2018 for Winter 2018


This was my first ever reading group and it was awesome.  I read so many amazing things and had a wonderful time writing some of my thoughts. Having a community of people doing the same was fun, I was surprised and interested in the frequency of spontaneous overlaps.

I reached the session target the week before last, but that hasn’t stopped me reading- if anything, it has made me hungry for more. I have already finished one book and begun another since I crossed the finish line, yet I hadn’t, except for in one small comment, acknowledged what I had done. In fact, acknowledging this seemingly small accomplishment is an accomplishment in itself. For too many years I have been undervaluing the things that I do and the meaning those things add to my life.

While I can’t say I wasn’t reading before this, I can honestly say I wasn’t reading enough, I wasn’t reading deliberately and I wasn’t as engaged with my reading beyond a single book at a time. This makes sense, except that approach leaves long gaps between books, gaps that can sometimes extend so long you can’t quite remember when you last picked up a book. Having a definitive goal in mind refocused my attention and my reading has flourished.

The opportunity to write a post about my reading was an enjoyable exercise in distilling my thoughts about a book- but specifically, my engagement with the book to an audience who were also busy engaging in similar ways. What a gift. One of the  sidelines of participating in the Winter Session was that it gave me a good opportunity to clear off my bookshelf by 6 books- 4 valuable inches! Oh the wonder. As I mentioned earlier in the session, I wasn’t sure I would actually read all the books I stacked up- and that ended up being true- but it wasn’t because I just didn’t get around to it. My decisions were deliberate and my edits were well thought out. Some, once begun became apparent that they would be a waste of time because I had originally misjudged the book (my bookshelf gained a full inch from that).  And I am happily hitting my teenage challenge target of 1 book a week. It’s honestly time to give kudos to past me- and bring some of her healthy habits into the present.

So what did I read?

  1. House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday 221 pages
  2. Parkinson’s Law by Northcote Parkinson 113 pages
  3. What to do when it’s your turn by Seth Godin (90 pages of this book)
  4. What do I say Next? by Susan RoAne 256 pages
  5. Raising our children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort 250 pages
  6. Ruby by Cynthia Bond 336 pages
  7. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf 128 pages
  8. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg 172 pages
  9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 553 pages
  10. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks 272 pages

Audio book 

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair 475 pages

Chapters and articles (worth mentioning)

Black is Good by Stokely Carmichael in American Cultural Studies: A reader

Literature as a Weapon in the Colonization of the American Indian by Vinc Deloria, Jr. inAmerican Cultural Studies: A reader

Do you struggle with Trump Fatigue? By Manika Boverlein and Clara Jeffery in Mother Jobes Jan+Feb 2018

Reconstructing the Errors from Television History by Marcus Harmes

Race, Marriage, Markets, choice, and some Reflections in Is Marriage for White People? by Perry Twila L. in Gender Law and Policy Fall 2015

What  a 19th Century German Pessimist can teach us about getting through a midlife crisis by Kieran Setiya Feb 2018

Queens in Exile, the Forgotten Ones by Sylvia Rivera.


7 comments on “2018 for Winter 2018”

  1. What a lovely post, all the way around! I appreciate the time you took to give us this insight into your experience, and it’s great seeing everything you have read in one place. You’ve made me realize that I should have written down the titles of the articles I read in The New Yorker; I just made note of the number of pages. But I haven’t yet forgotten “Home Invasion: Infiltrating residences and decimating crops, the stinkbug keeps spreading.” A true-life horror story. Now I’m on the lookout for brown marmorated stinkbugs in my neighborhood or, worse, in my house.

    Congrats for doing so very well in the Reading Challenge–and for giving yourself due credit!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Terri. Your comments always make me feel good.
      I’m concerned about those stink bugs don’t tell me any more about it, I read an article about bed bugs and hotels last month I didn’t think it was worth writing down because when would I ever be writing about bed bugs? Yet, here we are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha ha! Bedbugs are a dramatic subject for writing. I know what you mean about the dangers of knowing too much about these space invaders. I had read about bedbugs before my spousal unit and I made a trip to NYC years ago. On departure day, we stepped outside the hotel to get a taxi to the airport and what was going happening on the sidewalk? There was a giant inflatable bedbug (where does one obtain these?) with people carrying signs disparaging the hotel beneath it. My skin crawled. Before I’d let aforesaid spousal unit enter the house from the garage (the doors were down) I insisted that we both strip down to our birthday suits. Never had done that before. Later, a little internet searching revealed that hotel employees were in a dispute with ownership and they had decided this was a good way to get ownership’s attention. And that, I hope, is the closest I ever get to a bedbug.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Ironically it was Borkali that told me about bed bugs I think. Then
        Iwas trained to inspect the hotel beds as soon as I entered the room, luggage always on the luggage rack never the bed. We don’t have them in my country, it’s just part of a fun ditty you say to children when you put them to sleep.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. So glad to have you here Kate ! It feels like you and Teri have both been here much longer 🙂 looking forward to Open Arts for spring time – more on this later


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