The Monday Check-In ~ 12/19/2022


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.


Happy Hanukkah! Last night was the first night — latkes, draydels, candles… good times!

What did I read during the last week?

The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev: A really touching (and sometimes very funny) story of three generations of women in an Indian-American family. Very enjoyable. My review is here.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman: I guess timing is everything — I first read this book last year and only gave it three stars, yet when I re-read it this week for an upcoming book group discussion, I absolutely loved it!

All the Murmuring Bones by A. G. Slatter: A darkly magical tale of a family’s ancient bargain with the mer folk and what it’s cost them, and the lengths the last remaining descendent will go through to finally break free of her family’s toxic past. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

With some hesitation, I started season 5 of The Crown this week. And… it’s okay? I’ve watched five (out of ten) episodes so far. Not loving the depiction of Diana this season — she seems more like a caricature than like Diana herself, if that makes any sense. In any case, I’m interested enough to keep going.

The Survivor finale aired this week (season 43!) and I have to say, it was a fairly mediocre end to a mediocre season. The show needs to figure out a better way to get to the final three. The fire-making competition is getting old, and the process is just dumb. I’m tired of seeing the best players out at 4 or 5, leaving a group of finalists that it’s impossible to feel excited about. (Of course, I’ll still watch the next season… but my annoyance will continue to grow if they don’t make some changes.)

Puzzles of the week:

Getting back in the puzzle zone!

This was a fun one (and looks much better in person — the lighting at my puzzle table is pretty sucky).

Fresh Catch:

One new book this week:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt: Loving it so far!

Now playing via audiobook:

Well Traveled by Jen DeLuca: This series is so much fun!

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. We’re past the halfway point!
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen: My book group’s current classic read. I’ve read this several times already, but I’m always up for another go! Almost done! We discuss the final chapter this coming Wednesday.
  • O Pioneers! by Willa Cather: This is my newest Classics Club Spin book! The target date to finish is at the end of January, so I probably won’t start this one just yet… but I’m leaving it here as a reminder to myself to make time for it!

So many books, so little time…


14 thoughts on “The Monday Check-In ~ 12/19/2022

    • The first few seasons were very good. I wonder if I felt better about those because they felt like historical drama, but the current season feels much more focused on scandal (or maybe it’s just that I remember those years without needing to watch them via The Crown!)

  1. Happy Hanukkah! I hope you have a lovely holiday.

    I read ANXIOUS PEOPLE for book club. Before that, I really had no interest in reading Backman. He didn’t look like my kind of author. You know what, though? I loved ANIXOUS PEOPLE. It’s just so warm and clever. I haven’t read anything else by Backman, but I want to.


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