Bookish Roundup — November, 2017

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Whew! November was a crazy busy month here in the Pathologically Literate household, y’all, and am I glad it is over. C’mon, December – hit me with your best shot!! Despite the craziness of November, I was able to read a total of eighteen books and participate in a five-day Thanksgiving Readathon. Thus, I’m not complaining too much.

Here’s a list of everything I read in November:

So… November, 2017 was the unofficial Month of Cheesy Romance Novels. I loved getting to know the Winston Brothers, and started on a Sarah MacLean series as well. In fact, there were several great reads this month, however, my favorite novel by far was The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg. Berg has been one of my favorite authors for about twenty years now, but her last few books have really been hit or miss for me. Folks, with The Story of Arthur Truluv, that old Berg magic is back!! Arthur stole my heart about two minutes in and, nearly a month later, has yet to give it back.

Now that December is here, I have twelve more books to read to reach my unofficial goal of reading 225 books in 2017. Piece of cake, y’all!! In fact, barring natural disasters, I believe I shall surpass that goal. Yay, me!! Keep your eyes peeled in January for an update on my Bookish Resolutions for 2017. Until then, friends – Happy Reading!!

What did you read in November?

Bookish Roundup – September, 2017

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It’s Fall, y’all!! My favorite season is finally here, and I’m so excited! While I haven’t exactly seen my favorite things about Fall yet (apart from the Pumpkin Caramelicious at Scooter’s Coffeehouse!!), the air is fraught with anticipation and it won’t be long before temperatures drop and that crisp, cool air blows through my hair as I read on my porch on a sunny Fall afternoon… I can feel it now. Oh, yes – Fall is here, y’all!!

Unfortunately, my pre-Fall reading habits have taken quite the hit this year. I was moving along at quite a pace the last few months, hitting between at least 15 to 20 books per month. And then… The Boy bought a new puppy with his earnings from his summer job. Was this Pathologically Literate Momma happy about that? Well, it is what it is, and there ain’t no turning back now. One thing is for sure, a brand new 6-week-old puppy in the house is almost like having a new baby in the house at times – especially when it comes to trying to get things done. Granted, she is now 11 weeks old and we’ve adjusted a little bit, but she’s still taking up a looooot of time and even though The Boy is pulling his weight, a lot of that time seems to be my own which has made reading a lot harder than it used to be. Where it used to take me 1 1/2 to 2 days to read a book, it’s been taking me more like 3 or 4. Yikes! But how can you be mad at this cute little face…?

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Meet Tootsie, y’all!! Tootsie is a Min-Pin (Miniature Pinscher) and would not have been my own first choice in a dog. We already have an eight-year-old Sheltie (Ruby) and my hope had been to get another Sheltie puppy at some point. Well, that’s all gone up in smoke now! Not that I’m bitter or anything, right? Seriously, though, even though a Min-Pin was not my first choice in a dog, she’s a pretty darn cute – if energetic – puppy. She’s definitely taking some getting used to – and will for a while – but I have faith that she will eventually grow on me. Please, God, let her grow on me…

And now, without further ado, let us take a look at my September Reading List:

Ten of the fourteen books I read in September were YA titles. Both of the Meg Medina titles were amazeballs. The Sea of Tranquility was as wonderful as everyone had promised it would be, as was The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy. Words in Deep Blue was a testament to book lovers everywhere, and I adored it. All four of the adult fiction titles I read in September were winners, too. Celeste Ng’s sophomore novel, Little Fires Everywhere, was on point and even better than her first. I really lucked out last month – I may have read less, but at least they were worth my limited time!

October is already shaping up to be a better month, methinks. I believe I’m beginning to get back into my reading groove (please, God!). I recently checked out some awesome titles for my Kindle and from the local library, and have some exciting ARCs to read as well. All that reading time I’m planning for my front porch this Fall is going to be put to goooood use, my friends. Can’t wait! Hope you have a Happy Fall full of Happy Reading, y’all!!

Where is your fave place to read in the Fall?

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Bookish Roundup – August, 2017

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Fall is almost here, y’all, and I’m soooo excited! Fall is my favorite season of the year: the cooler temperatures and crisp air does my body good – as long as that sun keeps shining, anyway. Gotta have my sunshine, y’all. Despite the hot, hot summer we had here in Nebraska, August was surprisingly mild as far as temperatures went – most days were in the 80’s or even below. If we have to have Summer, that’s the kind of weather I like. Because of the cooler temps I was able to spend more time outside reading on my porch – one of my fave places to read.

It was a CRAZY month, though, y’all. I participated in the Bout of Books 20 Readathon, which was so much fun. Unfortunately, right smack in the middle of the readathon I wound up on the hospital’s ICU ward for two days! I was in the hospital for a total of four days, which really cramped my reading style – but I didn’t let it keep me down. I finished out the readathon, anyway. Books for the win, y’all!!

I found some great books in August, I’ll tell you what. Twenty-one of them, to be exact. Let’s take a look:

So many of these books were winners, y’all, but one stood out by a long shot. The Seven Rules of Elvira Carr by Frances Maynard will definitely be included in my top books of 2017. It was beautiful and sweet and funny and sad, and Elvira Carr stole my heart almost as soon as I opened the book. It is a must-read, and I expect a full report from each of you!!

It’s another mild Summer day today, y’all, and I’m off to read on my porch again while Poppie and The Boy gorge themselves on Saturday college football (ugh). I hope you have a wonderful September and until I see you again, Happy Reading!!

What was your fave read in August?

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Bookish Roundup — July, 2017

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Summer reading has been heating up around here, y’all. I am blasting through the books like no other and it’s no wonder – the temps around here were so hot in July that there wasn’t much else to do beside hide indoors with the nice and frosty A/C. Not that I was complaining, as you’ll see when you peruse my list for the month. I read a total of 22 books last month. Of course, this is partially thanks to the 24 in 48 Readathon I participated in on July 22nd & 23rd. Now, nearly 1400 people participated in this popular readathon (of which the point is to read a total of 24 hours out of a 48-hour period), but this happy little reader did it in style…

As a single homeschool Mom, I very rarely have a break from my son (we are talking 24/7 here, folks), and I was concerned about the viability of my plan to participate in this readathon. I don’t exactly get a lot of alone time in which to complete long, extended periods of reading without interruption. My beloved BFF came to my rescue in a BIG way. She and her husband recently built an AH-MA-ZING home on the edge of town, and I was offered the opportunity to stay in their guest suite for the weekend of the readathon, turning it into a mini-getaway for myself. Well. She didn’t need to ask me twice!! Here’s a pic of the gorgeous suite in which I lounged for the two days and three nights of my semi-staycation:

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But let’s not forget the best part (besides the books) – the mini-bar!!

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Y’all, I was in. Heaven. On. Earth. I holed up in there and read my little heart away. In the meantime, the most fabulous BFF in the world (mine) stood at the ready, prepared to serve my every need if only I should make it known. I was so overwhelmed by her generosity and hospitality, as well as that of her family’s. Nothing could have made that weekend more perfect. It’s only too bad I don’t have a picture for you of the amazing “Reading Porch” that was attached to the suite. Aaaaahhhhh. I will carry this with me for a long time, y’all. It had been too long since I had done something just for me, and this was the perfect thing to choose. Fingers crossed that I get to do it again for the next 24 in 48 Readathon in January, 2018…

Why don’t we take a look at everything I read in July:

I truly enjoyed nearly all of the books I read last month. My two favorite would include The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick and The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson (both Quick and Jackson are two of my fave writers in general). Out of all 22 books I read, only one of them was a thumbs-down. Unfortunately, An Extraordinary Union was so not my cup of tea. Alas, you live and learn. I’m soooo excited about the books I’m going to be reading in August – not the least of which because I joined a new library, opening up my Kindle e-book borrowing options even more! But we’ll talk about that next month. Try to stay cool out there, folks. Happy Reading!!

What books did you read while beating the heat in July?

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2017 Bookish Resolutions – A Mid-Year Check-In

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Can you believe that this year is already half-way over? Time really does fly when you’re having fun, folks! And by having fun, I mean reading books, of course!! Way back in January I outlined for myself five bookish resolutions for 2017. Today we’re going to take a look at each one of those goals and see how much (or how little) I’ve accomplished so far this year.

1. Read a minimum of 175 books in 2017.

In January I joined the Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge, setting a goal of reading 175 books by the end of the year. How have I fared so far? Well, folks, as of today I have read 123 books in 2017. I am over two-thirds of the way toward meeting my Challenge goal. I fully believe I will surpass it and am (unofficially) hoping to hit a mark somewhere near or above 200.

2. Read the books I own.

I borrow most of my books from the library, however, I am a sucker for a good Kindle deal. Thus, I have built up somewhat of a library on my Kindle Paperwhite. One of my 2017 reading goals was to whittle away at those virtual shelves. How have I fared, you ask? Out of 123 books read, 26 of those were books I personally own. Additionally, I have actually added to that library this year by 40 books so far, which averages out to about 5-6 books a month. Soooo… maybe I’m not doing quite so well with this one. I just might need to step up my game a bit with this goal – what do you think?

3. Create a private reading log.

I originally made it a goal to create a private reading log in Excel back in 2016, but that never happened. I’m happy to say that in 2017, said reading log now exists and is updated on a daily basis! I’m very proud of myself and pat myself on the back often, thank you very much. I cannot wait until my end-of-year wrap-up, when I can use Excel to create my favorite thing ever – PIE CHARTS – to relay my reading statistics to you all. Yippee!!

4. Read *more* more diverse books.

In 2016, I made it a goal to read more diverse books. And I did, but not enough to satisfy  myself. Thus, in 2017, I made a resolution to read *more* more diverse books. How am I doing? Well, in the last 6 1/2 months, I have read 30 books by or about People of Color; that averages out to approximately 5 books per month. This statistic does not include, obviously, books that involve other diverse populations, the data of which I have not yet recorded/tallied. Needless to say, once again, I feel it is necessary to step up my game in this category as well.

5. Pay more attention to Pathologically Literate

In 2016, I barely spent any time on PathologicallyLiterate.com at all. I made it a goal for 2017 to spend more time writing about books and reading to share with my readers. While I haven’t done the job I had hoped to, I have been at the very least sharing monthly posts (and very occasionally a little something extra). You gotta start somewhere, right, friends? In the mean time, keep an eye out for future posts or giveaways – you never know when something wonderful just might come your way!!

Well, friends, while I’m not hitting all of my goals at the desired levels, I am having a great time trying! I’ve read so many great books so far in 2017, and have had so much fun exploring a genre that is completely new to me: YA Fantasy. I love expanding my reading reach and knowing that I now have *that* many more books to choose from! I will continue to work hard to meet my Bookish Resolutions of 2017, and will check in again at the end of the year to keep you in the loop as to how I’ve fared. Happy Reading, all!!

How has your reading life been going in 2017?

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Bookish Roundup — June, 2017

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FIRST of all, folks, allow me to apologize for the weak graphic up above. Canva was being a b**** and I basically had to use my Commodore 64 to procure a picture for this post. If you don’t know what that is, well… that just means I’m a hell of a lot older than you are.

I  do have to say that I’m sorry to see June go by the wayside, y’all. It was a great month, full of mild, sunny weather and good reads aplenty. A month in which even I felt comfortable enough to test my boundaries a bit…

About four years ago, I began reading almost exclusively on my Kindle Paperwhite. My main source of reading material comes from the public library, and I had been having some major OCD-ish germ issues for a while by the point I received my Paperwhite as a gift. So, I gave print books up. Unfortunately, even with the awesome selection my two public libraries’ digital services offer, I was still missing out on quite a few titles that held my interest that are only available (via the library) in print. I’d been getting REALLY sick of it. Sooooo…. I checked several (print) books out from the library. I have to admit that it was touch and go at first; had I found a hair or a booger in one of the books, things would have all come tumbling down. But – no boogers!! None. Nada. Success!!!

Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure I’ll still be doing the bulk of my reading on my Paperwhite, because I do prefer it for a plethora of other reasons, but I am now indulging in one or two print books each week. I have only one problem… I need a book light! I was so used to the glow of my Paperwhite in the dark that I was lost when it came time to read in bed with my new print library books. Thus, I am currently researching book lights (because you know I can’t have just any old book light; it must be THE BEST book light). I will keep you updated, because I know y’all are waiting on bated breath to hear all about it…

Let’s take a look at the 18 books I read in June:

Yes, yes, yes. I did  continue on with my YA Fantasy binge in June. Toward the end of the month, however, I was able to break away and read into some other genres – finally! The book I want to talk about the most is Ginny Moon – oh my goodness, what a heartbreaker that one was! Ginny is a 14-year-old girl with autism. Despite being newly adopted by her Forever parents, Ginny is desperate to get back to her birth mother – for something she holds very, very dear has been left behind. Let me tell you guys – this one had ALL. THE. FEELS. Run, don’t walk, to your library to snatch that book up and get to reading, y’all! There will be a quiz… (okay, not really, but it sounded good, right?).

I have a few books in mind for my July line-up, but some of my reading will be in-the-moment choices. Gotta have that spontaneity in there sometimes, you know? Keeps you young, keeps you fresh (that’s what Grandma Choo-Choo always said, anyway). I hope you have some great reading ahead of you as well, y’all. Enjoy your Summer and… Happy Reading!!

What book(s) from your june reads would you recommend to others?

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Bookish Roundup – May, 2017

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Can you believe it is June, already? I won’t go on and on about how this year has gone sooo fast, but: it totally has, y’all. Just sayin’.

My reading speed wasn’t the best this month, but I think that may have been because I was reading some biiiig books. So, go easy on me, y’all. I can’t hit the 27 book mark every single month, much as I would like to. It’s all good, though, because did I read some doozies or what last month?! Oh, you will never know the joy I felt when I discovered Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series… Addicted. I am addicted to that series, I will tell you what. And had you ever asked me if I would be a YA Fantasy fan in the past, I would have laughed you right out of my life, let me tell you. It just goes to show… never say never.

Speaking of YA, I really hit the YA groove in May as well. Ten out of the 17 books I read were YA novels – and most of those were along the lines of the Fantasy genre. Wha-What???? What is happening to me?? I don’t know, y’all, but… I like it! I like it a lot! And I cannot get enough. Wait until you see my line-up for June’s Roundup – you’re gonna lose your minds!!

Anyhoo, let’s take a look at exactly what I did read in May:

So many of the books I read in May were simply amazing, I don’t even know where to begin. Books I could have done without in May – as in, book I wish I’d not read after all – might be easier to go over. I didn’t find a lot entertaining in The Paper Magician series; I found it to be kind of just filler reading – you know, entertaining enough to keep my mind busy, but not inventive enough to actually inspire interest or loyalty to the series or author. The First Husband and Lola fall under this category as well, however, Lola did have the possibility of becoming something really amazing – alas, the author just didn’t go that extra mile. Too bad, so sad. Everything else was aces, y’all, just aces. Can’t wait to get started with my June TBR and report back to you on that one – I have sooooo many good feelings about those books, y’all! With that thought, I am outta here and on my way to get my Summer read on – Happy Reading to all of you as well!!

What was your favorite May read? Do you have a special book on your summer tbr?

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Bookish Roundup, April 2017

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Oh. My. God. Y’all. Can you believe it is already May?? This year is zipping by so quickly and I don’t even know where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing while it has!! Oh, wait – reading. I’ve been reading. Maybe that’s why it’s all such a blur…

Well, one thing is for sure – I hopped on that YA literature train last month, and I haven’t really disembarked since then. Of the nineteen books I read in April, twelve of them were YA titles! Now, how’s that for a turnaround? The best thing about them was that I enjoyed every single one. Whoa. What? Did hell just freeze over? No, no, it’s okay, folks – I can admit when I’m wrong. And I was wrong. I’m saying it again for the second month in a row. But don’t expect to hear it again for a while, now!!

Let’s take a look at the fine, fine literature that captured my soul in April:

 

I love, love, loved both of the titles I read by Mindy McGinnis – they were each very different from the other, but each very good. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – well, what can I say? They were the best!! That was an enjoyable week of reading, fo sho. B.A. Paris’s newest thriller, The Breakdown (due out on June 20, 2017) was amazing! She has definitely established herself as a clever and talented weaver of the twisted psychological tale. The Divergent Trilogy proved to be a great read as well. “Wha-What?,” you ask. That’s a DYSTOPIAN YA series!! Yep. I caved. And I liked it. So there. And since I was breaking boundaries left and right, I dove right into the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness as well and – while the books drag on a teensy bit – it’s fairly entertaining, too!!

In review, April was a great month of bookish delights and discoveries. I broadened my horizons a bit – and liked it a lot! I’m so excited for May and all of the books I have already waiting, just for me… Before you get too engrossed in your own books, be sure to stop by and say hi at the Pathologically Literate Facebook Page (and maybe even at Goodreads, too)! Happy Reading, y’all!!

What bookish delights did you find this April?

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Bookish Roundup — March, 2017

March 2017 Roundup

Spring is here! And thank the Sweet Baby Jesus it came when it did! February is my least favorite month of the year, and things don’t tend to get much better for me until the end of March. And, folks, here we are at the finish line just movin’ right along into April!! I’m lovin’ it, I will tell you what. After my spectacular month of reading in January (27 books!!), I bottomed by reading only 14 books in February. Abysmal!! But don’t worry, everyone – I more than made up for it in March, reading a total of 23 books. I think we can safely say that I am back in the game again! Let’s take a look at March’s fine, fine literature…

Well, I did it, y’all. I finally did it. Yes, yes, I know I said it would never happen, but all of you fanatics finally just wore me down: in February, I read the entire Harry Potter series – in about a week’s time!! And… I adored it! That got me thinking about other books I’d banned, such as The Hunger Games Trilogy. Guess what – I loved them, too! Next on the list… why not add an entire GENRE to the mix? I dove in head first and read a total of 11 YA novels during the month of March! I believe that’s more than the total number of YA books I had read previously, ever! Now, I’m not saying that I’m going to become a die-hard YA fan or anything like that, but I will say that it’s not all necessarily the worthless twaddle I’d accused it of being in the past. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I’m so excited for April and the rest of Spring to follow – I’ve got soooo many great books waiting to be read, including a bunch of ARCs that are bound to be hits. I have big, big plans for this season – plans that include my front porch, my favorite chair, my Kindle Paperwhite, and a lot of fresh air and sunshine! Plans on the blog for April include the return of Library Love posts – because you can never give the library enough love, amiright? Have a great month, everyone. Go and get your read on, y’all!

What was your fave March read?

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My Bookish Resolutions for 2017

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It’s a new year, y’all, and time for a fresh start. Last year I set a precedent for myself when I shared My Bookish Resolutions for 2016 in the hope that it would make them more real to me, and thus more attainable – also, to create a little accountability for myself, thereby creating some motivation to actually reach those goals I was setting. How did that work out for me? Well, I wrote all about that last week in Reflections on My 2016 Bookish Resolutions – feel free to check out the post to see how things went.

In 2017 I plan to revisit some of last year’s goals as well as set some new ones for myself. I’ve chosen five main areas I want to work on. Let’s take a look at where I’m headed with this:

1.  Read a minimum of 175 books in 2017

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I originally set a goal of reading 150 books in 2016. Surprising myself, I far surpassed that goal, reading a total of 192 books! I’m upping the ante a bit this year and going for 175 books in the 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge. We are homeschooling high school this year so I didn’t want to aim much higher than that as I know we’re going to be busier than ever before. That said, I do plan to re-evaluate things in October to see where I am at with my reading totals and perhaps adjust my challenge goal at that time.

2. Read the Books I Own

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Based on the large number of books I’ve amassed on my Kindle Paperwhite (my preferred reading medium), one would imagine I would have no need to purchase any new books nor have any use for the public library. Not so, y’all. Not so at all. Despite my plans to the contrary, out of the 192 books I read in 2016, only a measly 29 of them were books that I personally owned. Pathetic, right? With renewed vigor, I am pledging to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks in 2017!! Now, this is more of a “you do you” reading “effort” versus a reading challenge hosted over at Estella’s Revenge. Once again, I’m not yet sure exactly how I’m going to approach this goal, but I am going to tackle and at the least significantly reduce this collection of books on my Kindle. I’m off to a decent start already, too – we’re only 1 1/2 weeks into January and out of the six books I’ve read so far, two of them have been books that belong to me. I’ll be totally pleased if that ratio were to continue throughout the year. Yay, me!

3. Create a Private Reading Log

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Now, as we all know, I track my reading on Goodreads; I also keep track of the books I read each year on Pinterest. What my bookish little heart really desires, however, is cold, hard data. The kind, my friend, that you can track and collect and evaluate and transform into… yes… that’s right… PIE CHARTS!! I found an excellent template for a private reading log right here that I’m going to be using. I did find another great one here, but decided the original template I’d found fit my uses better. Each template is editable once downloaded, of course, so should you, too, choose to do so there’s nothing stopping your data collecting little souls from customizing it to your heart’s content. This was a goal of mine for 2016 as well, which bombed spectacularly. It bombed so spectacularly, in fact, that I never even downloaded the template. OMG. So sad, amiright? 2017 is a different story, my friends. Not only did I download the template already, but I have customized it to my needs and have been keeping it updated with the books I have read so far (granted, that is only six books, but still…). I would say we are off to a great start, wouldn’t you? It’s only onward and upward from here, people. All I have to say is be prepared for some major pie chartage in January, 2018.

 

4. Read *More* More Diverse Books

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I’ve made it a goal of mine since the beginning of 2015 to read more books written by or about people of all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. The problem I came across in the previous two years is that I was simply not mindful enough about this. I thought about it, yes. I added plenty of books to my TBR list, yes. But when choosing the books I actually read, I just picked up whatever sounded good at the moment or whatever was available, and didn’t pay that much attention at the time as to whether or not the book I had just chosen was meeting the standards I had set for myself. I want the books I read to reflect the person I am and the values and beliefs I hold, and if that is the case then I must be more mindful when I’m in the moment of actually picking up my next book. In 2016, I read 37 books that fell under the category of diverse literature as defined above. In 2017, I would like to at least double that amount.

5. Pay More Attention to Pathologically Literate

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Once upon a time, I posted daily on this blog. Then, it was three times a week. Then, a few times a month. In 2016, it was more like a few times that year. That is not the vision I had for Pathologically Literate when I created it. I wanted a forum where I could gloat and enthuse about my love and passion for all things books and reading, where others could read and relate to those words and perhaps share some of their own thoughts on those subjects. I would like to get back to that. Now that we’re homeschooling high school, there is no way I have time to review every book I read the way I did once upon a time, but I do intend to do so more often. I also plan to write more about other bookish delights, as well homeschool life and other events in the Pathologically Literate household. Saddle up, y’all. Momma’s comin’ home!

2017 is going to be a year full of good reads, good writing, and good times. I can’t wait to get started, and I hope you will be here with me for the journey. Happy Reading in 2017, y’all!!

What are your reading goals for 2017?