Weekly Update for September 26, 2021

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Weekly Update at Introverted Reader

Welcome to my weekly update for September 26, 2021! My husband and I are flying home to Asheville, North Carolina tomorrow after spending three months in Anchorage, Alaska with his job. We’ve had a wonderful time in this beautiful state!

My big bookish news is that I’ve been chosen as a round one panelist in the high school nonfiction category for the Cybils Awards! I’m so excited! This is my first year participating but the other panelists and round two judges have amazing qualifications; I look forward to working with everyone! Nominations begin Friday, October 1.

Cybils Book Award Logo

Also, today kicks off Banned Books Week. I’ll write a separate post about it but I’ve tried to read enough banned books recently to review one every day this week. Right now I’m a little behind but I think I’ll get it done.

Banned Books Week 2021

In personal news, I checked my number one bucket list item off last weekend–I saw the northern lights! Woohoo! You can see them from Anchorage sometimes, but the farther north you go, the better your chances of seeing them. At least that’s my understanding. So we drove up to Fairbanks for the weekend and spent three nights looking at the sky. We only saw a low mass of snow clouds on the last two nights but we did get lucky on our first try! I did not know that a camera with the correct settings will pick up the lights better than our naked eyes will. So at first there was a lot of, “Is that faint greenish smudge what we’re looking for?” Sure enough, it was. But as the night went on, we were able to see them more and more clearly. We didn’t see the most active display by any means, but seeing them at all was a dream come true! What a way to end our time in Alaska!

We also crossed the Arctic Circle! That wasn’t a bucket list item but we went for it since we were going to be closer than we’ve ever been before. We took a little charter flight up to Coldfoot Camp and then took a van tour back down the Dalton Highway to Fairbanks. Coldfoot is the farthest north truck stop in the world and the Dalton Highway is one of the roads the Ice Road Truckers drive. It’s just gravel at this time of year though.


  • Northern Lights
  • Northern Lights
  • New Snow on the Mountains of Alaska
  • Arctic Circle Sign
  • Fall Colors on the Matanuska River

All images © Jennifer G. at Introverted Reader 2021

  1. Northern Lights (I was really happy with the pictures my Pixel 3 took on Night Sight mode. My husband’s were better with his Nikon but I think mine are respectable.)
  2. Northern Lights
  3. New snow on the mountains as we flew into Coldfoot
  4. The Arctic Circle sign!
  5. Fall color on the Matanuska River. Alaska doesn’t have all the shades of red and orange that other autumnal places do, but these yellows and golds against the green spruces sure are beautiful!


Fall 2021 TBR

Ten Books on My Fall 2021 TBR


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The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, translated by Magda Bogin

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Currently Reading:

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog (Amelia Peabody #7) by Elizabeth Peters, read by Barbara Rosenblat

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker

Reading Challenge Update:

I’m including this in an effort to hold myself accountable. I’ll try to remember to update at the end of each month. Challenge title links go to my personal progress page and host links go to the relevant sign-up page.

Up Next:

I’ll choose one more quick picture book or middle grade book for Banned Books Week and then I’ll be ready to start my annual spooky reading for October! Oh, and I’ll obviously be reading high school nonfiction for the Cybils Awards soon.

What did your week look like?

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz hosts The Sunday Salon and Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer hosts Sunday Post. Kathryn at Book Date hosts It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


  1. I’ll bet you’re torn between leaving Alaska and heading back to North Carolina, although I’ll bet it’s getting pretty cold and dark in AK. Wonderful photos of the Northern Lights. Wish we were going to be there to see them, but it will be too early in the season, I’m afraid.

    Congrats on the Cybils. Sounds like a fun project!

    Sorry if this is a duplicate comment. I lost my connection as I was posting it!

  2. So cool that you were able to see the Northern Lights! It’s high on my bucketlist too. Hopefully we’ll be visiting Iceland with my mom, sister, niece and aunt. It was planned for last May but we sadly had to cancel due to Covid.

    I’m also going to check something of my Bucketlist soon: Christmas in London!!

    Yay for bucketlists!

  3. Congratulations on the Cybils!

    Seeing the Northern Lights is on my bucket list as well. Living in Canada, it should be easy, but where I live is a little too far south and has way too much light pollution!

  4. Congratulations on the Cybils!! I love that you enjoyed your time in Alaska and got to see the Northern Lights. I am constantly learning about new reading challenges and want to participate in more in 2022. Good luck finishing your goals for this year. I am going to be participating in a Christmas Challenge that runs Oct-Dec and my post about that will be up tomorrow. Here is my link if you’d like to stop by: https://cindysbookcorner.blogspot.com/2021/09/top-ten-tuesday-books-on-fall-tbr-list.html

  5. Congrats on being chosen a Cybils judge. I hope the books in your category are amazing. Sounds like you are having a great time in Alaska. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  6. Wow such beautiful sights again in Alaska. What an experience. Any of the graphic novels of Raina Telgemeier that I have read I’ve really enjoyed.

  7. What a great tour of Alaska you have had! I love the photos. It will feel almost warm back in NC but I love how much cooler it was this week. I really enjoyed the Elizabeth Peters books. Do you know where you are headed next?

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  8. Congrats on being a judge for the CYBILS! I thought about signing up this year, but I’m really wanting to get involved in the state library association where I live again now that I’m a librarian in the state again and I can. I would love to see the Northern Lights sometime, so cool! Have a great week!
    Lisa Loves Literature

  9. Congratulations on being chosen as a CYBILS panelist! Sounds like a fun experience.

    How wonderful to have seen the Northern Lights from Alaska!

    I tried reading the first Amelia Peabody mystery and just couldn’t get into it. I have a feeling it was just bad timing for me. I will probably try again some day.

    Have a great week!

  10. The Northern Lights are also something I really want to see/do, that is so wonderful that you had that experience. And crossing the Arctic Circle! Sounds like a great trip.

    Congratulations on joining the CYBILS judging family; it’s such a fun experience! I am a round 2 for graphic novels this year.

  11. Oh my gosh Jen! That is one of my biggest dreams – to see the Northern Lights. That is a memory you will cherish forever. Yea for going home! From all your fun blogposts, I think you had a good time in Alaska.

    I still have House of the Spirits on my TBR. One of my close friends think it’s the best book she has ever read. Maybe I should just give it a try.

    Safe travels and have a good week!

    Elza Reads

  12. Ooh the nothern lights! How cool. I’ve seen them a few times, believe it or not, from here in Michigan (years ago when the conditions were right) but probably nothing like what you saw! And that’s neat too about the arctic Circle! How fun!!

    Your books look good too. Final Girl Support Club I was thinking of trying…

    Hope you have a great new week!

  13. How amazing to be able to experience the Northern Lights. I would love to do that one day. And, congrats on being chosen as a Cybils judge. Would love to hear more about the books you’ll be reading so looking forward to that. Hope you have a great week celebrating the freedom to read!

  14. Congratulations on being chosen as a Cybils judge! I hope you have a fabulous time reading.

    The Northern Lights? The Arctic Circle? Wow and wow. Thank you for sharing your experiences and photos with us.

    Good luck completing your Banned Book Week challenge. I was shocked this week to see all the books that were removed from one school district’s libraries. I just can’t understand the mindset of people who do that.

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