How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I am in awe of blogs that have weekly summaries. Apparently, some people not only read a book a week (OR MORE,) but do other things, such as buy new books, take part in memes and challenges, and even blog. My pace is a little slower, but the end of summer feels right for an update and a look ahead.

How I Spent My Summer


You will have acid flashbacks. Even if you never did acid.

  • I updated my About page. Now with more about my awkward teenage years!
  • I added a Book Blogs and Websites page. These are the websites I visit on the regular, all focused on modern and classic literary fiction. I even found a few 1,001 Books readers!
  • I updated my 1,001 Books list. I’ve only finished three list books this year, but two of them were doozies. See my reviews of The Magic Mountain and The Idiot.
  • You may recall that I made some grand plans for my summer reading that involved reading some local books. See my review of Americasincluding a brief summary of magical realism in the 1,001 Books. I would like to read from From Away by local author Michelle Ferguson, but I’m  learning the hard way why you should not lend books, ESPECIALLY SIGNED COPIES, to anyone, even your mom.
  • I read my books swap picks, which are also 1,001 Books (convenient!) Reviews are coming soon(ish). SPOILERS: The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul was okay. Vineland is blowing my mind; about 100 pages to go.
  • I met a bunch of Edmonton Book Bloggers for coffee, and nabbed a few books in the process. Thanks to Kristilyn for organizing our little group!
  • I posted my birth stories. I know most of you aren’t in to that. That’s okay. Moving along.
  • I wrote something for Make Jen’s Day. If you have kids, you may relate to this. If you don’t have kids, this may scare you off of having any. Either way, check out the site, it’s a very cool way to promote random acts of kindness.

What’s Up Next

It was motivating to have an end-of-year goal in 2011, even though I didn’t quite make it. This year, I’m on maternity leave, so I should have plenty of time to read, right? Hah! I have a very high-energy two year old who screeches when I’m not in his sight, and a six month old who doesn’t sleep. I’m in survival mode right now, and am lucky to read ten pages per day.

I recently came to an interesting (obvious?) realization; when I don’t read, I’m not happy. A few weeks ago, I was feeling burnt out to the point that I though I had postpartum depression again. I was also going days without picking up a book. Am I unhappy because I’m not reading, or am I not reading because I’m unhappy? Either way, I need to make reading a priority, but without a lot of pressure.

So, my 2012 goal is to read everyday. That’s it. Could be a chapter, a page, or a sentence. 

Finer Things Club

It’s very exclusive.

Well, okay, there’s a little more to it than that. Here are some specific plans and goals for the rest of the year.

  • Read one more from the 1,001 Books list.
  • Write a guest post for Reading in Winter. I’m really excited about this one. I’m participating in “4 Weeks of Bookish Things,” and my theme is paranormal. I’m thinking of an overview of the paranormal in classic lit… beyond the obvious Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Watch for my post on Sept. 28!
  • Join The Classics Club. The concept is simple, but I’m really excited to join the community and meet new people. Each member chooses 50 (or more) classics and commits to read them over the next five years. I’m basically doing this anyway with the 1,001 Books, but it’ll be a good exercise to put some thought into what I want to read. Plus, it’s as close as I’ll get to joining The Finer Things Club.

What are your reading goals for Fall? 



  1. Brie @ Eat Books

    I am always in awe of weekly summaries too! I’d like to get to the point where I could have monthly summaries lol – for now, I’ve just done a “half-year” update. I think your reading accomplishments and blogging frequency is so admirable, especially given you have young children! I enjoy your blog, whether you post once a week or once a month. 🙂

    I decided to to up the ante this fall and make a stronger commitment to reading some books on my TBR list – which I outlined in another Top Ten post today. I wasn’t going to do another meme, but I thought it would be a good way to try and stay on track with my reading for the rest of the year.

    Good luck with your goals! I hope you find balance with finding time to read and reading to make yourself happy, without feeling overwhelmed. I agree, reading is so much more pleasurable when we do it for ourselves, yet we (well, I do) still have to make the conscious effort to read a little bit every single day (rather than in spurts like I’m usually known to do).

    • lauratfrey

      Thanks Brie! I commented on your post. I added one of your picks to my TBR pile, too.

      I wanted to do this meme too, but just didn’t have time. They aren’t usually my thing, but the “top ten” format is so easy and at least it gets us writing, right?

      I should have my new ereader on Saturday, so that will help with the daily reading a lot!

  2. Kristilyn (@ReadingInWinter)

    Good luck with your goals!

    I haven’t had too many summer memories … we didn’t really do a lot this summer! Blogging-wise I’ve done a ton! I hope to continue the momentum for a little bit, but plan to sit back and interact with people more and read more. Doing month-long events is tiring!

    One of my goals is to get my TBR list to a manageable number. My list contains only books that I OWN, so it’s huge. I’ve also gotten rid of a TON of books just this week. Buy less – read more.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • lauratfrey

      Thanks 🙂

      I seem to be the opposite of most other bloggers, yourself included – I very rarely buy a book unless it’s going to be my next read. I’m very deliberate that way. I maintain a bit of a list on Goodreads of stuff I’m interested in, but I’d never just buy a book just because. Probably because I usually get books for the library, and have a 3 week (well, 9 week, with renewals) deadline to get the thing read!

      Your Bookish Things even is awesome.. inspiring me to MAYBE do something for my blog in February. Maybe, don’t quote me 🙂

  3. Pingback: September Round-Up | Reading in Bed

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