- Applying and accepting an adjunct instructor position (I also had Spongy in my pocket my first day instructing)
- Taking up tap dancing (Spongy was in my bag, silently cheering me on during my recital)
- Making and fostering several new friendships
- Several random adventures (like going to Chicago on the hottest day of the year to stand in line for cookies… I could have used Spongy for a different purpose that day but it remained in my bag)
- Blogging more with the high hopes that what I share can help others
- Reaching out to have a few hard conversations with others that I had put off because, well, they were hard.
|One of my favorite ornaments-books tied with twine.|
Well, here are are! We made it through the odd 2019 (I have a theory that odd numbered years are far less superior to even ones) and we’re roaring (hah) right into 2020! I’ve spent the last two weeks being unsure of what day it was and forgetting what a vegetable is and can honestly say I’m ready for routine to start again. The Christmas tree is gone, ideas for the new year formulated, and I’m ready to run into January full of anxiety and hope!
39.Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate (historical fiction)- And right back into some serious stuff, oops. This book takes a fictional look at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage that ran for the first half of the 20thcentury under practices that were just deplorable. (Sidenote, I’m preparing to teach a course on child welfare so this book hit me right in the feels.) Before We Were Yours was a heart-wrenching tale of what can be assumed as reality for far too many children who lived through the broken and corrupt tactics of child laundering. This book broke my heart with some saving grace-resiliency is a hell of a thing. A
40. Unfuck Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life, Gary John Bishop (self-help): Quick read with some nice reminders that waiting around to ‘feel like’ doing the thing is a waste of time. Waiting to feel motivated/creative/energized/ ready is a fallacy, so just suck it up and start. A
42. Everything is Fucked: A Book About Hope, Mark Manson (self help)-I adored this book because it aligned well with my own personal philosophy on life. Manson made sense of some thoughts I’ve had lingering for a while and I found myself talking back to the book (“EXACTLY”, “OMG THAT’S IT!”, “THANK YOU” may have been yelled). However, this book pushes past Nihilism to look meaningfully at life in the most objectively way possible. Two side notes: if you are not in a place to look at life and question things, this may not be for you. I suggested it to a friend who said it was a difficult read (it can make you question things, so know your own headspace when going in) and two-if you follow Manson’s blog I’ve read that this book is more or less a collection of blog posts strung together. A
43. White Fragility,Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin DiAngelo (nonfiction badassbook)- This book tore me down in a way that we* should all be torn down. To realize privilege past the obvious is hard-but necessary. I highly suggest everyone* read this and sit with the uncomfortable feelings it’ll bring up and then ask; Why? How? Now what? A+
44. Conversations with Friends, Sally Rooney (contemporary fiction)- A comment on Goodreads, “Conversations with Friends is another one of those books about not particularly nice people entangled in awkward relationships.” It wasn’t the worst book, it was not the greatest book. It kept my attention just enough that I didn’t roll my eyes. C
- White Fragility
- Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered
- Good Omens
- The Hate U Give
- Lean In
- Everything is Fucked
- You Are a Badass
|Halloween Tap Dancing Hot Dog!|
Recently someone said this about me. Someone actually said I, Cortney, read ‘a lot’. It made my day!
24. The Sun is Also a Star, Nicola Yoon (young adult fiction)- This was a quick read about two teenagers whose lives collide in a beautiful but difficult way. Young adult is really talking about some true life issues nowadays, not just teen romance and I appreciate it. B.
25. Scrappy Little Nobody, Anna Kendrick (autobiography)- I like Anna Kendrick and her story is just as endearing as she is. I wish we could be friends because I think she’s hilarious! A.
26. Girl, Stop Apologizing, Rachel Hollis (self-help?)- I know. I knooooow. “Cortney, didn’t you h-a-t-e her last book?” Yes. I did. Has that changed? No. But she has such a following and so many people share their life-changing moments because of Hollis that I went ahead and gave this book a go and I will say I found at least a third of it not completely cringe-worthy. It wasn’t as plagiarized (kudos) but still drippy with privilege (however, she did somewhat (?) acknowledge this?) I did have moments of feeling ‘energized’ but that could have also been the coffee. C.
27. Good Omens,Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (science fiction?)- I decided to read this after the mini-series aired on Amazon Prime earlier this year and I loved it! (The cast was so good! My main man played the voice of God and that was enough to get my buy in.) I was pleasantly surprised that there was very few deviations from the book! I have heard that the other books in this series (I guess it’s a series) aren’t as grand, but I adored this one. A+.
28. Normal People, Sally Rooney (coming-of-age fiction)- The title doesn’t lie here, folks. It’s a love-ish story about star-crossed lovers who live somewhat normal lives? I think I read this based from a review in a magazine. It was fine, I didn’t care for either lead character but their development was solid. B.
29. Of Mess and Moxie, Jen Hatmaker (autobiography)- I chose this book based on the title and had no idea who Jen Hatmaker was. (Yeah, I often mean to actually look up these books/writers before I read them but then forget and just start the book.) Hatmaker is apparently kind of famous and has written multiple books and several are probably not my cup of tea (she seemed to have an a-ha moment at some point) I really enjoyed this book. I appreciated the honesty Hatmaker brought forth about privilege and the humor of being humble. A.
30. Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens (coming-of-age fiction)- I definitely didn’t know what to expect here and I wasn’t that impressed with it until about halfway through and then I was enthralled. Give it a go and give it time. A.
31. The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah (historical fiction)- This book stuck with me for several days after I finished it and while not an true account of anyone’s life it definitely had glints into what was possible in the lives of those living in Nazi-occupied France during WWII. The story itself is heartbreaking and will make you think about parts of war that you may never have dreamt of (if you’ve never lived in an occupied country). Hannah makes you think about the word hero and how complex that word really is. A.
32. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts., Brene Brown (professional development/self-helf)- I love this book. I love this notion. I love the idea that if we allow ourselves to become vulnerable the better people we can be-not just for ourselves but for everyone around us. I’m excited to read all of her works and tell everyone I know about it. Actually, if you have 3 minutes and want to learn something that will help you continue to be an awesome human, check out this little video based off one of Brown’s TED talks regarding empathy. A.
33. Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered : The Definitive How-To Guide, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark (nonfiction)-Okay, confession time: because I use most of my time to listen to audio files listening to books, I don’t get a whole lot of time to listen to podcasts so…I’veneverlistenedtomyfavoritemurderIAMSORRY. Whew. Now that I got that out I can say that I checked out this book because so many people were raving about it and it’s NOT really about true crime (okay there’s somecrime in it) but really it’s a collection of stories from Kilgariff and Hardstark’s lives and includes one of my favorite topics-making new friends with people who are just as weird as us! Adored it, adding it to my list of books to read when I need a pick me up (currently on that shelf are Jenny Lawson’s books Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy, BJ Novak’s One More Thing, and Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type: Some Stories). A+
34. Daring Greatly, Brene Brown (professional development)- So someone told me that given that I had read Dare to Lead before Daring Greatly, I may not be as impressed. They were right. Daring Greatly offered some insight to back stories that I didn’t know however and I still benefited from this work. If you want to read one or the other, I suggest Dare to Lead. B.
35. Five Feet Apart, Rachael Lippincott (young adult fiction)- I wanted to read this before I watched the movie and I am interested in this story because my friend who has CF wrote about how it contrasts and compares to real life with CF. (You should also check out my friend because she’s awesome.) I enjoyed the story, I cried a few tears, I was reminded to get my flu shot to ensure that others around me stay healthy. A.
36. Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life, Annie Spence (nonfiction, humor)- This book is a great way to remember books you haven’t read in a long time, or to get some new recommendations. Peppered with humor and a great reminder of how important stories are to humanity. A.
I have surpassed my goal already this year! Confetti time! The book I’m currently reading is quite long, so we’ll see how close I end up to 50 by 2020. Have you read any of these? What are you reading now?
|I tend to feel that I represent farm chic’ in hats. Or look like Wayne Campbell. Party on.|
|Sadly it was too hot to take photos of the goods, so here is me-melting like the soft serve.|
The drinks at Lost Lake are divine and if you’re looking for a place that’s a little less crowded than the other well-known tiki bar in Chicago-this place is it.
|Truth time-I have about 45 photos of KP and various foods.|
|From the ceilings to the floors! Til the marinara drips down the walls|
|The garlic scapes used to make this dish are from a farm local to where I live!|
I don’t have the capacity to even express myself regarding some of the horrific things going on in our world. It’s hard to be grateful for your own life and happy living it while be mad as hell, frustrated, and feeling guilt for the aforementioned ‘good’ feelings. I, too, grow tired of looking for helpers and being optimistic sometimes but I still come back to this quote time and time again. I can not stop doing my little parts to move the world forward in a productive way. I can not mend every heart, fix every problem, or argue to prove my every point. By I can do something, even a tiny little something, every day, for as long as I’m able.
Seems as though blogging keeps me accountable to my reading goal! We are pretty close to the mid-point of 2019 (how does this happen so quickly) and I’m feeling pretty good about my reading goal of the year! Here’s my recap from April to the end of June.
- The ‘I went to *insert Ivy League School here* and I’m going to ignore the privileges I have and just tell you that with some ‘elbow grease’ you too can be Bill Gates’ camp. These folks (minus Knight, as I mentioned above) usually have some sound advice, don’t get me wrong, but the lack of insight to the built in privileges drives me up a wall.
- The ‘Through *insert religion* all things are possible’ camp. Hey, if this is your philosophy in life I have nothing but love for you but don’t try to guise your motivation in personal development. These books drip of privilege as well, and I typically return them early.
- The ‘I’m going to curse a lot so this doesn’t feel like a lame ‘self-help’ book’ camp. I tend to like these the most. I also find them to be the most genuine books. The writers tend to not just talk about themselves the entire time and recognize that just because it works for them does not necessarily mean it’s going to work for you. This is very much my own motto when ‘giving advice’ so perhaps that’s why I tend to gravitate toward them.
|About where we pulled over|
(the past is always closer than it appears).
We often when out looking for deer.
This pretty lady showed up.