February 2020 Bookish Resolutions Challenge Wrap up

Yay! I completed all my bookish resolutions for February. Here are some of the highlights.

Click here for the books that I read for the Mount TBR challenge.

These are the memoirs I read this month:

“Nobody Ever Talks About Anything But the End” by Liz Levine

Levine writes about the death of her childhood love from cancer, as well as her younger sister by suicide.

The format is uniquely made in the form of the alphabet, and according to Levine, “My Alphabet isn’t a history of death. It’s a collection of things that make up death.” These things include topics such as condolences, death-iversary, goodbye, music, and nightmares.

“Year of No Clutter” by Eve O. Schaub 

Schaub attempts to declutter her “Hell Room”, the one that she hides from people, over the course of a year. The lessons she learns are: trust herself, keep less and use more, and be imperfect. In the end she realizes that what has changed, more so than the room, is herself.

I am also going to include the following two memoirs, although they technically don’t qualify according to the standards I set, as they are both more than five years old, but both are excellent and worth a mention. Both were recommended by friends.

“What the Psychic told the Pilgrim” by Jane Christmas

Christmas decides to walk the Camino for her 50th birthday along with a group of women, most of whom she barely knows. A psychic predicts the happenings in advance, including losing the other women and meeting a fair haired man.

“A Kiss Before You Go” by Danny Gregory

Gregory writes and illustrates in graphic novel form a touching account about the loss of his wife for about a year after her death.

I wrote 250 words five days a week.

I limited my time on social media.

I read more than five creative nonfiction essays a week. Here are my favourite creative nonfiction essays this month:

Depression, Part 2” by Allie Brosh of “Hyperbole and a Half” fame

An older blog post, but worthwhile reading as Brosh tries to explain what it is like to be depressed to people who have never experienced depression.

The Truth About Wanting to Die” by Anna Mehler Papeny

This is an excerpt from Mehler Papeny’s book “Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me”. 

The Year I Lost my Voice” by Anne Fenn

Fenn loses her voice and discovers it is because her vocal cords are too tense. She discovers that she has lost her voice physically, because she has lost her voice metaphorically.

Fighting Symmetry” by Laurie Gogh

Gogh writes about how after his grandfather’s death, her son starts certain rituals, as he is trying to bring back his grandfather, and she realizes that he has OCD. This is an excerpt from the book “Stolen Child”.

I read far more than two picture books a week. Here are some of my favourite picture books:

“The Undefeated” by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

This poem written to Alexander’s second daughter celebrating black lives won the 2019 Caledcott Medal, as well as a Newbery Honor and other awards.

“The Pencil” by Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula, illustrated by Charlene Chua

When Anaana goes away, Ataata lets them do something that is not normally allowed: use Anaana’s pencil. The pencil brings so much joy, but also the lesson of using things wisely.

“Story Boat” by Kyo Maclear, pictures by Rashin Kheiriyeh

A family is fleeing their home, but the little girl and her brother use their imagination to help them get through their trip.

“Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution.” by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jamey Christoph

This is a non fiction book about the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village, which was when the LGBTQ+ movement changed.

“The Worst Book Ever” by Elise Gravel 

This book is not only fun for the kids, but also a good warning book for writers. Gravel shows mistakes that are commonly made in writing, e.g., dialogue not moving the story forward and using big words to appear smart.

I attended two writer’s events:

1. WriteOnCon webinar about Writer Self-Care, which I blogged about here.

2. Vocamus Press’ workshop “Building Poems From What’s Already Written” in which poet and academic Karen Houle showed us how she builds her poems using an object exercise. Vocamus Press hosts a series of free workshops at the Guelph Library every February. 

This was my favourite guided journal this month:

I kept up my blogging this month.

I wrote about 10 objects for my “Cabinet of Curiosities” object diary.

I also decided to start studying again. Did you know that you can get some free “Great Courses” on Kanopy, which is often accessible through your library? The course that I have started working on is called “Becoming a Great Essayist”.

Shoe’s Sunday Stories

@Copyright 2020 Linda Schueler 


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