What a whirlwind of a month. Between life and homeschooling, my poor reading time has definitely shrunk. Combine that with my getting to a chunk of my TBR that I don’t feel hugely compelled to write reviews for here, and I’ve been more absent than usual this month. My apologies! We’re definitely in a transition period and I’m still trying to figure things out. I’m working on it, I promise!
Not a bad month at all, just busy. Passover came and went (life without leavened grains is just sad, y’all. But I’m always grateful for how much avoiding chametz for eight days helps me appreciate the struggles of those with conditions like celiac and food allergies), and we had a few really awesome weather days – including several days where I was able to read outside! My swing isn’t out yet, but possibly at the end of this month. Bring on those long, hot summer days!
Let’s get this way-too-short recap started, shall we?
Books I Read in April 2022
1. Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians Are Reclaiming Evangelicalism by Deborah Jian Lee (no review; read for my volunteer job)
2. Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage With Life by Stuart Shanker (no review)
3. What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge (no review; read out loud to my daughter)
4. Everything You Need to Know About Asian-American History by Lan Cao, Himilce Novas, and Rosemary Silva (no review; read for my personal Read Harder project)
7. The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home: The Happy Luddite’s Guide to Domestic Self-Sufficiency by Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger Henderson (no review)
8. How Good Do We Have to Be?: A New Understanding of Guilt and Forgiveness by Harold Kushner (no review)
9. Lovesong: Becoming a Jew by Julius Lester (no review)
10. Follow My Leader by James B. Garfield (read out loud to my daughter; no review)
Slow month overall for reading, but that’s just the homeschooling life sometimes. I usually don’t review a lot of the more spiritual Jewish books, nor do I review the things I read out loud to my daughter, and that kind of makes up the bulk of what I read this month! I also read through parts, though not all, of two books on foraging, which took up a good portion of my reading time in the beginning of the month. That also explains my low numbers.
Five of these books came from my TBR.
State of the Goodreads TBR
Last month, we ended up at 154; this month, we’re actually down to…151! This is definitely a good thing. I think it’s more that I’ve had less time on the computer to find new books than it is that I’ve been reading enough to get the number to go down on its own, but hey, less is less!
Books I Acquired in April 2022
Bookish Things I Did in April 2022
I was lucky enough to be able to virtually attend a talk given by Dr. Eboo Patel, author of Acts of Faith. He’s an incredible speaker, and I could’ve listened to him for hours. If you’re at all interested in how religious diversity works in the US, or in religious literacy in general, try to catch one of his talks if you can.
Current Podcast Love
Bleh. Still mostly just listening to BBC World Service. I halfheartedly tried to find something new to listen to a few times this month, but nothing stuck. Such is life. I did listen to the first one-and-a-half episodes of Stark Raving Dad, by a homeschooling dad from New Zealand who writes some interesting things about homeschooling, while I was biking one day, and I’m enjoying that so far.
Stephanie’s Read Harder Challenge
Woohoo, I finished Everything You Need to Know About Asian-American History, which I ended up really enjoying. It covered most groups of Asians that have made their way to the US, and gave accounts of their history here in the US, including the very, very racist ways they’ve been treated throughout their time here. Eye-opening and informative. I’ve moved on to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music History by Michael Miller, which I borrowed from my son’s shelves (and which I found when I was doing various workouts in his room. He’s currently living with his best friend, so I use his room for some privacy in my workouts). Enjoying this one so far!
Real Life Stuff
It feels like it’s been a busier-than-normal month. My daughter turned eight, I have her seeing a counselor now so we can work on her need to argue with me about everything, and the whole house could use a giant clean-up, but I can barely keep up with the day-to-day cleaning (my husband and daughter make messes faster than I can get to them, and I’m the only one doing any kind of housework). There are days when we homeschool from 8:30 am until lunch, I gulp down my lunch and get started on dinner prep and cleaning the kitchen, then it’s back to homeschooling until 3-ish, sometimes later, and then it’s more work on dinner and what chores I need to do for the day (and two days a week, I put in a few hours for my volunteer job). Add in some exercise and a shower after dinner, and it’s pretty much bedtime after that. I’m seriously struggling to get anything done beyond the very basics right now.
We’ll relax our schedule a bit over the summer; we won’t start nearly as early, and I’m only making my daughter do math two days a week, just enough to keep her brain on track and ready to start again in mid-August. That’ll at least give me time to do a more thorough daily cleaning, and I’ll 100% have more time to read in the afternoons- on my swing! It’s still in the garage now, since it’s still mostly just in the 50’s on our warmer days (oh, Midwest…), but hopefully it’ll be out and ready for swinging by the end of the month.
And now it’s May! We can sign up for summer reading tomorrow, which we will! On Thursday, I’m attending a virtual book talk with Riva Lehrer, author of Golem Girl which I just reviewed in April. And that’s really all I have on the schedule for this month, which is good. I have enough to do already!
Stay safe out there, folks. The wastewater data (and Walgreens testing numbers) say that COVID cases are going up again. I miss the days when we believed this could be eradicated completely. Five cases at my daughter’s former school this week…that we know of. Sigh.
Wishing you a warm, lovely, safe May, full of lots of time to read!