Well, hello August. The summer weather has been hanging around the last couple of days and I’m trying not to be disappointed. July was perfect for me! And I suppose a little suffering is to be expected in August. Despite the warm weather, we managed to spend most of the weekend outside, which has worked really well for us this summer!

My two big streaks are going strong – today marks 492 days of journaling and 226 days of meditating.

After my wobbly July, my intention is to simplify in August. So far, so good! This week has been full of simple things: school with the kids, playing outside, reading, and writing. My four food groups!

I didn’t document any exercise this week — I don’t think I’ve written about it here, but I’ve been struggling with plantar fasciitis over the last year and it really ramped up in the last week or two. Even yoga has been aggravating it! So I’m icing my heels as much as I can (which often translates to more reading time!) and trying to stay off of my feet — which is downright impossible most evenings and on the weekends. I’m just trying to get past this flare-up so that I can get back into some sort of exercise routine.


Reading Journal

I’ve alluded to my new reading journal in the last few posts. You might remember that I already have a notebook devoted to listing the books I’ve read, but this one is different. I was inspired by the journal that Mary started this year and finally decided to start my own after I finished Klara and the Sun. That was one of those books for me – I was left sitting at my desk, full of questions and ideas and had no one to turn to. I didn’t want to lose all of those thoughts, so I pulled out a defunct notebook (which, funnily enough, was a reading journal that I started back in 2017 in which I made a ton of notes about My Cousin Rachel) and got to writing. This notebook is full of spoilers, but I can share this one picture:

click to enlarge

(Don’t worry – there are no spoilers in this family tree. The death documented happens in the prologue because it’s the axis from which this story is told.)

This is the family tree I cobbled together from my current book, The Arsonists’ City. So many of the names are unfamiliar to me and I was becoming confused about who was who, and who was living where. I check this family tree constantly as I’m reading to keep myself straight – especially when I’m trying to figure out who is in Syria, Lebanon, or Palestine (which doesn’t really exist? It’s all so confusing!), because that part of the world is like a puzzle to me.

I’m doing my best to use my notebook to jot down little details that would normally be lost to me. I’m hoping this helps me with my reading post on Wednesday — for instance, I finished a Maisie Dobbs mystery last week and sometimes those types of novels blend together for me, and the details are already fuzzy just a week later. But I have some good notes about the big picture ideas I walked away with and think it will make my little blurb just a little stronger. So exciting and worth the work!


I think that’s it from me on this Monday morning – have you noticed how much darker it is lately?! I can’t believe how quickly that happened. But I’m planning to be back on Wednesday with a reading update, as long as time doesn’t slip away from me! Take care!

10 thoughts

  1. I’m sorry to hear that your feet are giving you trouble. I hope taking some time off (at least as much as you can) will help and you can be back to exercising as you’d like soon.

    I really admire you and Mary for doing such a great job with your reading journals. I really wish I had the time to do one, but lately it’s hard to find time even to keep my Goodreads updated! It’s a goal for one day for me, though.

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    1. I’ve been wanting to start one for ages, but the kindling was all of the questions I was left with after reading Klara and the Sun. And then my pen was ablaze!

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  2. Hope your feet feel better soon. I suffered a few years back until I bought a pair of very sensible shoes. Books do tend to blend together, that’s why I started my books post once a month, which I write as I finish each book. Currently reading a book set in Australia and really wish he had included a map. One thing about old novels, they often included pictures, wouldn’t it be nice if novels came with illustrations these days.

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    1. Yes – more illustrations would be amazing! It’s a great idea to work on your monthly post as you go — it would be so hard for me to remember the details after a month!

      I hope you’re doing well, Cathy!

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  3. Oooohhh, love that live peek into your reading journal! Reading journals are as individual as reading, and it’s so interesting to see how people use them. Also, thank you for sharing that peek into The Arsonist’s City – I’ve become fascinated with the the Palestinian story and have Salt Houses on hold for later this month.

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