Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October 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 my reading goals, a few book-related links, and general blog news.  

October News 

Fall is here.

There's no doubt. We've begun our annual battle regarding the appropriate time to turn on the heat in the house. I'm losing right now, so I'm at my desk writing this while wearing a big chunky sweater, thick pajama pants, fuzzy socks, and an electric blanket wrapped tightly around my lower half. And I'm still cold. I'm contemplating digging out the fingerless gloves I used to wear at my first job because my office there was so frigid.

October was good here. We went to Boston and I loved it. I could definitely see myself living there. The vibe of the city felt instantly familiar and in line with mine...or at least what I want mine to be. Kevin liked it fine but definitely would never want to live there. Our anniversary trip south, however, yielded different results. We both really enjoyed Savannah and ate some incredible food there. Our stopover in Charleston on the way home reminded us both that we would happily live in that city. We both like it quite a lot. That whole trip was such a blessed break. It was wonderful to shut everything off and relax. We spent some time having thoughtful conversations about our marriage and goals for the future. We spent lots of time laughing. We both got sunburnt at the beach, an autumn reality that still thrills us Midwesterners. And we ate. It turned into a food-centric vacation and we had zero regrets about that. I seriously gained about five pounds back and every one was delicious.

That being said, I'm anxious to get back on the healthy lifestyle train. Since spraining my ankle in mid-September, I've done basically nothing. My ankle is about at 85% strength, I'd say (it was a really bad sprain) so I'm slowly reintegrating exercise into my life. Diet is going to be hard over the next couple months because of the holidays, so getting activity back on my daily schedule is going to be vital. I worked so hard this summer and I don't just want to gain all that weight right back. Plus, I never even made it to my original goal because of my ankle. As of today, I need to lose 20 pounds to get to my goal weight. I'd love to do that by the end of March. I think that's a realistic goal considering the holiday season. Plus, it really is about feeling stronger and healthier, not the number on the scale.

That's enough about my life. Let's talk books.

After a comparatively slow reading month in September, I was worried October would be the same. Thankfully, that wasn't the case. I read some really good stuff this month and definitely feel like I'm back in a good reading groove. I've been making good picks and haven't gotten too stuck on anything. It feels great. Finishing the 100 Best Novels challenge really does feel like such a weight off. I enjoyed it, but I am loving reading whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it. Just as I said last month. The bliss has not faded. 

Books Reviewed

  1. The New Jim Crow - Michelle Alexander
  2. Exit West - Mohin Hamid
  3. The Widow - Fiona Barton
  4. Let Nobody Turn Us Around - Manning Marable & Leith Mullings
  5. The Last Policeman - Ben H. Winters
  6. The Sixth Extinction - Elizabeth Kolbert
  7. The Call - Peadar O'Guilin
  8. The Pursuit of God - A. Z. Tozer
  9. French Impressions - John S. Littell
  10. What Color Is Your Parachute? - Richard N. Bolles
  11. Garlic and Sapphires - Ruth Reichl

Books Read

  1. The Last Policeman - Ben H. Winters
  2. The Sixth Extinction - Elizabeth Kolbert
  3. The Call - Peadar O'Guilin
  4. The Pursuit of God - A. Z. Tozer
  5. French Impressions - John S. Littell
  6. The Welcome Home Diner - Peggy Lampman
  7. What Color Is Your Parachute? - Richard N. Bolles
  8. Garlic and Sapphires - Ruth Reichl
  9. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler
  10. The Kind Worth Killing - Peter Swanson
  11. Forever Chic - Tish Jett
  12. Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty
Pages Read: 3,813

Favorite Book Read: I had Garlic and Sapphires listed as my favorite here, but then I finished Big Little Lies in the last couple days of the month and was entranced. So good. 

2017 Monthly Goals 

One of my goals this year is to read 5 books every month:

Elsewhere Online...

Nothing this month. At least not to link to. Y'all...I am a podcast fiend. I counted them up and I listen to almost three dozen consistently. I'm learning so much from so many right now. The biggest and only downside, in my opinion, is how you can't bookmark or highlight anything in them.

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November is going to be busy for us. We are headed to Philadelphia for a wedding, Michigan for Thanksgiving, and have things at home on the other two weekends. So, I'm sadly going to be sitting out NaNoWriMo this year. I just don't think 50,000 words on one project is realistic this year. I do want to right, however, so I'm committing to working on some kind of writing every day. I have a few irons in the fire, so I want to focus on just getting content on the page for those things.

What's everyone else's NaNoWriMo status? Am I alone in sitting it out formally? Anyone else making up their own challenge? 

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