Saturday, March 4, 2017

February in Review

Now that I think about it. it was a pretty full month.  Only 28 days, eh?  Let's see what I got done!

My Reading

I read more than I wrote.  Escape, not creativity.  I think that's going to change for March though.

# of books read: 17, plus a picture book every day of school

Best(s): Girl Mans Up, I Hunt Killers, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, The War That Saved My Life

Mt. TBR progress: Conquered seven for a total of seventeen.

Bookish Events and Happenings

I did some math based on the receipts I could find and discovered that I've spent over $400 on books for my classroom library this year.  This CALENDAR year, not this school year.  I vowed to cut waaaaaay back, especially given the rate my kids' feet are growing and the age of our cars.  Then I had a girl beg me to get another Lucy Christopher book, and another girl gave me a long list of manga she recommends, because I don't have any and don't know where to start building the collection.  So I had to get those, right?  And now one of my most struggling readers, a guy for whom English is his third language, a boy who insists on carrying around things like Lord of the Rings and Lord of the Flies even though I keep presenting him with good books at his level--he got into Doug TenNapel's Nnewts series and read the first two, so I kind of have to buy the third one now, right?  Right?

And yes, while I was out picking up The Killing Woods and Bleach Vol. 01, I happened to pick up A Conjuring of Light, even though I have a million things to read already.  But I really wanted it.  And I will read it as soon as I stop inhaling the Jasper Dent series, which will be soon after I finish writing this post.


The other Big Bookish Thing was World Read Aloud Day (or week, as it turned out).  You can get the details in this post, but in a nutshell, my five classes each Skyped with a real live author--four altogether.

On the Blog

It was a bit of a slow month for me.  I only posted 12 times, which is the smallest number of posts I've done since January of 2016.  I was just overwhelmed by the state of the world.  Meaning, by American politics and a bunch of stuff that just seems insane to me.  I was just going to apologize for being political but you know what? Fuck it.  I honestly don't feel like it IS political.  It's moral.  And I'm not apologizing for my morals.

Anyway.  Just like last year, the post I linked up to Modern Mrs. Darcy's "What's Saving My Life?" collection got by far the highest number of views.  It kind of feels like cheating to count it, actually.  I also got a decent number of views and a higher than normal number of comments on a discussion post I wrote for Nicole and Shannon's Discussion Challenge--regarding whether a "literary canon" still exists and has classroom value.  There were a ton of really interesting discussion topics both this past month and in January.  I don't know why, but the linked posts seem to have had this big jump in quality and quantity both.  And my hidden gem (i.e. post I enjoyed that didn't get much traffic) was another discussion post, about my obsessive stockpiling of Goodreads shelves.

I've started the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers, so expect to see daily posts from me that are more about my life (duh) than books, although I will posts book stuff too (also duh).  


This set of pictures has saved my day, my kids' day, and The Winemaker's day.  Just--how can you feel panicky, cranky, or gloomy when you look at these?

I've already shared some of the struggles my family is having right now.  I've been teaching middle school for nearly twenty years straight, and now I have a middle schooler LIVING IN MY HOUSE.  God help us all.

I was out of the classroom four days this month, for three different trainings/workshops.  All were worthwhile, but I'm glad to not have any more disruptions planned.  It really messes with the teaching gig to not be there.  Kind of like it messes with the learning gig to not be there.  

I started a bullet journal.  I'm so 2016, I know.  And ridiculously optimistic, because I am the queen of setting up new things and then not following through.  Then again, this blog is still plugging away. 

We had company over two weeks ago, and the house is still tidier than it usually is, so dramatic of an effect did making it presentable have.  #sorrynotsorry


  • I love this tongue-in-cheek infographic that treats reading like taking illicit drugs.
  • I've been thinking a lot about immigrants and refugees.  
  • This article has fascinating visual representation of what Americans have considered national priorities over nearly a century.
  • When talking about #WeNeedDiverseBooks, it's important to remember that "diversity" shouldn't be an add-on.  This article discusses why A Snowy Day is such a great representation of a POC character as just an ordinary little boy.
  • It would be tough to find someone less interested in football than I am (I'd suggest starting with my sisters, though), but this video about a NFL player's love of books is a-freaking-dorable.


  1. Wow! You have had a lot happening in February!

    Your book count is inspiring!

  2. Wow, you did a lot in February. Those seal photos are adorable. Some of the books you read are on my TBR list. I want to read The Encyclopedia of Early Earth and The War that Saved My Life. I’ve heard good things about both of them.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. $400??! Seriously, you are the most dedicated teacher of ever. Would you want CD's of Heartless (audiobook, obviously) for your classroom? I'd be willing to send it your way. I'll also glance through my shelves and see what other MG or (relatively MG appropriate) YA books I might be able to send your way. I'll shoot you an email with some options. You need to be sainted or something, and you should NOT be providing all these books on your own!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Nicole that's so sweet of you! I actually don't have a way to play CDs in my classroom, sadly, but would welcome any and all book donations for my classroom. Part of the problem is I now know so much about what books are out there, and I can't resist getting books that sound like they will be "The One" for one of my reluctant readers.

  4. Your students are so lucky to have you! $400 is a lot of money to spend. I hope you have others helping you provide books for them. Also, good luck with your bullet journal! I started one this year as well, and I really enjoy the setup though mine is nowhere as aesthetically pleasing as some you can see on the internet.

  5. Both of my parents were teachers too so I know how much money teachers spend out of their own pockets. Every great teacher has a heart of gold and a generous soul and only teachers because of the love of educating our children.

  6. Ahhh yeah, I can see how hard it would be not to buy books for kids who really want to read them! Thanks for sharing that 'drug' infographic, haha, I hadn't seen it before.


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