March 2022 Reading Update

March 2022 Update

posted in: Drawing, Reading | 0

With winter winding down, March was a more interesting month. The weather was hit and miss with a lot of wind.

I already wrote about some of the more noteworthy things:

The month ended on a high note as Holly and I started making plans for an actual vacation at the beginning of May. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Solvang back in October but that was mainly to visit family. We’ll be seeing Holly’s dad and brothers again in May when we spend a couple of days in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area but then she and I will head up to Carmel-by-the-Sea for a week to just relax, eat, go to wine tastings, and visit the beach and national parks.

Work has been occasionally stressful and winter was, well, winter so we’re eager to take some time off.


I started a new Skillshare tutorial: Doodling for Relaxation: An Introduction for Beginners. I’ve been enjoying it since it focuses on repeating patterns as a way to unwind rather than making an effort to draw anything well. I have, in fact, found it relaxing.

I’m probably only about a third of the way through but have already found it worthwhile. There’s a section on the end about adding color, but I already started integrating some.

I used several different size Sigma Micron pens. For some of the leaf patterns, I used a couple of my Sarasa Zebra pens. I did not get them for drawing but the green and brown ones were a good option for adding some color. I also used my Akashiya Sai ThinLine Brush Pens. I bought them a while ago because I really liked the earthy colors but hadn’t found a use case for them until I started practicing my doodling.

Sigma Micron Pens, Sarasa Zebra Pens, and Akashiya Sai Brush Pens
Sigma Micron Pens, Sarasa Zebra Pens, and Akashiya Sai Brush Pens



I wasn’t expecting to read 3 books in March because one of them was Jonathan Franzen’s Crossroads which is nearly 600 pages. However, I loved it so much that I read it in about a week, which is rare for me since I’m a generally slow reader. I have been a big Franzen fan since The Corrections. I also really liked Freedom. I found Purity interesting but not quite as good as his previous 2 books so I wasn’t sure if I should get my hopes up for Crossroads. I am happy to report that his latest book rivals The Corrections. Although it’s been 20 years since I’ve read The Corrections so my memory of it might not be exact.

Crossroads is the story of the highly dysfunctional Hildebrandt family. The father, a pastor, is contemplating an affair. The mother is revisiting past trauma, and their four children are navigating various personal dilemmas. The eponymous Crossroads is a youth group around which most of the story revolves.

Robert V. Camuto’s South of Somewhere was a quite enjoyable narrative of his wine and food travels around Italy. It was a bit repetitive at times but rather interesting overall.

I was disappointed with Damon Galgut’s The Promise. I was unfamiliar with him or his work but decided to read The Promise since it won the 2021 Booker Prize. I was intrigued by the premise. The novel contains four sections, each one dealing with the death of a member of a white South African family. At the time of the mother’s death, the father promises to give their longtime servant ownership of her home. After the mother’s death, all but the youngest daughter forgets this promise. Unfortunately, I found the writing style too self-consciously arty and distracting.

March 2022 Reading Update
March 2022 Reading Update

Books Read in 2022

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