Sunday, January 6, 2019

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a fun weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, where we share what we've read and reviewed over the past week and what we plan to read next.

Well I'm back? I guess? It's been nearly a year since my last blog post and I've missed the book blogging community and the chance to share the books I've read and find out what you've been reading too. I am going to try to wade back into blogging and maybe for the time being it will just be these weekly posts to start with.

2018 was kind of a crazy year (though 2017 was too). Some of the big things that happened in my life: my director resigned (which was a real blow) and I've felt adrift and struggled for much of the year. We have a new director now and things aren't that great for me at work but I will do my best to go into 2019 with a positive attitude and continue to work hard. It's a challenge to plan programs and get excited about things the way I usually do at the start of a new year though. One thing I will be doing is going to counseling. Mental health is important and I don't want to have physical health issues due to stress.  

The year ended with my mom being hospitalized again with the problems she's had over the past 4 years. She didn't end up in a coma this time but there were some scary moments. It was sad spending Christmas at the hospital instead of at my parents' home but my mom got to go home just a few days after Christmas. She is now doing physical therapy at the house so she doesn't have to venture out in the cold. I got to see her this past weekend and she is much better. The frustrating thing is that the doctors have no idea what keeps causing her to have these symptoms (indoor hypothermia, mental confusion, physical weakness, hallucinations--that one was new and really scary). In 2014 they thought it was a form of encephalitis (like Susanna Cahalan from Brain on Fire) but it couldn't be proved. We plan to take her to Cleveland Clinic later this year.

The year wasn't all bad though. I got to go to two family weddings in Canada, a fantastic 40th birthday trip to DC to see Hamilton with my sister and do some sightseeing, I read some great books and did a fun Harry Potter trivia night and zombie themed escape room at my library. 

I hope sometime soon to share my favorite books of 2018. I didn't read as much as I usually do but this year I am challenging myself to read more and spend less time on my smartphone or watching Netflix (easier said than done)!

Well, on to the books!

Books read:

Refugee by Alan Gratz

I thought this book was very moving though it took me awhile to adjust to all the jumping around between time periods. The novel follows three different teen refugees: Josef who is escaping Nazi Germany with his parents and younger sister, Isabelle who is fleeing Cuba with her family and friends and Mahmoud and his family who are leaving war-torn Syria. 

Currently reading:

Becoming by Michelle Obama

This was actually supposed to be my first book of the year and I started reading it but I wanted to read some fiction too and I happened to finish the novel first. I really like this so far but it always takes me longer to read nonfiction.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (reread)

This time around I am listening to the audio version and I like it. I never got around to reading the rest of the series but the Netflix movie inspired me to reread this one and then read the next two. I am excited that they are making a movie of the second book. As I read though I'm realizing that the movie version of Peter seems to be nicer than the book version. I admit though that I haven't finished watching the movie because I wanted to reread the book.

On my TBR pile: 

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

New books received:

The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie (Library Book)

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict (For Review)

Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi (For Review)

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez (For Review)

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Purchased)

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (For Review)

The Forgotten Hours by Katrin Schumann (Amazon Prime Free Read)

Worry Less, Pray More by Donna K. Maltese (For Review)


  1. Nice to see you again! Happy New Year! All best wishes to your mom, I'm sorry to hear that- all the best going forward.

    Hope you have a wonderful week. :)

  2. Welcome back. Sorry last year was rough for you. I hope 2019 is better. First update of 2019

  3. You sure have been through the wringer, and worrying about sick parents and being there for them is always challenging. You have some good plans in place and hope is a great guideline. I want to read Becoming, such an inspiring woman, I have it all ready on my bookcase, but I agree a mix of fiction/non fiction is a good idea.

  4. Welcome back! I'm sorry about your mom's health challenges, and I hope the doctors figure things out. Meanwhile, your work issues sound equally difficult.

    I am also reading Becoming, but with nonfiction, I alternate with fiction, too, so it takes longer. I admire Michelle Obama, so I am savoring the book.

    Have a great week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

  5. I am so glad you are backed to blogging. You were missed! I am sorry to hear about your struggles at work and with your mom's health. I am thinking of you! I look forward to more of your posts this year. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Becoming!

  6. Welcome back! You have some nice looking books here. I liked The Gilded Wolves. I've been tempted by the Aru Shah book but easing back on reading middle grade books. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  7. Interested to see what you think about the Forgotten Hours, it seems to be one that people like or don't like in equal measures.

  8. Nice to see you back, if only temporary. I hope 2019 is much kinder to you.

  9. I just returned myself...after a two year break. I'm looking forward to seeing what we both produce. Can't wait to read Michelle Obama's book, it looks really good!


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