Showing posts with label monthly recap. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monthly recap. Show all posts

Sunday, November 2, 2014

BOO! October 2014 in Review

This recap will be short and sweet, because life is just crazy up in here lately.  First, sadly, my aunt passed away on the 31st after a long battle with cancer.  This is obviously very upsetting for our family, and we are in the midst of figuring out all the arrangements, so I may be MIA a bit around here (as I'm sure you understand).

Also crazy for good reasons though.  Of course, Halloween came and went, which was much fun for our kiddos, especially Small Fry.  It's fun to see how trick or treating has progressed with him over the years.  At age 3, he is really starting to get into it, and he had a blast going door to door that night.  I had a blast too, especially when he got to the house giving out full size Snickers bars.  Because that's probably a little too much sugar for a three year old, right?  So Mommy and Daddy might just have to confiscate that...
The firefighter puts out the fires that the dragon starts, of course.
Anyway, let's talk reading!

In October I read 5 books:
Larger Than Life by Jodi Picoult
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Man V. Nature by Diane Cook
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

In addition, we did a little Six Degrees of Separation with 1984, and I gave two thumbs way up to the Gone Girl movie.

November is now upon us, and I am SUPER PUMPED for Nonfiction November!  Post about that coming tomorrow.  Definitely going to get my nonfic groove on this month.

How was your October, friends?  Any fun Halloween costumes to share?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Back in the groove! September 2014 in Review

September, a banner month!  On the home front, it was good times for so many reasons.

1. Our 7th wedding anniversary...which was celebrated with a dinner out BY OURSELVES!  No kids!  At a not-very-kid-friendly restaurant!  It was amazing!  We ate too much and drank too much responsibly (we did have to parent when we got home) and just generally enjoyed each other's company.  It was wonderful.

2. My 31st birthday, which was celebrated with a dinner out as well, though this was with the kiddos and involved eating my weight in hamburger meat at Red Robin and listening to Small Fry sing to me.  Also wonderful!

3. Finishing my half marathon, which as you well know by now, was quite the saga, but I am rather proud of myself and licking my wounds more quietly.  :)

Plus, I feel like I made a bit of a comeback around here, which is exciting.

In September I read 5 books:
The Three by Sarah Lotz
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
The Blonde by Anna Godbersen
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous (which included a celebration of Banned Books Week!)
The Memory of Love by Linda Olsson

In addition, I did a new Small Fry Saturday review for My Bus by Byron Barton.

I also talked about my issues with e-books vs paper (the struggle is real), and told you about my new tattoo and love for Jodi Picoult (though those two things are not related, which is probably a win for Jodi Picoult).

As I mentioned earlier this week, I'm hoping for some spooky reads in October, plus possibly snagging a copy of Picoult's Leaving Time, and I do have one TLC Book Tour coming up as well.  I know, I took the whole summer off!  But it will be nice to review some new releases again.

How is fall treating you, friends?  Are you pro- or anti- the pumpkin spice craze?  (Personally, I think the Pumpkin Spice Oreo is an insult to humanity.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

August 2014 in Review

Ah, September.  That means 2 things:

1. Summer is nearly over, but that's okay because
2. September is my birthday and our wedding anniversary.  Woohoo!

Yes indeed, September is one of my very favorite months.  Not only for the two reasons listed above, but because I do love the onset of fall.  Cuz let's face it: warm weather is awesome, but sometimes it's nice when the weather gets cooler, you can wear jeans, and you don't have to shave your legs every five seconds. #realtalk

This summer has been pretty great though.  We went to our friends' camp in the Adirondacks a couple weeks ago with the kids, and it was a blast.  Bonfires, smores, kayaking, fishing, boat rides on the lake...YES PLEASE.  It was an awesome way to cap off a summer full of outdoorsy goodness.
Kayaking with mah boy
Plus, I somehow managed to be more present on the blog!  Let's recap August...

In August I read 3 books:
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

I also talked about books that I kinda sorta don't want to read, and celebrated my 2 year blogoversary.  WOOP.

September will be crazy, because Small Fry is starting preschool (somebody get me my fainting couch), I have the two super-fun "holidays" that I mentioned above, and I'm running my half marathon.  (Related: if there are no posts here after September 21st, please begin a search for my sore, creaky-kneed body somewhere on the half marathon race course.)  All joking aside though, I'm pretty stoked for it.  Stay tuned for a race report!

Bookishly, I'm planning to read my next TBR Book Baggie pick (Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen), and...I have no idea what else.  Isn't that lovely??  Perhaps I'll attack something on my 30 before 35 list...it's in need of some attention.

How was your summer, friends?  What's up next on your reading list?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

July 2014 in Review

Wow, I posted 3 times in the month of July.  Ouch!!  Ah well, you know my story these days, I won't repeat it.  But lots of fun is being had in the Redhead household this summer, and needless to say, I've been outside playing with the kiddos a lot more than I've been inside blogging!  We did a little family vacation last week, had several beach/pool days, many zoo/museum/park trips, and also celebrated Small Fry's 3rd birthday.
When did this happen?  Le sigh.
I've also continued my half marathon training...which is getting JUST A TAD more difficult as time goes on...but I'm impressed with myself!  I did a 7 miler yesterday, which is the longest I've run since 2008 (wowza).  Mileage is getting up there, but so far my knees haven't exploded, so I'm doing well.

Anyways, even though it was a light month, let's recap book activities in July...

In July I read 2 books:
Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet
The One and Only by Emily Giffin (review coming soon!)

I also jumped into the Six Degrees of Separation meme, which I would love to do again soon.  Anyone know what the August book is?

I know I said I was going to finish Gone With The Wind last month, but I'm still working on it!  About 200 pages to go.  I WILL finish it this month.  It's been worth the wait though, trust me.  Beyond that, I'm looking forward to finally getting a chance to read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart...I've heard so many amazing things about that book already!

What are you reading these days, friends??

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lazy Summer Days...June 2014 in Review

Yes, things have been quite quiet around here for the last month.  Don't fret, I'm still here!  But after I stepped back from all of my ARCs, I decided to slow myself down (WAY down) with a chunkster I've been meaning to read for ages--Gone With The Wind!  And it's awesome!  It's also 1000+ pages, so I'm really taking my time with it.  This explains my lack of reviews around here.  However, it has been great to step back and lazily read one very long book, without any others pressing in with review deadlines.  I haven't done that since I started the blog almost two years ago, and I think I need to do it more often!  Very refreshing.  I highly recommend.

In non-book news, this month was a lot of fun.  Tons of outdoor time with my boys, a trip to Pennsylvania to visit my extended family, strawberry picking, Tater Tot turned 6 months old (WHAT?), and we even did a day trip to the beach.  Kind of.  Because growing up in New England, I'm rather a beach snob and find myself unable to really call the sand along Lake Ontario a "beach".  HA.
Our little crew picking "straw bee-dees" (according to Small Fry) last weekend
Also, I did start my half marathon training yesterday morning with an easy 3-miler.  Today was 4 miles.  I think my long run this weekend is supposed to be 5 miles, which will be the longest I've run in about 2 years.  YIKES.  Let the games begin!

Anyways, even though it was a light month, let's recap book activities in June...

In June I read/reviewed 4 books:
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
The Hollow Ground by Natalie S. Harnett
The 3-Day Reset by Pooja Mottl

We also discussed the relative merits of book shaming, which got some pretty interesting comments.  Thanks for chatting with me, friends!

This month, I'm looking forward to finishing GWTW, and then moving into some suspenseful summer reads (namely Save Yourself by Kelly Braffett...tempting me currently from my nightstand!).  Also, this is the halfway point of the year, and I'm looking rather despairingly at my 2014 TBR Challenge.  Yeah, not going well again!  Guess I better get on that...

What's on your summer reading list??

Thursday, June 5, 2014

May 2014 in Review

Howdy, reader friends!  And welcome to June.  I can feel summer in the air!  And because I am the parent of a toddler, that only reminds me of one thing!
Because Frozen rules my life.
But, in addition to listening to Small Fry use his "deep voice" to sing In Summer to me 10 times a day, I am also looking forward to some reading in the sunshine.  Ahhhhh.

Let's recap May!

In May I read/reviewed 5 books:
One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro
Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
Glass by Ellen Hopkins
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I also gave you a teaser for my upcoming review of Pooja Mottl's The 3-Day Reset, and I managed my one non-review post of the month when I recapped my fabulous day at the Rochester Teen Book Festival.

Making time to write that one non-review post for the month was tough, but fun to do.  It's nice to get out of the review cycle sometimes.  I wanted to do the 6 Degrees of Separation meme that several people suggested to me, but didn't have time.  Maybe for June?  Does anyone know the book this month?

One other book-related change of note: I am on a temporary hiatus from all ARC reviews, including those with TLC Book Tours.  As much as I love TLC, I am reading at a really slow pace (for me) these days, and it's making it hard to get my reviews posted on time.  I want to at least take the next few months off from ARCs, so that I can use the summer to just read books from my own TBR.  You know, the thing I said I was going to do at the beginning of the year??  Yeah, I want to actually do that.  And now that my half marathon training is starting soon (June 30th!  ACK), I want my bloggy stuff to be really low-pressure for a while.

So let's go enjoy summer!!

Got any great warm-weather plans coming up, my friends??

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April 2014 in Review (and new blog goal!)

This was more relevant yesterday, but it's my favorite internet meme in the history of ever, so...

Happy May, my friends!  Such craziness around these parts last month.  April started out with a trip to Florida to celebrate my stepbrother's wedding.  We had an awesomesauce time, and Small Fry MAY have set the record for cutest ringbearer in the history of ringbearers.
WHO TOLD HIM TO PUT HIS HAND IN HIS POCKET?  Nobody. What a smooth operator, this one.
Then we came home, and it was the best of times (some 80 degree days, Tater Tot's first Easter, Small Fry's first time flying a kite) and the worst of times (I got the worst.headcold.ever, and then Small Fry got it too. Oy).

Also, I registered to run a half marathon in September.  WHAT?  I know, I have been possessed by a demon.  I have to admit I am pretty excited about it though.  I'm going to start seriously training at the end of June.  EEEEKKKK.

OH, and we bought a minivan.  We pick it up today.  I am officially a MOM now!!!
Swagger.
Anyway, to recap bookish stuff: In April I read/reviewed 5 books:
The Martian by Andy Weir
Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke
Croak by Gina Damico
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Driving Lessons by Zoe Fishman

And that was it.

The fact that "that was it" leads me to my new blog goal.  I know I have been totally time-strapped lately, and cutting back on blogging has been a necessity.  BUT, I do miss it.  I miss posting things other than reviews, I miss commenting on other blogs, etc.  So I'm setting a small goal for myself: each month, I will write at least ONE substantive post that is not a book review.  A musing on something book related, a Top Ten Tuesday, SOMETHING.  I think it will help me stay excited about my little blog space here...and also keep you all from being bored to tears too.

So, any suggestions for May's non-review post?  I know you're just dying to hear me wax poetic about something!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March 2014 in Review...

Hello, lovely reader friends!  Time for my monthly wrap-up already.  2014 is already 25% over and totally FLYING by.

As you probably noticed, I really only posted book reviews this month, and not too much else.  I have come to the conclusion that time management will just not be my forte for a LONG time...because even though Tater Tot is getting into more of a routine (helpful!), he is getting busy busy busy.  Which is a lot of fun, but you know, busy.  And Small Fry continues to happily run circles around  me (even managed to dislocate an elbow this month...oh THAT was fun!  Slow down, child!!).
Holding up his arm in triumph after the doc popped his elbow back into place.  Trust me, there had not been smiles for MANY HOURS before this!  Oy.
What it really comes down to is this: most days, I have time to read OR blog.  Not both.  And reading generally wins.

So my plan for now is to mostly focus on book reviews.  I AM still reading, and I love to share my reviews (that's the reason I got into this in the first place, right??).  So at a minimum, I will keep up with that.  When I can do more, I will.  I have a long-term goal of *hopefully* participating in the fall Bloggiesta in September, and perhaps I can make that my turning point.  :)

Anyway, to recap: In March I read/reviewed 5 books:
Above by Isla Morley
Sous Chef by Michael Gibney
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Two Sisters by Mary Hogan
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

And, I talked about my brief bookstore side-trip to Strand in NYC (heaven!).

Last month, I focused way-heavy on ARCs...how did I end up with so many after saying I was taking a break from them??  Part of this is because, as you may remember, my next TBR book baggie pick was Gone With the Wind, and truth be told...I am intimidated.  So many pages!  So much hype!  My challenge for April is to at least start it.  I CAN DO EEEET!

Oh, and in other news, I am leaving for sunny Florida for a few days, as my stepbrother is getting married this weekend.  WOOHOO!!  Looking forward to our first plane trip with the boys.  Very excited to celebrate with family...and experience weather above 50 degrees!!  Probably not much reading to be done on this trip, but who knows...maybe traveling will tire out my two little buggers?  Extra nap time?  :)

How was your March, reader friends?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Sunday Post #2: February in Review

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  It's a chance for book bloggers to share what's going on with them this week, any new book-related news, etc.  This week, I'm combining this with my monthly wrap-up for February.

Guys, GUESS WHAT I AM DOING RIGHT NOW.

That's right.  I'm in a Starbucks, drinking coffee, reading my Kindle, and blogging.  ALL BY MYSELF.  (I mean, mostly by myself.  There's a real pompous windbag here (you can see his jeans over the corner of my laptop, hi annoying dude!) who's been going off about Obama and socialism for the last 45 minutes, but whatever, you know what I mean.  ALL BY MYSELF!  And I'm going to the mall after this!  ALL BY MYSELF!!  My awesome husband kicked me out this morning and offered to have a "boys day" with Small Fry and Tater Tot so that I could have some much-needed alone time, and my God, IT IS GLORIOUS.

(As I'm typing this, Pompous Windbag just left, so the day is getting EVEN BETTER.  I WILL ILLUSTRATE THIS BY USING MORE CAPS LOCK.)

Well, as you can see, I don't get out much these days.  :)  But life is good here in Well-Read Redhead land.  We had a bit of a hiccup early in February, when Tater Tot got a cold and then suddenly ran a huge fever and was rewarded with 48 hours in the hospital (ugh), but otherwise, I feel like I'm getting the hang of this whole mother-of-two thing.  I also started running again, which has been great (ALMOST fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans) and I'm really looking forward to the weather breaking so that I can ditch the treadmill and enjoy the great outdoors.  Bring on SPRING!

In book-related stuff: I read/reviewed 4 books:
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Queen of the Night by J.A. Jance
The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
Blaze by Richard Bachman

I also did a Small-Fry Saturday with Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, participated in the Literary Blog Hop, and talked about my love for short-and-sweet novels.

Coming up in March...I only have 1 book tour scheduled.  Otherwise, I have a couple ARCs that I can't wait to get to (seriously, didn't I say I was going to read fewer of them this year?  I have a problem), and I'm planning to start Gone With The Wind as my next TBR Book Baggie pick.  I'm also trying to make my way through some of the books I bought for the Rochester Teen Book Festival, coming up soon in May!  I am taking a long (LONG) road trip for my friend Liz's bridal shower next weekend, so I'm looking forward to getting lots of audiobook reading done then as well.

How was your February, reader friends?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

January 2014 wrap-up

Pretty short recap this month!  Busy with these two crazy faces:
Sorry I look drunk here.  My drunk face and my tired face are very similar.  I don't condone drinking while parenting.  Except maybe in extreme cases...?
I'd say those are two very nice reasons for being MIA, wouldn't you?  :)  It also doesn't help that I decided to jump into 2014 with a nice 800-page chunkster (review coming this week!), so I'm hoping for more frequent review posts here soon.

I only read 2 books in January!
The Stork Reality by Malena Lott, and
What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell.

I don't think it's fair to do a best/worst book of the month when I've only read two, but...I really loved one of them, and thought the other one was just meh, so you figure it out.

On the horizon for February: my first review from my TBR Book Baggie, some bookish love, and a fun giveaway.  Also, maybe temperatures above -10 so I can start going for outdoor runs?  Whatchoo think, Mother Nature?

Stay warm, mah babies!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Final Countdown: November 2013 in Review

IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!  (**cue cheesy synthesizer music**)

That's right, my darlings--only 21 days until Tater Tot's due date.  I can hardly believe it.  (Never mind, I can totally believe it, because I am the size of a house.)  Most moments, I'm ready and super psyched for him to make his debut.  A few other moments, I'm like, "OMG WHAT DID WE DO?  AM I REALLY READY TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR 2 TINY HUMANS?"  And then I LOL and figure that ship has long sailed, so panic time is over and I am back to being super psyched.

Fair warning that I will probably go MIA for quite some time after Mr. TT arrives.  Though of course, I will try to at least pop on here and let you know that he HAS arrived.  But afterwards, I'll be going pretty light on the reading until things calm down around here.  I hope you will bear with me during my book blog "maternity leave"!  I plan to get back in the game as soon as I can, though I'm guessing it won't be for a month or two, we shall see.  I do know that I have my trusty Kindle Paperwhite to help me through those 2am feedings, so that should help me along.  :)

For now, I am trying to devour any reading that I can find the time for, while at the same time, devouring all the food in my fridge, since I only have about 21 more days in my life where this will be socially and gastronomically acceptable.
Me and Giant Tater Tot, rocking out in the Thanksgiving snow
Anyway, how was the reading this month?

I am going to do my fave/least fave picks, because I always do, but they really don't feel very fair this month, because all 6 of the books I read were good!  So the "least fave" is definitely not a bad book...it's just #6 on a list of enjoyable books I read this month.  Capiche?

November 2013 Favorite Book: The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle
November 2013 Least Favorite (but still good) Book: The Preservationist by Justin Kramon

In total, I read/reviewed 6 books:

The Preservationist by Justin Kramon
The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio
Buying In by Laura Hemphill
The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok

Otherwise, I volunteered at the Rochester Children's Book Festival, and did a Small Fry Saturday post for How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen.


Posts you can (hopefully) look forward to before this giant baby arrives: 
-my "Best Books of 2013" list, 
-a review of my 2013 resolutions (as well as a list of my new ones for 2014), and 
-a wrap-up of all the crazy reading challenges I signed up for this year.  

What do you think, Tater Tot?  Can you stay all up in my belly until I get that stuff written?

Friday, November 1, 2013

October 2013 in Review!

Happy NOVEMBER, readers!

October has flown by in the blink of an eye.  We are pretty much all settled into our house, and have now been working on projects like painting the baby's room, hanging pictures on the walls, and staring disdainfully at the last 3-4 boxes that need to be unpacked.  (Isn't it ALWAYS the case that there's 3-4 boxes of stuff that you're like...why do I even OWN this?  WHO NEEDS 50 PICTURE FRAMES?)

Stay-at-home mom life has been great.  Small Fry and I have found tons of stuff to do; there is never a boring day around here, that's fo' sho'.  I am so happy that I'm getting this time with him alone before the baby as well.  He keeps me VERY busy.  :)  And, I can't believe that I can now say Tater Tot is due NEXT month.  That's insanity.  Part of me just wants the baby to get here already, while the other part of me is freaking out because THERE'S TOO MUCH TO DO!  Isn't that always the way...

In other news, my brother did get married last month (as I mentioned), and he had an absolutely fabulous wedding day.  Much fun was had by all, his bride was gorgeous, and Small Fry was a very flippin' adorable ring bearer.  Driving 8 hours each way while 30 weeks pregnant is not on my list of things to do again, but in this case, it was worthsies.
Wedding time for me, Small Fry, the Hubs, and Tater Tot (hiding in my ginormous belly)
Anyway, how was the reading this month?

The October 2013 Fave/Least Fave picks were tough, because I really had three AWESOME reads that I couldn't decide between, but in the end:

October 2013 Favorite: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
October 2013 Least Favorite: The Stranger You Know by Andrea Kane

In total, I read/reviewed 5 books:

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
The Stranger You Know by Andrea Kane
We Are Water by Wally Lamb
The Dinner by Herman Koch

Otherwise, I gave my thoughts on the World War Z movie, and we talked about my inappropriate internet search habits.


Oh and also, I FINISHED my Goodreads goal of reading at least 60 books this year!  WOOOOOO!  Savor that, because when this baby shows, methinks 2014 won't see nearly so much reading.  Le sigh...

I hope you all have a great November!  I am really stoked for Thanksgiving this year, as we are hosting and it will be tons o' fun to have our whole family at the new house with us for a few days.  Hope all my other (American) friends have big turkey day plans on the horizon as well!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Moved In! September 2013 in Review

Another busy month around these parts!  Obviously my posting frequency has gone down lately, but I am happy to report that we are fully moved into our new home...PHEW!!  We are still busy with unpacking the last few boxes, making endless trips to Home Depot, and wishing we had a box spring (our queen size box spring didn't fit up the stairs...therefore, I have been sleeping on a mattress on the floor for the last 3 weeks as we await our new one...fun!), but overall the move went well and I am looking forward to getting into a routine around here.

We did have lots of exciting milestones this month too.  The Hubs and I celebrated our 6-year anniversary, though it landed smack on moving day, so it was mostly celebrated by unloading boxes and sweating too much.  Still, a great day:

I also had my 30th birthday (as you know), and I hit the third trimester of this crazy pregnancy!  Time is flying and I can't believe I have less than 3 months til Tater Tot arrives.  EEK!!  Here's an update on my growing bump for ya...this was taken when we went out to dinner for my birthday (27ish weeks), and I feel the moving boxes as background are very appropriate:

Otherwise, I have been trying to fit in all the reading I can with my new birthday gift, a Kindle Paperwhite (thanks Mom!).  I am pretty much in lurve with it, madly and deeply.

Anyway, how was the reading this month?

The September 2013 Fave/Least Fave picks go to:

September 2013 Favorite: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
September 2013 Least Favorite: Help for the Haunted by John Searles

In total, I read/reviewed 6 books:

Early Decision by Lacy Crawford
The Shining by Stephen King
Why Have Kids? by Jessica Valenti
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
Help for the Haunted by John Searles

Otherwise, I celebrated my favorite books of love, and created my "30 Books to Read by 35" list (kinda) in honor of my epic birthday.


Now, on to October!  Month of fall and pumpkins and PSLs and way too many apples!  (Seriously, we went apple picking last weekend and I have a bushel of them, so send me all your apple recipes before I develop a fruit fly problem.)  Enjoy your month, reader friends!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

From the Land of Gas Leaks and Broken Ovens: August 2013 in Review

Oy vey, August has already managed to come and go.  Though I did have a few fun posts, I also had a record low number of posts for the month (only 12! Ouch).  Fitting, I suppose, given the chaos of our recent and upcoming moves.

I mentioned previously about some of the struggles we had with our temporary rental, the list of which has grown to include the 4 (fixed) natural gas leaks, a broken oven, 2 broken dishwashers, an immovable, enormous fire pit in our backyard full of broken glass, a burst pipe, and neighbors who have had a few too many visits from the local police force for my liking.

HOWEVER, I am happy to report that we will be officially moving to our (forever?) home starting September 14, less than 2 short weeks from now.  Oh, how I count the very minutes.  YOU CAN'T IMAGINE.  (For any new followers getting lost in this story, feel free to read back here and catch up a bit.)

September is also going to be crazy-slash-awesome because it is mine and Hubster's 6th wedding anniversary, the start of my third trimester, AND my 30th birthday (of which I am not scared in the least, thankyouverymuch).  Plus, you know, autumn and all the greatness that is apple picking, pumpkin spice lattes (decaf...sigh), and cooler weather (especially for this sweaty preggo. What I would give for a 65-degree day).

(Oh, and in book news, don't forget that Stephen King's Doctor Sleep comes out September 24...which is, OF COURSE, my birthday...and I've already preordered it and will be staring at my Kindle at midnight to watch it download.)

ANYWAY.  That's this month.  Let's recap a bit of last month.

The August 2013 Fave/Least Fave picks go to:

August 2013 Favorite: The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison
August 2013 Least Favorite: Race Across the Sky by Derek Sherman

In total, I read/reviewed 5 books:
The Never List by Koethi Zan

Race Across the Sky by Derek Sherman
The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison
Hungry by Darlene Barnes

Otherwise, I was admittedly a bit absent, but I did reveal that Tater Tot is going to be a boy, and we went back to 1990 to reminisce about pen pals.


So, there's August...bring on September and all the chaos that shall ensue!  (I promise my months will get uneventful again soon, maybe in October?  Well, at least until this baby arrives.  

Nevermind, I make no promises.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Surprise and A Sorry: July 2013 in Review

What a month July has been!  To recap...I will start with the "surprise" part of my post title.

Last week was our appointment to find out if Tater Tot (hereby the official blog name of baby #2) is a boy or a girl.  We didn't find out before Small Fry was born, so it was kind of exciting to get the reveal this early.  ALL of our friends and family were predicting girl.  And guess what?

All of our friends and family are terrible guessers.

Tater Tot is a BOY!  Woohoo!  Here comes a little brother for Small Fry!  Somebody break out the first aid kits, I'm going to need them with all these little men in my life!
Don't worry, I'm not posting the picture of his "goods".  I am not THAT mom.
Beyond that, our lives have been filled with getting ready to MOVE.  Our official move date to the temporary rental house is this coming Monday.  EEEEKKKK.  Most of my life is in boxes right now.  But hopefully by mid-next-week we will be somewhat settled into our temporary residence.

The "sorry" is for how spotty my posting will probably be during the next few weeks.  We have next week's move, and then we'll be spending lots of time getting settled and figuring out our new neighborhood/town.  I will be charging into my new adventure as a stay-at-home-mom.  And, by the end of the month, we will be preparing for our second (and FINAL) move into the new house, in September.  Don't worry, I do have some reviews lined up, but I just might not be very comment-respondy or Twitter-chatty.  I will let you know when life returns to normal though!

Onward to the July reading!

The July 2013 Fave/Least Fave choices are deceiving this month, because I can't say I disliked any of the books I read...I just liked some more than others.  So my "least fave" shouldn't be read as being a "bad" novel, capiche?

June 2013 Favorite: Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel
June 2013 Least Favorite: A Woman in Jerusalem by A.B. Yehoshua

In total, I read/reviewed 6 books:
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Joyland by Stephen King
July 7th by Jill McCorkle
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
A Woman in Jerusalem by A.B. Yehoshua
Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel

I also posted 2 new Small Fry Saturday Reviews of On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman, and Roadwork by Sally Sutton.

In addition, we chatted about my biggest reading pet peeve, things that make me tell a book to talk to the hand, and the generalized chaos in my life.

So here comes August...month of moving.  AND ALSO...my 1-year Blogoversary!!  Stay tuned for that, I will definitely have a fun giveaway lined up.

Have a great month, readers!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Total Chaos: June 2013 in Review

First of all, HAPPY 4TH OF JULY to all my fellow Americans!  Exert your freedoms and do lots of lazy reading today!  (While eating too many hot dogs, of course.)
Mmmm,  bacon.
Well, as you can tell from all the excitement around here lately, June was totes chaos for the Well-Read Redhead and family.  June 3 my husband accepted his job offer, and since then we have put our house on the market, had our house flood, sold the house anyway, passed the home inspection, bought a new house, gone on vacation, put in my notice at work (last day August 1), continued to keep growing this baby in my stomach, and...I don't even know what else.  I'm sure there's something else.  I can't even keep track anymore.
The Best Big Bro on vacation last month
And yet, somehow I managed to read!  Reading is a very normal part of my everyday life, but in this particular case, I'm doing some back-patting to celebrate my efforts for the month.

The June 2013 Fave/Least Fave honors were hard to choose this month, but they go to:

June 2013 Favorite: Cooked by Michael Pollan
June 2013 Least Favorite: Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

In total, I read/reviewed 5 books:
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Cooked by Michael Pollan
Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
Everybody Has Everything by Katrina Onstad

I also posted one new Small Fry Saturday Review of The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown.

In addition, we chatted about how much I sucked at Armchair BEA, you all got to enjoy The Well-Read Vacay (with awesome guest posts!: Shannon, Cari, Katie, and Jennifer), I actually finished two reading challenges, and I shared two important items of personal news (one and two).

I have another busy month ahead, as I finish up at work and we pack up all our belongings to get ready for our current house to close on August 8.  Then we have to move into a temporary rental until mid-September, when our new house closes.  Eek!!  Not to mention that Small Fry's 2nd birthday is this weekend, and on the 25th we find out if baby #2 is a boy or a girl.  If I can finish at least 5 books again this month, I get more back-pats for my efforts.  I demand it.

Have a great month, readers!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Big NEWS, and May 2013 In Review

There is a reason May rhymes with cray.  CUZ THAT MONTH WAS CRAY CRAY, Y'ALL.  As I alluded to earlier this week, I have two big pieces of news to share, and the time has come to grace you with one of them.

The Well-Read Redhead (and family) are moving!  

And not only are we moving...but I am taking on a new and much-wanted job title: CEO of Domestic Affairs.  (Stay at home momma, to the layperson.)  

HOLY CRAP CRACKERS.

My husband applied for a really great job a couple of months ago, but we didn't have our hopes up for it even a little.  Two months and many interviews later, he was offered the position.  Needless to say, our shock was GREAT.  However, shock was immediately replaced by excitement (great career step!  Kelly gets to stay home!) and also terror (we have to sell our house!  We have to buy a new one!  IN LESS THAN 2 MONTHS!  Please kill me).  But mostly excitement.
Jessie Spano, so wise.
The offer happened during Armchair BEA, so this greatly explains my absence at that time.  We are now steeped in the mucky muck of the home buying/selling process, among all the other wonderful things that come with moving 4 hours away to a town you know nothing about.  Chaos for sure, but we are really psyched about this opportunity, both for my husband and for our family as a whole.

(In related news, any book bloggers in the greater Rochester, NY area?  I need friends!  I promise I'm not (too) weird.  Maybe.)

So, that is Part 1 of my news.  Part 2 is forthcoming...soon.  (Suspense, I HAZ IT.)

Onward to May in review (book-wise).  First, as always, a photo depicting the month.  Despite all the insanity, Small Fry and I also took heavy advantage of the summer-like weather.
Small Fry at the water table, Mom in the kiddie pool, everyone's happy.
Now, the book-related goodness!

The May 2013 Fave/Least Fave honors go to:

May 2013 Favorite: The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan
May 2013 Least Favorite: Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline

In total, I read/reviewed 7 books:
Frozen In Time by Mitchell Zuckoff
The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan
The Midwife's Revolt by Jodi Daynard
Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline
The Bridge of Years by May Sarton
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert
Mama's Child by Joan Steinau Lester

I also posted one new Small Fry Saturday Review of Does A Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? by Eric Carle.

I didn't do a lot of other book talk last month (preoccupied!) but I did flash you back to my star-studded engagement anniversary.  Good times.  And my participation in Armchair BEA was basically the equivalent of going to actual BEA and sitting in the hotel room the whole time.

June is going to be nutty around here as we try to get things in order for The Big Move before my husband's official start date (August 12!).  Plus, we have a vacation scheduled mid-month (much needed under the circumstances, though it also feels somewhat poorly placed now, time-wise...ah well).  I have a few book tours scheduled, so I promise not to disappear!  And I'm hoping to get a little beach reading done on vacation anyway.

Have a lovely month, readers...and stay tuned for more excitement!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

April Showers Bring May Awesomes. (April 2013 in Review)


So April was a pretty awesome month.  Mostly because of the weather.  My pasty-pale self is now becoming pasty-pale with a scattering of freckles, which must mean the sun has arrived in Upstate New York.  If only all my freckles would meld together, I would be blessed with the most luscious tan.  Ah, the life of a ginger.

Also, my lil (not so lil anymore) brother got engaged this month!  I am wicked excited for him and his fiancee (who has received the Big Sister Seal of Approval).  Let the wedding plans begin!

As per usual in my monthly recaps, I will also grace you with a photo of Sir Small Fry.  He was very serious about his outdoor play time this month:
Obviously Mother has done something for which she should feel ashamed.
Now, enough about me, onward to the book-related goodness!  Apparently the warm weather led to less reading and more outdoor time, because my reading/posting pace was a little slower.

The April 2013 Fave/Least Fave choices were difficult, and honestly, my "least" fave shouldn't be read as being a "bad" book...it's just the one I gave the lowest rating to on Goodreads (a 3-star, by the way).

March 2013 Favorite: How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
March 2013 Least Favorite: The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J Maarten Troost

In total, I read/reviewed 6 books:
How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
Found Objects by Peter Gelfan
Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne
Weelicious by Catherine McCord
The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J Maarten Troost

I also posted one new Small Fry Saturday Review of Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury.

In other book talk, I was one of the first features on Book Bloggers International, we took a trip down my college-era memory lane, and I told you all the topics that, if melted together, would create my ultimate read.

May is going to be a busy month around here--we're getting a new roof put on today, and Small Fry is getting ear tubes inserted tomorrow, so already we're off with a bang.  But May is also my engagement anniversary (awww).  And, let's not forget that Mother's Day is coming up.  YOU'RE ON NOTICE, HUSBAND.  Fine jewels and massages as far as the eye can see!  (Or at least the ability to sleep past 6am.)

Have a great month!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A happy camper again: March 2013 in review

March: in like a lion, out like a lamb.  BAAAAAAAAAAA.
Nothing like a little sheep humor to start your morning.
You probably remember that I had a rather terrible February.  So March didn't start on the highest of notes.  But I am happy to say, it did improve.  Even though we battled some colds in our house, the illness seems to be mostly gone (knock on wood), the snow is melting, the birds are chirping...SWEET JESUS, it's springtime!  FINALLY!

Not to mention that Small Fry was rather adorable this weekend, hunting for Easter eggs with us outside:

Overall, I am just feeling VERY excited for the warm weather to roll in, which of course means more time to read OUTSIDE, in the sun.  Woot!

The March 2013 Fave/Least Fave honors were hard to choose this month (especially for Favorite)...I read a lot of good books!  The honors go to:

March 2013 Favorite: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
March 2013 Least Favorite: The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton

In total, I read/reviewed 7 books:
Be Happy Without Being Perfect by Dr. Alice Domar
The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton
The Trajectory of Dreams by Nicole Wolverton
I'll Take What She Has by Samantha Wilde
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
Evil Water by Inger Wolf

Plus one review of a past read:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I also posted one new Small Fry Saturday Review of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault.

In other book talk, I recapped my epic meeting with Jodi Picoult, I told you why modern women's fiction is my jam, we talked about my beef with Hollywood, this place got a facelift, we Bloggiesta'd, I introduced you to Alexis, and I got drugged by a librarian.  Busy freakin' month.

Here's to springtime!  Hope you all have a fabulous April.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Don't Let The Door Hit Ya, February: Month in Review

UGH.  February.  What a craptastic month.
Likeness of me in February
I didn't THINK it was going to go that way, but it did.  I got slammed with a pretty awful personal situation in the middle of the month, something that really knocked me for a loop.  I am not ready to post about it here yet, but I think I will in the future.  For now, suffice to say that it just made last month into a very difficult one.

As such, I apologize for my relative absence.  I know my posts have been kind of "blah" lately, and that I've been Twitter MIA, but the calendar has flipped to March and I am going IN LIKE A LION!!  Watch out, world.  Rawr.

(I guess I should say that there was ONE good thing about February, and that was the creation of the Harlem Shake.  I could sit on YouTube for HOURS and watch this crap.  Amazing.)

Anyway, let's talk about books!

The February 2013 Fave/Least Fave honors go to:

February 2013 Favorite: Indiscretion by Charles Dubow
February 2013 Least Favorite: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

In total, I read/reviewed 6 books:
White Dog Fell From The Sky by Eleanor Morse
Indiscretion by Charles Dubow
Political Suicide by Michael Palmer
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
God Grew Tired of Us by John Bul Dau
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

I also posted one new Small Fry Saturday Review of the Good Night Our World books.

In other book talk, we discussed cover snobbery, I was spotlighted by Christine, I had another fun giveaway, and I MET JODI PICOULT.  Total highlight of my book month!

So, here's hoping for a much better March.  Peace out, February.  Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
 
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