Oh my goodness, that was crazy.
Somehow, December caught me in her clutches when I wasn’t looking. Life took over and dragged me along like a limp doll no matter how hard I ran to keep up.
The winter holidays were in full swing, obviously. Not only did we celebrate Hanukkah with my family and Christmas with David’s, but we attended many holiday parties which covered Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, and a repeat of Thanksgiving. We also made many many cookies with many many friends and family members. I swear, we gained 12 pounds each this month due to cookies alone.
Work was chaotic. Apparently, as we get towards the end of the year everyone needs something from my role. This was my first Q4 in this job, and while I love my job, I will need to work harder next year to ensure that doesn’t happen. It was a lot of stress and late nights. Not ideal– but now I know and can be prepared for next year at this time!
Relatedly, the work I was doing with my non-profits also ramped up. That, plus work, plus holidays, plus wedding planning, plus the usual book clubs meant Jackie didn’t have a lot of free time. She was happy but exhausted.
Finally, December is always my favorite book club month. Most of my book clubs did White Elephant book exchanges and we all celebrated more festively than usual. One of my book club members does Silks with the Madison Circus Space. This means the Science Fiction/Fantasy book club all went to the Nutcracker Circus and he was AWESOME. In general, I think circus work is amazing. At some point, I might try it out.
List of Reads
I thank all the road trips for me managing to get this much read in my chaotic December. Audiobooks are amazing. But watch out for poor narrators!
Read – 11 total books
MUST READ this month:
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – I previewed this a bit in my Top 10 Reads of 2017 post, but at the time I wasn’t done with it. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is my absolute favorite book from 2017. It’s a brilliant character study which explores both lighthearted and dark moments of humanity. I highly recommend the audiobook. 6 stars our of 5. FOR SURE. Full review to follow.
Meh. I wasn’t into it this month:
Annihilation – I know, I know… The whole world seems to love this book. David and I listened to the audiobook on our way home from Christmas. I almost fell asleep. Three times. Now, I think it might be the audiobook narrator more than anything (a bad audiobook narrator will ruin amazing works of literature), but I still don’t think I would enjoy it even if I had read the book on my own. Once I’ve parced through all my feelings you’ll see a rant-y review. I can’t wait to discuss with everyone!
- Overall 2017 Reading Challenge: 130/110 (118% complete)
- 2017 Listopia Challenge: 18/15 (120% complete)
- Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder Challenge: 19/24 (79% complete)
- Popsugar 2017 Challenge: 42/52 (80% complete)
- The Great Newbery Challenge: 30/95 (31% complete)
Throughout the second half of this year, I found that I was losing interest in the yearly reading challenges I had picked up. While I do love Read Harder and Popsugar, my time with them is done. No longer am I excited to check off all the books on this list. My mood reading and book club schedules have consistently trumped what is on these reading lists.
Instead, for 2018, I will continue my Great Newbery Challenge and do reading challenges which allow me to interact more with others. I hope to find a few which will keep me interested throughout 2018!
It wouldn’t be tsundoku if I didn’t have a gigantic pile of books and bookish things going on in my life!
On the Blog:
While I more-or-less took an unplanned hiatus from blogging in December, I tried really hard to keep coming back to my blog. I ended up getting more posts published than I thought this month, somehow! Putting this list together always makes me happy.
- The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
- Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
- Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery
- The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own edited by Veronica Chambers
Top Ten Tuesday
- November 2017 Month in Review
- #AnneReadAlong2017 : Top 5 Things I Learned Reading Anne of Green Gables
- 2 Year Blogoversary
Considering my more-or-less complete absence from blogging in December, I feel like I did a great job getting posts up! My goal this year was to get two posts up every 7 days. I *almost* managed to pull that off! I think I’ll pat myself on the back for that.
- Our Shared Shelf – The Power by Naomi Alderman
- Kids Lit – TBD by TBD
- West Side Stories – TBD by TBD
- Brunch Books – Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carrier
- VACB Book Club –Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett AND Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
- Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club: The Paper Magician by Charles Holmberg
- The Great Newbery Challenge – Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates
- #AnneReadAlong2017: Rilla of Ingleside by LM Montgomery
#AnneReadAlong2017 is wrapping up. Officially, the read-along is over, but I’m a bit behind. Oops! Plus, I have quite a few reflections on Anne Shirley and LM Montgomery’s work to share yet. It’s been a ton of fun getting to know Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf and lead this with her. She’s done all her book reviews, so check those out! We have plans for an awesome giveaway to end this read along, too. Keep an eye out this month!
I am preparing for 2018! I know, I know– today is January 1st. 2018 is here! But I haven’t quite made the time to really reflect on 2017, what I learned, and how I can adapt my life from those lessons. I have a few awesome posts scheduled coming up which help outline my goals for the new year and share my philosophies on goal settings. I love planning and pondering all my aspirations. I just need to make certain I have time to do so!
While I was more-or-less absent in December, the time away made me appreciate my blog so much. I have certainly missed blogging and the community it provides me enough to realize I have to prioritize this for my own self-care. If I’m going to learn this lesson the hard way, this is a perfect time to do so– expect to see some awesome year start/end posts coming soon! I cannot wait to start 2018 and take advantage of the momentum I can feel building up…
Happy Reading and Happy New Year!
What do you think?
- What amazing things happened to you in December?
- Have you ever gone on an accidental hiatus? How did you react to it? How did you recover?
- Have you ever taken circus lessons or considered it? Share your stories!
- What reading challenges will you be participating in next year? Why?
- What are you most excited to read in 2018?