December started off in Chicago with friends, then taking the train to DC for Worldcon, and then I came home just in time for Christmas, Omicron, and the new lockdown in Quebec. So I’m starting 2022 just as I started 2021, but vaccinated, boosted, and fortified by travel and seeing friends. December started off excellent and then went downhill fast, but the days are getting longer now, our curfew is 10 pm (not 8 pm the way it was this time last year), and I’m trying to be positive. I also read fourteen very varied books.
Fiction and Excerpts 
November began in Florence with friends, and then on the ninth I flew to Chicago, where I still am, with friends, so a great month, with travel and books and good company. I read thirteen books, and I have a lot to say about them.
October was another month in Italy, so wonderful after being stuck at home for so long. I went to Assisi, Orvieto, Rimini, Florence and Rome on my own, then met up with my son and together we went to Naples, Ischia, Rome again, Venice, and back to Florence. I did a lot of great reading on slow trains, and in cafes where every time I looked up I saw beautiful things. I read seventeen books this month, and here they are.
September was another excellent month, spent in Florence writing and seeing friends. I read thirteen varied and interesting books, and here they are.
August was a terrific month! It started with being with friends in Chicago, then I flew to Rome where I met up with a friend and spent a couple of weeks travelling around: Florence, Bologna, Padua, Venice, Rome, Siena, Pisa. I caught trains, and saw lots of great art, and even caught a Vivaldi concert in Venice. I read nine books, and I’m adding in one that I read earlier but couldn’t count at the time for an August total of just ten.
July was a great month that began with a restorative trip to Gaspésie with friends and ended with a trip to Chicago, where I still am. It’s so wonderful and amazing to be spending time with friends and having conversations, wow, I have been missing that desperately. I read sixteen books, some of them very long, but a mixed bunch like always, and some of them were really amazing.
June was a much better month in which I got a second vaccination and things started easing up a bit. I even got out of the apartment sometimes, and I saw some friends in small numbers and out of doors, and at the end of the month I went to Gaspésie with friends for a few days, which was wonderful. I also read some great books! I read eighteen books altogether, in a range of genres, and here they are.
I’m sorry I didn’t do a post for April. It’s totally my own fault: I forgot it was May. What even is time? Never could get the hang of Thursdays. By the time people poked me about it, it felt a bit late, and I thought I’d do a combo post for both months together. However, April was a very exciting and busy month, because I got a first vaccine shot, and also I was helping long distance with Ada Palmer’s class papal election, and then May was… well, the snow melted, and as from last Friday we no longer have a curfew, and I may get a second dose of vaccine this week, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.
In April and May combined I read a total of 32 books, and some of them were unexpectedly wonderful.
Another lockdown month, at home, lots of reading, not a lot of anything else. But thank goodness for books, there were a lot of great ones in March. I read twenty books in a wide variety of genres and modes, with a high concentration of things that made me feel free and among friends, at least while I was reading them.
February was another locked down month with a curfew in Quebec, and I was at home going nowhere. It snowed a lot. I saw a total of three other human beings in the whole month. The prevailing mood of this pandemic for many of us is “other people have it worse, but this sure sucks.” I read a perfectly reasonable seventeen books, and many of them were really excellent, which is always cheering.
January was another lockdown month—worse than ever, because now we have a curfew at 8 PM and huge fines for breaking it, which means it’s not just illegal but pretty much impossible to see anyone. Isolation is really getting to me. The numbers are going down, though, which is good, and people are starting to be vaccinated, though I am low on the list. In any case, I spent a lot of time in January on pure escapist reading, and I read twenty-eight books in a variety of genres, with a very high rate of excellence.
2020 is over, huzzah! December was yet another quiet month in lockdown. I read fifteen books.
November was another totally locked down month here, with Montreal in the red zone and no socialization allowed. I saw a total of three other human beings, four if you count the time I saw the UPS guy. I read twenty books, and some of them were great. Six re-reads, the rest new, one epic, one non-fiction, three short story collections, and the rest novels.
A friend was asking the other day for books in which no bad things happen, because sometimes you want your reading to be all upbeat. But yet, there aren’t many books where nothing bad happens. Myself, when I want comfort reading, I’ll settle for “everything all right at the end” which leaves me a much wider field. Nothing bad at all is really hard. I mean, you have to have plot, which means conflict, or at least things happening, and once you have obstacles to defeat there’s almost certain to be something bad.
Keep reading, because I do actually think of some.
As October began we went back into condition red lockdown, not allowed to see anyone outside the household and not allowed to go anywhere except the grocery store. I’ve hardly been out of the apartment this month. But I have been able to read, thank goodness, and I have read twenty-one books.
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