wedding left me cold.

I think I’ll keep this mindmapping experiment going through 2013 and see where it leads me.

20130215-194126.jpgHowever, I’m not going to make it to the end of March with the TBR double-dog dare. I signed up for the whole 3 months only because Glasgow’s Ayewrite festival, the usual reason why I fail, has been scheduled for April. Then the rug is pulled from beneath and Ayewrite schedules two early taster events for March. I can only make one but I do want to read the book before attending and so it is that I shall call a halt to my TBR challenge at the end of February.

Still there’s plenty of time to add to height of the book pile on the right. It may not add up to the height of a munro by the time I’m done, but as they say every little helps in the battle against the ever increasing TBR.