Thursday, July 30, 2020

July in Review

My Reading

# of books read: This kind of depends on how you count. Let's say eleven. I skimmed one, re-read one, finished sections of a few more...

I ordered The Fifth Season from Black-owned Eso Won Books in LA, because I've never read any Jemisin, and she keeps winning Hugos. It was SO GOOD that as soon as I finished it, I started trying to find the next book, The Obelisk Gate. I was able to get the ebook from my local library, but when I was ready for the final book in the series, The Stone Sky, it was already checked out. So then I went into the website of another county's library system, and they had it, but I couldn't find my card, so I made my daughter loan me hers. I really prefer reading physical books, because they cause less eye strain for me than continued computer use, but these books were worth it! As a lover of YA fantasy, I kind of hate to say it, but I'd almost forgotten that adult speculative fiction can be so rich and complex. Game of Thrones is like a boy band in comparison. 

I am terrible at all types of reading challenges, because somehow they make me feel bossed around, even when I set my own challenge. However, this summer I'm trying to read two books by BIPOC authors for every one white authored book, and that's been going quite well. The Broken Earth series tied in so amazingly well with Stamped: Racism, Anti-racism and You, which I finished this month, and How to be an Anti-Racist, which I started.  I'm planning to post a series review that dives into this. Don't, like, hold your breath or anything, but if that sounds interesting, check back later in the month!

Bookish Events and Happenings

Hmm. As with much of normal life, there is not a lot happening here. 

On the Blog

Or here.


Well, my city has been overrun with fascist mystery soldiers, Breonna Taylor's killers still haven't been arrested, the pandemic death rate continues to climb, I spent the past two months growing increasingly stressed out about having to teach in classrooms with at least some students whose families didn't "believe in" Covid-19. I guess no news would be good news, but 2020 is ALL NEWS ALL THE TIME and it's just as horrible as can be. 

I did find out this week that our governor is putting health guidelines into place before each county's schools can re-open. Guess how many counties in our state currently meet the guidelines? ONE. Guess what the population of that county is? Under 1,500. There are about 530,000 people in my county, and we are second in infection rates and fourth in death rates out of 36 counties total. So we will NOT be opening in person, which means I find myself in the weird position of being very, very happy and relieved to be planning for online teaching, which is a ridiculous way to teach reading and leaves a lot of families in very difficult situations. Like, yay? 

But it's not all doom and gloom. Here are my monthly photos of good times with, well, pretty much the same two people almost all the time.

Seen at the local school on an evening walk.

Fresh produce from our garden

I laid this tiny landing pad off our back deck.

We've used our fire pit more this year than the previous five years combined!

Our family took a day trip to the beach on the one rainy day all month.
My husband has been watching cooking shows. These are salads done up to look like a man in a hat and a mountain at sunset.

My kid made me this GORGEOUS and DELICIOUS cake for my birthday.

We went to a tiny hike on the Clackamas River.

And I got my chance to float outdoors, which is a summer requirement for me that I didn't get to last summer. This little section of riverside was sectioned off so it was deep and safe! 

My monthly summaries are always linked to the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up on Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight, as are terrific blogs' monthly reflections.  Nicole and Shannon usually put together a fun scavenger hunt giveaway too, so go check it out!


  1. I've been watching on Facebook, with great fear and trepidation, friends from school prepare to return to the classroom. Many are near retirement age. Some have various serious medical conditions, including one who had a transplant and takes daily anti-rejection drugs. One showed photos of the plastic screens she was building, at her own expense, for her first graders. Finally the state agency allowed schools a little time to go virtual. Not sure how much virtual education children are getting when they live with six siblings and are crammed into a trailer together with parents and grandparents and an aunt and uncle or two. What a mess.

    I'm glad you have been given a bit of time to go virtual. You are a creative and hardworking teacher; you will do a fabulous job of teaching whether it is in person or it is virtual.

    I love the photos and I love your resolution to read heavily from BIPOC authors and I love your passion for teaching and reading.

  2. Great photos! Thanks for recommending Jemison. I need a new fantasy series - just finished Crescent City by Maas - and have to wait a year for next.
    I do the same thing - looking for 2nd and 3rd books - at least I found both at library.
    Have a grat month of reading in August

  3. I also work in a school, and I was relieved when my school called for a remote start earlier this week (although staff need to teach within our buildings). Many parents are fired up about it - there really are no good solutions, but in my mind keeping everyone safe is what matters most. I'm glad that you were able to do some hiking, floating, reading, looks like a nice month despite our present circumstances.

  4. I am also challenge challenged lol As soon as I'm supposed to read something I don't want to. Ha!

    Love your pics!

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  5. Your pictures are lovely!
    I keep putting off Broken Earth cause I'm usually only in the mood for optimistic reads, and that doesn't seem to fit. But I read her Emergency Skin novelette last month and it was just brilliant. Rarely have I found a story to be at the same time so hopeful and sad.

  6. I love the salads and the cake. Happy birthday! Good luck with online teaching. Teachers are really in a no-win position with all this. Most of my friends are teachers, and I feel bad for them. It’s scary out there. Have a good August!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  7. It's been a while since I read any scifi or fantasy but I do have Jemisin on my list to get to one day.

    We can all only do what we can to keep ourselves safe and hope other people do to. Hopefully the numbers will start to go down soon.

  8. I need to read Jemisin myself! Glad you got to have some time in the outdoors. Hopefully August goes okay for you.
    Lisa Loves Literature

  9. My news consumption has gone up again as I get closer to having to go back to campus (I work at an university). Check out what I read at Girl Who Reads.

  10. Love the photos you've shared, Wendy. Things don't feel quite as turbulent here in the UK but it's far from calm.

  11. Honestly, from where we are in the UK... Well, from where we are in Wales, England looks out of control. The US looks like total Hollywood loss-of-reality complete with dystopian dictatorship (in my opinion - nobody sue me please.)

    Stay safe! <3 <3 <3

  12. Thank you for sharing your photos of your summer adventures! We haven't had much adventure around here. Happy belated birthday--your pink cake looks beautiful!


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