Monthly roundup

Monthly Roundup: December 2021

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

(Uh. We hope. *fingers crossed*)

Farewell, 2021. Begone with your demon sibling 2020, and may the way forward be only blue skies and smooth sailing.

A girl can dream, right???

December is over and January is here, and all our Goodreads challenges have settled back again at zero. I hope your December was full of health, happiness, safe gatherings, and plenty of good reads. We had a wonderful, relaxing vacation from school, spent at home reading, taking walks, taking NAPS (so many naps), and spending a lot of quality time together. It was much-needed and very appreciated!

Let’s get this roundup started, shall we?

Books I Read in December 2021

1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

2. Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in the Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder, and Radical Amazement of Parenting by Danya Ruttenberg

3. Ant Egg Soup: The Adventures of a Food Tourist in Laos by Natacha Du Pont de Bie

4. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (no review; read out loud to my daughter)

5. God Is in the Crowd: A Model for Post-Diaspora Judaism by Tal Keinan (no review)

6. Have You Seen Hyacinth Macaw? by Patricia Reilly Giff (no review; read out loud to my daughter)

7. Children Under Fire: An American Crisis by John Woodrow Cox

8. When I Grow Up: The Lost Autobiographies of Six Yiddish Teenagers by Ken Krimstein

9. The Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park (no review; read out loud to my daughter)

10. American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption by Gabrielle Glaser

11. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu

12. Challenging Pregnancy: A Journey through the Politics and Science of Healthcare in America by Genevieve Grabman (review to come)

13. Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir by Aileen Weintrab (review to come)

14. The Joy of Sects: A Spirited Guide to the World’s Religious Traditions by Peter Occhiogrosso (no review)

15. Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration by Reuben Jonathan Miller (review to come)

Slightly better numbers this month! I’ve got a lot of projects going on at home, so I still don’t have as much time for reading as I would really like. And that’s not likely to change for a while; I have a whole list of New Years’ resolutions I’m wanting to tackle, but at least some of them are reading-related! I’m definitely wanting to better manage my time and not spend so much time scrolling online (but it’s just so interesting…)

Only five of these were from my TBR this month, yikes!

Reading Challenge Updates

Not currently participating in any reading challenges. I seriously considered whether I was going to do one this year, but I think I’m not quite ready to commit to one yet. I’m enjoying making my way through my TBR, and while I love the way reading challenges introduce me to new authors and styles and subjects, I’m not wanting to commit to one more thing and ignoring my TBR. I *may* pick one up at some point in the year if it feels right. We’ll see.

State of the Goodreads TBR

We left off last month at 156; all those Best-of-the-Year booklists descended upon my house, and…uh…we’re up to 162. Hmph. But I have a plan! I swear!

Books I Acquired in December 2021

None!

Bookish Things I Did in December 2021

Nothing truly book-related, but I was able to attend a virtual gathering put on by the Union for Reform Judaism, where the subject of books came up and I recommended a bunch of books to the group I was in, does that count?

Current Podcast Love

Still listening to Ologies with Alie Ward! Super fun, educational, and fascinating all at the same time. Truly cannot recommend this one highly enough.

When I nap, however, I usually put on a true crime podcast, and I usually go with Crime Junkie. I like their storytelling style.

Stephanie’s Read Harder Challenge

I did it! I finished The Joy of Sects by Peter Occhiogrosso!!! I’m so proud of myself for finally getting it together and figuring out a reading schedule that worked for me.

After I finished, I went downstairs and peered at my basement bookshelves for a bit. I finally decided that my next Read Harder book will be American Literary Almanac: From 1608 to the Present, edited by Karen L. Rood. This has been sitting on my shelves for over a decade, so it’s time to spend my time on it. 15 pages in already!

Real Life Stuff

So here we are, 2022. ’21 was a tough year, but it also brought with it a lot of gifts. I completed my conversion to Judaism (something I’d dreamed of since I was young), I picked up a new hobby (art), I began working on my grandma’s cross-stitch again (getting closer and closer to finishing!), and of course, I read a lot of great books (and some meh ones, but it happens!). Overall, it wasn’t the worst year for me. Challenging, of course, but I made it through mostly in one piece.

School starts up again on Tuesday. To say that I’m not thrilled about this would be about the biggest understatement I’ve ever made. I have no idea how they’re going to consistently keep the schools open the next two months with the way that Omicron spreads like wildfire. I was planning on letting her stay for lunch after winter break, but that’s been cancelled, and I’ll be picking her up for lunch every day still. Pain in the butt, but I’ll do anything I can to lessen her exposure.

Not much in the plans for January. I’m sure at some point, we’ll visit with my mom. She’s been sick, so she wasn’t able to come up for any kind of holiday celebration. Her rapid test was negative, but everything she said makes it sound like COVID (and given Omicron’s ability to evade tests, I’m guessing she had a breakthrough case. Not surprising, because her husband remains unvaccinated *eyeroll*). She’s on the mend, but felt terrible for quite a while. I need to schedule some doctor appointments; nothing serious, just check-ups and follow-ups. And I have a virtual school board meeting to attend later on in the month. That’s about it!

I do have plenty of goals I’ll be working through in the New Year. I blogged about those the other day at my other blog (nothing fancy, it just keeps track of all the things I do every day. I enjoy being accountable for my time). I’m going to be doing a monthly update post on those every month, so follow along if you’re interested (or you just really want to know how many times a week I load the dishwasher…)

Hang in there, folks. Living through history is tough, but we’re tougher, right? We can change and adapt and learn to live in challenging circumstances if we lean on each other and take care of each other. Nothing about this is ideal, but we can do our best to survive, stay healthy, and maybe even thrive a little.

May 2022 bring you excellent reading, love, good health (physical AND mental!), personal growth, friendship, oases of calm amidst the ongoing storm, confidence that we’re strong enough to face whatever comes our way, and peace. Love to you, my friends.

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