Reading in the time of COVID

Well, it seems like March 2020 has gone on for well over a year now. With the Pandemic shuttering most entertainment, and parties and get-togethers restricted or discouraged (especially around the holidays), I found myself, like everyone else, with a lot more time on my hands. But instead of settling in for a marathon of Tiger King or watching “all of Youtube,” as my dad likes to say, I realized that I finally had the time and lack of distractions to attack my TBR (To Be Read) pile that I’m constantly adding to.

There was literally “Time Enough at Last.” I felt very much like that character from Twilight Zone, who discovered he was the last man on Earth and now had unlimited time to read. I usually read about 25 books a year, which averages to about a new book every 2 weeks. Depending on my scheduled activities or my interest in a new Netflix show, that could cut into my reading time. Sometimes I would get so wrapped up in a TV series or playing disc golf or family obligations, that the only time I prioritized reading was right before bed. In January 2020, I set the bar a little lower than normal. I figured with all the time I spent house hunting that month and the next, I’d probably only have time to read 22 books by the end of the year. Boy, did COVID change that.

I exceeded my expectations, reading 31 books – and that was just in 2020. So far this year, I’ve read another 20 books. This time spent reading has allowed me to escape from the stress of the pandemic and the ever-changing rules here in California, and experience other lives instead. It was amazing exploring my first Ray Bradbury books (The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, The Halloween Tree) reading LGBTQ+ picks (Milk Fed and Juliet Takes a Breath), in addition to some new cozies (A Deadly Inside Scoop, Cat About Town: A Cat Cafe Mystery) and thrillers (One by One, The Guest List, Mexican Gothic) and re-reading old favorites (Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide, My Sweet Audrina), and discovering new favorites (Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, The Honk and Holler Opening Soon, The Midnight Library). I’ve also had my fair share of books I struggled to get through and others that made the DNF (Did Not Finish) list.

Overall, I enjoyed the solace of free time and no expectations or visitors. I also spent this quiet time focusing on my fiction writing, working on three stories simultaneously. After reading so many exhilarating books, I decided to reset my focus on this blog and share with others some of the amazing (and a few disappointing) stories I’ve read over the past 18 months. See below to view all 20 titles I’ve read so far in 2021.

Cost: $0 – rented from my local library as ebooks or audiobooks

Drink of Choice: Iced Brown Sugar Oat milk Shaken Espresso

 

 

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