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Monthly Roundup: July 2022

HOW IS IT AUGUST? The summer just started! It can’t be over yet!!!

And yet it is, or almost is. We’ll start back full-time homeschool in three weeks. I’m almost ready; I have one more page of resources to pull together; a stack of books for our language arts curriculum has arrived; we have paper and dry-erase markers and new whiteboards and notebooks. I’m looking forward to all the new things we’ll cover this year. My daughter? Ehhh, she’s maybe not as enthusiastic as I am, especially not about math, but I’m hopeful this year will go smoothly.

I’ll definitely miss all the free reading time we get in the summer, though! *sniff* Long, lazy days of reading on the porch are 100% hands-down the best part of summer for me.

Quick note: I’m actually not behind in writing reviews for once. I AM behind in posting reviews, however! Mornings are busy around here, and there are often times when I have a review to post, and before I know it, it’s afternoon and I’m going, “CRAP, I forgot to post.” So expect a flood of more reviews from me, so long as my brain doesn’t fail me…again.

Anyway, let’s get this recap on the road, shall we?

Books I Read in July 2022

1. The Way I Say It by Nancy Tandon

2. Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases by Paul Holes

3. Go Back to Where You Came From by Wajahat Ali

4. Are We There Yet? by Elizabeth Levy (no review; read out loud to my daughter)

5. Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? by Harold Schechter (reviewed here)

6. It’s All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliot (reviewed here)

7. Empty the Pews by Chrissy Stroop and Lauren O’Neal

8. Sisters in Hate by Seyward Darby (no review; explained below)

9. Meet Me in Outer Space by Melinda Grace

10. Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata

11. Abby, Tried and True by Donna Gephardt

12. What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter (review to come)

13. The Joy of Less, a Minimalist Living Guide by Francine Jay (review to come)

14. Trashed by Derf Backderf (reviewed here)

15. Refugee High: Coming of Age in America by Elly Fishman (review to come)

16. Breaking Hate: Confronting the New Culture of Extremism by Christian Picciolini (no review; explained below)

17. Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park (no review; read out loud to my daughter)

18. Recommended for You by Laura Silverman (review to come)

19. The Survival List by Courtney Sheinmel (review to come)

20. The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman (review to come)

21. Outdoor Kids in an Inside World by Steven Rinella (review to come)

22. Pressure Cooker by Sarita Bowen, Joslyn Brenton, and Sinikka Elliott (review to come)

Now THAT’S a good reading month, holy cow! I haven’t had a month like that in a long time. All hail the long, lazy days of summer!

EIGHTEEN of these came from my TBR! I love it when I can tackle so much of that TBR. Doesn’t mean the numbers have gone down so much, but it’s nice getting those books off the list and into my head.

NOW. There are two books I didn’t review above; both have to do with white nationalism. Both were incredible books and I highly recommend both of them (especially Sisters in Hate). But I’m Jewish; I don’t need any extra attention from putting my thoughts on there on these books. If you have the mental space for this subject, though, you definitely need to read them.

State of the Goodreads TBR

Last month, we left off at 148; after reading eighteen books from my TBR, the number is down to…140! I did a lot of work putting together my daughter’s homeschool resources for this year, and in the process, I found a lot of books I wanted to read. Fresh blood for my TBR is always appreciated!

Books I Acquired in July 2022

None! But hold on to your horses, we have another book sale coming up this weekend…

Bookish Things I Did in July 2022

I was able to virtually attend an event with author Menachem Kaiser. His book, Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure, is on my TBR. Super interesting man, and I’m really looking forward to reading his book now!

Current Podcast Love

I’ve been listening to a lot of Crime Junkie lately; I haven’t needed a podcast to fall asleep as much as I used to, so that’s been kind of nice.

Stephanie’s Read Harder Challenge

I’m still slowly making my way through Martin Buber’s I and Thou. I’m sure I am missing like 99% of it; it’s one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read. Not sure what comes next; if I keep up with this, I’ll finish it probably next week, but we’ll see. Lots to do this time of year!

Real Life Stuff

Phew! It’s been a busy month of reading (not on my swing yet; it’s been too hot for my husband to fix it – he has to weld things, and 95-degree weather is not very welding-friendly), prepping for this year’s homeschool, and getting the house in order so we start off the school year with a clean slate – er, house. My son will be taking some college classes; whether they’re in-person or online, we’re not sure yet. I’d very much prefer online, but we’ll see what he’s able to get.

My garden is starting to produce a little bit! One of my tomato plants is suffering a nasty case of blossom end rot, but the other is doing well and the large tomatoes on it are starting to turn red. I’ve picked two zucchini already (with more that are getting close to ready), and I’ve got a bunch of basil ready to be harvested. I’ve noticed a few baby butternut squash out there as well. Not as successful as it could be, but the garden is in a hard place for me to get to (not my choice, sigh), so I can’t get out there and weed as often as I’d like.

August is gearing up to be an exciting month. I’ll turn 42 in a few days, and it just so happens that this weekend, there’s a book sale, so you KNOW I’ll be there! And we’ll start formal school days on the 22nd; my daughter’s former public school starts the 24th, but I want to get that whole week in there. We’re not required to keep formal records, but I feel better when I do, so I’ll have my handy stack of notecards by my side every day, noting what we do, pages/levels covered, etc. I’m looking forward to all the interesting things she and I will be covering this year, though I’m NOT looking forward to the struggle of trying to teach, keep the house clean, AND cooking from scratch every night, along with doing some sort of exercise every day. It’s a constant struggle to fit everything all in, and I’m often busy from the moment my feet hit the floor until 8 pm, when my daughter goes to bed. Light a candle, say a prayer, smudge some sage, do whatever you do to get the universe to smile on me, because I need every little bit of help I can get!

Stay safe out there, folks. COVID is still raging (I’ve had multiple family members come down with it the past month or two, some of them for the second time), and with the number cases of monkeypox climbing every day, I’m really nervous about what this school year is going to look like for everyone. Take the necessary precautions, because none of this sounds fun.

Wishing you a great month of reading in August!

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