Monthly roundup

Monthly Roundup: March 2019

Whew! I really didn’t think I could possibly outdo last month’s reading, but my Amazing Reading Streak of Amazingness (yeah, I’m going there) continued this past month. It didn’t hurt my reading binge that it’s still been ridiculously cold here and all I’ve wanted to do was huddle under a pile of seventy-three blankets and read while shivering away. (Don’t get me wrong; when it’s hot, all I’m going to want to do is sweat half to death and read, but I just don’t want to move at ALL when I’m so chilly! Doing anything that involves getting out of my cozy chair is an exercise in fortitude, I’m telling you.)

So let’s get this party started, with a recap of everything I’ve read this past month!

Books I Read in March 2019

1. Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

2. Bread Is Gold by Massimo Bottura and Friends

3. When Dimple Met Rishi- Sandhya Menon

4. Call Numbers by Syntell Smith

5. Welcome to Halcyon (Dead Mawl #1) by S.G. Tasz

6. Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

7. Daughter of Gloriavale: My Life in a Religious Cult by Lilia Tarawa

8. Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married by Abby Ellin

9. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

10. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

11. The Truth Book: Escaping a Childhood of Abuse Among Jehovah’s Witnesses by Joy Castro

12. I Hear the Sunspot by Yuki Fumino

13. An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler

14. Quiver by Julia Watts

15. Apocalypse Chow: How to Eat Well When the Power Goes Out- Jon Robertson and Robin Robertson

16. Make Do and Mend: Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations (foreword by Jill Norman)

17. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (no review for this one, I read it out loud to my daughter at bedtime, and we watched the movie with Johnny Depp this past weekend, when she had a stomach virus)

18. The Cider House Rules by John Irving

19. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

20. Lessons in Letting Go by Allison Janda

21. Bell-Bottom Gypsy: A Jessie Morgan Novel by Maggie Plummer

Phew! That was a lot of reading! And so. many. great. books!!!

Book Challenges Update

I haven’t made any progress with the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2019 Reading Challenge this month, so it still looks the same as last month.

But I’ve done pretty well when it comes to Book Riot’s 2019 Read Harder Challenge, ticking off six categories. Here’s what my challenge looks like now.

Books I Acquired in March 2019

Aren’t they lovely? *wipes away a tear*

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley came from a thrift shop and is my pick for Book Riot’s 2019 Read Harder Challenge: Cozy Mystery. Once again, something that’s totally outside my normal reading genres, so this should be interesting.

And speaking of Book Riot, How to Make Friends With the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow came from a Book Riot giveaway! Totally made my day when I got the email letting me know I won. Thank you, Book Riot!!!

And the other book…see below.

Bookish Things I Did in March 2019

One of the libraries around here has a book sale every few months, and of course I had to stop by! It was there that I acquired Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlanksky. Two of my friends on Goodreads have given this five stars, so I’m expecting to enjoy this as well. I also grabbed a copy of Where’s Mom Now That I Need Her?: Surviving Away From Home by Kent P. Frandsen, to give my son for his birthday. He’ll be 17 and (sniff!) it’s time to start thinking of the days in the future when he’ll be off on his own.

I also made it to my library’s book discussion group again! This month, we discussed The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. I seemed to enjoy it more than everyone else did, but as I said in my review, I don’t often read in this genre, so it may be that their more experienced tastes found flaws that I didn’t. (I do have to say, though, some of the criticisms of Lo stung a little bit, since I was able to identify with her anxiety so strongly! Those of us with anxiety aren’t trying to be annoying, we promise…)

Current Podcast Love

I’m still adoring All the Books! from Book Riot (lot of Book Riot love in this post, huh? I seriously adore them). I’m somewhere around the 130’s (out of 200), so I still have a ways to go before I can catch up their episodes about the newest releases. Liberty’s enthusiasm for reading is so infectious, and Rebecca has such an informative manner about her when she’s talking about the books she loves (she and I have really similar tastes, so I really look forward to hearing about her picks and have added several to my TBR list). I’ll be sad when I’m done with all the back episodes! (Image borrowed from Book Riot’s website for the express purpose of being eye-catching and advertising the fact that they have a bahzillion awesome podcasts. Go check them out!!!)

Real Life Stuff

Busy month ’round these parts! We registered my daughter for kindergarten; we’ll go for orientation in early April. Seems like just yesterday I was miserable and pregnant with her (pregnancy and I are NOT friends). My cat scared the crap out of me with her constant vomiting, which required a vet trip (she’s fine and is currently covering my pillow with fur during her day-long nap, and I let her because I love her that much). I attended a play with my son, and attended one of my son’s choir concerts- seriously, his school is AMAZING when it comes to their Fine Arts program. Every production is practically professional (they did Cats a few years ago and you wouldn’t have any idea that this wasn’t some big name theater. They’re THAT good). Still cold here, so nothing has been planted yet in our Lazy Backyard Garden, nor have I been able to attack the jungle of weeds and overgrowth that is my backyard, but that’s also in part thanks to the flare-up of dyshidrotic eczema I’ve been experiencing on my feet. It’s slowing down now, but at one point we counted and I had 45 blisters on my feet (which made wearing shoes very, very painful- but not wearing shoes hurt as well). We ended the month with my daughter puking on pretty much every surface of the house, which resulted in so. much. laundry (which in turn killed my lower back). Bodies are so fun, aren’t they?

In good news, we did have a resolution of a major problem that has been causing a LOT of stress for the past year. I don’t want to go into details, because it’s a seriously long story, but it involved bank card fraud with the account where my son’s college money is stored. YEAH. That was about as fun as you’d might expect (especially since the company wasn’t exactly helpful about it), but everything was resolved in our favor mid-month, FINALLY, and I am so, SO thankful for it, because it was for a LOT of money (like, so much that it could potentially cover all of my son’s community college costs. THAT much money). So hurray! πŸ™‚

Looking forward to April, I’ve got a stack of library books to get to (four more books for that Read Harder Challenge!), and several review books that sound pretty awesome. I still haven’t started the book for my library book discussion group either, and the meeting is on the 18th, so I need to get on that! My daughter will turn five, my son’s school is putting on a performance of Romeo and Juliet, and hopefully the weather will start to warm up so I can stop shivering!

How was your March??? What are you looking forward to in April?


25 thoughts on “Monthly Roundup: March 2019

    1. I’m definitely ready for calm!!!! I’ve got plenty of good reads planned though, so all the excitement can go there in the book department! πŸ˜€


    1. Oh man, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been through it as well. This was an utter NIGHTMARE- they initially denied my claim (which was beyond ridiculous, because that account went from three or four transactions a month to HUNDREDS in a six week period, so it’s not like the fraudulent charges matched my actual spending patterns!), and I am so, SO glad it’s over. Bring on the warmer weather!!!


    1. It was NOT fun, but it’s over and I can breathe much easier. πŸ™‚ We go for kindergarten orientation on Thursday and I’m so, so excited! πŸ™‚


    1. It IS exciting! She’s a little nervous, but I think she’ll do fine…as long as she leaves her sassy-pants attitude at home (or only brings it for leadership occasions!). πŸ™‚


  1. Holy cow! How did you read so many books? I think I need to stop watching so much Netflix! You had such a productive month. As you can probably tell from my recent posts, I am looking forward to planning our trip to the Baltics and trying to find more books set in the Baltics. Sometimes it is really hard to get diverse books in the American public library system. There are a ton of contemporary Baltics books out from last year that I just can’t read with dropping a ton of cash. Time to start emailing authors and publishers. Hope you have a great April.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so going to live vicariously through your travels! It can definitely be difficult finding diverse books depending on where you’re at- my last library system was terrible for this, so I understand the struggle well. Where I live now, though, is very diverse and we have a fabulous interlibrary loan system, which I do not take for granted at all. Best of luck with contacting the authors and publishers, I hope you get access to a lot of great reads!

      (And to answer your question, I basically eat, sleep, clean, cook, and read, haha. I only ever watch TV with my husband at night after my daughter goes to bed, solely because my daughter talks too much for me to watch TV during the day. When she watches TV or plays when we visit a library, I read. I spend a lot of time in the car waiting to pick my husband and son up various places as well, and I read then, too. I basically always have a book with me!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel you!! I carry a book with me everywhere too. It’s a great habit. I’ve been trying to carve out at least 1-2 hours for reading a night, which has helped my reading game.

        Our town has a library tax, which is great. We get books from all 15 branches, but’s it sadly the same system unlike my CT library. Their library was its own town library that could pull from completely different systems in CT. Florida taxes vs CT taxes, lol! I can’t complain tooooooo much because I can still get some great books.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh man, when I lived in CT years ago, our library apparently didn’t participate in any interlibrary loan system. It was a bummer, but they had a good collection and the best children’s department I’ve ever seen, so I didn’t suffer too much. πŸ™‚ This was AGES ago, though, so I’m guessing they’ve made a lot of changes to the system since then.

        Our library here is pretty well-funded, although there are people who are trying to change that (“Why are we funding the library? No one even uses it!” says the guy on Facebook who hasn’t stepped foot in the library in 20 years and has no idea how crowded and LOUD it gets because people do indeed make heavy use of the library here). It’s a great library and part of a fantastic library system, so I’ll do what I can to ensure it stays that way. πŸ™‚


  2. My kids are in the second and fourth grade and I am having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that another school year is almost here. Yikes. They are growing up so fast. Glad to hear your cat is better as well. You rocked your reading challenge. Awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s crazy how fast these years go. My son will be a SENIOR next year! *screams in parental horror* It’ll be his last first day and my daughter’s first first day (I’d say I’d get an adorable picture of the two of them together, but he’ll be in zero hour gym class again and has to be at school at 6:30, so she won’t be ready yet. I’ll just get a bleary-eyed, glaring picture of him alone before I drop him off!), kind of funny how that works out.

      I’m glad my cat is okay too! Little turd scared me!!!


  3. March seemed to be a busy month for you Stephanie! I’m happy that your kitty is doing okay, my poor cat keeps stressing me out because he has arthritis and he looks so sad with his little limp.

    Spring is in the air which I’m happy about! I like to go out and read (or at least reading outside during my lunch break).

    I think I have Hunger on my shelves somewhere, I need to read it. Did you meet Roxane when she did an event with Women and Children First?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, I’m sorry to hear about your kitty! It’s so hard when they hurt (I swear, I get far more stressed when my pets are sick than when my kids get sick! The kids can at least tell me what’s wrong; the cats just make me guess, and there’s two of them, so sometimes I have to guess who left that mess in the basement. Stress. City.). I once had a cat who yanked his leg out of the socket and I’m not sure which one of us was crying more- fortunately, it was an easy fix for him, but I was seriously traumatized. Gentle hugs for your kitty and you.

      Hunger is amazing. I haven’t met Roxane, but I’d love to, although I think I would probably just tear up and have NO idea how to vocalize how awesome I think she is (and probably cause her to think I was a babbling idiot!). It’s been a few years since I’ve really been able to get out and about and go to author events, what with my husband’s work schedule and my kids needing to be picked up and dropped off constantly, but one day I’ll be able to again. πŸ™‚


  4. Phew!! That’s an amazing number of books read compared to what a busy month you seemed to have with your personal life! I hope April is a bit more relaxing for you πŸ™‚

    Erica | Erica Robyn Reads


    1. Thank you! It never stops around here. I’m looking forward to summer, when things are slightly more slower paced! πŸ™‚


  5. Sounds like a busy but productive month! The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Woman in Cabin 10 are both on my mental to-read-sometime-soon list. I am hoping to slow down my reading a bit in April and give myself more room to blog a bit more. It’s just so hard when I want to read all the books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sooooooo understand. I just want to read everything, but these people I live with keep needing food and clean clothing and baths and all that stuff. Don’t they understand there are BOOKS??? I find myself wishing daily (hourly!) for a time turner or some Hitchcockian tool to pause time so I could get more reading done. If only!


    1. Oh yes, I’m absolutely anticipating a slowdown now that it’s warming up (like this weekend. So little reading!). And yes, I spent almost a year freaking out, the stress was terrible. So glad it’s all fixed now. I’ll check out your link!!!


  6. Wow you read so much!! I just registered my youngest daughter for Pre-K. I’ll have all three of mine in school and I’m just not prepared yet. I’m glad that big thing was able to be resolved! I’m sure that was a huge weight off your shoulders. I hope April is a good month for you!

    Tina @ As Told By Tina

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! So far, April has been ridiculously busy with not quite as much reading time. I’m VERY ready to have my daughter in school all day! πŸ˜€ I love her to pieces, but she’s the kind of kid that is more like having 30 kids. She argues more than my teenager ever has and needs to be supervised almost all of the time, otherwise she’ll absolutely burn the house down using only a Barbie doll, a stuffed penguin, and her toothbrush. She’s going to make a creative adult who’s a strong leader (and possibly a lawyer!), but for now, her strong personality is exhausting!


  7. I love when my library has extra books out for a sale. I came home with a bag of books last time. Last Sunday, I made it to the first day of Bookstock, a huge (1,000s of titles, all genres) book sale that spans most of the indoor one-story mall nearby. All sales benefit charity and I filled a reusable shopping bag with books, some new hardcovers (they cracked when I opened them). I loved When Dimple Met Rishi and am looking forward to reading On the Come Up.

    Liked by 1 person

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