August 2017 Recap

August seemed to fly by, with lots of activity and appointments. None of the appointments were exciting unfortunately, they were for things like dental cleanings (times three), then a follow-up to deal with a cavity (only on one child fortunately), plus well-checks (times two – number three had hers this week), plus birthday parties and play dates getting squeezed in before school restarted. It made for a more hectic-seeming month than I like.

August 2017 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 20
Books Read This Year: 148

Things That Happened

  • Book club – Lost in Shangri-La for my in-person book club and The Diamond Age in the Facebook group.
  • M turned 3.
  • G and H went back-to-homeschool (3rd and 1st grade).
  • Both kids passed their latest belt tests at taekwondo, and G is now a 1st degree recommended black belt, and H is a senior brown belt.
  • The soccer season began for the two older kids. G’s level is now playing with a goalie for the first time, and he has enjoyed it the times he’s had the chance to play goalie. He still doesn’t really know what he’s doing out there, but he’s better there than he usually is in some of the other positions.

What’s Cooking

  • Not much is really cooking – August isn’t the best month for me to want to cook. It’s not cool enough to branch out into Fall meals, I’m burning out on Summer dishes, etc. Lots of basics in the rotation this month, but I’m hoping to try some new dishes in September.

What I’m Anticipating in September

  • G’s year as a Bear Scout begins, and H has joined Daisy Scouts. Her first troop meeting is in September and she can hardly wait. I’m curious to see how it goes for her.
  • My in-laws will be visiting at the end of the month! Hooray!
  • Awana starts back up again.
  • I have TWO author interviews coming up, and I’m really excited about trying to add that as a semi-regular feature here.
  • Cub scouts popcorn sales, and I’m hoping G gets to some of the store sales times this year. He’s got a sales goal he’s working towards.
  • Book club – Garden Spells for my in-person book club (it’s dinner party month!!) and Plainsong in the Facebook group.

Books I Read in August

I shared the list of books I read in a recent post.

We’ve only just started the school year, so we haven’t finished all that many books. September’s list should include many more titles.

    Readalouds I finished with G (3rd grade)
  • George Mueller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans by Janet and Geoff Benge

    He liked this one (so did I), and wants to read more of the series. Fortunately for him, that’s already in the plans.

  • The Minstrel in the Tower by Gloria Skurzynski

    It amused him that I was reading this to him, when it’s very much at a reading level he can handle. Cute story, and a nice break from some drier books.

  • Readalouds I finished with H (1st grade)
  • The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

    Second time around was just as successful as the first time. She loved it.

  • More Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley

    I love the Milly Molly Mandy stories and am looking forward to reading them with M in a couple of years.

  • Readers G finished on his own
  • Third Grade Detectives #1 by George E. Stanley

    He couldn’t believe this counted as a school book, and he was also really entertained by the flip book format – book 1 and 2 are published together, just back-to-back and flipped.

  • The Secret Valley by Clyde Robert Bulla

    Bulla does such a great job at writing appealing stories at easier reading levels.

  • plus more Captain Underpants, as well as some Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

    Sigh. He loves these books. I tell myself it’s better than no books.

    Picture Books I Read with M (3 years old)

    I read many many more than this, but these are the new-to-us ones

  • Job Wanted by Teresa Bateman
  • Do Princesses Make Happy Campers? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle
  • Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman

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Books I Read in August 2017

August was overall a nice reading month, but not as terrific as July had been, or as great as I’m anticipating September being.

August 2017 Reads


  1. This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber

    (Review book.) I enjoyed the premise and setting quite a bit. One of the secondary characters was also someone I’d like to see in future books, assuming this is the start of a series. Part of the premise behind the mystery was not very convincing, so it detracted from the book as a whole. It also reminded me quite a bit of several other titles, especially And Then There Were None, thanks to the secluded island setting. Overall though, I will happily look for future titles if this does become a series. Enjoyable and fun.

  2. Peril at End House by Agatha Christie

    I hate it when I catch on to some of the biggest clues in the book, and guess the culprit, but don’t figure out some of the intermediate proof and still end up having to wait for Poirot to reveal all. At least I’m not as clueless as Hastings. Another fun mystery by Christie.

  3. A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd

    Next in the Bess Crawford series. I feel slightly ghoulish for saying I don’t want the war to end, but I love these books and am not sure what Todd will do with the series post-war. Perhaps I’m just afraid that they’ll lose something without that backdrop. As it is, this was a typical book in the series, and won’t convert anyone who isn’t already a fan.

  4. A Pale Horse by Charles Todd

    I listened to this, and I’m not sure if I missed some details because of the audio, or if the book really did kind of gloss over a few things. As it was though, I’m still slightly confused by a few aspects of the book.

  5. A Most Novel Revenge by Ashley Weaver

    Light and fluffy murder mystery, if that’s not a contradiction in terms. It fit the reading mood I was in, and it’s an ok series if you’re looking for that type of historical mystery.

  6. Wednesday’s Child by Peter Robinson

    Continuing on with my re-read of the Alan Banks series. I’m enjoying them more as we get to the more recent ones; the earliest ones are so dated that it’s jarring at times.

  7. Other Fiction

  8. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

    Loved this fun start to a lengthy series. Historical fiction set during the Napoleonic wars, but with dragons. I listened to it, but it’s not the easiest on audio unless you’re much better than I was at keeping track of lots of unfamiliar names and terminology. Highly recommended.

  9. Plainsong by Kent Haruf

    Book club selection for September. The pacing is very slow, compared to some of the other books I read this month, and the writing style was unusual. Overall I enjoyed it, although I’d have liked it more with a few of the graphic lines omitted.

  10. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

    A re-read for September’s in-person book club. Lots of fun the second time around, although it also had some more s*xual content than I’d remembered. Very different in tone though than Plainsong! I love the touch of magical realism it includes, and am looking forward to reading the sequel.

  11. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

    August’s book club selection, and I didn’t finish it until the discussion had begun. I *struggled* through this one. It’s long and so detailed at times. Parts of it were interesting, but other sections were so dull. And some sections were just baffling, or gross, or gross and baffling. I know it’s an award winner, and many people love it and recommend it, but I was not a fan.

  12. Nonfiction

  13. Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela J. Hanscom

    Love the premise behind it, and it was amazingly convicting. As an audio book though, it seemed very repetitive and like it could have been trimmed substantially. I expect it’d have worked better as a print or electronic version, where it’d have been easier to skim sections.

  14. Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu

    Really interesting (and reminded me quite a bit of a Laura Vanderkam book), but I’m not sure how much of it really applies in my life currently. I would recommend it to others though! And maybe some of the “nice but not for me” feeling is because I already am fairly good at not doing some things, even when there might be societal pressure on me that I will.

  15. The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Library of Congress

    Fun to flip through, but get the print version – the electronic one is very hard to see the small images and they’re the best part of the book. If you’re not interested in books or library history I don’t think it’ll hold much appeal, but if you are, you should give it a glance.

  16. Cookbooks

  17. One-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for Your Sheet Pan, Dutch Oven, Skillet, Roasting Pan, Casserole, and Slow Cooker by Cook’s Country

    Love the premise behind it, but sometimes it seemed like they were making more work to try to keep it to one pan. And sometimes it seemed like they were stretching the allowed definition of dishes. If the point of one pan is to minimize cleanup, then having a separate bowl to cook things in the microwave seems like cheating a bit. Those quibbles aside, there were a LOT of dishes that I flagged as ones I’d like to try.

  18. Food52 A New Way to Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs

    Loved the premise behind this one as well, but probably won’t be making anything from it. Eating styles are different enough, or I’m not interested in enough of one of the week’s menu that it takes away from the advantage of their structure, that using the book kind of becomes a waste. If your tastes match theirs, however, this is a terrific idea and it’s well-structured.

  19. Salad for Dinner by Jeanne Kelley

    I might just have not been in the right mood when I was flipping through it, but none of the recipes tempted me enough to want to make them. Beautiful pictures, and a range of what counted as a salad, but not the book for me.

  20. Kid Lit

  21. Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright

    A fun listen, and I’m looking forward to listening to the sequel in September.

  22. Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr

    Grabbed this to pre-read to decide if I want to pass it along to my kids. There’s nothing in it that would keep me from doing so, but it’s not one I think my son would like right now. I’ll keep it in mind in the future, either for him if his tastes change a bit, or for one of my daughters as they get older. It’s fluffy entertainment, but not a must-read for any of them.

  23. Ice Road by Joan Lennon (The Wickit Chronicles #3)

    Finishing the series. I’d happily pass this along to my son – it’s an easy read, with short chapters (he is all about short chapters right now), but he has zero interest in anything smacking of fantasy. And a flying gargoyle would definitely count as fantasy for him. Sigh.

  24. A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

    Recommended if you’re looking for a middle-grade book dealing with the Berlin Wall and the time immediately after it was installed. Lacks the depth adult or even young adult fiction would have about the topic, but for what it is it was good.

  25. Did Not Finish

  26. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

    Read the first few chapters and wasn’t caring about any of the characters. I’m saving my reading time unless I end up being convinced it’s worth another try.

  27. The BrontΓ« Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne by Catherine Reef

    Fine, but I’d just finished the adult biography on Charlotte and didn’t feel like this was adding anything extra to my knowledge. I read about half of it and mostly looked at the pictures.

  28. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

    Read one chapter and was really bored by it. Should I give it some more time? It had to go back to the library but I could request it again. Not sure if it was just a case of bad timing and it’s one that I’d like if I would give it a real chance.

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July 2017 Recap

July 2017 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 28
Books Read This Year: 128

Things That Happened
  • Book club – A Midsummer Night’s Dream for my in-person book club and True Grit in the Facebook group.
  • G turned eight, and had a week at Cub Scout camp.
  • Another week of VBS & week of taekwondo camp.
  • We had some friends stop by for an afternoon/evening as they drove across the country. It’d been a couple of years since we’d seen them so it’s always nice to have a chance to catch up with them. Their oldest son is 15, so this time we were more or less able to ignore the kids for longer stretches as their older ones kept an eye on all the littler ones. That was nice for us to be able to talk and visit.
  • Those visitors also motivated R to finish painting that corner for me, so my bookcase is in place and I’ve been getting organized and ready for us to start homeschooling again.
  • We (and by we, I mean R) refilled the sand box for the kids, and they’ve been out there playing in it every day since.
  • R also worked on the washing machine, which has been having some issues. Upon opening it up, he discovered a sock clogging it, and since removing it it’s been working much better.
    Whew. I was hoping we wouldn’t need to buy a new machine!
What’s Cooking
  • I kind of made up a bar recipe when I didn’t have the exact ingredients the recipe called for. I ended up tossing in caramel bits, white chocolate chips, and even the dregs of a bag of toffee chips. They were amazing!
  • Burgers on the grill. Lots of burgers, which leads to easy leftover meals.
What I’m Anticipating in August
  • M’s birthday! She’ll be THREE πŸ™‚
  • School starts up again!
  • Soccer starts for G and H. I don’t know who puts the kids on teams or schedules things, but I love them. This year, just like last year, the kids have their practice on the same day and time, in the same place. I love having it be set each week, so it’s easy to get into a routine, and I love love love having them both at the same time – makes life so much easier for me.
  • Book club – Lost in Shangri-La for my in-person book club and The Diamond Age in the Facebook group.
Books I Read in July

I shared the list of books I read in a recent post, and I haven’t even read any new picture or chapter books to the kids this month – it’s still been all old favorites all month, with nothing new to share. August should be different!

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May 2017 Recap

May was an amazing reading month – I read so much, and most of the books I finished were ones I really enjoyed.

I didn’t get a lot done in the way of blogging – I was hoping to get posts written ahead before we left on vacation, but it didn’t happen. Then I intentionally left my computer at home and conceded that the blog was going to be put on a brief hiatus. πŸ˜‰

May 2017 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 24
Books Read This Year: 76

Things That Happened
  • Book club – My Antonia for my in-person book club and Hannah Coulter in the Facebook group.
  • We went on vacation to Florida! We went to Legoland, Disney, and Animal Kingdom. We also had days spent at the pool in between the amusement parks.
  • We wrapped up the “official” school year, although we’ll be doing some light things for the summer.
What’s Cooking

    Lots of quick-and-easy meals, as we’ve been busy with baseball & softball. I keep thinking I should make myself a belated birthday cake, but so far I haven’t bothered. We were in Florida for my actual birthday, which is why it hasn’t happened yet.

    But! The smartest thing I did was schedule a Home Chef box to arrive right after vacation. We got home late Monday afternoon, and Tuesday morning a meal box was at my door. IT. WAS. AWESOME. I want to do that every time we’re coming home from vacation, as it made re-entry so much easier.

What I’m Anticipating in June
  • H’s birthday! πŸ™‚
  • Baseball and softball will end. G’s team will have a tournament, so I’m not sure of the exact ending date.
  • Taekwondo camp, and VBS.
  • Belt testing. G tries again for his 1st degree recommended black belt, and H goes for brown belt. I am *so* hoping she passes because that’ll move her up into the advanced classes. Why do I care? Because then she’ll be in the same class as G again, which makes my life easier. πŸ™‚
  • Book club – Into Thin Air for my in-person book club and Uprooted in the Facebook group.
Books I Read in May

I shared the list of books I read in a post on Thursday, so I’ll share my favorites of the picture books we read in May:

  • The Gardener by Sarah Stewart

    Beautiful illustrations, and a sweet story

  • The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach

    Really funny, and great illustrations

  • Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

    Made my girls laugh, especially the pictures of the grumpy bear.

  • The Firehouse Light by Janet Nolan

    H really liked this one, and asked for it several days in a row. Interesting story, and well-done at showing the passage of time. It’s a wordier book, and wouldn’t hold the attention of toddlers.

  • Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Park

    Cute story.

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April 2017 Recap

I love the idea of Spring more than I actually like Spring itself I think. Not because of dreading summer, or a huge love for winter, but because of what Spring brings with it.

And by that I mean pollen. Allergies have been rough this year and I’ve been doing all of my crunchy natural remedies and using some OTC medicine too, in an attempt to keep myself functional. Even with all that I still feel like I spent a lot of time in a fog.

April 2017 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 20
Books Read This Year: 52

Things That Happened
  • Book club – A Gentleman in Moscow for my in-person book club and Dark Matter in the Facebook group.
  • Baseball began for G, and both kids had their opening day festivities. On the same day, which was aggravating. I ended up missing all of G’s events, and R missed half of H’s game as he was off with G at those events.
  • Belt testing – G went for recommended black belt (black belt with a red stripe down the middle), and H for senior blue belt (which is the last belt that attends the intermediate classes). For the first time ever in his taekwondo career, G did not pass a belt testing. He messed up something on his form (his arm was turned up when it should have been down, or it was down when it should have been up, I don’t remember). He took the disappointment really well, and is ready to retry in June.
  • R’s brother visited for a few days, and the kids were SO EXCITED to see him. Unfortunately, his last day here was the day of the kids baseball/softball opening events, so R didn’t get to see much of him that last day as we were off with the kids.
What’s Cooking

    I have no idea – clearly, we all ate this month, but I don’t remember anything in particular that I fixed. I think it was a month of old standbys and “what is in the fridge that I can pull together” kind of meals.

What I’m Anticipating in May
  • My birthday! πŸ™‚
  • I think we’re going to wrap-up this year of homeschooling for our summer break. It’s possible we may go into June a little bit though; I’m not completely decided on what we’ll do.
  • It’s also possible we won’t have any summer break, and will do school every day we don’t have something else planned (like VBS or Cub Scout camp)
  • Cub Scouts wraps up for the year, which is bittersweet. It’s been a lot of fun for G, and in many ways we have more time in the summer for activities. I’m not one of the leaders though, so it’s easy for me to not feel the same need for a break from everything. πŸ™‚
  • Awana also ends, so G is done with Sparks. That means he’s now been participating in Awana for 5 years, which seems crazy to me.
  • Book club – My Antonia for my in-person book club and Hannah Coulter in the Facebook group.
Books I Read in April
  1. Home Crowd Advantage by Ben Aaronovitch (short story)
  2. Black Coffee by Agatha Christie, adapted by Charles Osborne
  3. A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd
  4. A Fearsome Doubt by Charles Todd
  5. Rivers of London: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel
  6. When to Rob a Bank by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (audio)
  7. Rivers of London: Night Witch by Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel
  8. Clean My Space by Melissa Maker
  9. The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
  10. Ely Plot by Joan Lennon
  11. Escape from Wolfhaven Castle by Kate Forsyth
  12. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
  13. Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill
  14. Other People’s Dirt by Louise Rafkin (audio)
  15. Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl
  16. Defend and Betray by Anne Perry
  17. Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspeare
  18. Saveur: The New Comfort Food by James Oseland
  19. Have Spacesuit Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein (audio)
  20. Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr

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March 2017 Recap

March 2017 RecapKnock on wood, but I think the change of seasons has also brought with it a healthier family. That was ridiculously lingering and annoying and I do hope it’s gone forever.

March also had some super weird weather – some really mild days and then cold again (even a bit of snow), but I guess none of that is surprising for March in Indiana. Despite living here for over a decade I still find myself expecting March to be warmer than it reliably is. At this point, I think it’s just in my DNA and won’t be changing and I’ll always associate March with Spring Training and watching baseball outside in shorts and hoping to avoid a sunburn. πŸ™‚

March 2017 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 12
Books Read This Year: 32

Things That Happened
  • In the Facebook book club we discussed Emma.
  • My in-person book club had our annual tea party discussed And Then There Were None.
  • H had her first softball practice, and her first rained-out softball practice. She was super disappointed about the second because “I need to practice catching because I’m not very good at it!”
  • G finished his basketball season. His team was pretty dreadful, but he did improve and he had fun with it, so that’s good enough.
  • G also had Pinewood Derby for Cub Scouts. He ended up coming in 6th place, which wasn’t too bad considering how late he was getting started on it. He ran out of time to do some of the finesse stuff that he could have otherwise. Bonus: he got to use some power tools (under supervision) so that was fun for him.
What’s Cooking
  • Cabbage. Butter-sauteed with salt and pepper and I love it.
  • I’ve been picking up take-and-bake pizza bout once a week all month, because I’ve discovered their special pricing – a large cheese, pepperoni, or sausage pizza for $5. I can’t make one for much less than that (if at all), and certainly not when I give any sort of value to my time. If I cared that much I could add extra toppings of my own on at home, but so far I haven’t cared that much.
What I’m Anticipating in April
  • Book club – A Gentleman in Moscow for my in-person book club and Dark Matter in the Facebook group.
  • Baseball begins for G, and both kids have their opening day festivities. On the same day, which is super frustrating as a parent.
  • Belt testing – G goes for recommended black belt (black belt with a red stripe down the middle), and H goes for senior blue belt (which is the last belt that attends the intermediate classes)
Books I Read in March
  1. A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear
  2. The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  3. An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd
  4. Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith
  5. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  6. The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking
  7. A Dangerous Mourning by Anne Perry
  8. Emma by Jane Austen
  9. Watchers of Time by Charles Todd
  10. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  11. The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch
  12. Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott

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February 2017 Recap

February RecapI feel like all I do lately is say the same stuff. We were sick again in February (stomach bug, and then fever/cough mess), and then I had to work to take care of things that got ignored while we were sick.

None of the sickness was that bad (ok, the stomach bug was bad, but it was short-lived), but multiplying it by 4 and suddenly even somewhat mild illness can take out a week or more of our lives. I hadn’t fully appreciated that fact before having 3 kids who like to share germs with each other, and with me. So, it’s really not that we’re sick all the time usually, or that things are especially bad when we are sick.It’s that the kids seem to take it in turns to draw out the experience. πŸ™‚

February 2017 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 10
Books Read This Year: 20

Things That Happened
  • In the Facebook book club we discussed on Moloka’i.
  • G received his probationary black belt in taekwondo, and H received her blue belt.
  • My in-person book club discussed The Year of Living Danishly. I thought the discussion added a lot to the book.
  • G finished Sonlight’s level B, and started the second half of world history with Bookshark’s level 2.
What’s Cooking
  • Menu planning fail: I planned and shopped for meals, and then illness kept me from fixing them (or even moving things to the freezer when that would have worked). We had a ton of food waste this month.
  • R is overhauling his diet, so I’m working on figuring out what that means for our dinner routines.
What I’m Anticipating in March
  • Book club – And Then There Were None for my in-person book club and Emma in the Facebook group.
  • Basketball ends for G, and softball begins for H.
  • Spring Break, maybe. I’m not sure if we’ll be taking a true break or not. It’ll probably depend on if they end up with play dates arranged with friends, or if neighbors are outside playing.
Books I Read in February
  1. The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty
  2. How The Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  3. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
  4. Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear
  5. Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn
  6. The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry
  7. Extra Virgin by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar
  8. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  9. Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind, and Soul by Ruth Soukup
  10. Legacy of the Dead by Charles Todd

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January 2017 Recap

January RecapThis is actually going to be more of a December & January recap, since last month’s anticipated post didn’t happen. Kids were sick, we had visitors, then I was sick with the cough that would. not. end.

I’m slowly digging out from everything else that got ignored both during the sickness that struck, and my adulting slump that’s been happening the past couple of months. One of my oldest friends died suddenly in November and I don’t think I’d realized right away how much it’s been weighing on me. Now I’m having to play catchup from when I was doing the bare minimum to get by.

December 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 18
Books Read For The Year: 109

January 2017 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 10

Things That Happened
  • Christmas with R’s parents, brother & niece
  • In the Facebook book club we should have discussed The Hobbit, but didn’t really because I was MIA for most of December. But we had a great discussion on Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in January!
  • G received his senior red belt in taekwondo, and H received her senior purple belt.
  • My in-person book club had our annual Christmas party, and we played Bring Your Own Book. It was lots of fun, and I would recommend it for bookish gatherings
What’s Cooking
  • After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I’m ready to try making bread more frequently, and I’d love to try making fresh mozzarella at least once.
  • I don’t think I’ve really tried anything new or especially interesting in the kitchen recently. Too much survival mode around here for that I suppose.
What I’m Anticipating in February
  • Book club – The Year of Living Danishly for my in-person book club and Moloka’i in the Facebook group.
  • Belt testing. G is testing for BLACK BELT. Ok, so it’s just provisional black belt but still. Black belt! And H is testing for blue.
  • G will be finished with part one of world history, and moving onto part two. I’ve got (almost all) of the books and materials ready to go but I still want to finalize the list of “extra” library books I want to look for. I didn’t always manage it last year, but I liked having the list ready to go for each week, so if it worked to add things in it was easy to know what to request. I also need to pay attention to when he’ll be finishing up his current science curriculum, so that I have the next one ready to go. He’s bounced around in the schedule in that one, so it isn’t quite as obvious how much more he has left.
Books I Read in December
  1. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  2. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  3. No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness by Michelle Segar
  4. The Hangman by Louise Penny
  5. A Study in Death by Anna Lee Huber
  6. Alton Brown: EveryDayCook by Alton Brown
  7. A Pressing Engagement by Anna Lee Huber
  8. The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
  9. As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber
  10. A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear
  11. Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
  12. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  13. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  14. The Family Calendar Cookbook: From Birthdays to Bake Sales, Good Food to Carry You Through the Year by Kelsey Banfield
  15. A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
  16. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingolver, Steven L. Hopp, and Camille Kingsolver
  17. The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell
  18. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Books I Read in January
  1. Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
  2. Lost in Shangri-La A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff
  3. Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
  4. A Quiet Life in the Country by E. E. Kinsey
  5. The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
  6. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
  7. Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee
  8. The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
  9. Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs by Heather Lende
  10. What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe, read by Wil Wheaton

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November 2016 Recap

November RecapNovember was a good month for reading, but not so much for blogging. I was sick, M was sick – it all added up to time on the couch resting and/or snuggling a sick baby.

So thankful it wasn’t anything serious for us (just nasty colds that lingered), and for my Kindle app on my phone which let me get through a bunch of books!

November 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 15
Books Read For The Year: 91

Things That Happened
  • Thanksgiving and a pie extravaganza.
  • In the Facebook book club we discussed David and Goliath.
  • G began basketball.
  • H participated in a taekwondo tournament. She’s the smallest one in her belt class, and sended up in a group with all boys. Watching her take on those bigger boys was fun. Love how fearless she is!
  • I made a bit of a change to H’s Kindergarten curriculum. What I was trying to do wasn’t working that well, and I was dreading it. Two weeks in to the slight revamp and things are going well. Once I give it a little more time to know if it’ll continue to work well, I’ll share what changes I made.
  • G continues to chug along with his homeschool curriculum. He’s almost done with week 29, so it’s time for me to start seriously thinking about getting the next stuff ready to go. Week 36 will be here before I know it! Although a break for Christmas will slwo things down a bit. πŸ™‚
What’s Cooking
  • Soup season is back! Hooray! Now if only my kids would eat soup instead of acting like I’m trying to poison them when I serve it.
  • I made 8 pies for Thanksgiving and the peanut butter, chocolate chip cookie, and apple were SO GOOD. The blueberry was not good; I bought a different brand of filling and it was gross. And the pumpkin was weird; the filling ended up being really runny and didn’t taste right.
What I’m Anticipating in December
  • Book club –The Uncommon Reader for my in-person book club and The Hobbit in the Facebook group.
  • Christmas. I am not prepared for it.
  • A very overdue, twice-postponed coloring party! It’s happening tonight, barring catastrophe or family emergencies or similar issues.
  • Belt testing. G is going for senior red and H for senior purple.
Books I Read
  1. A Rule Against Murder
  2. The Case of the Left-Handed Lady
  3. Whispers Under Ground
  4. Garden Spells
  5. Last of the Breed
  6. The Anatomist’s Wife
  7. Sleep Smarter
  8. The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets
  9. Broken Homes
  10. Mortal Arts
  11. The Brutal Telling
  12. Foxglove Summer
  13. A Grave Matter
  14. The Zoo at the Edge of the World
  15. Bury Your Dead

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

October 2016 Recap

October RecapOctober was a lovely month – I got a lot of reading in (even with about a week in the middle where I read very little), my mother-in-law came for a visit (yay!), and I had events with friends three times. That fact is very much related to the visit. πŸ˜‰

So yes, it was a lovely month.

October 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 11
Books Read For The Year: 76

Things That Happened
  • Halloween
  • In the Facebook book club we discussed The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Belt testing passed successfully by both kids
  • Soccer ended.
  • Popcorn sales. Lots of popcorn sales. πŸ˜‰
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • We had our first field trip of the year: we rode the train from Connersville to Metamora, got to walk around the town a bit, and then ride the train back. It was fun, but I was exhausted by the end of it!
  • We used a stencil to carve pumpkins for the first time, and I am a big fan.
What’s Cooking
  • Not much. I feel like I was scrounging all month with meal ideas.
What I’m Anticipating in November
  • Book club – The Book Thief for my in-person book club and David and Goliath in the Facebook group.
  • Thanksgiving. Yummm.
  • G has two Cub Scout outings – a hike in a nearby State Park, and going to the Pacers game.
  • G also has basketball starting – I thought it started in January but apparently, it’s November.
  • H (matybe?) has a taekwondo tournament. G will miss it because of basketball opening day.
Books I Read
  1. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mewed by Alan Bradley
  2. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
  4. Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
  5. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
  6. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
  7. The Fairy-Tale Detectives:The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley
  8. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
  9. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  10. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
  11. The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Two years ago: October 2014 Recap
Three years ago: New on My Bookcase (vol. 10)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!