You know, I haven’t been at work since Friday, December 20th. And let me just say it has been muy fantástico mis amigos. Even with the cold weather closing campus yesterday, the day had to come when I returned to work and that was today. Temperatures coupled with wind chill were still dangerously cold and I was bundled up from top to toe with only my eyes peering out from the layers as I walked around the corner from my house to the bus stop. I was so well padded I could have slipped on the ice and fallen and not felt a thing. Oddly enough, it was rather invigorating. As I waited for the bus I wanted to yell up at the invisible “polar vortex” and shout, “Ha! It takes more than -30F (-34C) wind chill to keep this Minnesotan indoors!” Admittedly, if I had to wait longer than the five minutes it took for my bus to arrive I might not have felt so belligerent.

But enough about my arctic adventures. Let’s talk January reading plan.

December didn’t quite go as planned since all kinds of books arrived for me at the library, but I still managed pretty well to read most of what I had intended. I just didn’t get to all the other books I was hoping to indulge in over my vacation since I indulged in a pile of others instead.

I continue to read Vital Signs: Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis. I started reading Singing School by Robert Pinsky and have to say I am disappointed. I was expecting Pinsky talking about poetry and while he does a little, it is mostly poems he likes that the reader is supposed to study herself. I am not sure if I will keep reading it. I will decide soon.

And now here it is January 7th already. I’ve finished two books this month, one quite slim, Phantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet, and the other, The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka. Both of these I will be writing more about in the coming days.

I realized on Friday last week that I didn’t have any novels on the go so immediately picked up Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies. Oh, I am so glad I did! I was pretty down on historical fiction after the MOOC class and the terrible contemporary novels we were assigned (I never finished the lectures for this class, I just lost interest. My apologies to my discussion group for flaking out!) but Mantel has restored my faith in historical fiction. Oh is she ever so good.

From reading no novels I am now about to be in the midst of three. This morning on my commute to work I started reading David Copperfield. And tonight before bed I will start reading the next Slaves group read, Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier.

I think those will pretty much carry me through the rest of the month. If I decide to give up on Pinsky I may start Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot. I might just start it anyway.