Sunday, 1 March 2015

February in Review: Or how I froze my ass, returned to blogging and read a ton of poetry...

A frozen Lake Ontario.
February was bloody cold. Canadian winters are not for the faint of heart and if you don't take the necessary precautions, frostbite is the least of your worries. One of the biggest news stories in Toronto this month involved a 3-year old who wandered away from his home in the early hours of the morning and was found dead a few hours later, only a couple hundred meters away. Just tragic. I can't even imagine what it would be like to be homeless in this city. It's insane. Even bundled up in layers with a thick winter-coat, toque, heavy-duty boots and gloves doesn't prevent the cold from going right to my bones in a manner of seconds. Walking to work in this weather is no picnic, let me assure you. Nor is having to work in the back-room of a warehouse with the door always opening and closing. Then again, it could be worse right? How these homeless people are able to survive on the streets day in and day out in subzero temperatures is beyond me. Sometimes we take it for granted of how good we really have it. I may not have a lot of money but consider myself blessed to have roof over my head, central heating and food on the table. It's a privilege to be able to cozy up on the couch with a warm mug of hot-chocolate and a good book.

I am so glad February is now over because that means it should be warming up a little bit as we make our way into March. What a relief! I can't handle -30 temperatures anymore. Despite the lousy weather, February was a busy month for me, reading wise. It also marked my return back to the blogging world from a long hiatus. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank those individuals who expressed their concern, welcoming me back with kindness and support. You know who you are. It truly means a lot to me. 

I didn't manage to read as many novels this month because much of my time was devoted to reading a prodigious amount of poetry for the The Literary Movement Challenge and writing reviews/updating the blog. 

Total books read: 4

Storm Front (Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher
The Martian by Andy Weir (kindle)
Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
Carnival by Rawi Hage

Favorite novel of the month: Memento Mori

Poetry: Astrophil and Stella by Philip Sidney, Hero and Leander by Christoper Marlowe, The Miller's Tale by Chaucer.

Literary Criticism: A Defense of Poesy by Philip Sidney

Short stories: Alice Munro, Dorothy Parker, Kurt Vonnegut.

Overall, it was a productive month and I'm proud of myself for actually following through with a reading challenge for once. Granted, there is still January's Literary Movement to catch up on since I joined up late but I dread having to read anything from the medieval period. I can't stand Middle-English!  I also joined up for two other challenges (Reading England and Deal Me In) and hope to make a substantial dent in both of them during March.

How was everyone else's February? Did you reach your reading goals? Was there any new literary discoveries? Are you proud of any reviews/write-ups you did? Did you come across any interesting posts on other blogs? I sincerely hope you were able to stay warm at least! 


  1. May I extend sympathies from the U.S Gulf coast where the temps hit low 70s (F) today. Spring is on the way. Hang in there.

    1. How I envy thou. Spring can't come quick enough here!

  2. More sympathies from Western Canada where I was sitting outside in the sunshine without a coat on Saturday. It's a little colder today though .....

    Well, for someone who came back to his blog and pre-apologized for being slow to get back to posting and for reviews that were going to be reduced in length, you certainly ramped it up quickly! I must say again how much I've enjoyed your poetry posts. I'd love to see ones for Hero and Leander and The Miller's Tale ....... :-)

    As for February, I was away for a week and was able to get lots of reading accomplished so I'm happy with the month. That said, I was a little bit disappointed with my February reads. I'd say my favourite was The Journal of William Sturgis, but I also started Rousseau's Confessions in February and so far, I'm loving it. He was a unique guy. For March, I'm continuing with Confessions, doing another read of Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing, in my Austen Project moving on to Sense and Sensibility, Little Women with Hamlette's Read-Along, I think I'm reading Woolf's The Voyage Out with O, and trying to get to Chernyshevsky's What is To Be Done?, so I can then read Notes to the Underground. And Ulysses is still to be conquered. Sssheesh, it looks overwhelming when written out, doesn't it? I think I'll go crawl into a hole now ....... ;-)

    1. Grrrr....rub it in why don't ya! You and everyone else's grandma gets to enjoy sunny and warm weather while I am stuck in those frozen wasteland. So not fair. That's it, I'm moving to Tahiti!

      I honestly did not expect to get back into the groove so quickly but there you have it. Considering you're the only one who seems to enjoy those poetry posts I will have to do more. I hope to have a review of Hero and Leander up within the next few days if all goes according to plan.

      I should really read more Rousseau. I read small sections from his "Social Contract" during my rebellious and politically motivated days, which really helped to reinforce a lot of my beliefs at the time. Perhaps I should read his work for the 'Enlightenment' Literary Movement Challenge this month!

      You definitely have a lot of heavy-duty reading ahead but nothing you can't handle. Ulysses might delay things though. :P

      After considering it for a little while, I will probably join the Little Women read-a-long, if only to provide a male perspective on the text. I don't mean to suggest that it only caters to the female persuasion, nor do I want to come across like some kind of male chauvinist pig. I am interested in exploring gender barriers and social stigmas when it comes to literature so what a better way to do so then reading Little Women. :)

      Sorry missy, but you can't become a hermit. You're just going to have to find a way to buckle down and get all that reading done. Reduce your sleep, drink lots and lots of caffeine, whatever it takes because if you leave then who will read my blog? :(

  3. Yup. I'm done with the snow, and the cold, and the snow days off from school. At this rate, my kid is going to be in school until August!

    I've heard great things about The Martian. I should probably read it one of these days!

    1. Finally, someone who understands what its like to experience the harsh weather conditions of winter! There have been plenty of severe weather warnings this month and school cancellations because of the snow but those are days of jubilation for students.

      "The Martian" was a highly entertaining and quick read. I highly recommend it even if you aren't into the SF genre.

  4. I would kill for some cold on my side of the world right about now. It seems like you had a good reading month. There will be short story reviews here as well, am I right? I look forward to reading your thoughts on Vonnegut and Munro.

    1. Be careful what you wish for...give me warm weather over this cold any day!

      Yes, there will be reviews of the short stories appearing in the next little while. I actually came across Vonnegut's short-story on your blog and wanted to read it soon afterwards. :)