The Monday Check-In ~ 8/15/2022


My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.


I had a great time on our little mini-vacation last week! My husband and I got away to the Monterey area of California, with Big Sur, Pacific Grove, and Carmel as highlights. Lots of beautiful coastline as far as the eye can see! It made me especially happy to wander Cannery Row in Monterey so soon after reading Steinbeck’s classic — while it’s a very touristy area now, there are tons of little signs and artwork and artifacts that pay tribute to Steinbeck and his novel, and I loved seeing all of it!

And on a family note… my youngest — my BABY — turned 20 over the weekend! How is that even possible??? Now it’s official — no more teens chez moi!


Dare I say it? I’ve gotten my pending ARCs list down to fewer than 20 titles! I’m super committed to getting through my outstanding ARCs, and then focusing on reading other things — anything I want, whenever I want. If I can catch up on all the ARCs for books being released through the end of September, I’ll only have six left (for books scheduled for release October – December). Wow, this makes me feel so free!

I mean, sure, I’ll continue to request ARCs for books I really, really want to read no matter what… but I’m going to try to be better at avoiding impulse requests, because I do want to keep my obligation reading to a minimum going forward.

What did I read during the last week?

Lucy Checks In by Dee Ernst: Heart-warming story of second chances, with a lovely setting. My review is here.

Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson: Surprisingly fun (and no, there are no actual serial killers in the book). My review is here.

Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan: A favorite for 2022! The fact that the author narrates the audiobook, and that the story is about an audiobook narrator, makes this book extra delicious. My review is here.

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen: Overall, I really enjoyed this Western-themed fantasy, but wished the world-building had been clearer. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I made more progress with Paper Girls (on Amazon) — just two episodes left to watch! Definitely recommended!

Next up: Season 3 of Never Have I Ever!

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna: This looks like a good, light read! I’m just getting started, but here’s hoping it’ll turn out to be fun.

Now playing via audiobook:

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot: This is my book group’s pick for August — and I just couldn’t resist listening to the audiobook version narrated by Nicholas Ralph, who stars in the PBS adaptation of the book.

Ongoing reads:

My longer-term reading commitments:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’re doing a group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: It’s our final week! My book group has been reading and discussing one scene per week, and this week, it’s Act V, scene II. Our discussions have been great — I feel like I’ve gotten so much more from this read than I ever did during my college Shakespeare course.

So many books, so little time…


4 thoughts on “The Monday Check-In ~ 8/15/2022

  1. What a fun mini vacation! I haven’t been to that area in years. And happy birthday to your 20 year old😁 Just wait till they turn 21, it’s a whole new level of adulthood that I wasn’t prepared for, lol. I love that you’re getting your review books under control. Me, not so much, but I love the idea😁

    • Thanks! I’m excited about getting down to the teens on NetGalley — I’ve been so frustrated that trying to keep up means that I’m ignoring all the other books I want to read. Of course, I always say that I’ll get my review books down to a manageable number, but it’s easy to go off track!

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