Saturday, November 4, 2017

October in Review

My Reading

# of books read: 14
Best(s):  Best novel in verse: Long Way Down, Best Graphic Novel: Anne of Green Gables, Best Re-read: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Best Middle Grade: Nine, Ten: a September 11 Story
Mt. TBR progress: 4 more, up to 54 this year.

Bookish Events and Happenings

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, of course! 

On the Blog

Finally back to my normal with 15 posts in October. Read-a-thon helped with that, but I also started to get my feet under me enough at school to put aside time for blogging.  I participated in four Top Ten Tuesdays and a Sunday Post as well as a slightly overdue Mt. TBR Check-in. I made fun of myself for packing a half dozen books but no deodorant or phone charger when the kids and I went to the beach for a weekend.  I wrote a post that's been on my mind for awhile about the whitewashing of covers, which is to say, putting illustrations of white people on the covers of books that feature people of color. Plus a bunch of read-a-thon nonsense and a tag or two. It was fun. 


Oof. One of my kids is really struggling right now, and it's affecting pretty much everything. Still, I am a relentless optimist, which means I can usually find stuff to be happy about. We had an unusually sunny and dry October, the leaves are lovely, and I finally got to start reading Refugee with my classes.  

 This guy keeps stopping by and hanging out on the chair.

This just makes me laugh. I was taking pictures of book covers in Barnes and Noble so I could ask my students what I should buy next for the classroom and had a classic front-camera moment. So pretty! Definitely not the most flattering angle.

After nearly sixteen years of marriage, my husband and I have started sitting down to plan meals each week, then he does the grocery shopping and quite a bit of the cooking, and it has really been a terrific change. He made fish tacos the other night that were delicious.

This was also the first time in 20 years of middle school teaching we were allowed to dress up at school, and it went really well.  The concern has always been that the girls will all dress as slutty whatevers and the boys will all dress as serial killers. But they didn't. I was Professor McGonnogall, and the teacher next door was a cow. With an udder.  Sadly, I didn't get pictures of either of us. I didn't even get pictures of my kids, which I'm pretty sure means I'm about to be kicked off Facebook.

I'm am so excited about heading to NCTE in two weeks. After I went through each of the 42 options for each of the 15 sessions (those numbers sound like hyperbole, but are actually accurate) and narrowed it down to my top one (or two--it was hard!) choices, these are the authors I'll see presenting as part of various panels:
  • Jason Reynolds
  • Matt de la Peña
  • Meg Medina
  • Julie Murphy
  • Chris Crutcher
  • Ellen Hopkins
  • Katherine Applegate
  • Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • Dan Gemeinhart
  • A. S. King
  • Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Alan Sitomer
  • M. T. Anderson
  • Angie Thomas
plus every single one of my auto-buy teacher authors.  ALL OF THEM. 

I've also kind of taken over the group that I'm presenting with.  None of us know each other, and we don't have any sort of structure or organization.  It was kind of driving me nuts. So I decided to get us pulled together. It is kind of interesting, because I'm remembering that I used to be more take-charge in a professional setting, but in my "new" job (this is my tenth year) I've never really felt comfortable or listened to, so I've kind of gotten into the habit of being passive and just doing my own thing. This is making me think about what I can do differently going forward.  

All in all, October was a good month, but challenging.  I suspect I will feel the same about November.  I hope it treats all of you well. 

My monthly summaries are always linked to the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up on Feed Your Fiction Addiction, along with many other terrific blogs' monthly reflections.  Nicole usually puts together a fun scavenger hunt giveaway too, so go check it out!


  1. I'll be checking out that white washing post in a bit. I've seen a lot of those on twitter comment on it too. And haha, I accidentally took a shot like that yesterday of myself.

  2. That NCTE list reads like my wish list. I have been lucky to attend panels with some of those authors, but there are quite a few I would love to see/meet. Have an amazing time! I hope that your child is able to work through whatever is troubling them. I so remember the heartache I would experience when my daughter was having a hard time with something. ((HUGS)) to you mom. That is so awesome that you and your husband are meal planning together. That is so sweet.

  3. I’d love to see those authors! That’s a fabulous list. Sorry that one of your kids is struggling, but I hope you have a great November!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. I've seen several of the authors on your NCTE list present before, and you are definitely in for a treat! I can't wait for the wrap up of that event! I'm glad that you are finding some balance and some optimism despite some challenges.....don't lose hope!

  5. That's too bad there are no costume pics! But that's really funny that you didn't even pack a phone charger :D lol. And I can totally relate.

  6. I LOVE that you dressed as McGonnogal. YAY!

  7. I hope you have a fabulous time at NCTE! Too bad you didn't get pics of your costume---I'm horrible about pictures and even worse about Facebook, so I can relate!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  8. That is an amazing author lineup. You are sure to have a fabulous time.

    At least you had a costume representing something in particular -- I neglected mine till half an hour before the halloween party and ended up being a vague "magic lady." Will have to work on that next year.

  9. Sorry to hear one of your kids is struggling :( hope it gets better 15 posts is great! funny to hear I'm not the only one starting to plan things now after so many years of marriage :)

  10. Your list of authors is awesome! I would love to be there in person to hear this panel. fish tacos are my favorite. I had one for lunch yesterday using tilapia. So yummy and healthy too.


Please share your thoughts. Comments are almost as sweet as chocolate!