BRL Quarterly Report # 10

It’s the end of March, which means it’s time for a Quarterly Report!

Big Reading Life Quarterly Report (1)Books Read (Jan-Mar): 26

Fiction: 20

Nonfiction: 6

Audio: 3 (The Book of Joy – Dalai Lama XIV and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl – Carrie Brownstein, and Hallelujah Anyway – Anne Lamott.)

Chapter Books/Middle Grade: 6

YA/Teen: 0

Authors of Color: 5

Published in 2018: 1 (The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory – review yet to come.)

Faves This Quarter: Anything is Possible – Elizabeth Strout, The Music Shop – Rachel Joyce, How Many Miles to Babylon – Jennifer Johnston, The Book of Joy – Dalai Lama XIV and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Last American Man – Elizabeth Gilbert (review forthcoming!)

Thoughts:ย On the Read Books I Own Goal, which was to read at least one book a month from my own unread stacks, I’m killing it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve read 7 so far. I am confident I can read 5 more by the end of the year, and fairly confident I will read more than that!

My audio books were all nonfiction, and that’s pretty representative of my audio books in general. I just focus better with nonfiction on audio for some reason. (Although I have had some great experiences with children’s fiction on audio.) My podcast addiction (utterly insatiable!) means that I don’t devote much time to audio books.

I’m not really feeling YA books right now. Not that I ever felt them that much to begin with, ha ha!

I am counting the books I read with my son in my yearly reading totals. The chapter books, anyway. (We still read picture books too.) I read them aloud to him at night before he falls asleep. We read the two Charlie books by Roald Dahl and now we’re steaming through The Magic Tree House series!

It’s been a great reading quarter, with only one two-star read. That was the last of the Elena Ferrante quartet, The Story of the Last Child. ย It was disappointing, considering how well I liked the other three. Every other book this quarter rated three stars or better. Oh, and I joined The Classics Club! I’ve read and reviewed one book (Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train) and thought it was most enjoyable.

How has your first three months of the year been with respect to reading? If you made goals, are you making progress? Any surprises so far this year, or have you been following your usual reading patterns? Talk to me in the comments.

40 thoughts on “BRL Quarterly Report # 10

  1. March was NOT a reading month – at least of books; I was too busy following the Tournament of Books. Hoping that I catch back up in April but I’m already feeling a bit lost. I don’t have the usual line up of books to plow through! Trying to commit now so that I don’t waste my time. Decisions, decisions… Congrats on our tremendous first quarter results!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a great 3 months reading-wise and will post my quarterly wrap-up soon.
    I’ve heard great things about The Wedding Date and plan to read it as soon as I get a copy from the library.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not keeping up with my reading goal, which I describe in my monthly posts (at the beginning of the month). Part of the problem is I agreed to read a couple of ARCs, and that threw me off. I think I can catch up this summer when I’m not teaching.

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  4. According to Goodreads I’ve read 22 books, which I’m quite happy with. I know this number is going to drastically fall once the baby comes in May, but fingers crossed it won’t be so bad! 26 books is impressive, and doesn’t it feel good to read the books you already own? Go you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It does feel good to read those books staring at me from my own shelves. When I had my son I didn’t finish one book for a whole month! it was so strange, quite unlike me. But gradually it picked back up. May is an excellent birth month, if I do say so myself (I’m a May baby!)

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      1. haha yes, you’re not the only one who’s told me to keep my expectations low in terms of what reading I get done, so it’s good to know I’ve got lots of people who have been in the same situation!


  5. 26 is excellent and well done on reading so many of your own books! You made me add a Jennifer Johnston to my wishlist this quarter – The Captains and the Kings – but I forgive you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on reading so many from your own shelves already. I’ve been working at this one too. You should clear your goal by the mid-year update at this rate. With the long weekend coming right at the end of March, I was thinking more about that than about March ending, so I do have some checking to do, to see if my reading goals are on track for this year so far. They feel like they are, but sometimes that’s misleading!

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  7. I have so much I want to say about this post, and I need to start dinner so I’m just going to write a list instead of trying to write a cohesive paragraph. Sorry!

    1. I’m interested in Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, since I became a Carrie Brownstein fan when I discovered Portlandia. I also love Anne Lamott!

    2. I totally get what you’re saying about audio, although I can occasionally get into a fiction book. It has to be the right kind of fiction book. I rarely read nonfiction, but I can definitely see this being a good choice for audio. Oddly, some of my favorite fiction audiobooks have been ones where different accents were involved. Behold The Dreamers comes to mind. Hearing a narrator do the accents adds another layer to the story for me. Still, my favorite audiobooks are always memoirs.

    3. I also love podcasts. I feel like I’d get way more reading done if I didn’t like so many podcasts and just did audiobooks!

    4. YA is a big no for me.

    Whew! Off to make dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great comments! I think you would definitely like Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. If you listen to the audio, she narrates it herself, and she’s got a great speaking voice for that. I have never seen Portlandia, and honestly I’m not all that into Sleater-Kinney, but the memoir is so interesting anyway. She’s super honest about her anxiety/mental health issues, and about the dynamics and formation and breakup of the band. Also fun info on the music of the 90’s alternative/grunge/riot grrrl scene.

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  8. It makes me happy to see that other people were not so in love with the last novels in Ferrante’s series either. I loved the second one (probably because they were my age) but it only went downhill from there.

    As for Strout, I am seeing her works everything. Time to give her a try I think!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 2018 sounds like a great reading year for you. Glad to hear that you are doing well with your challenges and that most of your reads have been enjoyable. My reading so far has been okay. I am also trying to read more of my own books. I have made some progress with that challenge but still struggling to reduce my ARC requests.

    I hope the rest of your year is just as fab in all aspects!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am very impressed by your reading so far this year! I’m in a slump, and I only seem to enjoy nonfiction, most of it science-oriented, at the moment. It’s really interesting, but it is completely throwing off my reading plans for the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I look forward to hearing what you thought about the Elizabeth Gilbert book. I hadn’t heard of that one. It sounds interesting: Is the guy still living in the Appalachian Mountains like that?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved it, I just haven’t felt like writing about it yet! ๐Ÿ™‚ As far as I know he’s still got his place near Boone North Carolina. It’s a working farm/education center. Very interesting guy! I’ll write about it later this week.


  12. For a seance I thought you read 26 books in March and I was thinking, Laila, you are a reading machine! Still pretty impressed though when I realized it was a quarter. Sorry to hear the last of Ferrante’s quartet was disappointing. I am hoping to get to the third one in the next month or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve noticed that I’m reading more this year than I have in past years — like, significantly more, like, twenty or thirty more books than I’ve typically read by the end of March. I’m not sure why! I think I’m watching less TV and maybe that accounts for part of the change? I don’t know! It’s a mystery!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow – that’s awesome! Right now I seem to be in a slower reading time, after I posted this blog post! I’m really getting into yoga and meditation and that’s cut into my evening reading time. But I know these things go in cycles.


  14. I read a lot of those Magic Treehouse books to my kids, and I actually miss it. Not because it was such great literature, but because I was learning things! I was sad when they moved on – I wanted to know where Jack and Annie were going next. (I think we made it to #38.) I also miss Raoul Dahl – I love his books.

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  15. Congrats on some AMAZING progress this quarter, Laila! I love seeing the updates on people’s reading goals and their favorite reads.

    I also listen almost exclusively to non-fiction in my audiobooks as it helps me stay attentive. I also have a weakness for memoirs read by the author. There’s something incredibly moving about hearing a story read from the perspective of the person who wrote it. The inflection is much more meaningful. I’ll have to check out The Book of Joy.

    When I was a child, I had the original Magic Treehouse computer game on my Apple II E floppy disk computer. It’s so strange to me to see a whole series of educational games, toys, books, and shows coming out of something I knew in the beginning. Perhaps someday I’ll read those books to my kids? I am unfamiliar with them, but if you enjoy them I know they must be good!

    Keep up the great work. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh well done you! I love non-fiction, but haven’t read that much so far this year. That’s a goal for the second half of 2018. I have The Wedding Date on my tbr as a maybe, and I adore Highsmith’s works, so good!

    Liked by 1 person

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