Month 438247392838924389792 of the pandemic, folks, with cases on the rise in the US because no one cares anymore, and human lives and suffering mean nothing! It’s utter insanity here. People in my own town are screaming to reopen the schools (while schools a few counties away have had to shut down because their students keep testing positive for Covid-19, and my son’s former high school had to quarantine the entire cross country team because someone went to a meet while awaiting the results of a Covid test that turned out to be positive, but apparently we are incapable of learning anything from anyone and no one will be happy until everyone has permanent lung damage), people are gathering in large groups and breathing and coughing all over each other, and no. one. cares. It’s crazy-making to watch, and I’ve basically been coping by reading every moment I’m not cooking, cleaning, or acting as my six year-old’s office assistant. (Shout-out to all you teachers teaching virtually; you are AMAZING and I love you all.)
I hope you’re all managing to stay sane while the world melts down around us. September seems to have gone by in a flash for me, but time means nothing these days, so maybe it dragged on as long as March seemed to. Who knows? *crazy laughter* Anyway, let’s talk books instead of pandemic.
Ready to recap?
What I Read in September 2020
- Living a Life That Matters by Harold S. Kushner (no review)
- Nazi Wives: The Women at the Top of Hitler’s Germany by James Wyllie (review to come)
- Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger by Louis Sachar (no review, read out loud to my daughter)
- Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell
- Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder
- Like No Other by Una LaMarche
- In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton
- Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
- Overcoming Life’s Disappointments by Harold S. Kushner (no review)
- There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom by Louis Sachar (no review; read out loud to my daughter)
- Overground Railroad: The Green Book & Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy A. Taylor
- The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure by Rachel Friedman
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (no review, though I mentioned it here)
- Plum Fantastic (Sugar Plum Ballerinas #1) by Whoopi Goldberg and Deborah Underwood (no review, read out loud to my daughter)
- Unseen City: The Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness by Nathanael Johnson
- Broken Faith: Inside the Word of Faith Fellowship, One of America’s Most Dangerous Cults by Mitch Weiss and Holbrook Mohr
- They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker (review to come)
Not bad for a month of reading. Two of these were from my own shelves, as per my new reading goal of reading my own books. Eight of them came off of my TBR. Three were read-alouds to my daughter; we loved the Louis Sachars, but neither of us really enjoyed the Sugar Plum Ballerinas book (A+ for diverse characters, though!). Ten non-fiction, seven fiction. That’s a pretty good mix.
Reading Challenge Updates
I finished the 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge (go me!), so my newest challenge is to read off of my own shelves. I started the challenge late in the month; so far, I only have two read off of my by-the-TV shelf. That’ll increase in October. Watch this space next month for updates! 😊
State of the Goodreads TBR
Like I said, because I’ll be focusing on my own shelves for a bit (and most of the stuff on my TBR comes from the library), this won’t be decreasing at any real rate anytime soon, and that’s something I’m okay with. Last month I had 158 books on here; this month I’m up to 170. The last two library books I have checked out are from my TBR, though, and after I finish those, I’ll read four from my own shelf!
Books I Acquired in September 2020
Bookish Things I Did in September 2020
Nothing but reading on my swing on the back porch every afternoon (and on my chair in the evenings!), but sadly, those days will be coming to an end soon, since the temperatures will be dropping this week. I’m going to miss those hours of quiet outdoor reading…
Current Podcast Love
I’ve been mainly listening to Judaism Unbound, but I find their voices so soothing that it puts me to sleep almost immediately! Hard to get much listening done that way!
Stephanie’s Read Harder Challenge
On hold until life goes back to normal, whenever that is…
Real Life Stuff
I swear, I wish I had time to keep a journal, because it’s hard to remember what happens when all the days kind of look the same…
My son is doing well with virtual college. My daughter is into the swing of things with virtual first grade learning, and I’m basically acting as her personal assistant, signing her in and out of meetings, keeping an ear out for what she’s doing so I can help her with her schoolwork later on, monitoring her behavior to make sure she stays focused (NOT an easy task!), along with getting my regular housework and cooking done and trying to keep up with this blog. It’s not exactly simple, but we’ve adjusted well and my daughter is doing just fine (perfect score on her reading assessment the other day!!!). Her school is attempting to go back to a hybrid model in the middle of October; she’ll remain entirely virtual because I’m not interested in taking chances with her health, our health, or her teachers health. I feel for the families who are struggling with all of this and feel they have no other choice but to send their kiddos, whether because of the difficulties of virtual learning or due to work or both. Nothing about any of this is optimal for anyone.
Her school district is being really awesome and is participating in a program that hands out food (no income restrictions) to its students; if people don’t participate, they lose funding, so twice a week, we schlep over to the school for a bag of breakfasts and lunches for my daughter. It’s amazing of them; the food is surprisingly healthy and my daughter, who spent all of last year pining for school lunches, is in love (it also takes some of the stress off of me, since I don’t have to figure out what to make her for lunch anymore, and she’s got a pile of healthy snacks she can grab so I don’t have to get up- which sounds like laziness, but it’s really just a benefit for my back, which has been kind of terrible lately. I’m still walking and getting exercise, but getting up and down can be acutely painful, so this helps). They’re doing this all this year, and I’m extremely grateful.
Our other big excitement this month: we got a bird feeder! It sits right outside our living room window and I can watch it from my reading chair. We mostly get house sparrows and song sparrows, but we’ve also had a crow of some sort (it stops by so rarely that I haven’t been able to narrow it down more), a cardinal, some sort of what I think is a warbler, a blue jay, and a few hummingbirds at the hummingbird feeder. It’s so fun and relaxing to watch them, though they eat like hogs and are constantly bickering and pecking at each other. I’m looking forward to seeing if the birds we get change or increase in number during the cooler weather.
What’s up in October? Who knows! Our village hasn’t made any decisions about Halloween; I’m not sure how comfortable I feel about taking my daughter out anyway. If everyone wore masks, that would be one thing, but I don’t trust that people will do that (other than in stores where it’s mandated). Either way, we’ve reassured my kiddo that there will be plenty of candy, and we’ll make some special food and watch some kid-appropriate spooky movies. We won’t let her miss out on the fun stuff. 😉
Hang in there, folks. Nothing’s going to get any easier until we work to make it that way, so try not to lose hope; fight with fire for justice and equality for everyone, and keep masking and social distancing, because otherwise, we’re never, ever going to get through this, and people will continue to die and suffer permanent organ damage. There’s been far too much of this already, and it doesn’t have to be like this. ☹
L’shanah tovah, g’mar chatimah tovah, and may you all have a peaceful October filled with amazing reads.
How was your September???