Come catch up with me and take a look at what I read this past month as well as what’s coming up for next month’s goals and events.
November has come and gone already and before we know it the end of the year will be upon us as well. I still have quite a bit of reading I’d like to get done before then, though. We’ll see how successful I am in that endeavor. December always gets so busy with various events, shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking and so on… But the nights are some of the longest of the year and staying in to read seems like a perfect way to hibernate. Honestly speaking, I’ve already been in that mode for most of November, too. Between feeling sick for ages (which actually brought on more Netflix than anything) and the lack of sun, I did manage to carve out lots of reading time. Here’s what I’ve been up to this past month.
November 2017 TBR List:
- The Year of Living Danishly, Helen Russell
- A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn
- In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
- The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin
- White Trash, Nancy Isenberg (finish)
Actual November 2017 Reads:
- The Year of Living Danishly, Helen Russell
- A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn (started)
- White Trash, Nancy Isenberg (finished)
- The Little Book of Hygge, Meik Wiking
- Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur (in part, already read and finished earlier this year)
- The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur
- Upstream, Mary Oliver (started)
This might be one of the toughest months to choose a favorite from. I must say I really enjoyed reading about Helen Russell’s experience moving to Denmark and then following it up with a book on hygge. The Danes are supposedly the happiest people on earth, and are not without their flaws, but it was compelling to read about their culture and some of the factors that might contribute to their happiness. Both books reenforced a lot of what the other had been saying, but had their own perspectives to offer: one from a native Dane, the other from a newcomer to Denmark.
That said, toward the end of the month, I went into something of a poetry frenzy. I reread half of Milk and Honey and then immediately picked up Rupi Kaur’s new book The Sun and Her Flowers. I asked for some suggestions on Instagram for poetry others had enjoyed and was recommended Mary Oliver a few times. I already had Upstream, which is actually an essay collection, but I picked it up anyway, knowing it would probably suit me just fine AND IT DID. I haven’t quite finished that one yet, but look forward to returning to it over the next few days.
So, can I pick a favorite this month? Not really. Am I okay with having that problem? Absolutely.
This year has been…weird. That’s just life I guess. This fall in particular has been pretty tough. A real roller coaster ride, both literally and figuratively. In keeping with the theme of the fall, November brought a new set of challenges in my personal life, from which I am still regrouping. I have never experienced such a rapid succession of painful loss and disappointment in my life before now, which I should be thankful for (’tis the season and all). And I know I’m not the only one having an especially trying stretch of months, so if that sounds like you, too, my heart goes out to you. When things happen in life that you just can’t make sense of, it’s easy to get hung up on trying to figure them out. Sometimes there just isn’t an answer. In fact, it may not even matter if there is one or not. Reality is still what it is and sometimes the stories we try to craft around an event to explain it to ourselves do more harm than good. Considering our affinity for stories, it’s especially hard for book lovers like us to break our minds out of that pattern, but it’s worth trying. Memories can be many things. Some bring comfort, others make us feel sad. But we would do well to remember Dumbledore’s words about spending too much time in the past or future: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
In more positive news, I do have an exciting announcement coming up next month, which I hope you will all enjoy! I can’t give too much away just now, but I have a new crop of content to share with you here over the coming weeks as well, so stay tuned.
With the approach of the busy holiday season, I know December is going to fly by in an instant. That said, I am going to try to wrap up a few books this month that I didn’t get finished for whatever reason so I can start the new year with a clean(er) slate. There is so much I want to read this month, but I’m trying to keep my list reasonable so I don’t get overwhelmed.
December 2017 TBR List:
- A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin (finish)
- War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy (finish)
- The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien (finish)
- This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald (finish)
- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
- The Winter’s Tale, William Shakespeare
- The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Divine Comedy, Dante
It’s so crazy to be writing my last TBR list of the year! Honestly, I don’t know where 2017 even went. There is SO MUCH that I didn’t get to read this year that I hoped to, but it’s also been the most reading I’ve done in a year, so I have no regrets. There’s always next year, which starts WAY too soon. I’m beginning to think about my reading resolutions for this year and next. What I might want to improve. New things I may try. It’s all very nostalgic and exciting at once. I hope you have a fantastic month of reading ahead of you, or just a cozy time enjoying the holidays if you celebrate.