Thursday, January 13, 2022

Covid, Doing Little, 2021 Books

I'm recovering from Covid and at the point where I really want to do something but have nearly no energy, either physical or mental.  It's a strange situation because I'm not one to sit and do nothing.  Sometimes life gets so busy I think, wouldn't it be nice to be able to just sit for an hour.  I'm not so thrilled now that I can do that. 

I finally picked up Cheddarback and began a little slow quilting.  And I've been reading.  And napping.  And just started taking walks again, such slow walks, around our neighborhood.  By all I've read, mine has been a mild case of Omicron.  (It felt like a sinus infection to begin with.)  I've been able to weather through it at home.  It didn't sink keep into my lungs though I do have a cough and I didn't lose my senses of taste or smell.  I haven't have much of an appetite.  I'm ready to feel good again.

We just took our Christmas tree down today but other pre-Christmas things are still cluttered around.  The nisse along with her patterns and papers sit in her box with unfinished neck scarf, Dear Prudence lays under the cutting mat awaiting a choice of binding and a trim, the Christmas wreath is still on the door, and a bag of Christmas gifts sits near the couch in the family room.   

I've missed all the end of year wrap-up posts (too late for that now) and all the planning for 2022 posts (I don't have the mental energy yet), but I thought I could share a list of (most) of the books I read last year.  I came up with a new system to rate them:  loved them, liked them, ho-hum, strongly disliked them.  I tried to include notes about language and intimacy and whether light fantasy.  I may have missed some language notes, though.  If you have questions I'll respond to comments or you can check goodreads for reviews.

I Loved These Books
  • This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing: A Memoir.  Jacqueline Winspear
  • South of the Buttonwood Tree.  Heather Webber (light fantasy)
  • Hamnet:  A Novel of the Plague.  Maggie O’Farrell  (positively lyrical though the ending could have been stronger, one intimate scene)
  • The Lake House.  Kate Morton
  • Midnight at the Blackbird Café.  Heather Webber (light fantasy)
  • The Kitchen Front.  Jennifer Ryan
  • The Downstairs Girl.  Stacey Lee
  • The Lost Spells.  Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris (breathtakingly beautiful)
  • Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting.  Lisa Genova
  • The Paris Library.  Janet Skeslien Charles
  • The Lights of Sugarberry Cove.  Heather Webber (light fantasy)
  • Every Secret Thing.  Susanna Kearsley
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words.  Pip Williams
  • The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive.  Lucy Adlington (non-fiction, amazing ways the women worked together to save each other!)
  • The Rose Code.  Kate Quinn
  • The Keeper of Happy Endings.  Barbara Davis

I Enjoyed These Books, Worth Reading
  • WinterFrost, Michelle Houts (children's chapter book with a nisse)
  • The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding.  Jennifer Robson
  • At Home on Ladybug Farm.  Donna Ball
  • Penguin the Magpie: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family.  Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Grieve
  • Growing Up.  Russell Baker
  • The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin (children's)
  • News of the World.  Paulette Jiles
  • The Second Sister.  Marie Bostwick
  • On the Wings of Morning.  Marie Bostwick
  • The Last Garden in England.  Julia Kelly
  • The Ride of Her Life: The True Story of a Woman, Her Horse, and Their Last-Chance Journey Across America.  Elizabeth Letts (non-fiction)
  • Seven Perfect Things.  Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • The Shadowy Horses.  Susanna Kearsley (some language)
  • A Desperate Fortune.  Susanna Kearsley
  • The Paris Apartment.  Kelly Bowen (some language in difficult circumstances)
  • The Nature of Fragile Things.  Susan Meissner
  • Pumpkin, The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog.  Laura Young
  • I'll Be Seeing You: a memoir.  Elizabeth Berg
  • Hannah Coulter.  Wendell Berry
  • The Keeper of Lost Things.  Ruth Hogan (some language)
  • The Last Thing He Told Me.  Laura Dave
  • The Last of the Moon Girls.  Barbara Davis (light fantasy)
  • Never Fall for Your Fiancée.  Virginia Heath (a fun farce; some intimacy)

Good Enough, Not Fabulous
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.  V. E. Schwab
  • The Uncommon Reader:  A Novella.  Alan Bennett
  • A Piece of the World.  Christina Baker Kline
  • The Promise Girls.  Marie Bostwick
  • The Lost and Found Bookshop.  Susan Wiggs (placed here because of the ending)
  • The Last Year of the War.  Susan Meissner

Books I Disliked and Wish I Hadn't Wasted My Time Reading
  • The Lincoln Highway.  Alex Towles

I hope you're having a good new year!


  1. Oh that is good to hear that you are recovering--anyone who says covid is over is crazy!! Rest up and relax...hugs and hope your New Year is a healthy and a Happy one...hugs, Julierose

    1. Thank you, Julierose. I hope you get relief from your ailment soon!

  2. Who says it is too late for a year wrap-up?! I'm glad to hear covid was mild for you. Relatively speaking. The hubby and I both developed something that acted like a sinus infection after a covid exposure before Christmas. We both tested negative twice and recovered in a few days, but I still wonder. I wanted to get boosted earlier, but trying to plan around my random work schedule (the boss would give me time off, but that's not my style) ended up finishing up 2021 with a noontime booster. The list of books is impressive! I've been given a gift card to a book store, so I might have to peruse your list. I hope you continue to feel better and regain your stamina. Here's to a healthy rest of 2022!

    1. You're right, Katie, it's probably not too late now but by the time I get to feeling like I want to do one, by then it could be the end of January (at the rate things are going).
      I'm so glad you tested negative for Covid before Christmas, though, like you, I would still wonder (especially after this experience). And so glad you were able to get a booster before year's end.
      I hope you find a good book that you love with your gift card.
      Thank you for the good wishes. I hope you and yours have a healthy 2022.

  3. I'm sorry you have had covid. I recall that you thought you had a sinus infection and quite a long wait to see a doctor. I hope you feel better soon. January is a nice time for rest, recuperation, reading. Do you enjoy watching movies? or interesting documentaries on YouTube?

    The sad unopened giiiifts. That has happened with me too.

    I love a book list and yours is very good. I read some of the titles too, and will add others to my 2022 list of books to try.

    Feel better and enjoy each stitch of your beautiful Cheddarback.



    1. Thank you, Lizzy.  I'm sorry I have Covid, too.  You're right that January is a good time to take it easy (much better than in the spring, summer, or fall).  I do sometimes watch movies.  I find myself wanting to do but just not having the energy or focus.  I'm sure this will pass.
      I hope you and Mo are staying warm and happy.

  4. It is interesting what books one loves and what does not appeal. I think News of the World was one of my all time favorite books. I started Lincoln Highway and was disappointed in the story. I did not finish it. I have read two books before by Amor Towles, and his The Gentleman from Moscow is also one of my all-time favorites. I love to read lists of people’s books read. I am impressed by how much reading you have gotten done! I too loved Hamnet, but I also love other books by O’Farrell. Thanks for your lists. Carol in Texas

    1. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, Carol. It is interesting to read other people's book lists. Sometimes I'll borrow them from the library and find they just don't do it for me.
      I liked News of the World well enough but, like you, I loved A Gentleman in Moscow and count it as one of my all-time favorites. I'll have the check out some of O'Farrell's other books.
      Do you have a blog?

  5. Sorry you have had Covid and are taking a while to regain your physical and mental energies. I hope this past week has seen you feeling stronger and finding motivation to resume some of your projects.

    1. Thanks so much, Allison. I see improvement after a week or so but not day by day. I'm looking forward to feeling myself again!

  6. I hope you recover well. Wow what a list of books! I aspire to read more. I am reading Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe now and am enjoying it a lot.

    1. Thanks so much, Cynthia.  So glad you're enjoying Blackbird Cafe.  She has another, newer book out, too.  Sorry, I can't remember the name of it.

  7. Hope you are back to your quilty self soon, Nancy! Thanks for sharing your reading list. You certainly read some interesting titles!

    1. Thank you, Joyful. I actually hadn't given any thought to how a list of book titles would look/read. I guess they are interesting titles.


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