I felt mildly depressed during January. This is not unusual for me, but I think I handled it better this year. I increased my levels of self-care and rested a lot.
I finished three books: Joanna Russ’s On Strike against God (1980), Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1811) and Anna Akhmatova’s Selected Poems (trans. D.M Thomas). The Russ and the Austen actually complimented one another quite well, what with both being angry, funny books about the lives of women. On Strike against God is astounding. It’s a revelation of a book and has convinced me to give The Female Man another try. Anna Akhmatova’s poems are wonderful and terrifying.
I had a lot of other books on the go in January. I couldn’t decide which of my recently purchased Mammoth Books of Science Fiction to start, so I just started them all at once and am now about halfway through them. I’ve almost finished Elizabeth Bear’s short story collection, Shoggoths in Bloom and Ian Tattersall’s Masters of the Planet: The Search for our Human Origins (2012) (ignore the macho title, this is a quiet, thoughtful book about how we got to be who we are). I’ve also been reading Rodney Smith’s Stepping out of Self-Deception: The Buddha’s Liberating Teaching of No-Self (2010), which I’m finding helpful and alarming in about equal measures.