Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 2017 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.  

May News 

Glorious May.

Spring semester comes to a close and ushers in the busy, but much quieter days of summer. I often see summer as a secondary New Year. I have a chance to reset goals and challenge myself to make good use of my summer days. I'm teaching online this summer, so I have plenty to do, but at least I can do it from home. This year, I'm really trying to buckle down on exercise, healthy eating, and self-improvement. I don't always have time for language study or writing or music during the school year - ok, I don't make time for those things. But summer springs hope eternal and I'm trying to be disciplined about making time for things I care about but for which there is no tangible payout.

Hopefully, that will include charity work this summer. The political turmoil (ugh - it just keeps getting worse!) has, if nothing else, pushed me to question how I can affect change in my community. That. in turn, is causing me to do some reevaluating of my career path, but that's another story for a different day. For now, I'm hoping to translate a desire to change the world into practical work. And I don't want my volunteerism or activism to end this summer. Kevin finishes his graduate studies at the start of August and we've discussed how we can get involved in community service together after that point. As we enter the next decade of our lives, we are becoming increasingly aware of the gift of time and how we use it. We want to give back not just financially, but with our time and talents as well. If you have any awesome volunteering or community service ideas/experiences, I'd love to hear them! We're just starting to dip our toes in the water over here and it's exciting and scary all at once!

All the free time means I have been watching a bit more TV, too. Not so self-improving, I know. But it's relaxing. Movie Monday posts are becoming a more regular thing again. And, if you missed it, you'll definitely want to check out my thoughts on Netflix's new series, Anne with an E.

When school ended this spring, I basically flopped myself onto the couch and into the new hammock swing we have in the backyard and read for days. I was exhausted at the end of the term and needed some serious self-care. Plus, we spent a delightful Memorial Day weekend at my parents' new house in Wilmington (read: the beach). So, I have blazed through books this month. This month, I tried to focus on one or two books at a time rather than reading five or six and once. I think doing that gave me a greater sense of accomplishment. I'm not always reading exactly the genre I feel like, but I'm getting through books faster.

Books Reviewed

  1. Killing Wonder Woman - Tenaya T. J. Tison
  2. Bad Feminist - Roxane Gay
  3. The Killing Lessons - Saul Black
  4. The Magician's Land - Lev Grossman
  5. Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher
  6. The Gammage Cup - Carol Kendall
  7. The Naked and the Dead - Norman Mailer
  8. The Studs Lonigan Trilogy - James T. Farrell
  9. Scoop - Evelyn Waugh
  10. Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi
  11. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

Books Read

  1. Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi
  2. Scoop - Evelyn Waugh
  3. The Gammage Cup - Carol Kendall
  4. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
  5. Morning Star - Pierce Brown
  6. Strangers in Their Own Land - Arlie Russell Hochschild
  7. A Bend in the River - V. S. Naipul
  8. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
  9. The Ginger Man - J. P. Donleavy
  10. Still  - Lauren Winner
  11. Pawn - Aimée Carter
  12. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven - Susan Jane Gilman
  13. Calling on Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede
  14. Finnegans Wake - James Joyce
  15. Gilead - Marilynne Robinson
  16. Shockaholic - Carrie Fisher
Pages Read: 5,057

Favorite Book Read: Strangers in Their Own Land  blew me away. I want to make everyone read it.

2017 Monthly Goals 

One of my goals this year is to read 5 books every month:
  • 100 Best Novels - I am so close to finishing this!!
    Scoop - Evelyn Waugh
    A Bend in the River - V. S. Naipul
    The Ginger Man - J. P. Donleavy
    Finnegans Wake - James Joyce
    95% complete with total challenge 
  • 1 Faith-Centered or Philosophical Book 
    Still - Lauren Winner
  • 1 Nonfiction 
    Strangers in Their Own Land - Arlie Russell Hochschild

Elsewhere Online...

I posted this alongside my Anne with an E review, but it merits another mention. Why you need to watch the new Anne series - Yes, I'm talking to you, fellow purists by the incomparable Sarah Bessey

President Carter, Am I a Christian? A powerful interview with former President Carter about his faith. This is well worth the read. I know he isn't seen as one of our best presidents, but the more I learn about Carter, the more I admire him.

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How has May been for you? Does summer slow down for you or is it business as usual? Any fun trips planned? Tell me all about your summer life! Most importantly, what are you going to be reading poolside? 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so inspired by your desire to get more involved in your community and do more volunteer work! My sister and I are always looking for ways to help that go beyond writing a check. We put together a lot of hygiene bags for a local soup kitchen and we've gotten really involved in making blankets for Project Linus. Best wishes in finding a project you're passionate about!