Month in Review: February 2023


February is a short month, but I got a lot of reading done, thanks partly to a bout of sickness that confined me to the house for a few days. Highlights included finishing David Copperfield and comparing it to Demon Copperhead; the ongoing #LoveHain readalong hosted by Calmgrove; discovering the beautiful, harrowing memoirs of Joy Harjo; reviewing the Folio Society edition of The Farthest Shore for Shiny New Books; and slowly making my way through the wrenching classic All Quiet on the Western Front, a book that should have been the book to end all wars, if people would only take its message to heart.

I posted reviews of The Tombs of Atuan and Autobiography of a Yogi.

What were your memorable reads in February?


A former student of mine from Italki has been asking me to teach a class for a platform she runs in China — I was skeptical at first, but it seems to be legitimate, so I agreed to give a trial class, and if students signed up, to teach a seven-week series on American poets.

I enjoyed giving the introduction, which was attended by fourteen students and recorded so more potential students could watch it — but the minimum number have not yet signed up for the course, so I’m not sure it will be happening. If not, I don’t really mind, because I have enough on my plate, but it will be interesting if we can get a group together.


The last couple of months have been taken up with trying to decide where our son will go to school next year; his current school only goes to 10th grade so he needs to finish high school elsewhere. He visited three other Steiner/Waldorf schools, and to our relief decided to go to the closer one where his classmates will also be attending. It’s still an hour away by car, so we have to decide whether to move somewhere in between here and there, but at least it won’t be such an complete upheaval.

Otherwise, I shared the first steps in my spiritual direction training, and also enjoyed participating in Share Four Somethings –check it out to find out what I loved, saw, learned and ate this month. And let me know how your month was, too!

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

18 thoughts on “Month in Review: February 2023

  1. I’m late in joining the #LoveHain readalong, but it took me a while to find Rocannon’s World and Planet of Exile. I’m at the end of Rocannon’s World, so I hope to start Planet of Exile this week.

    The seven-week series on American poets would be fun to put together. I wonder which poets you will focus on.

    Good luck with figuring out how to manage your son’s next school with the other things in your life. I know it will all work out well.

    1. The poets are Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, e.e. cummings, Sylvia Plath, and Maya Angelou. I wanted to give an impression of the range and diversity of American poetry, while choosing from among my personal favorites — this is for fun after all. We’ll see if anything comes of it!

    2. I’d be pleased to know your thoughts on either of the Le Guin novels, Deb, if and when you feel able to reflect on them – especially as you’ve made the effort to locate copies!

  2. It’s good that your son feels he’ll be happy in his chosen Steiner school: regardless of the adage the school experience doesn’t always prove to be the best years of many students’ lives. And of course the Steiner system has so much to recommend it over the sausage factory mentality that pertains in a lot of state education.

    I’ve enjoyed your posts on bookish matters this month, and overjoyed you’ve generously commented on #LoveHain posts. Myself, my reading highlight was Kuang’s hard-hitting Babel but as well as Le Guin I also got a lot out of Andersen’s fairytales and an Arthur Rackham art book I borrowed from the library.

    1. Sounds like a lovely month. I have a bit of a backlog at the moment but hope to clear that shortly and get back to the Hainish reading with City of Illusions. I started it with the intriguing first chapter, but then had to set it aside for other things.

  3. Ah, lovely to see that you’ve highlighted work from two of my favorite American writers, Le Guin and Joy Harjo. I hope the school commute situation works out satisfactorily.

  4. Ugh, it sounds like the school choice situation will be a difficult decision to make, especially if you end up with an hour long car commute. It’s been quite a few years since we’ve moved houses, so I applaud your good attitude about considering that option if necessary.

    1. He’ll commute by train, which makes it even longer. But we’ll work it out. Moving is a hassle, but we’ll manage somehow.

    1. I read David Copperfield through the previous month, just finishing in the first days of February. Demon was a quicker read (a bit shorter). It was an interesting experience to read them close together, although Kingsolver suffers a bit by the comparison in my opinion. One sees how brilliant Dickens is at characterization through varying language, where hers tended to be much more flat.

  5. David Copperfield was a favorite of mine in high school. It’s probably time for a re-read.

  6. Ursula K. Le Guin is one of my favorite authors. I haven’t read Planet of Exile yet.
    Have a great March reading month.

    1. She is one of my favorites too. I want to read all of her books eventually. I’m glad this readalong is giving me a push to do that.

  7. David Copperfield is a great favourite with me even if not my favourite Dickens. Sorry to hear about your illness, and hope that all is well now. I meant to read Before the Coffee in February too but time got the better of me and work meant I hardly got any reading done in the second part of the month. Hope things work out with the school choices soon.

    1. It was a minor sickness, fortunately, thank you for your care. I’m curious to see what you think about Coffee, I was a bit disappointed after all the raves. Hope you have time to read this month!

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