January ’13 was…

When I look back on January 2013 I have a sense of relief. All things considered this month was better than the last. In the grand scheme of things January treated me kind. No major meltdowns. No minor catastrophes to speak of. I started training for Just ‘Cause in the quiet way. Four to five miles a day and I didn’t stress about the numbers. If I didn’t make five or even four I didn’t have a hissy fit or beat myself or moi up. I cut me & myself some slack; gave us a break. I know that as the months wear on this won’t always be the case, but for now it was nice to go easy on me, myself & moi. The running was a different matter. Just as relaxed a schedule but not so easy going on. The run is a little over six weeks away and I’ve done next to nil in order to train. New Guinea has been awesome in that I’m working on speed intervals on level five. Let me repeat that. Level five. Nothing to write home about. I used to operate at level nine. Enough said. On with the books! I am pretty proud of the list.

  • Lives of the Painters, Architects and Sculptors by Giorgio Vasari ~ in honor of National Art Month way back in October. This finally completes the series!
  • Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day by Philip Matyszak ~ in honor of Female Domination Day in Greece.
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray ~ in honor of January being the first month I read something from the first chapter of a Lust book. I admit I didn’t finish this one.
  • Of Human Bondage by William Somerset Maugham ~ in honor of Maugham’s birth month. I also didn’t finish this one.
  • Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron ~ Happy new year. Read something to make me happy.
  • Idle Days in Patagonia by W. H. Hudson ~ in honor of January being the best time to visit Patagonia.
  • The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll ~ in honor of Lewis birth and death month.
  • Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson ~ in honor of the month all Creatures Great and Small aired.
  • Tatiana by Dorothy Jones ~ in honor of January being the month Alaska became a state.

On audio I listened to:

  • Final Solution by Michael Chabon ~ in honor of January being Adopt a Rescued Bird month.
  • No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith ~ in honor of Female Mystery Month
  • City of Thieves by David Benioff ~ last minute add-on. This was addicting!

For the Early Review program with LibraryThing:

  • Gold Coast Madam by Rose Laws (started in Dec)
  • Her by Christa Parravani

For Fun:

  • Leave Your Sleep the poetry book for children by Natalie Merchant


Jones, Dorothy. Tatiana. Fairbanks: Vanessapress, 2001.

Tatiana is an Aleut woman clinging to her ancestral truths in spite the while man’s emergence and the prevalence of modern medicine, technology and unfamiliar customs. This is first apparent when her husband needs surgery after a burst appendix. She is grateful for modern healthcare saving his life but is somewhat disappointed when the old remedies of her culture couldn’t do the same. This sociological shift is even more evident in the upbringing of her children. Her daughter’s mouth is washed out with soap for not speaking English in class; her son, home from a higher education school in Oregon, is bored with the tiny town life that used to thrill him. The divide even affects Tatiana personally when her aacha (friend with whom she has a special bond) Katya is baptized by the missionaries, marries a white man and is ruined by him. It is this relationship that is interlaced throughout Tatiana’s present day life. It is one of Tatiana’s deepest sorrows. But, nothing drives home the differences between Tatiana’s old way of life and the modern more than World War II. Evacuated to a southern Alaskan village Tatiana’s entire way of life is disrupted and turned upside down.

This was chock full of lines that I connected with immediately.  I can’t quote them all but here are a few: “His hands talk more than his mouth” (p 5), and “Some will stronger than mine soaked my soul in that fear” (p 7). Here is another, “Fear made me mean” (p 80). Does anyone else think of Yoda reading that?

There was only one moment in the book that disappointed me. On page 239, the day before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Tatiana says of her son’s soldier friend Lawrence, “I never did see Lawrence…again” and yet four months later, “Lawrence, Paulie’s soldier friend, rushed into the house. Must have been that other soldier friend named Lawrence.

Reason read: Alaska formally became a state in the month of January.

Author fact: Tatiana is Dorothy Jones’s first book.

Book trivia: Not many libraries have this book. In fact, no library in my immediate area of even my whole state had it. My copy was borrowed from Colorado. Thanks, ‘Rado! However, I have to add this small disappointment – my interlibrary loan came with lots of paperwork taped to the front with the strict words, “Do not remove.” I am dying to see the art work for the cover (by Sara Tabbert). I took a peek at Sara’s website and now I’m even more disappointed I can’t see the cover art. Maybe if I tear a little corner….

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Alaska” (p 17). There’s a no brainer!

Jan ’13 is…

Holy crap I am late with the list. “I’m late, I’m late” said the White Rabbit! Okay, okay! I just finished The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland so sue me.
January 2013 is another year of hope and of promise. Kisa and I are going to see Trey Anastasio at the Palace in a few weeks. I officially started training for the 5th Just ‘Cause Walk and, and. And! I am training to run a 10k in March. Yay me. But, here are the books…before I get too carried away.

  • Rabbit Hill (speaking of rabbits) by Robert Lawson in honor of when All Creatures Great & Small first aired. Get it? Creatures = rabbits. This is a kids book so I’m hoping to fly through it.
  • The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith in honor of January being Female Mystery month. I’m listening to this on cd. It’s the first one in the series so expect to see Alexander McCall Smith on my book list for the next 4 or 5 months.
  • Lives of the Painters, Sculptors Vol 4 by Giorgio Vasari ~ this (finally, finally) ends the series started in October in honor of Art Appreciation month
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery ~ in honor of the first month of the year I’m reading something from the first chapter of More Book Lust.
  • Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron ~ in honor of the a Happy New Year. Another kids book to lighten the mood.
  • Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day by Philip Matyszak ~ Okay, get this – Female Domination Day in Greece happens in January, hence reading something Greek.
  • Tatiana by Dorothy M. Jones ~ in honor of Alaska becoming a state in January. Mo one locally has this book in their library so I had to ILL it. It might have to come from Alaska. How fitting.
  • Final Solution by Michael Chabon ~ in honor of January being Adopt a Rescued Bird month. This is another book I will listen to in the car or while working out.

For the LibraryThing Early Review program I am just finishing up Gold Coast Madam by Rose Laws. I also received notification of a January Early Review book but as always I won’t mention it by title until it’s in my hot little hands (or in this case, cold little hands since it’s 6 degrees outside).