The best laid plans…

Happy New Year!

Is it too late to say that?

My first post of 2022 is definitely much later than I anticipated, because I tested positive for Covid on Christmas Eve (timing, eh?) and have been really struggling ever since. Today is the first day in about three weeks that I feel semi-human, although everything is leaving me weak and exhausted. I dread to think what it would have been like if I wasn’t double-vaccinated, but hopefully I will start to feel more like myself again soon.

I had such great plans too. Reviews were planned for Annabookbel’s #NordicFINDS Month and perennial favourite Japanese Literature Challenge, but at the moment I can’t seem to muster the energy to write anything that requires too much thought.

I have read a couple of books for both those challenges already, but my poor brain can’t seem to muster the energy to write my reviews yet!

Strangely, I’ve been managing to read quite well despite everything and have got through some great books over the Christmas/ illness period.

I absolutely adored Station Eleven, as I figured I would, having loved The Glass Hotel. Now waiting with baited breath for Sea of Tranquility, Emily St John Mandel’s new novel which is out later this year.

I also really enjoyed We Play Ourselves by Jen Silverman, which had come to my attention via a review on Susan’s blog. This novel set amid the theatre world of New York was very smart on questions of identity, reinvention and art.

Less successful for me where both How to Kidnap the Rich and The Incendiaries neither of which overly impressed. How to Kidnap the Rich started with a bang, but the continuously snarky tone and vague plot wore thin after a while. While I liked the premise of The Incendiaries and Kwon’s prose style, I wasn’t keen on the narrative structure and found the both main characters stock and dull.

Build Your House Around My Body is an ingenious and original horror story, which was structurally intriguing, but could have been edited down just a bit to make it more focused.

All in all though, I did enjoy taking a break and reading some of the newer books on my shelves, before getting back to trying to reduce that infamous 746.

Three weeks is, I think, the longest break I have ever taken since my blog began and it made me realise that I may sometimes take on too much. This year I plan to ease off a bit for the first half of the year.

I will host Reading Ireland Month again in March, but with a reduced amount of planned reading and 20 Books of Summer 2022 will go ahead, however I will probably only commit to reading 10 books for that one. As for challenges throughout the year, if I have a book in the 746 that fits, then I’m in, but otherwise I may have to pass for a change.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and wish you a healthy and peaceful New Year. I can’t promise any reviews shortly, but I am looking forward to catching up on everyone’s blogs and seeing what I’ve been missing.


Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

87 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Oh, Cathy, I was so sorry to hear you’ve been sick. It really sounds awful but at least you’re on the mend (although I can imagine how frustrating it is, to have to readjust those lovely plans).
    Isn’t Station Eleven wonderful (I also loved The Glass Hotel)? I don’t know if it’s yet made it to Ireland/U.K. but there’s a 10 part miniseries now playing in the U.S. So far I’ve really enjoyed it, but there’s a big plot change coming up so I’m withholding judgment. Like you, I’m eagerly awaiting Sea of Tranquility.
    Rest up and take care of yourself.


  2. Hope you are feeling more like yourself as each day goes by but do be careful and not over-do. Loads of rest seems to be the main thing to get folks over the hump. (It’s rampant here locally right now and I’m back to hermiting to the 100th power despite being vaccinated!) Happy new year!


  3. Commiserations on catching the dreaded lurgy, Cathy, that’s really bad luck at any time but especially in the special holiday period. Though you’ve felt debilitated I really hope that continues to pass, and I think you’re sensible to reduce some commitments to help you recover more fully. Take care and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your health is the most important!
    Relax and give your body/mind time to recuperate. Your challlenges are familiar to
    many of your readers…so just a sign-up post + linky is all we need!
    Take care….


  5. Oh, poor you! It sounds as if Covid has really hit you hard. I’m sorry it wasn’t a mild case like I’ve heard about from others. Great that you were still able to focus on reading, though, and I’m glad you’re giving yourself a break on some of the year’s challenges.


  6. I’m also eager to read Sea of Tranquility, as I loved both Mandel’s two previous novels. And I’m glad to hear you’re willing to be less demanding on yourself this reading year. It’s hard, what with so many new books being released, let alone all those from-the-past TBRs lovingly waiting for us! Most important, so glad you’re on the mend. A friend of mine got it and the fatigue for him was long and overwhelming.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry to hear you’ve been poorly, and glad you’re on the mend. This struck a chord with me, “As for challenges throughout the year, if I have a book in the 746 that fits, then I’m in, but otherwise I may have to pass for a change.” – it’s been my policy for a few years to only do challenges off my TBR, with very rare exceptions, and it’s why I don’t always do Reading Ireland or Wales and Australia months (though I have so much at the moment surely I can fulfil any challenge!). I’m also glad you’re still running your challenges, as I would miss seeing/participating in those! Get fully well soon!


    • Thanks Liz! I tend to get so excited when I see challenges/ reading months that I just start making lists and putting reads in the diary and I never stop and think if I actually have time to participate. Time to take it a wee bit easier I think – although I will be reading Lonesome Dove for your challenge 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Cathy, I’m so sorry you’ve been sick. I’m glad you are at least feeling a little better. It’s good you have been able to read, though. I saw your comment on my blog about Sea of Tranquility. As I mentioned in my post, the genre isn’t something I usually go for, but Emily St. John Mandel writes so well and with such variety, I know I will enjoy anything she writes. Take care of yourself and I’ll see you out there on WordPress!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So sorry to hear you have been sick. Very excited to discover there is a new Emily St. John Mandel book coming this year. She has some novels from before Station Eleven that I also enjoyed if you want a fix of her work before the new one arrives. Hope you continue to feel better!


  10. What a rotten thing to happen especially at Christmastime…Thank goodness you are on the mend. You are a valuable member of our blogging community, and we appreciate everything you do. Take care, get fully well, and we look forward to a better year ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh no, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been unwell! Im glad you could take some of the pressure off yourself though. My husband came down with omicron over the holidays too, and we hadn’t even made it to visit family, who’d also gotten sick – it just spreads like wildfire! I hope you’re on the way to feeling much better now!


      • He is, thanks! Like you I was actually a bit relieved he finally got it, as I’d had it before being vaxxed and it was quite scary to have to wait and wonder. Knowing that he came through it ok was its own kind of relief. I’m glad it could feel that way for you too and hope you’re well on the mend!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Your timing was indeed off – it must have been difficult to deal with the children’s Christmas Day excitement when all you wanted to do was crawl back to bed.
    Good to see that you’ve recovered enough to even think about the blog; don’t worry about taking a break because you know we’ll all be hear when you are ready and able.
    You are not alone in reining back on challenges and projects etc this year. It’s so tempting to join in with everything and then realise that you’re always chasing your tail.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So sorry you had COVID over Christmas and New Year. Three out of five of us had it one after the other in December, but luckily my son was better just in time for Christmas (though we cancelled extended family). It sounds as though you’ve had a particularly nasty bout, I hope you’re starting to feel a bit better.


  14. It sounds truly awful, Cathy. I’ve been thinking about you over the past few weeks, ever since I saw your tweet about it on Christmas Day. Such rotten timing for you and the family, but I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling more like yourself now, albeit still fatigued. (Good to see that you were able to read, though – that’s some consolation at least!) My very best wishes for a speedy recovery In January. X


  15. Late to this, but so sorry you had a nasty time with Covic – and over the holidays too. Sounds sensible, your plan to rein in some of your reviewing and other challenges. Wishing you all the best.


  16. Sorry to hear that you had Covid, Cathy, my wife has it at the moment! She is fairly mild thankfully. Glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery now


  17. Glad that you are starting to feel a bit better. Hope you continue to feel better and better every day! I didn’t know about Reading Ireland March. I’m off to check that out right now! 🙂


  18. Oh my! You have had a time of it, Cathy. I’m so glad that you are finally beginning to recover and hope that you’re soon much better.
    It’s never to late to say HNY and I hope that yours, whilst not starting off so well, will be a much better, brighter and happy one.
    Glad to read 20Books will go ahead as it’s likely to be one of the few/only challenge I will participate in this year. I am likely to go for 10 or 15 books as my reviews are way behind at the moment so not sure how long I will be playing catch up!
    Sending best wishes and glad to see you back. Janet x


    • I toyed with not doing 20 Books and then realised that my blogging year wouldn’t be quite the same without it! I’ll probably do 10 books for the first time, just to take the pressure off a little. Thanks for the good wishes -finally, after three weeks, I’m starting to feel a little better.


  19. I tried to send you best wishes but WordPress didn’t allow it. Anyway, sorry to hear about the Covid, I hope you get your energy back soon!! I’m also a fan of Emily St John Mandel and read the 2 same books as you, awaiting the next one with impatience!


  20. Oh, Cathy, what a rotten way to spend the festive season! Thank goodness you were vaccinated, and I hope you soon feel back to normal. Yes, I think it’s easy to overdo things on the blogging front so planning to take it easier this year sounds very wise. Take care, and don’t forget the power of medicinal chocolate… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Oh doll, I feel you! The dreaded pox struck our house on the 22nd, my husband tested positive (as did I a few days later) – and we were supposed to pick up our new puppy on he 23rd, as well as all the Christmas malarkey! Luckily, our puppy managed to make it home, but everything else went by the wayside as we focused on recovering and taking care of ourselves. Hope the fog lifts soon, and 2022 is a negative (ha!) year for you! x


  22. Catching up to see what I’ve missed is exactly what I’m doing right now! I have a new job at the library and have been struggling with my blog-hopping. It’s so hard to find a good balance.

    What bad timing to get sick. But I’m so glad to hear it’s over and done. And I trust the rest of your family also came through okay! xo


  23. Well, I hope it’s not too late for me to now wish you a Happy New year in return and to say sorry for missing this post.

    As you no doubt spotted on my blog, our Christmas was also derailed by Covid and I don’t feel like I’ve caught up since! And I wasn’t the one that got sick.
    We will all remember this Christmas and New Year as the season Omicron came to visit! But glad to read in more recent posts that your recovery is progressing well, if slow.

    Liked by 1 person

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