Monthly roundup

Monthly Roundup: August 2022

How is it already September?!?!??

Seriously, summer just started, and now it’s over? WHAT?!?!? I really don’t understand how time works anymore. I did have a very relaxing summer, however. So much time spent reading outside on the front porch (which, to be honest, I enjoy just as much as reading on my swing – which is STILL waiting to be fixed, sigh – and it doesn’t put me to sleep, so that’s nice! Also, I can wave at neighbors who walk by and check out their adorable dogs). So many relaxing days. Now that it’s back to homeschooling, I hit the ground running at 6:30 am and most days, I don’t get a single break until I’m done for the day at 8 pm. I wish I were joking.

My me-reading will slow down, but fortunately, my daughter and I are reading a lot of really great children’s nonfiction (which I LOVE). That’s one of the definite upsides of homeschooling. I was able to discover so many fascinating books for us to make our way through throughout the year. We’re only one week in and we’ve already read some great books (my history/social studies choices alone are fabulous!), so I’m thinking it’ll be a pretty good year on this front anyway.

I’m still behind in posting reviews, though NOT behind in writing them – that’s a first! But when I get caught up, my posts will probably be a little slower, since I’m not ready quite as quickly now, with my days being devoted to my daughter’s education, and most of the rest of my time devoted to cooking and cleaning (ugh). So I’ll still be here, just not quite as often. : )

Let’s get this roundup started, shall we?

Books I Read in August 2022

1. The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger

2. Idiot’s Guides: Foraging by Mark Vorderbruggen

3. What the Witch Left by Ruth Chew (no review; a reread to my daughter)

4. In Pain: A Bioethicist’s Personal Struggle with Opioids by Travis Rieder

5. Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristin Kobes du Mez (no review)

6. I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

7. As If on Cue by Marisa Kanter

8. A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan (review to come)

9. When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (review to come)

10. The Explosive Child by Ross W. Greene (no review)

11. Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet by Ashlee Piper (review to come)

12. Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (no review)

13. The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed by Wendy Lower (review to come)

14. The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee (no review)

15. Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall (review to come)

16. The Outside World by Tova Mirvis (review to come)

17. Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491 by Charles C. Mann (no review; read as part of my daughter’s school)

18. Come and Hear: What I Saw in My Seven-And-a-Half-Year Journey Through the Talmud by Adam Kirsch (no review)

Eighteen books completed. That’s a completely acceptable number to me. I suspect they’ll be back down next month, simply due to far less time to read. Such is life!  

I didn’t review Jesus and John Wayne or The Sum of Us because I’m just not smart enough to speak about those topics, to be honest. They’re both fascinating books (with more than a little bit of overlap in the topics they cover, unsurprisingly), and I recommend both of them if you’ve got the time and mental space for them. I read Le Petit Prince in its original French; I usually try to read one French book a year, but I don’t always get to it; it’s *really* been difficult to do during the pandemic, with everyone at home and my responsibilities having increased 4378432794832-fold. There’s just not enough time, and it’s never, ever quiet around here (truly, my husband and daughter make enough noise for at least 30 people, and noise-cancelling headphones don’t cut it). I managed it this year, however, but it wasn’t easy!

Thirteen of these books came from my TBR.

State of the Goodreads TBR

Last month, we left off at 140 books; this month, we’ve got…131! Slowly, slowly going down.

Books I Acquired in August 2022

Another used book sale! I love the group that puts these things on, and I’m glad to see them return. We picked up so many good books this summer. Here’s our latest batch:

Current Podcast Love

I’ve been listening to more Crime Junkies as I fall asleep, along with You’re Wrong About, which is pretty interesting, and I love that each episode has a different topic. When I’m awake and I can focus on the episodes (like when I’m exercising), I’ve been enjoying Digging Up the Duggars, which dissects episodes of the Duggars’ show, knowing all that we know now about the scandals that were brewing and/or ongoing throughout. Super interesting!

Stephanie’s Read Harder Challenge

Still stuck on I and Thou by Martin Buber; I’ll eventually get through it! I also finished Come and Hear: What I Saw in My Seven-and-a-Half Year Journey Through the Talmud by Adam Kirsch, 20 pages a day, on days when I had time (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA). It was lovely reading, though not necessarily a book that I wanted to put my sole focus into, so the short-chunk-per-day method really worked well here. I’ll likely finish I and Thou next, and move on to something else…

Real Life Stuff

Seriously. Life is exhausting right now.

I get up, get dressed, gulp down some coffee, take care of the dishes from the night before, and then get whatever I have planned for dinner started and/or made. If it’s Monday or Tuesday, I squeeze in a half-hour of virtual volunteer work before we start school, usually by 8:15. My daughter has ADHD; herding her through math and language arts, our most intense subjects, is often like pulling teeth and takes every last ounce of patience I can scrounge up. This usually takes us right to lunch; most days this past week, we had working lunch breaks and we worked through the afternoon, often until 3 pm. And then, if it’s Monday or Tuesday, I squeeze in another half-hour of volunteer work, then tackle whatever’s left to do of dinner and clean up the living room, which is where we do our schoolwork.

After we have dinner, I do whatever exercise I’m doing for the day (if this is walking with my son, it often takes close to or over an hour), then I shower, and then it’s time to put dinner away, clean up, and put my daughter to bed. This puts me at 7:30 or 8 pm, and I haven’t had a moment of downtime at all throughout the day. Fridays, we have my daughter’s counseling appointment, so school will go longer that day. Wednesdays, I go grocery shopping; that usually takes at least two hours after school.

Right now, I’m getting most of the bigger stuff like laundry done on weekends. I get no help with housework or cooking (other than my son occasionally pitching in to cook), so ALL OF THIS is on me, and I’m absolutely struggling and overwhelmed. I need like 347823473928 more hours in the day so the house doesn’t look like a disaster, the laundry isn’t always behind, the compost and recycling aren’t piling up to be taken outside, and the kitchen isn’t full of other people’s dishes that I have to scrape off.

So now you can see why I have so little time to read during the school year! But that’s life, and it’s not going to change, so I’m doing my best to deal. I do really enjoy that hour or so of reading I get at the end of each day, though!

Wishing you all a wonderful September!


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