September is over– and now we are starting my favorite season: Fall! Fall is amazing for so many reasons. I love sleeping with the windows open, wearing sweaters and scarves sans coat, all things apple, pumpkin, and root vegetable, the changing leaves, being outside and drinking warm beverages. Unfortunately, the start of fall seems to always be SUPER busy.
I am a practicing Jew and the chair of the music committee at my synagogue. Yesterday ended the Days of Awe; the 10 days celebrating the most important holidays of our year. And, shockingly, it’s REALLY heavy on the music. I love what I do, but as a volunteer, this ordeal is always exhausting. I’m glad to see it winding down (only two more holidays in the next 2 weeks!) and get some time back for myself. Hopefully, that means I’ll see you guys more around the blogs.
Work is a bit of chaos. We’ve had a lot of turnover in my area. Some of the teams I support are really struggling. As we inch towards the end of the year, I’m finding more and more things teams have been hiding under the covers from me. The last quarter will be pretty intense, but I love what I do. I just need to be better about managing it.
While it is Fall, the weather certainly hasn’t been acting that way! We went to a wedding in Peoria, IL last weekend where it was 96 at the outdoor ceremony! I feel so bad for the groom… he was in a 3-piece woolen tuxedo. After all, September 23rd is typically fairly cool in Peoria…
Finally, our family is proud to announce we have a new member! Kurosh*, the all-American mutt joined our ranks on September 8th. He’s still acclimating to our pack, but we couldn’t be happier to have him.
*Kurosh — the ancient Persian pronunciation for Cyrus. Specifically: Cyrus the Great, King of Kings, King of Persia and Anshan, King of the 4 corners of the world.
List of Reads
September was a GREAT month for reading! I managed to read three 5-star books, which is AWESOME. Plus, I only had one dud in the bunch. Even the 3- and 4-star books led to some great discussion all month long. I hope that this streak continues through the end of the year.
Read – 11 total books
MUST READ this month:
Between Shades of Grey – I know, I know. This is a 4-star review from this month. And I have three 5-star reviews! So, why Between Shades of Gray? This book was not what I was expecting. It’s a powerful tale of the forced deportation of Lithuanians during World War II into Soviet labor camps. It shocked me on so many levels. I literally closed this book in tears. Expect to see my review shortly!
Meh. I wasn’t into it this month:
How to Raise the Perfect Dog – As our family has now turned into a pack, David and I wanted to learn what we could about raising Kurosh. Cesar Millan has a few books, and this one seemed to fit our needs based on the description. Alas, synopses are often misleading. This book was spent almost exclusively on puppyhood and we didn’t get many concrete things we can do for Kurosh from this book. It might be more interesting and useful if I had a puppy, however, I doubt that. A lot of the tips had to do with already having a pre-existing well-adjusted pack of existing dogs to teach the puppy. So… that was a bit strange.
- Overall Reading Challenge: 104/110 (94%)
- Listopia Challenge: 14/15 (93%)
- PopSugar Reading Challenge: 34/52 (65%)
- Read Harder Challenge: 18/24 (75%)
- The Great Newbery Challenge: 27/95 (28%)
After publishing my Great Newbery Quest post, I decided I should add this challenge to my reading challenge. But, it’s worth noting that my goal is to finish reading all 100 Newbery Award Winners by 2022. Check out the post for more details!
I have also come to terms with the fact that I probably won’t be finishing either the PopSugar or Read Harder challenge this year. I just don’t have the bandwidth for this and I’m not motivated to finish them both. Any suggestions on which one I should push to finish? I like the Popsugar reading prompts more, but I’m further along with Read Harder.
Regardless, you can follow my Yearly Reading Challenge updates more regularly here.
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:
This month was a fairly busy month for my blog. I managed to get at least one book review and one additional post published each week. That’s my goal– and it feels good to make it!
- Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
- Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
- Zodiac Starforce: By the Power of Astra by Kevin Panetta
- All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendon Kiely
- Giveaway Winner!
- Anne’s House of Dreams – Review
- 5 Things I Wish I Could Change About the Anne Series – Top 5 Post
Top Ten Tuesdays
- Ten Books I’ve Accidentally DNF’d
- Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR
- Top Ten Banned Books on my To Read List
- Our Shared Shelf – Hunger by Roxanne Gay
- Kids Lit – The Legend of Buddy Bush by Shelia P. Moses
- West Side Stories – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
- Brunch Books – The Stone Sky by N K Jemisin
- VACB Book Club –TBD by TBD (I hope we select soon!)
- Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club: Ringworld byLarry Niven
- Popsugar Challenge – Stuart Little by E. B. White
- Read Harder Challenge – Roll by Darcy Miller
- The Great Newbery Challenge – The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
- #AnneReadAlong2017: Anne of Ingleside by LM Montgomery
- Empty Pages Writing Club – Finalize submission review and schedule posts!
There are so many projects happening on the blog right now! I’m wrapping up my work for the Empty Pages Writing Club. Those posts should be appearing close to the end of the month; it’s been even more rewarding this time around and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with the world. It’s been a very different journey this go around, for sure. I hope that the members of the Empty Pages Writing Club feel like my work is helpful and useful in their journey to become better writers.
#AnneReadAlong2017 is going well! We had our first giveaway winner, and I can’t wait to see what else we have in store. For this second half of the read along, Jane and I have a few additional posts scheduled outside the usual. I hope these will enrich everyone’s Anne reading experience.
As you’ll see tomorrow, I’m working on my first blog buddy read with Evelina @ Avalinah’s Books! I’ve really loved working with her. This has inspired me to jump into more buddy reads and even a few additional guest post ideas I’ve been tossing around in my brain for a while. Hopefully, this means my blog will start to become a bit more collaborative. Suggestions are all welcome!
Finally, we are getting closer to Thanksgiving, so it’s time for Ottavia @ Novels and Nonfiction and me to start working on our Thanksgiving readathon! I can’t wait to see what we are able to put together. We hope you’ll join us!
What I love most about my blog are the relationships I cultivate through sharing a love of books and the discussion around those books. It’s been extra rewarding this year getting to know so many amazing bloggers, writers, and advocates. I hope that I can continue to cultivate and grow those relationships over the years. I hope that you will be part of this journey with me!
What do you think?
- How was your September? What were your favorite reads? What books should I avoid?
- I will be only striving to finish EITHER the PopSugar or Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge for the end of the year. Which one do you think I should stick with?
- Are you interested in my blog becoming more collaborative? What do you think of when you hear that phrase?
- What are you most excited to read for October?