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It's Monday 1/23! What Are You Reading?

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Book By Book

Hosted by The Book Date


Ahhh … it was nice to return to “normal” life last week after our hectic, last-minute travel week. Even better, with all of my medication changes and my doctor’s help, I think my thyroid and other hormones are finally stabilizing. Last week was the best I’ve felt in many months! I am gradually trying to regain my stamina by walking a little bit every day and very slowly re-starting some light weight work. 

#sky365 Day 20 – this was one of our better days last week!

Even better, I am able to do some things again! I went to my neighborhood book group last week for the first time in eight months–victory! And I had the energy to plan meals and cook more (instead of the afternoon agony of “what are we going to make for dinner?”), including a belated birthday dinner for our son, who turned 25 while we were in Texas.

Happy 25th!

Last night, we celebrated Chinese New Year with delicious takeout. This is one of many “small celebrations” we enjoy this time of year, in the doldrums between the December holidays and spring. You can check out my video, Celebrate Everything, Big and Small!, for more ideas (it’s taken from a chapter in my book about living with chronic illness, but this is a great way to add joy to any life!).

Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year! Year of the Rabbit



On the Blog

Lots of end-of-year catch-up last week! New posts:

Best Books Read in 2022 – includes some fun facts & stats about my reading, my top picks in different categories, and my Top 10 (or whatever) Lists. 

2022 Reading Challenges Wrap-Up – a great reading year with lots of fun challenges! 


On Video

2022 Reading Wrap-Up and Best Books of the Year! – a video version of my year-end wrap-up

Friday Reads 1-20-23 – brief weekly recap of what I’m reading 


What We’re Reading

I finished reading The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk, a novel about an older woman put in charge of the rare books department of a large university when her boss has a stroke and the mystery of a valuable book that’s gone missing . I enjoyed it, but I was surprised by the wide range of reactions in my book group discussion! For more details, check out my quick Friday Reads video

Now, I am reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, getting off to a good start for my 2023 Back to the Classics Challenge! I’ve never read Buck before and learned that she lived in China as a child. This book is set mostly in rural China in the 1920′s, during the revolution, about a farmer named Wang Lung and the slave woman, O-lan, he takes as a wife. I just finished a section about a year-long drought that sent their family to starvation and near-death–wow. It’s an engrossing, captivating story so far.

I thought I’d try something different and attempt to read two books at once, one fiction and one nonfiction. I chose The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, a book I bought years ago. I love Gretchen’s Happier podcast. I tried reading this one at naptime in the afternoon and my novel at bedtime. That plan isn’t working very well for me! As usual (and as I suspected), I am so engrossed in the novel that I want to read it anytime I have reading time. I’m still trying to fit this one in at random times (one of my goals this year is more downtime and more fun for myself), and I did manage a few short sections this weekend. It’s good so far, supporting all the great content on her podcast.

On audio, I am still listening to Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, one of my all-time favorite authors. It’s a novel about a boy named Damon (nicknamed Demon), based loosely on David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Instead of London, it’s set in modern-day Appalachia in the mountains of southern Virginia. Like Dickens, it delves into important issues of poverty (only in America) while also being very entertaining. Kingsolver is a great storyteller, and this is definitely one of her best! I’m loving it so far and having fun recognizing the parallels to David Copperfield (though you don’t need to have read that to enjoy this). I’m close to the end now, rooting for Demon in spite of his awful circumstances. This is a must-read novel!


My husband, Ken, finished reading Sand by Hugh Howey. We are both huge fans of his Silo trilogy (Wool, Shift, Dust), which was excellent. Here he explores a different post-apocalyptic world, one buried in sand, with four siblings who get lost after their father dies. Ken says it was excellent. Howey is such an incredible writer–I can’t wait to read this one, too!


 Now, Ken is reading another Christmas gift from me, No Plan B by Lee Child and Andrew Child (his brother). This is Ken’s all-time favorite series, and I get him the latest book each Christmas. He is, of course, enjoying it!


Our son, 28, finished Enchanter by Terry Mancour, book 7 in the Spellmonger series. He discovered this series last year and has been quickly devouring it! Next, he read The Silence of Unworthy Gods by Andrew Rowe, book 4 in Arcane Ascension, another favorite series. And now, he’s rereading The White Tower by Michael Wisehart, book 1 in The Aldoran Chronicles, in preparation for book 2, which he just bought with a Christmas gift card.


What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers.

You can follow me on Twitter at @SueBookByBook or on Facebook on my blog’s page.  

What are you and your family reading this week?
And do YOU read one book at a time or juggle them?


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