2018 Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge Update (December 2018)

December 2018 was the final month of the 2018 Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge, which was an interesting endeavor, but one that I won’t be repeating. I found it difficult to have specific words tied to specific months, because this parameter meant that a book that qualified in November would no longer qualify in December, and I’d have to start over.  As a result, I would start books but not finish them in time, or not know near the mid-to-end of the month which book to start next, or go a whole month (like December) without finishing any actual books. Instead, I filled December with short pieces like poems and satire articles.

December’s words were: bell, Christmas, give, party, present, red, sing, tree, under

I read:


“Praise Song for the Day” by Elizabeth Alexander

“Our Song” by Shakira Croce

Song” by Eamon Grennan

“Fire Island Song” by David Groff

“Reagan Red” by James Allen Hall

“What to Say to a Friend Who Wants to Give Up” by JP Howard

“[under the evening moon]” by Kobayashi Issa

“Little Sickness Song” by Rodney Jack

Song of Quietness” by Robinson Jeffers

“The Gift to Sing” by James Weldon Johnson

“In a Cemetery under a Solitary Walnut Tree That Crows” by Fady Joudah

“The Best Thanksgiving Ever” by Jennifer L. Knox

“Little Song” by Rickey Laurentiis

“Like a Party” by David Lehman

“Family Photo Around Xmas Tree” by Thomas Lux

“Liberty Bell” by Aaron McCollough

Red Wing” by Joseph Millar

“Love Song” by Carol Muske-Dukes

“Aubade in a Red State” by Josh Myers

“September Song” by Erik Schuckers

Understanding” by Robert Stewart

“I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman

“A Ribbon Red” by Glen Wilson


Back at the Fruit Tree – the story behind the Nields’ song (and I think the song “Fountain of Youth” is more than okay!).

Old Sturbridge Village Rethinks How It Presents The Past – As a leader in NEH is quoted: “Many historic site interpretations have lagged behind scholarship, so they have to become more relevant to a more diverse audience.”

There Will Be Blood-Red Trees – I have written before about how First Ladies are subject to criticism no matter how they decorate the White House (a history museum among its many other functions) for the holidays. Nevertheless, Melania Trump’s austere décor makes me think of Narnia under the reign of the White Witch – always winter and never Christmas. As the article puts it, “Christmas at the White House is about the potential for cozy, heartwarming photo-ops, and the Trump administration is perhaps better known for battles on Twitter than glitter.”

This Nativity Scene Starring Dogs Will Get You Into The Christmas Spirit – Christmas canine cuteness.

Onion articles:

Area Man Remembers Less Politically Correct Time When Christmas Was About Honoring The Glory Of Saturn

Manager Of Combination Taco Bell/KFC Secretly Considers It Mostly A Taco Bell

R. Kelly Releases Emotional New Song Thanking Fans For Continued Acceptance Of Sex Crimes

Red Hot Chili Peppers Accidentally Write Song About New Hampshire

Terrifying Man Selling Dead Trees Out Of Middle School Parking Lot

Trump Boys Leave $5 Bill, Candy Bar Under Propped-Up Laundry Basket In Effort To Catch Op-Ed Writer

White House Concerned Ryan Zinke Made Land Deal Without Giving Cut To Trump

White House Now Just Holding Continuous Going-Away Party For Departing Staffers

From the Onion, “American Voices” section:

British Radio Stations Ban Anti–Theresa May Song

R. Kelly Releases 19-Minute Song Addressing Sexual Assault

About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
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