Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Year in Reading: Full Book and Audio List

January (9)
• Freakshow by James St James
• Rescuing Seneca Crane by Susan Runholt
• Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook
• The Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
• The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket
• Hot House Orchid by Stuart Woods
• Silent Night, Haunted Night by Terri Garey
• Audio: The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
• Non-fiction: Creating Black Americans: African-American History and its Meanings, 1619 to the Present

February (10)
• Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz
• Totally Joe by James Howe
• Ash by Malinda Lo
• Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn & David Leviathan
• The Vast Field of Ordinary by Nick Burd
• Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
• My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr
• Audio: Miss Julia Speaks by Ann Ross
• Audio: The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl
• Non-fiction: Saving Graces by David Robinson

March (7)
• Luna by Julie Anne Peters
• The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket
• Tragedy at Two by Ann Purser
• The Pallbearers by Stephen L Cannell
• Audio: The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket
• Audio: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
• Non-fiction: Letters from New Orleans by Rob Walker

April (7)
• The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
• Deep Shadow by Randy Wayne White
• The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn
• Audio: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
• Non-fiction: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
• Non-fiction: Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach
• Non-fiction: The House Always Wins by Marni Jameson

May (9)
• Lady Liberty by Vicki Hinze
• Kisser by Stuart Woods
• Docketful of Poesy by Diana Killian
• Lucid Intervals by Stuart Woods
• Popular Vote by Michol Ostow
• 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs
• Audio: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
• Audio: The Viper’s Nest (39 Clues)
• Non-fiction: Postsecrets: Confessions on Life, Death, and God

June (11)
• U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
• Dante’s Numbers by David Hewson
• Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
• Southern Fried by Cathy Pickens
• City of Fear by David Hewson
• Mama Does Time by Deborah Sharp
• Fatal Last Words by Quintin Jardine
• Audio: Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot
• Audio: Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith

July 2010 (14)
• The Star Rover by Jack London
• Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
• The Jewel of the Seven Stars by Bram Stoker
• American Gods by Neil Gaiman
• Magic By the Lake by Edward Eager
• Map of Moments by Christopher Golden
• Shoot to Thrill by PJ Tracy
• The Language of Bees by Laurie R King
• Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple) by Agatha Christie
• Audio: The Emperor’s Code (39 Clues)
• Audio: The Storm Warning (39 Clues)
• Audio: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
• Non-fiction: Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs
• Non-fiction: Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

August 2010 (12)
• Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
• Done Gone Wrong by Cathy Pickens
• Sand and Foam by Kahil Gibran
• Mama Rides Shotgun by Deborah Sharp
• Strip Jack by Ian Rankin
• Riot Act by Zoe Sharp
• The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
• Galveston by Kent Conwell
• Audio: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
• Non-fiction: Sand and Foam by Kabril Gibran
• Non-fiction: This Sold House by Diane Reyes
• Non-fiction: Give it Up! My Year of Living With Less by Mary Carlomagno

September 2010 (13)
• Hog Wild by Cathy Pickens
• Hush My Mouth by Cathy Pickens
• Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs
• The Mystery of Marie Roget by Edgar Allan Poe
• The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
• Skeletons of the Atchafalaya by Kent Conwell
• The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
• Hard Knocks by Zoe Sharp
• Death in the Distillery by Kent Conwell
• The Picasso Scam by Stuart Pawson
• Vicksburg by Kent Conwell
• The Ying On Triad by Kent Conwell
• Audio: Runaway by Meg Cabot

October 2010 (11)
• First Shot by Zoe Sharp
• Extracurricular Murder by Kent Conwell
• Road Kill by Zoe Sharp
• The Swamps of Bayou Teche by Kent Conwell
• The Crystal Skull Murders by Kent Conwell
• Second Shot by Zoe Sharp
• Death in the French Quarter by Kent Conwell
• Third Strike by Zoe Sharp
• The Puzzle of Piri Reis by Kent Conwell
• The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl
• Audio: Into the Gauntlet (39 Clues)

November 2010 (8)
• Defending Angels by Mary Stanton
• The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke
• An Unmarked Grave by Kent Conwell
• The Prostitutes’ Ball by Stephen J Cannell
• Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
• Until Midnight by Amanda Quick
• Angels Advocate by Mary Stanton
• Avenging Angels by Mary Stanton

December 2010 (7)
• Can’t Never Tell by Cathy Pickens
• The Black Book by Ian Rankin
• God of the Hive by Laurie R King
• A Clubbable Woman by Reginald Hill
• An Advancement in Learning by Reginald Hill
• Audio: Heist Society by Ally Carter
• Audio: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Grand Total: 118
17 Audio
12 Non-fiction
10 School
32 YA

My 2010 Year in Reading

(Shamelessly copying, with permission, Helgagrace's blog post. For my full list, you can see this post).

Grand Total: 118
17 Audio
12 Non-fiction
10 School
32 YA (most were for school)

I have to say, I'm very surprised that I made it through so many books, but I can see right where final projects/comp tests/finals were.

I haven't read much non-fiction since I graduated, and I know I did't put down many Home remodeling/decorating titles, but that's mainly because I just look at the pictures, so I don't count them.

I'm also glad I did this list because there were a couple of months that I'd forgotten to enter some of the books from my reading journal-not-a-journal. (I write down when I start & end a book, and what series it's from, but not what I thought of it. That I can usually remember on my own.)

Keeping in mind that I didn't pay as close of attention as to the genre of the books/audios as I could've, there's a definite trend. When in school, I tended to read more YA books. I also tend to listen to more YA audios--I like the readers and the story lines are easy enough to pick back up when I haven't listened for a couple of days (almost makes me miss my looooooooong commute to St Kate's. Almost).

As for my reading goals in 2011? I'm going to go ahead and read more of what I like, not what I have to read. I've waited not-so-patiently for this for SEVEN years. I'd say I'm due.

Also, I'll be doing my normal "read at least 5 books out of my normal genres" thing. I like mysteries and thrillers. Yep. Specifically British ones, but also ones set in the US South. I tried (and thoroughly enjoyed) my first foray into Steampunk via Scott Westerfeld's 'Leviathan' (and am now on the hold list for the sequel, 'Behemoth').

I also plan on reading/listening to a few classics; there's probably been enough time since they were shoved down my throat in high school that I might be able to actually enjoy some of them. Well, that, and there won't be any tests on them *crossing fingers*.

Mostly, though, I'm going to work on my reading stamina. It's rather irritating to finally get to sit down and read at night, and then falling asleep in the chair before I've read even a chapter.

Monday, December 27, 2010

10 in '10, or What I Learned in 2010

What a year. I'm almost as glad to see it be done as I was 2009. And that's saying something.

In 2010, I learned lots of things. However, just like my Mom used to tell me, life's lessons tend to run in the same theme until a person successfully works through them. I'm hoping that I passed the test(s) this time.

In 2010:

  1. I learned that sometimes it IS about the destination. The journey, nifty as it may be, is not necessarily the focus.

  2. I learned that sometimes a situation deteriorates to the point where it's time to "not be nice" (from Roadhouse, one of Mom's favorite movies), and that when that time comes, it's best to stand my ground and not go along to get along anymore.

  3. I learned that sometimes letting go, no matter how hard it is, is the kindest thing to do.

  4. I learned that it's OK to ask for and receive help, that I don't have to try and hold it together on my own.

  5. I learned that it won't kill me to try new things...and that I may end up liking them.

  6. I learned that it's about progress, not perfection, and that having a "B and Done" attitude can be OK. Hard, but OK.

  7. I learned that friends can make (almost) any awful situation bearable. Mostly.

  8. I learned that coming back to a normal life is way harder than I thought it would be...but I'm getting there a day at a time.

  9. I learned that when there's no more "have-to" reading to do, trying to remember how to read for fun (and staying awake long enough to do so) can be a tricky business.

  10. I learned that all my creativity did not, in fact, completely desert me; it only went dormant for awhile.

Most of all, I learned that I can get through anything with a little (lot of) help from my family and friends, which is a pretty good thing to learn.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm Coming Home...

This is just one of those songs that capture much of what I'm going through mentally right now.

I graduated in May 2010, but had yet to really come back to normal life even as late as October, when I went to see the doctor for my annual exam. I'd been having extreme anxiety attacks and knew I needed some help. I couldn't sit still anymore and would just go and go until I basically fell asleep in a chair at night. My sleep patterns have been all messed up for years because of school, so I didn't think it was abnormal.

After asking me lots of questions and listening to my answers, she said what I had was fixable, and that all those times I'd had the heartburn during school--yeah, that was anxiety. She put me on Zoloft (well, the generic equivalent of) for a 3-month time-span just to "take the edge off", after which we'd re-evaluate where I was. Although I know it's not for everyone, I'd taken it before (after I had the Kid), so I knew I'd be OK. I can feel my creativity coming back, and I'm definitely feeling more like myself again every day.

I'm coming home.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

101 in 1001 November Roundup

So, I set mini-goals for myself last month...and only managed to get 1.5 of them done. Apparently I shouldn't set mini-goals for myself. Yes, I know that another interpretation could be, "Or buckle down and actually get them done." I like my version better, thanks.

Without further ado, here's where I'm at:

In Process: 12
Finished: 18

Finances/Giving (1/12)
1. Get Emergency Fund up to $1000
2. Pay off and close Chase Visa
3. Pay off and close Target Visa
4. Get Emergency Fund up to 3 months (~12,000)
5. Get a used truck
6. Put a $50 bill in the second collection basket
7. Put a $100 bill in the second collection basket
8. Donate to the Food Shelf 10 times ($25 or equivalent) (4/10)
9. Leave a 100% tip 5 times (0/5)
10. Choose 2 kids from the Jesse Tree during Christmas & get them presents
11. Give to a family in need during the holidays
12. Buy a scratch-off lottery ticket & donate 25% of the winnings to charity [Done 18 September 2010]

House Inside (6/12)
13. Hang up 5 pictures (5/5) [Done 17 November 2010]
14. Frame Tree picture [Done 9 September 2010]
15. Paint back room and closet [Done 13 October 2010]
16. Paint hall storage closet & set up shelves [Done 17 August 2010]
17. Spruce up front door area (outside: welcome mat, flower pots/ inside: bench, mirror, lamp)
18. Finish basement
19. Back door/entryway re-do
20. Repaint & redo my office
21. Hang curtains or blinds in master bedroom & the Kid’s room [Done 18 October 2010]
22. Get dining room chairs
23. Repaint Laundry Room
24. Repaint/redo master bathroom/closet [Done 5 October 2010]

House Outside (1/12)
25. Plant 5 trees in yard (4/5) [4 Blue Spruce planted 7 August 2010]
26. Put in back flower bed
27. Paint Storage Shed same color as house
28. Back entryway outside re-do (transition between steps and red rock)
29. Build garage
30. Put in front flower bed
31. Put in front tower flower bed
32. Put in side flower bed
33. Level out north side of house & put down the decorative rock
34. Get covers for grill & fireplace
35. Get rid of stumps in back yard [Done 28 August 2010]
36. Get a flag for front porch (and install said flag)

To Do/Watch/Read (0/12)

37. Watch 101 movies (12/101)
November 2010
• Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I
• Surviving Christmas

38. Read 101 books (47/101)
November 2010
• Defending Angels by Mary Stanton
• The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke
• An Unmarked Grave by Kent Conwell
• The Prostitutes’ Ball by Stephen J Cannell
• Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
• Angels Advocate by Mary Stanton

39. Go to a Cowboys-Vikings game
40. See 5 Minnesota Tourist Attractions (0/5)
41. Visit 5 art galleries in Minnesota (0/5)
42. Watch all seasons of “24” (0/8)
43. Watch all seasons of “MI-5” (0/9)
44. Complete a crossword puzzle book
45. Watch 5 documentaries (4/5)
46. Read 5 Non-fiction books (0/5)
47. Donate 100, 000 grains of rice on (14,600/100,000)
48. Do 5 things from the “365 Things to do in the Twin Cities” (2/5)
• Donated money to the Heart of Minnesota animal shelter for the GiveMN Give to the Max Day on 16 November 2010

Health (1/12)
49. Walk to work 30 times (20/30)
50. Bike around the lake
51. 175
52. 165
53. 155
54. 145
55. 135
56. Get eyes checked
57. Get new glasses or contacts
58. Get annual physical [Done 16 September 2010]
59. Do the 200 sit-ups challenge
60. Track my progress with Wii Fit for 28 consecutive days.

Grown-up/Family stuff (0/12)
61. Change life insurance beneficiaries
62. Write wills
63. Write living wills
64. Get family picture taken
65. Send out Christmas cards with aforementioned family picture on it
66. Host Brother/Sister Christmas party
67. Have a family board/card game night 5 times (1/5)
68. Buy a new “grown-up” outfit (shirt/pants)
69. Take a family vacation
70. Make a picture family tree
71. Get first aid certified
72. Get the Kid a car safety kit for her car

Spiritual/Church (2/12)
73. Learn the Rosary Prayers
74. Go to a Latin Mass
75. Go to daily Mass for a week
76. Donate time, talent, or treasure for the CCW Bazaar [Done 1 October 2010]
77. Read the Tao te Ching [Done 18 September 2010]
78. Get a new St Christopher Medal
79. Do the Advent readings and wreath one year
80. Do the Lenten readings one year
81. Do the Rice Bowl project one year
82. Light an intention candle 10 times (2/10)
83. Attend Mass in the Basilica
84. Attend 2 Lenten dinners

Food (6/12)
85. Make a cake & icing (or cupcakes) from scratch [Done 24 July 2010]
86. Try 3 new restaurants (0/3)
87. Do one week of meal planning
88. Do one month of meal planning
89. Eat 1 serving of fruit a day for a week (7/7) [Done 12 July 2010]
90. Try a new recipe [Done 1 October 2010]
91. Make cookies from scratch [Done 23 September 2010]
92. Try a different flavor ice cream (no vanilla/chocolate) [Done 12 August 2010]
93. Limit Diet Coke to 2 servings per day for 1 consecutive week (0/7 days)
94. No fast food for a month
95. Try 5 different kinds of apples (5/5) [Done July 2010]

Just Because (1/5)
96. Donate hair to Locks of Love one more time
97. Take part in a pub quiz
98. Complete a 500+ piece puzzle
99. Fly first class
100. Start a Tumblr [Done 8 July 2010]:
101. Do a 365 day photo challenge