January 2021 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging at the end of October 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I’ve found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia.

The rest of the world will remember January 2021 for the attempted coup by supporters of Donald Trump against the democratic system, a terrible moment of political deterioration.

Over here, we were still under tough COVID restrictions, and I continued my ten-day posts, four of them on the 1st, 11th, 21st and 31st:

The farthest I travelled was with B, to visit a necropolis in Tienen and a new park in Landen.

But the most significant and unexpected development was that in one of several bizarre twists in the story of the 2021 World Science Fiction Convention, the entire Hugo Award administration team resigned, as did one of the co-chairs. I offered to pick up the work of the WSFS Division, as it’s new Division Head, and my offer was accepted. I rapidly put a new team in place, and we managed to get Hugo nominations open before the end of the month (the departing team had left things in good shape).

Tired of lockdown and busy with Worldcon, I read 19 books that month.

Non-fiction 4
Out of Africa, by Karen Blixen
Endgames: Political Cartoons and Other Stuff, 2015-2020, by Martyn Turner
Watling Street, by John Higgs
T.K. Whitaker, by Anne Chambers

Non-genre 2
The Home and the World, by Rabindranath Tagore
Gallimaufry, by Colin Baker (mostly non-sfnal)
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SF 10
A Day in the Life, by Hank Stine
The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern
Into the Ashes, by Lee Murray
Midnight Blue-Light Special, by Seanan McGuire
The Lowest Heaven, eds Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin
The Food of the Gods: And How It Came to Earth, by H. G. Wells
Greybeard, by Brian Aldiss
The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
Gormenghast, by Mervyn Peake
Elatsoe, by Darcie Little Badger
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Doctor Who 1, 2 including comics
At Childhood’s End, by Sophie Aldred

Comics 2
Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor Volume 2: Hidden Human History, by Jody Houser et al
Kaamelott: Het Raadsel Van de Kluis, by Astier/Dupre
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5500 pages
8/19 by women (Blixen, Chambers, Murray, Mcguire, Perry, Little Badger, Aldred, houser)
3/19 by PoC (Tagore, Murray, Little Badger)

Best book of the month was Anne Chambers’ biography of T.K. Whitaker, which you can get here, followed by Out of Africa, which you can get here, and Watling Street, which you can get here.

Totally bounced off Midnight Blue-Light Special, which you can get here, and Het Raadsel van de Kluis, which you can get here in the original French (L’enigme du coffre).