Monday, July 31, 2017

July 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.  

July News 

It's hard to believe the end of summer is here. I know some of you will protest that characterization, but, for those in the world of higher ed, summer ends with July. Not that I haven't been doing fall prep all summer, but it begins in earnest this week. I've got syllabi to finalize, pre-semester meetings to attend, and all that jazz. Thankfully, by this time, I'm usually ready for it. Plus, it feels a little weird knowing this may be my last year working exclusively as a professor. I'm hoping I have transitioned fields by this time next year. Your guess is as good as mine as to what that new field may be.

July was pretty good for us, albeit completely exhausting. We spent the first half of the month in Michigan with my in-laws. My father-in-law had major surgery to remove some cancerous parts of his body. He's doing really well physically; surgery went wonderfully and he's recovering like the fighter he is. Still, it was a big deal and we obviously wanted to be there to support him and the family. Two weeks is a long time to be anywhere, but spending it in a hospital isn't the most fun. We are so thankful we both have jobs that gave us the flexibility to go for so long, but I was so happy to be home, too.

While we were there, we did a lot of helping, but also a lot of sitting around. Hospitals are particularly good for that. I finished 11 books in 12 days. Perhaps one of my most prolific period of reading ever. It was impressive even by my own standards. Once my father-in-law came home from the hospital, my pace slowed down, but I still got to read so much. That was really nice, especially after June was kind of a dud month for me.

Speaking of June, I told y'all last month about how I'm buckling down on fitness. The journey continues. I've lost over 10 pounds, which is so exciting. I'm definitely stronger than I was at the start of the summer and I'm slowly seeing my body change in exciting ways. Seeing as I turn 30 in August, I'm so thankfully to be entering a new decade of my life as a strong, healthy, balanced person. That feels better than I could have imagined. I mean, I still completely loathe exercising and watching what I eat, but I do love seeing the results. I'm trying to ease up on myself some as I head into the school year. I know I need to continue to work toward a sustainable, balanced lifestyle. I don't want to burn out or reach my goal and then settle right back into life as it was previously.

The big reading news is that I finally finished the 100 Best Novels challenge!! It feels amazing and surreal to be done. I have a big post coming your way in a couple weeks reflecting on the experience. Definitely be watching for that as I have, unsurprisingly, a lot of thoughts.

That's the update for July. Not much else happening. I'm hoping August is great. I love birthdays and this is a big one. Adult birthdays always kind of suck a little, but I'm really hoping that won't be the case this year. I want so badly to have a fun, enjoyable, birthday. While I normally stay out of the spotlight, I love birthday attention. Feel free to send some my way on or around the 17th. ;) For now, though, here's what I accomplished in July:

Books Reviewed

  1. Pale Fire - Vladimir Nabokov
  2. Loving - Henry Green
  3. The Wild Shore - Kim Stanley Robinson
  4. Talking to Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede
  5. The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead
  6. Bittersweet - Shauna Niequist
  7. The 39 Clues: Beyond the Grave - Jude Watson
  8. Appetites - Anthony Bourdain
  9. Cravings - Chrissy Teigen

Books Read

  1. The 39 Clues: Beyond the Grave - Jude Watson
  2. Appetites - Anthony Bourdain
  3. The Nix - Nathan Hill
  4. Cravings - Chrissy Teigen
  5. Scrappy Little Nobody - Anna Kendrick
  6. Point Counter Point - Aldous Huxley
  7. Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson
  8. Tribe - Sebastian Junger
  9. Captive - Aimée Carter
  10. A Dance to the Music of Time: Summer - Anthony Powell
  11. Where'd You Go, Bernadette? - Maria Semple
  12. A Dance to the Music of Time: Autumn - Anthony Powell
  13. The Search for Delicious - Natalie Babbitt
  14. A Dance to the Music of Time: Winter - Anthony Powell
  15. Girls in White Dresses - Jennifer Close
Pages Read: 5,959

Favorite Book Read: Just Mercy taught me a lot and was really moving. 

2017 Monthly Goals 

One of my goals this year is to read 5 books every month:
  • 100 Best Novels - I finished!!!
    Point Counter Point - Aldous Huxley
    A Dance to the Music of Time: 2nd Movement - Anthony Powell
    A Dance to the Music of Time: 3rd Movement - Anthony Powell
    A Dance to the Music of Time: 4th Movement - Anthony Powell
    100% complete with total challenge 
  • 1 Faith-Centered or Philosophical Book 
    Tribe - Sebastian Junger
  • 1 Nonfiction 
    Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson

Elsewhere Online...

I was too busy reading this month to spend much time online :)

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How much reading did you do in July? Did you have a super prolific month like me, or were you busy getting out and doing summer activities? Any big plans for August? What do you want to accomplish before summer ends? Tell me all the things! 

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