Wednesday, August 1, 2018

July in Review

My Reading

# of books read: 24.  It's summer, and I'm reading. Also, various family members have been out of town, so nobody's made me be social. And I read a fair number of graphic novels.

Bests: (In which I tell you all my five star reads and make up categories so they each win something)
best memoir: Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
best YA contemporary: Loser's Bracket,
best graphic novel memoir: Something New
best fictional graphic novel: Sea Change
best historical spy novel: Orphan Monster Spy

Best of the Bests: 
classic nonfiction: In Cold Blood
modern nonfiction: The 57 Bus
For a woman who reads mostly fiction, I sure love me some quality nonfiction. These two are both "all the stars" rated, and they are only the second and third of the year.

Challenges progress:
Library Love: +19, so 93/60.
Beat the Backlist: +15, so 98/100
Goodreads: 117/52
Popsugar: +1, so 27/52
Discussion Challenge: +2, so 6/10

You may wonder why I have 3 challenges that I'm blowing out of the water, and my reason is simple: I don't do well with challenges, so I chose shoe-ins.  I think I'm on track for the Discussion Challenge, which I always choose the lowest setting on, again, so I can actually make it. Popsugar is looking more and more iffy as I get all the gimmes out of the way. On the other hand, I read In Cold Blood specifically to meet the true crime category, and it was the best book I've read in a long time, so...maybe there's something to this whole "get out of your comfort zone" and "push yourself to try new things" business.

Bookish Events and Happenings

I spent a LOT of time in bookstores and libraries this month. Like, a lot. It was "my month" at our public library, and you better believe I visited my shrine shelf of recommended books often. Also, the library has AC, and it's hot in Oregon this year. Also it was my birthday, so I kept using that as a reason to treat myself to book shopping.

I found out the Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon people were having an "Upside Down" read-a-thon this past weekend a few days before it happened, then I forgot about it, then I remembered about five hours after it had started. I still joined in, but honestly? I just used it as an excuse to stay up late reading and then to read a lot the next day too.

I'm going to share this story in a few days as part of a longer post about the books I've bought lately, but I did have the rather amusing experience of giving book recommendations to a "bookseller" at Barnes and Noble. He saw me looking at Thunderhead (I have a copy, but it's signed to me, so I'm kind of reluctant to lend it to kids) and checked that I knew it was a sequel. Then some half hour later (I spend a LOT of time when I'm actually book shopping on both the gathering and prioritizing end of things) he came by to ask what I thought of Scythe, because he'd been thinking of reading it. I gushed. He was all, "I just finished Vicious, have you read it?" and I was all, "Oh yeah, if you like Schwab, i think you'll really like Shusterman too; have you read Unwind yet?" and he was all "" and I patted him condescendingly on the head. No, not really.

On the Blog

This is post 11 this month--no, 12, because I actually have another one scheduled first. What? Who is this organized person? So I'm about where I want to be in terms of that.

Reviews: There There by Tommy Orange, Loser's Bracket by Chris Crutcher, and a set of mini reviews
Top Ten Tuesday posts: Best so far in 2018, Sensory Bookish Memories, Books that Do/Don't Live Up to Their Hype --come share your opinion on this one in my nifty survey!    
Lists: Fantastic graphic novel memoirs, books I recommended to my fellow library patrons
Discussions: William Shatner, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Me; On Being an Incorrigible Mood Reader (check this one out for the fabulous unicorn llama poster I adapted)
Ephemera: My library superfan moment in the sun


If April is the cruelest month, July is the sweetest. It's the Saturday of my summer weekend--and yes, just like in a regular weekend, I have work to do all summer, but in July I can focus on the stuff I want to do, putting off the drudgery until August. 

In addition to some fine reading, this month I also got to take my daughter to a four day horse day camp and then to a seven day horse sleepaway camp, so her summer was already MADE. It's all gravy from here. Or frosting, depending on your preferred metaphor. 

I had a great birthday, which included eating out twice, spending 2 hours at Powell's, and another hour and a half at the library. I got together with a group of friends from the job I had 10 years ago, then spent the night at my sister's. I had a couple of afternoons of a not very exciting workshop for my work, but I also was able to connect with a friend in the district who I worked with six years ago, and we went out for happy hour one evening. My mother-in-law took me out to dinner in honor of my birthday. The Winemaker left the day after my birthday for a bridge tournament in Atlanta, where his team made it all the way to the semi-finals in their bracket. 

There was also less shiny stuff, like painting a room and the trim, doing academic research and planning, weeding out a huge wild rose bush, and that kind of thing. 

Saw this at Powells and coveted it, but not enough to buy it instead of books. It's a terrible shot, but it says "Mary and Ursula and Madeleine & Octavia" (as in Shelly, le Guin, L'Engle, and Butler, patron saints of feminist sci fi)

We've only been swimming once (ONCE!), and after an hour or so, I got out and read.

I'm no longer supposed to share pics of my kids without explicit permission, so here's a picture my kid took of a horse she rode this month. 

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. That t-shirt is NOT available on

    I'll have to come out to Oregon to get one!

  2. You are killing your Goodreads challenge. I guess you really under estimated yourself. And good job with Pop Sugar. I passed on that challenge this year, because I found too many of the categories super difficult.

  3. Happy birthday! Spending a lot of time in libraries and bookstores sounds like a perfect month to me. It always amuses me when I know more about books than the person selling them. It happens surprisingly often. They try to give me recommendations, and I say, “Already read it, read it, read it, read it.”

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. I got to visit Powell's a long time ago and I could easily have stayed there for the day. One of the best book stores I've been to. Spending my birthday there would be a happy day for me too. I have my birthday wishlist filled with books. 24 books is unbelievable! Great reading month!

  5. Did your kids get mad about a pic you shared? At least we get to see the horse. It's cute! :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  6. WOW. That is a LOT. Hope you are having a great summer!


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