Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Wrap-up

The Wrap-Up Round-Up is a creation of Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction, and this month's related giveaway is hosted by Lory at Emerald City Book Review.

But first, my favorite song about September, for your listening pleasure:

My reading

This "working for a living" thing cut severely into my reading time.  After reading about two dozen books in August, I'm down to a measly ten in September, plus two I gave up on.  Nine of my finished books were solid reads though, so I'm not too unhappy with my reading month.  

Abandoned Midstream

I once used Goodreads just for myself.    I didn't know about catchy blogger acronyms like DNF or TBR or even NA and MG.  So I'm sticking with Abandoned Midstream instead of DNF.  More evocative.    

After trying twice to get going on Throne of Glass, I had to call it quits.  It just wasn't wowing me enough to keep struggling through.  Not when there are so many other books that I do enjoy.  The premise sounds good, but all she does is talk about clothes and how hot she is.  Poison Study was a much better take on a similar premise.  Hell, The Thief is a better take on it, and Gen's a boy.  

Shadows of Sherwood is all it's cracked up to be, and I enjoyed the part of it I read.  I just don't have the same love for MG books that I do for YA.  It's a character fault, and I guess it's good that I teach 7th and 8th grade instead of 4-6th.  (Though I do sometime manage to overstep their comfort zone anyway.)  I do recommend the book; it just wasn't for me.  

Mildly Disappointing

Remembering Raquel by Vivian Vande Velde.  It was partly my fault, because I was expecting fantasy goodness, and instead got realistic fiction.  I tend to like multiple POV, especially when there is no objective truth to be found, but it just wasn't as good as I'd hoped.  I gave it three stars, but it was more of a 2.5.



I gave Liars, Inc. three stars and the rest four.  You could probably argue me back down to a three for most of them, now that I'm not in my post-book glow, but I really enjoyed all of them.  I got caught up in the stories and rooted for all the protagonists.  


I put a bunch of "buzz" books on hold at the library, and they came through for me quickly.  Some of that haul are in the above group, and the rest were even better.  Bone Gap--strange and wonderful.  Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda--funny and wonderful.  George--ground breaking and wonderful.  Made You Up--oh my god that cover and wonderful.  Vengeance Road--I can't believe how much I'm loving this Western and wonderful.  Reading so many good books in a row, I feel unable to pick out which really will stick with me.  I gave George, Simon Vs. and Made You Up five stars and the others four, but I find that I'm thinking more about Bone Gap than any of those besides Simon.  

My Writing

I assumed I wouldn't write nearly as much this month, since I was back at work.  However, it seems employment cut into my reading more than my writing, as I have 16 posts this month, down only four from last month.  My discussion posts have being getting very little discussion going.  I'm not sure if my topics are lame, I'm not framing enough questions, or it's just that nobody is reading this.  Last month's wrap-up and the TTT posts were my most viewed.

I had a post appear on Nerdy Book Blog.  It was my third time posting, but the first one that went beyond a top ten list.  I had 430 visits to my blog the day that ran.  In comparison, I've had 26 today.  So that was kind of exciting.  I also got some kind words from a teacher blogger whom I admire greatly.  

I also got accepted as a 2nd round judge for the CYBILs.  I'm not sure what I've gotten myself in for, but hell, if I can't get paid to read, I can at least put my volunteer time in as a reader.  

My favorite post is probably the one about saying "masturbation" to my seventh grade class during my banned book week presentation.  Sheesh.   Talk about complete chaos.  When I told my principal about it, he joked, "I'll just change the school's phone message to, 'If you're calling in regards to Ms. Gassaway's reading class...'"  Other than that, it was a great teaching day, and I enjoyed seeing kids' thoughts and reactions as we discussed why various well-known books have been challenged.

Internet Goodies

Non reading related:


As I mentioned, I went back to work.  Teacher started in late August, and kids actually came back Sept. 1, which was weird to me.  We always start the day after Labor Day around here, and I'm pretty sure Labor Day has been late other times in my life.  I have a new assignment this year, as Reading Intervention teacher, and I LOVE IT.  I'm still figuring out what the heck I'm doing, especially with the class that I'm supposed to be running a canned program with, but I am so inspired and excited.  Also, my student loads have dropped significantly, which has brought a lot of the joy back too.  I do better with smaller groups.  

For the first year in many, we aren't making wine this fall.  It's kind of restful, actually.  I just don't want us to lose steam in moving forward with last year's wine, which was our first commercial bottling.  

Thanks to a grant underwritten by Grandma, we were able to sign our daughter up for a choir and theater course this fall.  She seems pretty happy.  Today our son went to check out the diving program at the local aquatic center.  He has severe anxiety about anything new, so he was being a sh*thead all afternoon, but as soon as we got to the pool, he loosened up, and came out of the session beaming.  So it looks like we'll be signing him up for that.

I signed up for Uppercase Box and got my first shipment mid-month.  SO FUN.  Not only did I get a copy of Vengeance Road, but I got golden snitch earrings and a very pretty "Books To Read" notepad.  It's not cheap, but I think I'm going to keep indulging myself.  If I were all instagrammy, this is where I'd add photos of the box and contents.  But I'm not, thus giving your imagination greater scope.  You're welcome.


  1. I LOVE your post for Nerdy Book Club. Great stories!

  2. Looks like you have had a great month. Love the book haul! I just read Made You Up and loved it so much. And I love the term "abandoned midstream." It does sound cooler. Maybe I will start using it. ha.

  3. You crack me up with your comment about allowing our imaginations to take over. And now I have to go read your post about your banned books discussion. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  4. Never Always Sometimes is one I'd like to read, and Liars Inc.
    Happy October!

  5. Hi Wendy! Pat sent me here and I'm so happy she did! I'm already looking into several of the books you read this month. I can hear your voice as I read and I love it! It makes me laugh and I imagine standing in the Imagination Wing planning area talking with you...
    I'm looking forward to reading through all your posts.

    1. Oooh, hi, Carrie! I still miss you guys, and I'm happy to "see" you here!


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