The Sunday Salon: January Wrap-up

Hello everyone!  The weather has been bitter cold the past few days, and on Saturday we had a few inches of snow.  Today’s temperatures will hover around freezing, which will feel like a heat wave!  Last weekend we discovered a new trail ideal for dog-walking, and were hoping to visit it again this weekend.  We have a rather fat Labrador who needs the exercise (well, OK, so do I).  But due to the weather, we settled for a shorter walk around the neighborhood.  At the moment I’m snug and warm indoors, with my morning coffee close at hand.

On the last Sunday of the month I like to look back, and reflect on my reading.  Last year, my typical monthly wrap-up post was fairly quantitative.  Well, I haven’t stopped tracking the numbers, but I have decided to stop yakking about them on a monthly basis, and be a bit more qualitative and thoughtful instead.  I’ll take a look at the stats perhaps once per quarter.

So … January was a great month for both reading and blogging.  I am having so much fun blogging on WordPress.  My favorite features are the ability to save drafts and schedule posts.  These are such simple features; I didn’t realize how much of a difference they would make.  I mean, I wrote drafts on my old blog, but I couldn’t save them on the site.  I had to create my drafts elsewhere and copy them over when I was ready to post.  Invariably the formatting would be off and it would take some fiddling to get things right.  And scheduled posts?  What a great idea!  I’m finding it easier to take part in events like Teaser Tuesday.  I also spent a little time perusing the 2009 Blog Improvement Project archive, which gave me ideas for tweaking things here and there.  For example, I’m now putting a “Share” button at the end of each post.  And I found a WordPress ratings feature:  look for the little stars at the end of this post.  I’ve only just added this, so I have no ratings yet — why don’t you try it?

Reading-wise, I read seven very good books.  Thanks to Orange January, three of them were Orange Prize nominees, and all but one by women authors.  Here’s what I read in January (click on the covers to read my reviews):

Have you read any of these books?  What did you think of them?

Read more from The Sunday Salon here.

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5 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: January Wrap-up

  1. What a fantastic month! I loved The Wilderness, and plan to read Night Watch in February. I also really want to read Post Office Girl, but don’t have it at hand yet.

    Hope February’s as good as Jan 🙂

  2. Ooo! A little heatwave! It’s funny when even freezing temperatures seem warm compared to what it had been. It was 63F where I live yesterday and I was thinking how warm it was. Put that 63 day in the summer and I’d be shivering.

    My dog is loving being able to go walking again. He hates the rain. We had several days of it there and so couldn’t go. Walking around the house doesn’t count, I guess. He’s so picky.

    I love Edwidge Danticat’s writing. I’ve read two of her books so far. I have The Dew Breaker somewhere in my stacks waiting its turn. Maybe I should dig that out sooner than later. I’ll make a point of reading that one as if it were a novel since the stories seem to be intertwined. Thanks for the heads up!

    I hope you have a great week, Laura. Happy February!

    Elizabeth Stout is an author I’ve been meaning to read. I am so glad you liked Amy and Isabelle. And The Wilderness is one on my list to try. And, of course, as you know, The Night Watch.

    You read some good ones this month!

  3. I’m so pleased that you are enjoying life at wordpress! I don’t know how I’d manage without draft posts and scheduling! There are loads of other features, so I hope you discover and enjoy them soon!

  4. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by today.

    @uncertainprinciples, you’re right it was a great month. I’m looking forward to February’s books as well although they will be quite different.

    @literaryfeline, I’d read 2 other Danticat books back in 2008 and for some reason left this one lying around far too long. It’s very good!

    @farmlanebooks, I agree there are many more features. I’m on free WordPress, not hosted, which I understand limits the features. But for now I’m very happy with it!

  5. I feel for you – it’s so cold here in London I can no longer bear it!

    I have wanted to read The Reef for ages…lovely edition you have there! What a great January’s worth of reading you have had!

    And I so agree about blogging on wordpress – I love it too!

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