Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January 2018 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.  

January News 

This has been a weird month. I headed back to work, but the routine was quickly derailed by snow days and an unpleasant bout with the flu. My sleep schedule is so out of whack and I feel like I'm exhausted all the time. Plus, the start of the semester always feels a bit chaotic as I adjust to new students and ensure lesson plans and syllabi are set. Everything combined just feels strange this year. It's hard to quantify, but things just feel a little off. Not necessarily in a bad way, just like I can't quite get my feet underneath me.

Part of that is probably that our normal routine is really off because of experimenting with Kevin's diet. As I mentioned last month, he's doing a Paleo/SCD diet to try and help with his auto-immune struggles. It's meant we really haven't gone out to eat or do date nights, which is hard for us. We bond over food and eating out is our favorite treat. It's also meant way more food prep all the time. It's just been a big shift all around and it doesn't seem to be working, which is a big disappointment. We're reintroducing soy and rice this week, but keeping him off dairy, gluten, corn, and most sugars. Even though I haven't been doing the diet, eating has felt like a very isolated and lonely activity this month, which takes so much of our typical joy out of it.

I did read some great books this month. I'm excited to be getting, slowly, back into my reading groove. I haven't had tons of time for it, but I've really enjoyed what I have had time for. I already think this TBR challenge is great because I'm feeling so free to just cut things from the list. I started reading Alias Grace and just wasn't feeling it, so I stopped about 50 pages in. If you know me, you know I almost never fail to finish a book. However, I'm trying to make the most of my reading this year. There are so many books in the world and I don't have to like them all. I'm giving myself permission to say no, even partway through, and that feels delightful.

Books Reviewed

  1. The Crows of Beara - Julie Christine Johnson
  2. Harmony - Charles, Prince of Wales
  3. Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  4. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson
  5. Diana - Andrew Morton
  6. Off the Sidelines - Kirsten Gillibrand
  7. The Secret History - Stephanie Thornton
  8. Nine Parts of Desire - Geraldine Brooks

Books Read

  1. Off the Sidelines - Kirsten Gillibrand
  2. The Secret History - Stephanie Thornton
  3. Nine Parts of Desire - Geraldine Brooks
  4. The Tortilla Curtain - T. C. Boyle
  5. Timebound - Rysa Walker
  6. Hallelujah Anyway - Anne Lamott
  7. Cinderella Ate My Daughter - Peggy Orenstein
  8. The Radicals - Ryan McIlvain
Pages Read: 2,389

Favorite Book Read: Timebound was so good. I raced through it in a day. I can't wait to share it with you next week!

2018 Goals 

One of my goals this year is to read 3 specific books each month:
  • 1 Faith-Centered or Philosophical Book 
    Hallelujah Anyway - Anne Lamott
  • 1 Political of Issue-Driven Book
    Off the Sidelines - Kirsten Gillibrand
  • 1 Books Written by a Minority AuthorUgh. I can't believe I failed to meet such an easy goal the first month.
I also am trying to work my way through my TBR list. My goal is to get from 350 books on the list to 200. That means lowering that number by 13 in some form or fashion every month. Here's how that went this month:
  • Books Read: 5
  • Books Removed: 13
  • Books Added: 5
  • Total Count for the Month: -13
  • Books Remaining on TBR: 331

Elsewhere Online...

America Ferrera did a wonderful job verbalizing the importance of the #TimesUp movement on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

This reflection on cinnamon rolls and sexual harassment had me both laughing and crying.

Suzanne has been writing great stuff lately - including this reflective post about yoga and other things. You should be reading her blog. Plus, there's a shout-out in there to your (hopefully) favorite book blogger.
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As always, thanks for reading. I imagine you're as ready for spring as I am. Those ancients knew what they were doing when they made February the shortest month. It's our last push before warm weather. That's the glorious thing about living in the south - these really are our last four weeks of winter. Happy Reading! 

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