January 2021 Wrap-Up

January was a good reading month. I am by nature not an organized person moving through the days by “how do you feel?” especially now that I am retired. However, I have come to the conclusion that if I am going to complete the reading challenges and readalongs I have signed up for, I have to be a little more organized in my reading, that is, actually plan it. I have a few book projects not related to Relevant Obscurity I also need to incorporate and I used January to test out some methods. That I am happy with the amount of books I read, I think I am on to something.

2020, the first full year of retirement was basically my ‘Sloth Year’ and while some of it was very fun, I realized there is still so much more I want to do and while Covid rages reading as much as I can is a good option. Lest I seem too sedentary, I started bike riding last March and riding to the beach and up and down the river have become early morning joys. Once the days get longer I look forward to evening bike rides. I wind up the nights with Netflix and YouTube as an armchair traveler, chomping at the bit until I can be there in person.

What I Posted
My New Year Post Dear 2021, Send Books
Thoughts on Jude the Obscure
“DNFs to Try Again”

Books/Short Stories I Read
The Golden Bowl, Henry James
Classics Club, Mount TBR

Chris Wolak, Willa Cather’s Short Story Project
“Lou, The Prophet”

Desperate Remedies, Thomas Hardy
2021 Thomas Hardy Readalong/Mount TBR

I Also Read

The Way of the Pilgrim, trans. Helen Bacovcin
At the Corner of East and Now: A Modern Life in Ancient Christian Orthodoxy, Frederica Mathewes-Green
Quaker Roots and Branches, John Lampen

February Plans

A Pair of Blue Eyes, Thomas Hardy
The Loved and Envied, Enid Bagnold
Pilgrim Continues His Way, trans. Helen Bacovcin
10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, Elif Shafak
A Backward Glance, Edith Wharton

Wishing you all a Healthy, Safe February.

Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book. – E.B. White

13 thoughts on “January 2021 Wrap-Up

    1. I am down the YouTube rabbit hole with Orthodox Christianity at the moment! I started researching The Jesus Prayer, as a meditative tool and wanted to know the origin…I had no idea of its connection in Orthodox Christianity.

      I am now in the middle of reading The Way of a Pilgrim with Cleo at Classical Carousel. I got the Mathewes-Green from a list she gave me of proposed books to read together.

      I just took a look at your post and will add some of those to my list. I am not looking to convert, but am very much enjoying what I am learning. As soon as this Covid thing is over I would like to attend a service.

      Thanks for commenting so I could find you!


  1. Wow, you can be proud of yourself! I felt like I’ve read quite a bit in January but I’m reading so many books that I only finished one! How was At The Corner? Good, I suspect as she’s an excellent author. I’m going to post on The Way of A Pilgrim either today or tomorrow. It’s a lovely little book but I think, like you, there hasn’t been tons to post about.

    Oh, if only my February wasn’t so packed I’d join you for A Pair of Blue Eyes. I’ve always been curious about that one.

    Lucky you to be bike riding! I want to start up when the weather gets better. I also own a dirt bike and took some lessons a couple of years ago so I’d like to start that up again. I’m looking forward to spring! 🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’ve not read At the Corner, you may want to check it out. It is, for me, the perfect spiritual autobiography that gives so much of the authors personal experience as well as sharing about the religion. It’s some years old, but I highly recommend.

      I love my bike so much. I call it the fountain of youth: I feel like I’m 10 when I am riding! In So Cal I can ride year round. Not bragging, just stating, because it has saved my sanity during this lockdown….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You seem to be participating in quite a few challenges so it makes sense to plan a little. I can’t do that myself – the minute I put a reading list together I seem to lose interest in it and want to read something entirely different 🙂

    If it works for you though, that’s great

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sticking to mostly classics challenges, which is where I want to concentrate. I also want to be available for the spontaneous readalongs and buddy reads that pop up, and that’s how I found the year-long Thomas Hardy readalong.

      I learned from the past, though, that lists are also spontaneous, or they should be 🙂


  3. I’m so excited that you are reading another Hardy. I haven’t read A Pair of Blue Eyes, and I don’t own a copy. However, if you do read and write a post on it, I’ll be curious to see what you think bc that may cause me to move it up on my wishlist.

    Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel like I saw that on Instagram, and I tried to line up a few of my Hardy’s w/ the schedule, but maybe that wasn’t the same one. Do you have a schedule of the books? Is it public? I think the one I saw incorporated one or two other authors so that they were not reading straight Hardy.


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