Monday, January 1, 2018

December 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.  

December News 

Happy New Year! I hope you rang in the mile marker last night safely and happily. It's always such an invigorating time of year, despite the fact that I struggle to stay up late enough to mark the occassion. We'll get to talking about the future in a bit (mostly later this week), but today I'm looking back on the last month.

December has been a nice reprieve. It really was a long, crazy year for us. I needed these last few weeks of peace and self-care. I had not really read much for the last couple months, so it was nice to get in some concentrated time over the Christmas break.

I took a full week off of blogging, which is something I haven't done in a long, long time. I felt a little guilty at first because I had posts I could have just sat down and pounded out, but I didn't feel like it. It was another intentional way this month that I gave myself a pass. I'm trying to do that more. I don't have to do everything all the time. It's ok to say no to things.

Honestly, I don't feel as though I have much to report here this month. I feel like the early "chapter" posts of 2017 were so nice and substantive and here I am limping to the finish line. Hopefully, I can reignite some of that thoughtful, impassioned spirit in the new year.  I'm planning to get back on the exercise and healthy living train starting today, as are many of you, I'm sure. We're actually starting a Paleo/SCD diet today in hopes that it will benefit Kevin's auto-immune struggles. I'll let you know how that goes. I'm not going full Paleo, but all meals we eat together will be. Of course, I have some blog goals as well for the new year. Make sure you come back on Friday to read my post talking about that exact thing.

Books Reviewed

  1. The Three - Sarah Lotz
  2. Fierce Kingdom - Gin Phillips
  3. The 39 Clues: The Black Circle - Patrick Carman
  4. The 39 Clues: In Too Deep - Jude Watson
  5. Upstairs at the White House - J. B. West
  6. The Crown - Robert Lacey 

Books Read

  1. Upstairs at the White House - J. B. West
  2. The Crown - Robert Lacey 
  3. Harmony - Charles, Prince of Wales
  4. The Crows of Beara - Julie Christine Johnson
  5. Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson
  7. Come, Let Us Adore Him - Paul David Tripp
  8. Diana - Andrew Morton
Pages Read: 2,643

Favorite Book Read: As much as I learned from Tyson's book, Diana by Andrew Morton is the one I couldn't put down. It was a gift from my OTSP Secret Sister a couple months back and I ate it up. I can't wait to share my full review with you. 

2017 Monthly Goals 

One of my goals this year is to read 5 books every month:
  • 100 Best Novels - This challenge is OVER!
  • 1 Faith-Centered or Philosophical Book 
    Harmony - The Prince of Wales
    Come, Let Us Adore Him - Paul David Tripp
  • 1 Nonfiction Upstairs at the White House - J. B. West
    The Crown - Robert Lacey
    Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson

Elsewhere Online...

Blue States Practice the Family Values Red States Preach - Nicholas Kristof is certainly not afraid of ruffling feathers. I've seen various takes on this op-ed, but I think it has some points worth contemplating.

Why I'll be fasting for our country on the 21st of each month - This was really inspiring to me. We should turn to spiritual methods like this more often.

The Bad News on "Good" Girls- This rang so true to me.

A Phone Setup That Will Make You More Mindful - I've recently started tracking my phone usage with this app called Moment. It's great...and terrifying. I spend a lot of time on my phone. I'm mostly ok with that, but this article is a great way to get yourself thinking about what you actually want your phone to do for you and how to keep it from taking over more of you than that.

The Trouble with Bright Girls - This is right along the same line. It's an old article (I'm cleaning out my bookmarks), but it's still good.
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Today starts a new year. As a mentioned in my Christmas post, I've been thinking a lot about hope. I hope you can enter this new calendar year with hope in your heart, even if your circumstances leave a lot to be desired. I am certainly hopefully this year will be a good one. 

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