Sunday, November 4, 2018

October in Review

My Reading

# of books read: 14
Best(s):(In which I tell you all my five star reads and make up categories so they each win something)**
Best ridiculous kid's book: Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas
Best sequel: Muse of Nightmares
Best funny GLBQT NA graphic novel: Check, Please!
Best graphic novel memoir: Hey, Kiddo


These two are very different, but were among my favorites of this year for sure.

Library Love: +4, so 109/60.
Beat the Backlist: +4, so 113/100
Goodreads: 152/52
Popsugar: +4, so 34/52
Discussion Challenge: +1, so  8/12

So basically, the challenges that I knew would not actually require any effort on my part are all long since met, and the ones that I chose to push myself further will probably not be completed. Still, I've read some books I wouldn't have otherwise. Well, at least one book.

Bookish Events and Happenings

I got a chance to visit another out of town independent bookstore, the lovely Beach Books in Seaside, OR. I didn't buy a lot because I need my discounts, but wanting to support them, I did pick up Walking Dead 4 & 5 for my classroom. I also spent a lot of time drooling over What If It's Us and Muse of Nightmares, as well as reading a stack of picture books. They also had a one dollar shelf by the door that contained a copy of Maus vol. 1, which is missing from my classroom at the moment, so I grabbed it too. For a buck, it's okay if I find my other copy and have two.

I got to see Laini Taylor (I almost wrote "in concert," which just goes to show that authors are indeed my rock stars), and oh my gosh; I still need to write about that evening. I also dragged my daughter to see Kwame Alexander, and we are both glad that I did. 

And of course, October is a Dewey's Read-a-Thon month. I had a great read-a-thon, in which I put zero pressure on myself to do anything other than read. I didn't enter very many of the challenges, I only checked in a few times, I didn't even make a big thing about snacks (though I did get some yummy ones).  I didn't have to fit it around any other plans, I didn't get sick, and I just read all day. 

On the Blog

I've been hot and cold. There was one weekend when I wrote three or four posts, but otherwise I've been kind of off. My favorite post was probably the one about items I've lost over the years, which is a bit weird since it was 100% not book related. I got the most views and comments on a TTT post about libraries and bookstores that have been important in my life. I spent a lot of time on a pretty silly post in which I created a convoluted scoring system for books I've read to my classes. I just wanted to share some of my read-alouds over the years, but it kind of got away from me.


My family situation is about a million percent less stressful than it was last year, and about 500% less stressful than it's been the past few years, which means I have a lot more energy for other things. I'm still singing with the Latvian choir, and I'm hoping to do a week long Latvian Festival on the blog leading up to the country's centennial on Nov. 18. I have started looking outside my classroom walls and advocating for graphic novels in particular and classroom libraries in general around my school. I also decided to start a Battle of the Books club at my school. The first meeting is Tuesday, so we'll see if any kids show up.

We started the month with a weekend at the beach. My husband was in a bridge tournament, and my daughter and I just hung out and had fun. I went to a calligraphy workshop with my sister, something I've never tried before. Halloween was its usual insanity at school. I dressed as a witch and kept telling students how NICE it was to just be myself for a day.

We have toadstools in our yard.  We've never had them before. They are creepy/cool.

That would be a rose blooming in November. So confused. 

My friend's PUPPY, Angus. He's gonna be a big boy.

Read-a-thon stack.

Laini Taylor at her book signing event.

I take a version of this photo every fall on my way to work.

There was this guy blowing huge bubbles at night on the beach. The picture doesn't do it justice.

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. You are crushing some of your challenges, and I think you are doing great on the other ones too. Especially the Pop Sugar challenge, which I opted out of this year, because they had some really difficult prompts on there. Love all your pictures. The toadstool one is probably my favorite. Check, Please! Was so cute and fun. I loved it too.

  2. I'm glad life is less stressful, and it looks like you are doing a ton of fun things! I'm excited for your Latvian blog posts!

  3. Haha, I’m exactly the same with my challenges! I read a few books specifically for the challenges, but mostly I’ve been succeeding or failing by accident. I’m glad things have been less stressful for you. Have a great November!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. It sounds like you are take life by storm! I don't get to go see authors so its always fun to read about others seeing them... especially Laini Taylor!! And so cute what you told your students, hahaha, nice to be myself for the day. My friend dressed as a cow for her students, so funny. ❤️

  5. I also read Check Please! and City of Ghosts in October and enjoyed both. I really want to read Hey, Kiddo too. Kwame Alexander is one of my favorite authors! I have read all of his books.


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