Holy low amounts of reading this month, Batman!
Some months are like that. I’ve been working on some house projects and trying to get things in better shape around here, which has eaten up a lot of my time. Plus, I’ve finally gotten into a kind of an everyday schedule, which has done wonders for my mental health, but has left me with less time to read. That’s okay. It happens. Not every month can be bookishly perfect.
But it hasn’t been a bad month at all. November is always one of my favorites. The weather is getting colder, and the trees here were absolutely stunning this year. I’m back to actually getting dressed most days- in actual people clothes, as we jokingly call it- and that makes me feel more productive. We’ve had a few snow flurries, but no accumulation yet…but I’m sure it’s coming! And Hanukkah has started, and if you’ve never had a latke, you’re absolutely missing out. Crispy fried oniony potatoey deliciousness. Seriously the world’s most perfect food. I wait all year for these and they never disappoint.
Let’s get this roundup started, shall we?
Books I Read in November 2021
1. Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words by Annika Sharma
2. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (no review; read out loud to my daughter)
3. Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America by Eyal Press
4. Princess in Disguise by E.D. Baker (no review; read out loud to my daughter)-
5. The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live by Danielle Dreilinger
6. All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (no review; read out loud to my daughter)
7. White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad
8. Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by Lev AC Rosen
9. Love Is a Revolution by Renée Watson
10. The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert
11. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (no review; read out loud to my daughter)
The nonfiction I read were heavy books that took me a long time to get through- some books just take more time to process than others- so that definitely accounts for my lower numbers this month. All-of-a-Kind Family was a reread; my daughter didn’t remember it from the last time we read it, so we wandered through it again. It’s a sweet, charming read, and she enjoyed it a lot. Princess in Disguise, however, was just…not good. The Little Prince is one of my favorite books, though the translation we read, I’ve always felt, is clunky. There’s a more recent one and eventually I’d like to check that out.
Seven of these books came from my TBR.
Reading Challenge Updates
Not currently participating in any reading challenges, but my library has a winter reading bingo that starts up on December 1st! I may try to wrangle some of my TBR picks into that, we’ll see.
State of the Goodreads TBR
Last month, the total rang in at 156; this month, we’re sliding in at…156. Those end-of-year book lists are starting to creep in. I’m in trouble!
Books I Acquired in November 2021
Bookish Things I Did in November 2021
I virtually attended my library’s monthly board meeting! The sound quality was pretty terrible, but I could mostly follow along, and it was actually pretty interesting. I was cheered to learn that my library is in such great financial shape, and they showed drone photos of the new library building’s progress, which was, of course, extremely exciting!!! I plan on attending these as often as I can, so I can stay in the loop.
Current Podcast Love
Still making my way through Ologies with Alie Ward. Cannot recommend this highly enough; Alie is so bright and energetic and such a fabulous interviewer that even episodes that don’t seem like they would interest me much turn out to be fascinating.
I had an unfortunate experience with a migraine Thanksgiving night, and migraines require true crime podcasts (I have no idea why, but it’s the only thing I want to listen to when I’m down like that. So weird). During that time, it was back to Crime Junkie.
Stephanie’s Read Harder Challenge
It’s on! I’ve *finally* made progress with this and gotten into a good routine here.
So, the book I picked up for this challenge at the beginning of my daughter’s school year was The Joy of Sects: A Spirited Guide to the World’s Religious Traditions by Peter Occhiogrosso. It’s a sizeable book that’s been sitting on my shelf for a few years, and one I’ve wanted to read for a very long time. Pre-pandemic, I’d usually read a set chunk of my Read Harder book- 30 pages, 50 pages, whatever worked for me at the time with the book I was working through. That technique wasn’t working for this, however, and after trying several things and failing, I decided to start with how I was working on cleaning projects: by setting a timer. So every day after lunch and Pilates (if my back isn’t too garbage to do Pilates), I sit down with The Joy of Sects and set the timer for 30 minutes, and I read until the timer beeps. I’m currently 275 pages into this book, and I’m pretty proud of that!
Real Life Stuff
My daughter has now had both vaccines (she’ll be considered fully vaccinated December 10th!), and I had my booster shot! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No side effects for either of us, neither of us has grown a tail (disappointing!), and our internet is still the same speed as it always was. (And if I’m microchipped, well, I apologize for my boring life to whoever is tracking me, and am relieved that they’ll have an easier time finding me if I ever go missing. All those true crime podcasts, man…)
She had her first playdate since the pandemic started; a friend from school came over for a few hours and they had a wonderful time. And we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with my mother-in-law, her boyfriend, my sister-in-law, and my nephew. Everyone there was vaccinated (the kids had each had one at the time), and most of the adults had received their booster (daughter and I went the next day). It was lovely, though a bit strange, as we were all still feeling a little weird being unmasked and anywhere close to people we don’t live with! We’ll still be keeping very safe, but we feel a little better knowing the kids are on their way to being better protected.
We also attended an outdoor Hanukkah gathering, which was a lot of fun. Music, donuts, candle lighting, and a walk through some outdoor lights made for a great evening! It was nice to have somewhere to go and something to do, after so long of…just…not, you know?
I’ve also started blogging again at my old blogspot blog, Stephanie Gets It Done. If you’re interested in what my (fairly boring!) daily life looks like, you can check it out. I’ve got a lot of projects in mind for the new year and I felt the need to be more accountable for my time. Starting to blog there again helped me to kind of organize my thoughts and my time and pull me out of the life-is-somewhat-normal-again-now-what kind of panic I’d been feeling earlier this year. It’s what helped me get back into more of a regular daily routine, which is incredibly helpful.
Other than that, it’s been a nice quiet month! We’re pretty low-key about this time of year, so there’s not a lot of hustle and bustle. I’m looking forward to the colder months, of snuggling up on my chair with my crocheted afghan and plowing through some good reading.
I wish you all love, light, and peace as we move into this last month of 2022! May your reading be merry and bright. : )