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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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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Our Summer Schedule

our summer schedule clock

 Source: blue2likeyou

Every summer, I promise myself that I will create a very specific routine for The Boy to follow so we can avoid chaos and eventual mutiny in the Pathologically Literate Household. And every summer, while we follow some semblance of a routine, I never quite attain the level of structure I had hoped for. This year, this year is going to be different! Failure is not an option.

I had a few requirements for the routine I was creating. One goal that was important was to train The Boy to take more responsibility for his surroundings. He’s kind of one of those kids who leaves a trail of mess in his wake no matter where he goes (kind of like his Mama). He now has to complete a Daily Chore (which changes each day), and we have instituted three daily Two-Minute Tidies. I will tell you what – the Two-Minute Tidy is a miracle. A miracle! We generate an ungodly amount of clutter in our house, but since starting this practice things now stay nice and tidy all day long. It is soooo nice. We’ve only been doing it in our main living areas so far; once it’s more of a habit we will turn it into a Ten-Minute Tidy and hit the whole house. I haven’t informed The Boy of this development yet, however. This is strictly on a need to know basis…

A second must for the routine was Reading Time, of course – since it’s summertime, I increase the time The Boy is required to read each day. Instead of one 30-minute Reading Time, we have two of them, totaling a minimum of 60 minutes of daily reading for him. Studies show that the more a child reads over the summer, the more he/she will retain what he/she learned over the past school year. Some children can lose over 70% of what they learned during the school year over the summer months if they don’t work to combat this loss.

Another part of our daily routine that we do together is meditation. The Boy has Tourette Syndrome and anxiety issues, and in the past has suffered from depression because of this. Multiple studies have shown that meditating for even just twelve minutes a day can have a hugely positive effect on depression and anxiety issues, as well as your general health and state of mind. We fit in around ten to fifteen minutes a day. We use a few different methods, and even play a couple of meditative “games” to mix things up a bit.

Anyway, I worked it all out and entered the information on a chart. Here’s a look at what I came up with; this is what we do each day:

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I found this nifty little free printable chore chart online at imom.com. You can download it in color or black and white, and as a customizable PDF, which is what I did. It’s helpful to have our schedule on display, and The Boy really likes being able to check off each task or activity as it’s completed – it gives him a real sense of accomplishment, which is great for his self-esteem; things like that are relevant whether a child is a tween or a toddler. So far we’ve been following this schedule for nearly a week, and it’s been going great!

Well, my friends, that was a look at our summer schedule. It’s not for everyone, but it’s good enough for most. Hopefully I gave you a few ideas for your own summer routine. Have a great summer!

Do you have a summer routine? Do you just go with the flow? Share your family’s way of handling summer vacation…