Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January 2018 in Review

January seems to have slipped through my fingers. It was such a crazy month, a mix of good and bad and everything in between. Life got back to normal after the holidays, fortunately letting us kind of ease back into things. Mouse is busy with school, dance, Girl Scouts and a martial arts class. She lost her first tooth in January! She's quite proud of that fact. She got an award in school. And Girl Scout cookie sales have started, which means our weekends will be filled up with cookie booths and walkabouts. My husband is settling into his new position at work (and loving being able to park closer to the entrance of his office building). Things still haven't quite settled down at my own office, with the retirement of one of my colleagues (and no replacement in sight), trainings galore, being short staffed, and some rather difficult cases that came our way. My mom had two more surgeries (her third in two months). She's been amazingly positive through it all, but I know it hasn't been easy for her. Thank you again for all your prayers and well wishes!

I am feeling really good about my January reading. I pushed myself a little harder, trying to fit in more reading. It helped that the books I chose to read were easy to fall into and hard to put down. There wasn't on I did not like, and I am hard pressed to come up with a favorite. I was able to publish the rest of my 2017 book reviews, and so have that out of the way.

Here is what I finished reading in January:

Solely For Me:
  • The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams
  • Betrayed  by Karen E. Olson
  • Claws for Concern by Miranda James
  • The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
  • Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  • Sunday Sugar by Q. Gibson
  • Vanished by Karen E. Olson
  • Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Some of the Books I Read With My Daughter (Guess which ones we read over and over and over and over again.): 
  • Biscuit and the Little Pup by Alyssa Satin Capucilli & Pat Schories
  • The Thank You Book (Elephant & Piggie #25) by Mo Willems
  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Erik Blegvad
  • A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young
  • Dog on a Frog? by Claire Gray, Kes Gray, illustrated by Jim Field
  • Splat the Cat: I Scream for Ice Cream by Rob Scotton, Laura Driscoll, illustrated by Robert Eberz
  • The Gingerbread Cookie Mystery (First-Grade Friends Forever) by Judy Katschke, illustrated by Clare Elsom
  • Our Cool School (First-Grade Friends Forever) by Judy Katschke
  • Farm Animals (National Geographic Readers: Level 1 Co-Reader) by Joanne Mattern
  • The Poky Little Puppy (Step into Reading) by Kristen L. Depken

Non-Book Review Posts in January:

Challenge & Read-Along Updates:

#COYER Winter Switch ~ I managed to read five books for phase one, The Strict, of the challenge:


Phase two, The List is well under way, and I have read four books from the list (I read one of the books during the previous phase and so it doesn't count). I hope to fit in at least one or two more books before the next phase begins on February 10th, The One With a Twist.

What's In A Name Reading Challenge ~ I have read one book that counts toward this challenge so far. Not a bad start for the beginning of the year. Five more categories to go!

The Grand World of Books Reviews Bingo ~ I have read four books that fit on my bingo card so far, only two on the same line. It's a start!

Unruly Reader Bingo ~ Since I am trying not to duplicate books read for categories in my other bingo challenge, I haven't yet checked off any boxes in this one.

2018 Witches and Witchcraft Reading Challenge ~ I will soon be able to count at least one book towards this challenge--but not just yet.

2018 Discussion Post Challenge ~ I combined my first discussion post with the All About It Challenge, tackling the subject of seasonal reading. Of my list of topics to discuss, this was actually not on it, but it seemed to fit given the direction my post was going.

2018 Blog All About It Challenge ~ I may have went a little off track with this one as my post isn't exactly about winter, January's topic. I was following a stream of conscience you could say, and took it where it led me.

Les Misérables Read-Along ~ I did very well for the first month of this read-along, falling behind occasionally but then getting ahead. There was a lot of that. I love Victor Hugo's writing. You can tell he is a poet at heart. I have spent time with Jean Valjean as he struggled to get on his feet after so many years in prison and am now visiting with Fantine, young woman who gave her heart to the wrong man.

War and Peace Read-Along ~ I honestly didn't think I would be able to make the deadline for January, but I did with a few days to spare. What started out as a very slow read for me (and is still rather slow going) has been a better experience than in years past when I have attempted to read the book. Maybe it is the familiarity to the material or perhaps I am just more motivated to read the book this time. Regardless, I am looking forward to reading more and hoping I continue to keep up. I do have one complaint though about the translation I am reading. I do wish the French had been translated alongside the Russian. Having to visit the footnotes with the less familiar French passages is a bit of a pain.

My Bullet Journal: I am enjoying it quite a bit, although I wish I had made more time to set it up ahead of time. I decided to only do a month at a time in case I wanted to change how I was utilizing it. Finding time to sit down and work on the next month has proven to be a challenge given how busy life is right now. I am finding the checklists helpful, if a bit repetitive. I especially like my section for the challenges I am involved in. It's an easy reference at a glance.

 A sample of my challenge pages

My January Calendar

Besides my daily checklists, I have a little section in which I track my daily water intake, exercise and time out for reading--I call it my self-care section. I also have a section in which each day I jot down at least three things I am grateful for. It could be something as simple as a hot shower to something bigger like my mom's surgery going well. It's become a part of my nightly ritual. 

 A sample of my daily log

Someone else wanted to keep her own journal too! 
(Mouse drew the picture, but is willing to let Gracie take credit for it if she wants.)

How did your January shape up reading wise? What was your favorite book you read in January?



I am linking up to Nicole of Feed Your Addiction's Monthly Wrap-Up Post, where any book bloggers who write monthly wrap-up posts can link up and visit other bloggers to see what they have been reading. 


© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

35 comments:

  1. You've had quite a month, Wendy! Love Mouse's journal! Glad your Mom is improving.

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    1. Kay - Mouse has several journals actually. I collect them and never write in them and she collects them and writes/draws in all of them without finishing before moving on to the next cool looking one. :-)

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  2. A great habit for Mouse to develop! I know you must be feeling better about your mother--what a stressful couple of months for your family.

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    1. Jenclair - Mouse loves her journals. :-) I wish the latest news was better in regards to my mom. We keep plugging along. Hopefully this month will bring better news.

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  3. Wow! You had a busy month. I'm so glad your mother is handling her surgeries well. That many in such a short time isn't easy. Also your kitty is amazingly floofy!

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    1. Kimberly - February will be even more busy, but hopefully it will all go smoothly. Yes, Gracie has so much fur! She's more fur than cat, actually. :-)

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  4. You guys were busy but it sounds like for the most part it was all good busy. I love that Mouse is keeping a bullet journal too. I keep thinking about doing one but that's about as far as it goes!

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    1. Katherine - Yes, mostly good. :-) Mouse loves her journals. She keeps several. Haha

      I am sticking to the bullet journal so far, but we'll see if it lasts all year. I'm not good about these sorts of things. LOL

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  5. Congrats to Mouse for her award! You have had a busy month. I am glad your mother is keeping a good attitude throughout all her surgeries, that is important for healing.

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    1. Ellen - Thank you! Mouse is very proud of her award. :-) It's getting harder is some respects for my mom to stay in good spirits, especially after the latest news, but for the most part, she is managing it all well.

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  6. Wow! You sure had a busy month! I hope you have a lovely February!

    Here’s my Monthly Wrap Up!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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    1. Ronyell - I have a feeling February will be exhausting, but hopefully good overall. :-) I hope you have a good one too!

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  7. Sounds like a busy month for you, Wendy. And I'm glad your mom is doing well with her surgery. I think you're doing well with your reading given your busy schedules. :)

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    1. Melody - It was busy, and this month will be even busier. Check in with me at the end of the month and see if I'm still sane. LOL I don't think I'll manage to get in as much reading, but I'll try.

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  8. As usual---REALLY impressed by what you accomplish! And I LOOOOoooove your journal :) For decades I've been a BIG fan and maker of charts and lists and I love that you're actually keeping up on it! I've always struggled with consistency and all the charts and lists I make often are for naught or only help on certain days. Still--I try! :D

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    1. Donna Marie - Hopefully my interest and enthusiasm about the journal will continue. I have a tendency to lose interest in things like that after awhile. Especially when I'm really busy.

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    2. Yep, you're not alone :-\ I'm presently revamping my stuff because what I've learned is that, regardless of how much I want to create a detailed regimen, my life (and personality and tendencies) hasn't allowed it to work out---I have to keep my daily "to do" list relatively simple, and keep my many "to dos" on separate lists to refer to. We'll see how this goes! Good luck :)

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  9. Busy, busy month for you! Mostly good, some stressful I see. I'm impressed by the amount of books that you read with Mouse--yay for young literacy!

    I love the Karen E. Olson series, I thought Woman in the Window was good-- not great-- for me, and I still want to read a Melissa Marr book. Thank you for sharing all the details of your time :)

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    1. Kari - Yes, busier than I expected. February promises to be even more busy. Fingers crossed I make it out alive. ;-) Sometimes it can be a fight to get Mouse to sit down with me and read, but I do what I can.

      I am glad you love the Karen E. Olson books too. :-) I hope you enjoy the Melissa Marr book! I definitely would like to read more by her. Have a great February!

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  10. I love your ritual of writing out three things you are grateful for. I think it is so important to take time out and acknowledge good things. For me it definitely helps me appreciate life and helps ground me when I'm all worried about things or have been ranting in my journal about something :) Hope Mouse does outstanding with her cookie selling. I'm sure she's going to do great and looking forward to hearing about the books you're going to be reading this month. Looks like January was a great reading month!

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    1. Iliana - Thank you! I think it is a nice way to end the day--thinking of something positive especially after a difficult day. I am hopeful February will be a good reading month too. Although, I don't imagine I can read that much again. Not in a short month. :-)

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  11. Oh my gosh 3 surgeries in 2 months. That is scary. I hope things with your mom will only improve from here on out. <3

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    1. Annemieke - Thank you. They still weren't able to get all the cancer out, but the doctor's are hopeful other treatment methods might work. We're all hoping they are right.

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  12. awww the first tooth! I don't think we've ever not been short staffed at work. It's crazy.
    Looks like you had a great reading/blogging January! Enjoy the journaling. The self-care section sounds like a great idea as does the jotting down what you are thankful for.

    Enjoy your week!

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    1. Naida - She just lost her second one tonight! She's so excited. :-)

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  13. I hope things at work calm down soon. Good luck with all those cookie sales! I can't imagine my life revolving around cookies every weekend.

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    1. Charlie - Thank you. I am hoping we get a new supervisor on board before the month is out to help. I am not sure how much longer we can continue like this. And we need all the luck we can get with the cookie sales, so thank you! Haha.

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  14. Your bujo is very cute :) I've tentatively started one, but only for tracking monthly bookish stats, cause I don't have time to track stuff every day. It's still fun :)

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    1. Evelina - Thank you! It's very simple, but it seems to be working out so far. Mostly. :-)

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  15. Congrats on Mouse getting an award! Yay for losing her first tooth! Best of luck on those cookie sales. I hope things slow down a bit this month and works gets better. I'll be keeping your mom in my thoughts and prayers.

    I love your bujo! I recently started doing a self care section. I plan to improve it for March. I found a couple self-care challenges on pinterest I may try. There is a couple apps that track your water intake and I've been using iHydrate, you do have to pay for that one but there is another called waterlogged and it is free and so helpful.

    I hope you have a wonderful February!

    Tina @ As Told By Tina

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    1. Tina - Thank you! She's very pleased about her award and for losing her first tooth. She lost a second one tonight and keeps sticking her tongue in the hole now. LOL Thank you for your prayers for my mom.

      I will look into the water intake apps. Thanks for the info!

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  16. Oh, you reminded me that I need to track down a girl scout and get some cookies. I love those things. It looks like January was a successful reading month for you. I hope you’re having a great February!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. AJ - I will be so glad when cookie season is over. Having so many cookies in the house is hard to resist . . .

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  17. Looks like you wrote a lot of blogposts! I'll have to check some of them out! :)

    #WrapUpRoundUp

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  18. You have had a very busy month. I think it is great that you are not only tackling War and Peace but Les Miserables. I hope you are having a great February so far!

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