Thursday, September 1, 2016

August 2016 Chapter

Welcome to the Read.Write.Repeat. monthly wrap-up.  Every month, I give a quick overview of what books I read, the progress made on the 100 Best Novels goal, a few book-related links, and general blog news.  

August News 

When I said last month that it was time to get back to work, I apparently was not kidding. August has been insane. As someone who both has a mid-August birthday and believes ardently in big birthday celebrations, I was not thinking when I went into the teaching profession. Nothing eclipses a birthday like explaining your course syllabus five times in three days. But, I've made it to the end of the month. This is the third week of school, and I'm feeling relatively in control. It's a good feeling to be having right now. Somehow, I always forget just how hectic and stressful the first few weeks back are. I'm too busy basking in that summer glory to think about it, I guess. Maybe next year I'll remember to have emergency dark chocolate in my purse for the entire second half of August.

As crazy as it is, there's a real beauty to getting back to school. I thrive on consistency. I thrive on a schedule. In fact, this very afternoon, Kevin marveled at how my propensity for planning is even evident in the way I eat my lunch. (This is something I had never really considered before, but I totally do. I very consciously calculate the order in which I eat a meal and save the best bites for last.) So, despite the incredible stress and exhaustion that accompany these first few weeks, it feels good to have consistency and stability after our wonderful, crazy summer.

It's a bit hard to believe, but at ten books, this August clocks in at one of my less proficient reading months this year. I think that this year I've really learned the importance of reading in my life. Not just as an activity in which I love to engage, but as a way for me to unplug and clear my mind. Reading has been a refuge in the midst of uncertainty so often this year and I think that accounts for much of my prolific book count. I actually set out to read less this year, but have easily blown any previous blogging year out of the water. I'm like the Katie Ledecky of least against my own personal records.

I'm particularly proud of my progress on the 100 Best Novels challenge this year. I am sticking to my goal and surpassed the 70% mark this month. I can see the end in sight! This challenge has been...well, a challenge. Worthwhile, but difficult. I can't wait to finish and have some time to digest it all and share my thoughts about the whole thing. Look for that in (hopefully) about a year.

So, let's take a look at just what I achieved in August. At least here on the blog. If I could only show you the hours and hours of work I've put into lesson plans and teaching, I would. For now, though, take my word that, despite what you see here, my recent life has been consumed by my professional pursuits.

Books Reviewed

Books Read

  1. 1984 - George Orwell
  2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Jack Thorne
  3. Fates and Furies - Lauren Groff
  4. The Queen of the Tearling - Erika Johansen
  5. The Irresistible Revolution - Shane Claiborne
  6. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo
  7. Shift  - Hugh Howey
  8. Hamilton - Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter
  9. Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry
  10. Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset  Maugham
Pages Read: 3,984

Favorite Book Read: I feel like choosing Hamilton is cheating since I'm so in love with the show and this is really a supplement of sorts. When it comes to literary prowess and a book I most enjoyed as a book this month, it has to be Fates and Furies. Review coming September 19.

2016 Monthly Goals 

One of my goals this year is to read 6 books every month:
  • 100 Best Novels 
    1984 - George Orwell
    Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry
    Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset Maugham
    71% complete with total challenge 
  • 1 Faith-Centered or Philosophical Book 
    The Irresistible Revolution - Shane Claiborne
  • 1 Nonfiction 
    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo
  • 1 from On Reserve
    Fates and Furies - Lauren Groff
    The Queen of the Tearling - Erika Johansen

Elsewhere Online...

I've honestly been too busy this month to do much surfing of the web...

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How's your fall looking? Anything you're excited to read as the seasons change? Best of luck to all those who are starting back in a new school year!

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