Month in Review: February 2021

In these uncertain times, I’ve given myself permission to just wander the shelves at will and pick up whatever strikes my interest, one thing often leading to another. This month, that meant reading everything from a classic consideration of gnosticism vs. orthodoxy to an in-depth presidential biography to light fiction set in the Swiss Alps to children’s historical fiction inspired by the legend of Scheherezade…and much more! An odd, but wonderful (to me) assortment.


This month, I quite enjoyed keeping up my resolution of writing short notes in Goodreads on each book I completed. I wouldn’t call these “reviews” exactly, they’re not considered enough for that, but they capture my first impressions and what struck me the most strongly after I finished reading. Some of these may get more in-depth reviews later (I’m scheduled to review Featherweight for Shiny New Books, so that needs to be given some thought, for sure), but if they don’t, at least I have some record of my immediate reaction.

Links to my notes:


I’ve been making headway slowly in German. I try to listen to a podcast (Slow German with Annik Rubens is about my speed) and read a little bit in a graded reader every day. I am pleased that I can understand most of both of these, and they provide interesting content that keeps me engaged while adding to my vocabulary. I wrote a post about overcoming some of my fears that have held me back in the past, which I’m glad have abated somewhat in middle age.


As life has become more and more hectic, confusing, and often painful, I’ve strengthened my commitment to doing some inner practice every day. After a couple of years of fairly regular practice, I can say that it makes a real difference to how I meet the challenges of life. I feel less pushed around by outer influences and more grounded in my soul. This is a source of great comfort for me and a daily cause for gratitude.

I wrote a little poem about an object that sits near my writing space and symbolizes for me something of this inner activity — the space that can open up and the treasures within.

Linked at The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, the Sunday Salon at Readerbuzz, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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12 thoughts on “Month in Review: February 2021

  1. I don’t seem to have picked up on your Goodreads ‘notes’ before now, but I shall have to explore when I’m next on there. These monthly posts are great for reminding me of pieces I’d enjoyed but was starting to forget about because of all the other blog posts that appear.

    1. There is so much to read. It can get a bit overwhelming at times. I appreciate these monthly reviews just to remind myself what I did this month!

  2. I always enjoy the eclectic nature of your reading. And I like the idea of the short Goodreads notes, even for books for which you don’t write full reviews. I may give that idea a try.

    1. That’s a good idea too. I only do a wrap-up post once a month so it would make it a bit long to post all the notes in there. If I went to weekly wrap-ups it would make sense.

  3. Love the idea of short notes. I’ve been gravitating towards short reviews lately and this sounds perfect. I love wandering through shelves and picking up books on a whim. Definitely a comfort in crazy times. Have a great week!

    1. March has been quite tolerable so far. I can’t believe I read all those things in February. It always feels like the longest short month.

  4. That’s awesome that you are studying German–I took this in high school, but had a really poor teacher who never focused on conversational German. This would have made it much more useful than memorizing vocabulary. My best friend is from Japan, so I have started working on Japanese this year and make sure I tackle at least 15 minutes a day. I hope your March has been a good month for you.

    1. Thanks Danielle, things are looking up with the days getting longer and some flowers coming out. I hope you’re having a good spring too.

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