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Books Read January 2018

When I said I was going to choose books from the TBR with associations to the letter C during 2018, I didn’t think I’d be spending so much time with consumptives.  And yet Anton Chekhov, Anne, Branwell and Emily Brontë all died of tuberculosis, with Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain set in a sanitorium.   And, of course, now I’ve started, I’ve unearthed a few more TBR books and authors associated with the topic which I shall aim to read during the year.

Light relief – if you can call it that – provided by crime fiction.  Two German Noir and Peter May’s latest.

Whimsical reading served me well. I picked up Tarjei Vessaas’s The Ice Palace on the day I was snowed in.  That was the day when the Headline Crime Road Show came to Glasgow.  They made it.  I didn’t.  Typical!  And Dominic Smith’s The Last Painting of Sara De Vos was read because I thought it a good idea to follow a Dutch book about an English author – Charlotte Brontë’s Secret Love – with one about a (fictional) Dutch painter by an Australian author.  It turned out to be an excellent idea!

I like the look of this year’s Costa category award winners and so have started on reading these as well.  Am feeling virtuous as I only own one, so am borrowing the remainder from the library (which won’t reduce the physical TBR, but will at least not increase it.)

Books Reviewed
The Collected Stories Vol 1 – Anton Chekhov (5 stars)
The Taste of Sorrow – Jude Morgan (5 stars) *** Book of the Month ***
The Ice Palace  – Tarjei Vesaas (5 stars)
Magpie Murders – Anthony Horowitz (4.5 stars) (Read December 2017)
Zen and The Art of Murder – Oliver Bottini (4 stars)
Fear – Dirk Kurbjuweit (4 stars)
The Last Painting of Sara De Vos – Dominic Smith (4 stars)
Charlotte Brontë’s Secret Love – Jolien Janzing (3.5 stars)

Features
Climbing the Magic Mountain: At Base Camp
Six Degrees of Separation: From The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency to Seven Years

2018 Reading Statistics
9 Read (7 physical, 1 e-book, 1 library loan), 1 DNF

The Great Book Declutter
Not having updated my Librarything catalogue for a couple of years, I have no idea how many books there are in the house.  I wouldn’t sweat normally, but I have now run out of both shelf and floor space! With a couple of rooms to be redecorated later in the year, and no alternative storage available, space must be created for the decorator’s ladder and table, if nothing else.. At a guess I’d say I have in the region of 1800 physical TBR books (see footnote), but let the TBR stack as of 31.12.17 be X (until such time as the catalogue update is complete.) Target for 31.12.18 is X-60. Something achievable (?) to start with.  I may increase this later.

Decluttering Progress Report
16 books culled (8 TBR)
TBR at 31.01.2018 = X + 8 Purchases (January Sales!) + 9 Review Copies – 7 Reads from Physical TBR – 8 Physical TBR culled = X+2 (Note to self – must try harder.)

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Footnote:  Why so many?  Way back when, on the now defunct BBC book forum, long before the birth of the blog, it was suggested that book hoarding was equivalent to saving up for retirement.  This I have done in the 15-20 years since.  It is now time to enjoy my savings, so to speak.

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