Sunday, February 3, 2019

January in Review/Sunday Post #27

My Reading

# of books read: 19
 I'm not including CYBILS titles in here since I don't want to show my hand before we announce the winners in two weeks. That also explains why these are mostly MG novels, since I was balancing the work of reading nonfiction with the quick reading I can do of those. I really liked most of the books I read this month, but these stand out:

Dear Sister by Alison McGhee An epistolary novel from a big brother to his annoying baby sister, this one is sweet, with just enough angst to keep it real.

Dear Sister

Oddity Author Sarah Cannon was matched with my classroom through #KidsNeedMentors, and we love her truly odd sci fi/fantasy novel in which evil puppets run a town in New Mexico.


The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden
You don't get a lot of middle grade novels that confront poverty so directly without getting mawkish. This one is beautiful.

The Benefits of Being an Octopus

On the Blog

I posted 14 times in January, which is a bit of an uptick for me. My most viewed post was the deceptively named "2018 in Books: Round One," which turned out to be the only post in that series. I had a lot of fun with the Cookies and Books Tag. Overall, I tried to be more active in blogging community memes, participating twice in a Top Ten Tuesday (new to me authors and latest TBR additions) and twice in The Sunday Post.  I even tried to do some blogging ahead, which backfired a tiny bit when this post went up this morning as scheduled with only the headings actually written. Whoops! I also outsmarted myself on the latest additions post, because I tried to put in a Goodreads widget rather than having to manually add links and photos, but it keeps updating to always show the ten most recent additions. That means people's comments might refer to a book that is no longer showing in the post. 


New semester started! This was exciting because I have EVEN MORE students per class who are there voluntarily instead of being in the "mandatory elective" that you get if your reading scores are low. It really changes the tenor of the class to have students who are excited to read. 

My oldest friend and I have instituted First Friday Friend dates, and in January we made tacos and watched Dumplin' together. It was as delightful as it sounds. 

My sisters and I all got together last weekend, which doesn't happen very often. It was wonderful, and featured this gorgeously chubby kitty. Two of my sisters have cats that my parents owned, and this is the trouble-maker, Thomas. (Why are animals adorable when they're fat?) 

And the month began with a trip to our friend's mountain home, where we got to hang out with this sweetheart. My daughter took both of these photos, which kind of makes me laugh. She has a theme going on here.

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! This week I'm also linking to The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, since it's Sunday and all. 


  1. 19 sounds like an amazing reading month. :)

  2. First Fridays sounds wonderful! What a nice way to make time for each other. You are so lucky to have students, who want to be in your class. It must be exciting to see the numbers grow.

  3. Your January sounds lovely with books, and friends / family and pets. It's also awesome to have students who want to be there. I hope the next month goes even better. Anne - Books of My Heart

  4. I really want to read The Benefits of Being an Octopus. Love your cute animal pics!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  5. I have an ARC of The Benefits of Being an Octopus here and it's on the top of my next reading pile. I wish now that I had sisters to get together with, so I'm happy you are able to do this and share fun food and a delightful movie too (I had to read the book first before I let my family choose Dumplin for movie night).


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