Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott

One might guess that I’m feeling better today than yesterday, being as I have been able to read–as indicated by another category completion on the year’s reading tally. That is, indeed, the case. Unlike yesterday’s achiness, it no longer hurts to be up and around. However, I am still finding myself to get tired out very easily.

All of which is to say: lucky for me this is such a wee slip of a book. Both for my capacity to finish reading it today, and for my odds of writing a book review tonight.

Continue reading “Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott”

The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

  • Started as a Bonus Read
  • SWAPPING IN: Book Riot #5: By a journalist or about journalism

If I’d been a tiny bit more on the ball, I could have swapped this into my list before I posted my review of Alyssa Mastromonaco. Oh well: hindsight is eagle-eyed, but my foresight is sometimes more akin to a bat wearing a blindfold. C’est la vie.

Anyhoo, Michael Lewis’s journalistic bonafides look a lot more, well, journalistic than Mastromonaco’s, so I’m glad to have a better choice for a weak category so quickly.

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The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart

  • ATY #1: Nominated for or won an award in a genre I enjoy
  • Book Riot #3: Book by a woman or AOC that won a literary award in 2018

I expect it’ll take me a few go-rounds to figure out exactly how I want to format this year’s “book reviews,” but I’m pretty sure I’ll keep using the same primary components:

  1. a reminder about what challenge category(ies) the title checks off–or if it’s a bonus read
  2. my thoughts/opinions about the book itself
  3. any personally relevant stories or anecdotes about choosing the book or why it speaks to me

That last element is the least traditional, but I can’t see myself completely eschewing those sorts of stories. Especially when this first book has already gifted me with that kind of story: one about the power of unintended consequences.

Continue reading “The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart”

Words about Words

I’m aware that there’s a certain–irony?–to having made this new pledge to do more writing and then to follow up by writing solely about my reading schedule for the year. I know: that isn’t actually ironic at all, unless you mean “ironic” as in the old Alanis song. Let’s just call it “slightly counter-intuitive.”

And I get that. I’ve tried (and failed) to work my way through Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way multiple times, but I still remember her counsel about putting yourself on a “reading fast.”

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3 is Better than 1

So yesterday, I posted the categories and my choices for what I’m calling my “primary reading challenge.” I also mentioned that I was actually doing multiple challenges and would do a follow-up post on that today.

I was tempted to use a Who-What-Where-Why-When-How organization for this post, but actually 3 of those questions are self-evident, and the fourth is pretty darn easy to answer as well.

Who? Me. When? 2019. Where? Wherever I happen to be.

What? In addition to my main challenge categories, I’ll be reading books to cover the categories in the 2019 PopSugar and Book Riot Read Harder challenges.

See how easy that was?

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Filling the Well of Words

One of the small markers I’ve been watching as a sign of my life getting better over the past few years is the re-establishment of my reading habits. The advent of my Goodreads use overlaps with this improvement curve to tell a pretty dramatic tale: in 2015, I read 7 books; in 2016, I read 23. The floodgates opened in 2017 for a total of 83, and then in 2018, I hit the round number of reading 100 books.


I’m guessing the time I’m going to be allocating each day to generating words might very well cut into this year’s consumption of text. As such, I’ve set myself a relatively non-ambitious goal of reading 75 books in 2019. The slightly more ambitious piece of that is how I’m using the structure of reading challenges to continue diversifying what and who I read.

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Just Write

Ah me: another year almost gone to bed, another year about to commence. And with the turn of the calendar pages comes the near-eternal question: to resolve or not? Actually, it’s not much of a question for me, nowadays.

I don’t resolve.

I especially don’t jump onto the losing weight/”getting healthy thinner” bandwagon anymore. Instead, I’ve been coping with every diet ad Facebook throws at me by clicking the “report this” button and labelling the ad as “misleading or a scam.” Continue reading “Just Write”