Saturday, January 28, 2017

January in Review

My Reading

# of books read: 23.  What can I say--we had nearly two weeks of snow days!

Best(s): Princeless and Denton Little's Death Date, plus some nonfiction I read for Cybils judging, so I can't talk about it yet. Basically, hilariously silly books and heartbreakingly serious books.  I always thought it was "Denton's Little Death Date," like a cute little death date or something.  But no, his name is Denton Little.  My daughter is also getting into the Princeless series and TWICE this week has read past her assigned time, and once just picked up the book ON HER OWN.

Mt. TBR progress: 8/75 and going strong.

Bookish Events and Happenings

As mentioned above, I'm knee deep in MG and YA nonfiction as a round 2 Cybils judge.  It's been pretty terrific all around, though I'm a bit surprised at how many WWII related books there are.  I guess there's always more to say and reflect on. 

I made a respectable showing in the Dumbledore's Army Read-a-Thon, finishing five books.  Even better (from a time-management point of view), four were Mt. TBR reads and the fifth was a Cybils read.  I intend to read all the books on my original signup list, including the back-up books.  I still have a tendency to read straight-white-girl books all the time, but there are SO MANY good books out there that reflect different experiences; I just need to be more aware of my choices. 

Got a ton (for me) of book mail this month.  I decided to re-join the Book of the Month club and they added a free Gillian Flynn novella to this month's package.  I wound up giving the book I actually ordered to a friend who just had her knee replaced, because as I was headed out the door to visit her, I suddenly realized she'd need BOOKS, so I just grabbed what I could find that wasn't earmarked for my classroom.  Then Shannon at It Starts at Midnight sent me not one, not two, but THREE books from her birthday bash giveaway.  Fun fact: Shannon is as much younger than me as my oldest sister is older than me.  So that makes me, like, the big sister she never knew she was missing.  Then I also won a new book from her in the monthly Discussion Challenge raffle.  In addition, my mom's oldest friend has written a book and sent me a copy.  I guess I should read it pretty soon since let's be blunt--she's over 80 and might want my reaction while she's still around.  I was somehow picturing it as a memoir, but it's historical fiction. With a harem/white slavery subplot that I'm kind of nervous about reading, given my relationship with the author.  

On the Blog

Sixteen posts this month.  My most visited post is a year-end wrap-up round-up link-up post, so thanks to Nicole for her scavenger hunts that promote lots of visitors.  The next most popular is my survey about which books I should read next from various stashes.  Which is odd, because only five people voted, which is about 10% of the people who apparently have clicked onto the post. 

I had a lot of fun playing Six Degrees of Separation with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and making various lists--books for a middle school boy from a conservative family, YALSA award winners I want to read, and, with help from my daughter, top five lists ranging from wild animals to series we love. 


Did I mention the snow days?  We had snow here. I grew up in this area and have lived here for the last 20 years as well, and I have never seen this much snow on the ground, nor have I ever seen it stick around for so long.  It was crazy.  And kind of fun.  Except for the twisted ankle, and the having-to-make-up-nine-days thing at work.

I've started listening to the news again, after a decade or more of "I can't do anything about it and it just stresses me out" excuses.  It stresses me out even more now, but I can't do anything about it unless I stay informed.   In related news, I'm completely smitten with the chrome extension that replaces pictures of Trump with pictures of kittens.  I think it's called "Make America Kittens Again" and it works about 80% of the time.

I also found some pics of old-time celebrities with kitties. Here's Mark Twain and a tiny friend.

True kindness:

One of my children came home from school nearly three hours late today.  The other child spent all afternoon and evening working on a drawing of Hermione Granger.  I guess that means I'm getting a 50% at parenting right now?  Maybe a 60%, since our disappearing child does not seem to have been doing drugs, stealing, or having sex when he was unsupervised.  65%, since the drawing is really nice and she's giving it to a friend? 

Parenting.  So.  Much.  Fun. 

I was interviewed twice this week.  An acquaintance wanted to ask me several questions about teaching reading for a course she's taking.  And a PhD student whose questionnaire I filled out recently asked if she could do a follow-up interview since I was one of only a few west coast respondents.  I don't know why you should care; it just seemed odd enough to be noteworthy, as it's not like I normally have people lining up to listen to me ramble on about my job. 

We are really enjoying the Keurig machine I got myself my husband for Christmas this year.  Coffee consumption is up about 200%.

We also really enjoyed the new season of Sherlock.  I don't watch a lot of TV, but that show keeps making me happy.



  1. Someday I’m going to read 23 books in a month. That’s great. I’ve also seen the “Make America Kittens” thing advertised on Twitter. I laughed. Technology is amazing.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Ah, but see, you exercise. Instead of a Couch to 5K, I do a On the Couch to Read a Bunch.

  2. I have the SAME problem with the Denton Little's Death Date title. I get it wrong all the time. But I'm glad to hear it's a good book! It's on my list to read. :)

    Congrats on winning Shannon's giveaway! And I hope your mom's friend's book isn't as difficult as you fear (although I can definitely understand being nervous about it).

    I'm still so jealous of your snow! Various parts of Western WA have gotten dustings of snow, but not where I live (between Seattle and Tacoma), and certainly not as much as your area has had!

    Since you're teaching reading, which also means teaching analytical/critical thinking, open-mindedness, and expression- things which will save this crazy mess of a world, if we can all stick to them honestly and earnestly- I am not at all surprised at your being interviewed. You're amazing, whether you know it or not. :)

    (and that Sherlock Harry Potter pic is priceless! Gave me a good chuckle today)

  3. Yay for snow days! I'm glad that the wrap-up round-up is sending people your way, and congrats on all your recent wins!! That little cookie comic is all sorts of adorable, and I love it, by the way.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  4. I see your 1 snow day, and raise you 4+ snow MONTHS. Hehe! You sure did have a busy January. Mine was rather uneventful, but that's like with a 4 month old baby. Feed, diaper change, nap, rinse/repeat.

  5. Wow - 2 weeks of snow days?! Where I live we have ridiculous amounts of snow and in my 30 years of life I have only ever witnessed ONE snow day. Haha!

    Yes, parenting is a very interesting experience, isn't it?

    Also, I LOVE my Keurig!! Glad you're enjoying yours as well. :)

    --Sam @ Sharing Inspired Kreations

  6. I loved Denton Little's Death Date! The teenage boy humor had me in stitches! I'm enjoying the sequel so far as well. As a school librarian/former teacher, I always wanted just one snow day a year, except for the years when I had horrible classes, and then I wanted more, well until we had to make them up at the end of the year. We ended up having one this year so far, and it was a waste of a day as nothing really happened. But I'm okay with it, because like I said, it's kind of the only bonus that we get as teachers. Have a great February!
    Check out my January Wrap-Up

  7. Congrats on reading so many books! I'm in a huge reading slump. :( And still haven't seen the last season of Sherlock! :O

  8. I'm so jealous of your snow. I'm from Canada where we usually get a lot of snow and I'm seeing grass right now. It just doesn't feel right. Sorry to hear about your ankle, but good job with your books.
    Wishing you the best luck with February :)
    Aneta @ Angelic Book Reviews 

  9. I have read great reviews of Denton's Little Death Date and the sequel. I have been pleased with our Michigan winter so far--can't beat 67 degrees today! I also follow Shannon and won books from her birthday bash. Very cool!

  10. Love the sound of those snow days! I've kinda got the same thing in our caravan life, but yours sound much cosier!


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