Monday, August 1, 2016

July 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.  

July News 

What a wonderful, crazy summer it has been. I realize that, for many of you, summer is still in full swing. Normal people consider August to be included in summer. At our house, though, the start of August is the start of fall. It's time to get back in gear and think about the school year. Lesson plans need finalized, errands need run, final summer projects need completed. It's time to get back to work. That's my reality today.

After such a fulfilling, busy summer, though, I am excited by this reality, not dreading it. It has been a wonderful few months and we have done so many awesome things. I read so much this summer and I feel a great sense of accomplishment not only in quantity of books read, but also quality. I am heading into this month feeling rested (last week at the beach went a long way in facilitating that sentiment) and ready to go.

So, as August begins, I'm looking forward to some normalcy and stability in our schedule. I love traveling and every trip I took this summer was good in its own way. Yet, there is something so comforting about consistency, at least to me. It feels particularly needed as the world around us feels so chaotic right now. The Olympics  (with which I am obsessed) certainly couldn't be coming at a better time. Our country desperately needs something to feel connected over right now.

I've contemplated using this space to express some of my thoughts on current events, but it doesn't feel right yet. I mostly avoid talking about that type of thing on social media because I don't think it's helping anything; people just get defensive and entrenched in their opinions. There are plenty of people out there babbling nonsense online. I fear stepping into that arena and lending my voice. However, on the days when my heart is heaviest with the weight of the world, I consider coming here and talking. I want a safe space to talk through things without fear of Internet trolls or uniformed attacks. I want a place where people can talk through important issues and ideas in a way driven by optimism, critical thinking, rationality, and respect. Maybe that place doesn't exist online, though. I don't know. It's something I'm thinking through and looking for.

In the mean time, I'm just going to keep talking about books. They are, as always, both an escape and an education.

One last quick note - I am completely in love with the new look here on the blog. It feels fresh and clean and makes me quite happy. Between that and a recent spike in readership, this is a space that brings some joy to my life each day. So, thank you for that. To both new readers and old, you are valued! Thanks for making my little slice of the Internet something you want to share in!

Books Reviewed

  1. The Royal Nanny - Karen Harper
  2. Zuleika Dobson - Max Beerbohm
  3. Mandie and the Cherokee Legend - Gladys Lois Leppard
  4. She Finds Power - Anthony Robertson
  5. Life After Art - Matt Appling
  6. The City of Mirrors - Justin Cronin
  7. Scary Close  - Donald Miller
  8. Yes Please  - Amy Poehler
  9. HRC  - Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes
  10. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford
  11. 'Til We Meet Again - Ray & Betty Whipps

Books Read

  1. Women in Love - D. H. Lawrence
  2. The Royal We - Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
  3. The Apartment - Greg Baxter
  4. Girl in the Dark - Anna Lyndsey
  5. March - Geraldine Brooks
  6. Traveling Mercies - Anne Lamott
  7. something to food about - Questlove
  8. The Golden Bowl - Henry James
  9. Sam's Letters to Jennifer - James Patterson
  10. The Tiger Queens - Stephanie Thornton
  11. Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather 
Pages Read: 3,733

Favorite Book Read: Girl in the Dark blew my mind. So good. Followed closely by Death Comes for the Archbishop, which I'm also including as an official favorite because the two are so drastically different. 

2016 Monthly Goals 

One of my goals this year is to read 6 books every month:
  • 100 Best Novels 
    Women in Love - D. H. Lawrence
    The Golden Bowl - Henry James
    Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
    68% complete with total challenge 
  • 1 Faith-Centered or Philosophical Book 
    Traveling Mercies - Anne Lamott
  • 1 Nonfiction 
    Girl in the Dark - Anna Lyndsey
    something to food about - Questlove
  • 1 from On Reserve
    The Apartment - Greg Baxter
    March - Geraldine Brooks

Elsewhere Online...

A beautiful ode to the library.

Some brilliant people wrote a Harry Potter parody play about Hufflepuffs.

Want to work at one of the most famous indie bookstores ever? You'll need to pass a quiz.

~     ~     ~

So long to summer. As in July, though, make sure you're coming back by every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a new review!

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