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Monthly Recap: January 2017

Russian winter forest
When I moved my blog to WordPress last January, I declared that I wanted my blog to be more personal. As I look back I realize that I posted mostly reviews and book-related discussion. Where were my personal posts? It’s time to make some changes.

I always look forward to monthly recaps from my bookish friends. I want to try this. I love format that Keertana from Ivy Book Bindings choose for her posts. I adapted it a little bit, and here is my first Monthly Recap.

3 Things About My Life This Month

1. For the first time in my life I’ve won a bookish giveaway!

I was especially heartened that it was from a blogger I adore. Thank you, Kelly!

2. I give English lessons to my 7 years old son.

At first we considered a tutor, but then I was like: Why don’t I do it myself? We’ve bought a wonderful book, so during our lessons he sings, draws, stick. The funny thing is that my youngest son who is 4 years old participates too. When we listen to songs he dances. I have such a good time.

I understand that I’m not a teacher and my English is not fluent, so it’s just a temporary solution. In truth I’m not happy with the level of English language teaching in Russian schools. I guess the best way to learn foreign language at that age is native speaking environment. But I’m not sure I’m ready to send my boy to an international language camp yet.

3. Megapolis is not the best environment for kids.

Russian winter forest
Of course I always knew this, but during our Holidays in the countryside I was acutely aware how different we feel ourselves. My sons were more active, more cheerful. I didn’t have any headaches, and I have them constantly in Moscow.

Another thing I realized (to my surprise) is that I don’t mind living in countryside. At all. I always considered myself as a city-girl, but somehow things have changed. I’m not saying I’m leaving Moscow anytime soon, but it looks like I’m not opposed to living without all this rush and stress of a big city.

My Favorite Book/Audiobook This Month

In January I was obsessed with The Edge series by Ilona Andrews. I don’t know why I waited so long to read something by this duo. I listened to the audiobooks and highly recommend them. They are narrated by Renee Raudman; her performance is amazing. She narrates many of Ilona Andrews’s books, so I’m looking forward to listen to Kate Daniels.

On my Blog This Month

Since I took a break from blogging, I only posted 2 reviews in January. I loved these books. 5 Stars ratings.

3 Posts I want to highlight

1. Mary from Mary Had a Little Book Blog – The Do’s and Don’ts of Being Excited About A Book aka the Road to More Books
Interesting post how readers can support favorite books and authors. For me it was also educational, I didn’t know that buying a book before its official release can hurt its sales.

2. Chachic from Chachic’s Book Nook – Litsy Addict
I’m interested in a platform for interacting with bookish friends. There is so much drama on Twitter lately. Instagram is not a platform for book-lovers specifically. Chachic shares her thoughts about Litsy, and it seems like an interesting app.

3. Ariel Bissett – Annotating Your Books
I watched this video last year, but it caught my eye again last week. Ariel’s enthusiasm is so infectious. I love this idea to annotate books and then swap them with your friends. I’m not a person who writes in books easily, but this seems like a great way to read a book while learning something about yourself and your friends. And to have fun, of course. So if any of you like this idea and is not afraid mailing to Russia, I’m all in.

3 Things I’m Looking Forward to Next Month

1. English classes in my Ph.D. program.

I have English course which starts in February, and I’m very excited about it. I used to be very self-conscious about my English level. It was the reason I silently followed blogs, never interacting. When I finally made my shy first attempts to comment and chat, I was surprised that people actually don’t mind that much about my grammar (as long as they understand me, lol). I’ve been very lazy lately. My English is far from fluent, but I don’t’ remember when was the last time I opened my English Grammar textbook. I think I need a push in that direction, and Ph.D. program just has one for me. Granted the focus of this course would be on scientific English, but I hope to make some improvements of my everyday English too.

2. Pottery classes.

For those of you who don’t know I have another hobby besides reading and blogging. It’s pottery. I wasn’t able to go to classes in January, and I can’t wait to start them. I promised to share my works here, but the truth is I forget to take pictures. I often present my projects, so if I don’t take a picture right away, I just don’t have anything to post on my blog.

3. Sledding.

We had a lot of winter fun during Holidays and I planned to continue with activities in Moscow. There are several hills in the park near our apartment complex. The weather was great in January here, but sadly my kids caught cold. I hope we’ll be able to finally have some sledding in February.

That’s all for today.

7 Comments on “Monthly Recap: January 2017

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    Aww, great post Kesnia! Good luck with those English lessons too. That’s awesome that you want your kids to learn a different language. My daughter is learning how to speak French is school but I know she’s not going to be fluent after she finishes.

    Love the pottery classes too. I was just thinking last night that I need a project. Something to work on when I’m not working. Pottery would be great.

    I also loved Undecided. It was such a fun book and did you know that Undeclared is coming out at the end of this month? That’s Kelan’s book. Yippy skippy!

    I hope your February is a fabulous month for you, Ksenia! Happy reading!

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    Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Good luck with the English lessons! I have to say, I am amazed at anyone who manages to learn the English language when it isn’t their first language because the rules are so damn confusing, aren’t they? I mean, I know get confused with accents and gender in other languages but English has the most confusing rules. It is illogical and I think you are brave for attempting to teach your sons yourself. Also, don’t feel bad that you don’t always use grammar correctly, I don’t either and I’m a native English speaker. As long as you make sense with what you’re saying most people won’t notice, and if they do it gets written off as a typo anyway.

    I’m glad to see you enjoyed The Edge series by Ilona Andrews, I hope you enjoy Kate Daniels too. I’m only part way through that one but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far. It’s definitely action packed and addictive.

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    I really do enjoy reading monthly recap posts Ksenia! Rachel and I used to do these too, but we’ve moved onto weekly recaps now, and we’re finding these much more manageable. Undecided was a book I thoroughly enjoyed too, I can’t wait for book two! And I’ve been on a audiobook buying binge as of late, so will definitely come to you for more recommendations! I hope you have a great month!

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    Because of my husband’s work we’ve always had to live in the middle of nowhere and I hated it. We drove into nearby cities quite often for a fix but the past few years I’ve started to enjoy living further away. I like the quiet and find I don’t need all those things I thought I did as far as shopping.

    The only thing I miss is good restaurants lol

    I just won a giveaway too and I was shocked! I think it’s only my second or third time and I had never got my books. This time I did within a week!

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

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    Aila @ Happy Indulgence

    KSENIAAAA your English skills are amazing – never doubt that! Granted, I’ve never HEARD you talk but I had no clue you weren’t a native English speaker until MONTHS are we started interacting via blogging. I think it’s awesome that you’re teaching your son as well! It’s never too early to start. 😀

    Bring all the personal posts! I’m glad you’re posting these. 🙂 And geez, I have GOT to start The Edge series.

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    Danya @ Fine Print

    Wow, you’re teaching your sons English? That’s seriously impressive, Ksenia! I don’t know much about English language education in non-English speaking countries, but it sounds like a great first step for your kids. And I didn’t realize that you were in a PhD program! I take it you’re studying in the sciences? That’s really cool! I just finished my Master’s and I’m super relieved to be finished, haha.

    Beautiful shot of your pottery, by the way! Looks like you and your family had a great month in January. 🙂

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    I was absolutely stoked that you won too Ksenia and your first win! I’d love to try my hand at pottery classes too, it looks gorgeous! I love how each piece is so unique and the colours you’ve used are beautiful! I’ve actually never heard of Litsy before but it’s available on Android! I’ll have to download it and sign up too. I’m all for a Twitter alternative as well to connect with other readers. Thanks so much for sharing Ksenia darling <3

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