February Reading – The Month Ahead

I used to post almost every month about what was coming up in my planned reading. This routine post often aged into a public record of my lack of resolve and general slacking, which may have led to my discontinuing it. I think I’m going to try to start doing it again though, as perhaps it will make me feel more accountable and get more reading done. (yeah, right) Anyway, here goes:

Sign-Talker by James Alexander

This book was recommended by my Mom (“Hi, Mom!”), who has read many of Thom’s books. I’ve read one other, “Follow the River,” much of which is set in the Kanawha & New River area in West Virginia, where I have family ties. The Sign-Talker is the fictionalized story of George Drouillard, a half-Native American hunter/interpreter who was part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. I’m already pretty far into this one and may finish up tonight. That would be fortuitous since the author will be at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library’s monthly “First Friday” event tomorrow. I’d like to go meet him.

Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut

This is the KVML Book Club’s selection for February. I know nothing about it and don’t even have a copy yet. It will be nice to return to Vonnegut this month, though, after struggling mightily to get through Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22” last month.

Memory Babe by Gerald Nicosia

The second book of my unofficial planned “twelve author biographies in twelve months” project. I started this biography of Jack Kerouac once a few years ago but didn’t finish. I plan to start from scratch. It’s huge.

MacBeth by Shakespeare

This is the February play for an online year-long Shakespeare reading challenge (that I’ve lost track of where it actually is; I’m so bad). I re-read A Midsummer Night’s dream last month and really enjoyed the return visit. Hopefully I’ll feel the same way about MacBeth. Plus there are witches in this one…

Short Stories

I’m one behind schedule in my one per week project, but I’m sure I’ll read a bunch this month. Next up is Lester del Rey’s sci-fi tale, “Instinct.” I’ve also been enjoying following the weekly short story meme over at Breadcrumb Reads. Learning of lots of new short stories and authors that I. Will be reading this year and into the future, I’m sure.

Well that’s my currently planned month of reading. What about you? What’s on your February reading list?


  1. Scott said,

    February 2, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I like your mom more all the time. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with a Thom book. He is just so good at capturing the period and placing you right there. I swear you can almost smell the scenes. I currently have his book on writing historical fiction sitting on my desk waiting to be read. Unfortunately, it is buried by several other books waiting to be read. Your monthly lists rival my yearly list since I am a slow reader, and my inability to sleep renders me useless for reading. I read two paragraphs and my eyelids start drooping.


    • Jay said,

      February 3, 2012 at 8:40 am

      Hi Scott,
      I’ll pass your information on to my Mom’s fan club president. 🙂

      I wonder, have your read anything by Charles Frazier? He’s ost famous for the novel Cold Mountain, but ialso liked his book, Thirteen Moons, quite a bit. A little similar to Thom’s frequent subject matter and style.



      • Scott said,

        February 3, 2012 at 11:46 am

        I read Cold Mountain some time ago, but honestly don’t recall much. That is the only work of his I’ve read. I’ll keep him in mind for future reading. Thanks.


  2. Jillian ♣ said,

    February 2, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I just read Macbeth for the first time. LOVED it!


    • Jay said,

      February 3, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Yes, it’s considered one of his best for good reason, methinks! 🙂


  3. Melody said,

    February 2, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I just read Nicosia’s One and Only (the story of On the Road from LuAnn Henderson’s point of view) but it was pretty slim. Looking forward to your final opinions about that one.

    Sounds like Catch-22 will make Vonnegut all the more appealing…have fun with that one!


    • Jay said,

      February 3, 2012 at 8:43 am

      Hi Melody,

      I wasn’t aware of “One and Only” but it would be interesting to hear the story from her viewpoint. Sadly, women aren’t often treated very well by Kerouac and his gang of beats.

      I can’t wait to get back to Vonnegut! 🙂



  4. Alex said,

    February 3, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I’ll join Macbeth as well (studyingliterature.wordpress.com, by the way). had a great time with Midsummer Night’s Dream and will try to join all the read-alongs.

    You’re not doing anything to celebrate Dicken’s birthday?


    • Jay said,

      February 3, 2012 at 9:07 am

      Ah… thanks for the link, Alex. 😉

      Dang! How could I have forgotten Dickens? I promise I squeeze something in. Thanks for the reminder!



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