Friday, June 30, 2017

June 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.  

June News 

Remember May? When summer felt so fresh and practically all I did was read, read, read? Yeah. That was nice.

June didn't work quite like that. I love summer, but the new routine of the new season has clicked in and things are very busy. The online courses I'm teaching are keeping me occupied and life has been a little hectic. Next week, we're heading to Michigan to spend time with Kevin's family and I'm hoping in the midst of everything going on there I'll be able to sneak in a few books. Plus, we'll be meeting our brand new nephew for the first time ever and I'm pumped about that! I have a book for him all wrapped and ready to go.

Mostly, these days, I feel like I'm getting a lot of random things done. I reorganized our pantry. I reorganized my dresser drawers. I'm doing major lesson planning overhauls for the fall. I started volunteering regularly. I'm looking for jobs. Oh, yeah, and I'm exercising. A lot.

At the start of June, I finally decided to buckle down when it comes to my health. I'm not particularly unhealthy, but I haven't been in good shape in years and I've put on 30 pounds since 2010. I'm still within a healthy weight range for my height, but I'm not comfortable with how I look these days and I finally decided to do something about it. It's not about the number on the scale, but I'm seeing that move some and it's been exciting.

I'm exercising every day, sometimes twice a day. I'm counting calories. Eating healthier. The whole deal. I'm working insanely hard and I have a great support system in Kevin and in one of my dear friends who is serving as my de facto personal trainer. It's such hard work and it takes up so much of my time. I hate basically every second of it. However, exercise is becoming a habit and I'm getting stronger. I can run farther than I have ever been able to before (still not far) and I'm learning a lot about what a healthy, balanced diet looks like for me. That's the key, I think: balance. I want this to be sustainable, to be a lifestyle change. As I get ready to turn 30, I know it will only get harder from here. I'd love to be at my goal weight by the end of the year - or at least to a place where I feel strong and healthy.

So, not many books this month, but I've been spending my time well and profitably. That's a win in my book.

Books Reviewed

  1. Morning Star - Pierce Brown
  2. Strangers in Their Own Land - Arlie Russell Hochschild
  3. A Bend in the River - V. S. Naipul
  4. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
  5. The Ginger Man - J. P. Donleavy
  6. Still  - Lauren Winner
  7. Pawn - Aimée Carter
  8. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven - Susan Jane Gilman
  9. Calling on Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede
  10. Finnegans Wake - James Joyce
  11. Gilead - Marilynne Robinson
  12. Shockaholic - Carrie Fisher
  13. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys

Books Read

  1. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
  2. Pale Fire - Vladimir Nabokov
  3. The Wild Shore - Kim Stanley Robinson
  4. Talking to Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede
  5. Loving - Henry Green
  6. The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead
  7. Bittersweet - Shauna Niequist
  8. A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement - Anthony Powell
Pages Read: 2,558

Favorite Book Read: It's no surprise The Underground Railroad won the Pulitzer this year. It's great. Review coming in a couple weeks.

2017 Monthly Goals 

One of my goals this year is to read 5 books every month:
  • 100 Best Novels - This will be done next month!
    Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
    Pale Fire - Vladimir Nabokov
    Loving - Henry Green
    A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement - Anthony Powell
    98.25% complete with total challenge 
  • 1 Faith-Centered or Philosophical Book 
    Bittersweet - Shauna Niequist
  • 1 Nonfiction 
    I didn't get this one done this month. Summer feels like prime time for fiction.

Elsewhere Online...

Introducing Daliyah, the 4-year-old girl who has read more than 1,000 books. This kid is #readinggoals. I love seeing that passion ignited so early!

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Did you read more than me this month? I'm hoping to redeem myself in July. I'm going to be (finally!) finishing the 100 Best Novels challenge. I'm so ready to be done with it and just read purely impulsively for a while. Plus, I'm excited to share my overall thoughts on the list. That'll be coming in August. 

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