• Reading

    My Year in Books: Reading Year in Review

    Here is My Year in Books on Goodreads (I’m not sure its visible for everyone); not sure if the page number is accurate, I did read 140 which it shows at the bottom but not at the top.

    Goodreads numbers (factoring in the slim book that I didn’t list on Goodreads because it had to do with my geographic area, and supplementing the information with stats from My Books > Stats page).

    • 141 books (about 40 more than last year)
    • 39,576+ pages (almost 10,000 pages more than my previous record in 2014; also, see note above on re-reads)
    • Longest book: 908 pages (Brothers Karamazov)
    • Shortest book: 24 pages (the golden book Kitty’s New Doll, a childhood favorite, a Christmas theme this year, that my sister received for Christmas)
    • Average rating: 3.2 (I checked previous years, around 3 usually is my average)
    • Most popular: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
    • Least popular: Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impacts on Human History by J.N. Hays
    • Approximately 25% was on my fantasy shelf
    • Around at least 12-15% was Agatha Christie
    • Most of my 5 star reads were re-reads
    • I had 6 one star reads

    Now, I started also tracking books in Excel. Later I discover that you can export your Goodreads information in an excel sheet, but when I tried for this year the most significant column (date read) didn’t properly transfer for me (less than 1/3 of books read in 2018 showed a date in Excel), so that was rather useless. I asked about this, so we’ll see if it’s corrected.

    Anyway from my 6 main categories (Re-reads, Literary Fiction, Light Fiction, Illustrated Books, Serious Nonfiction, and Popi for this year:

    • Re-reads: 35 (not including Illustrated);  13 Literary Fiction and 22 Light Fiction (last year I re-read around 12)
    • Literary Fiction: 14 (27 including re-reads)
    • Light Fiction: 58 (70 including re-reads)
    • Illustrated Books: 11 (at least 3 and up to 5 were re-reads from childhood)
    • Serious Nonfiction: 10
    • Popular Nonfiction: 13
    • Total nonfiction: 23 (last year I read at least 30)
  • Daily Life

    The New Year Tag for 2018

    What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
    I’m a hobbit, especially this year. I can’t think of anything major.
    Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make one this year?
    I made a ton of goals and while I met some parts of the goals, overall I don’t think I made a success. Yes, I’m definitely having goals. I’m trying to make them more general upfront, and then I will break them down into more achievable steps and plans.
    My resolutions were…
    I posted them around this time last year if you really want to see them.
    Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Yes, my sister-in-law to my first niece (first niece or nephew, is there a group word for that?).
    Did anyone close to you die?
    No.
    What countries/states did you visit?
    Florida (the states we drove through to get there don’t count). In other words, back to normal; so much for my dreams (I missing the key ingredient of bravery, since I apparently cannot drive 2 hours in my own state to see the total solar eclipse, over a year, and I’m still disgusted with myself). I’ve been made aware that around this area there are two states, the one you live in and Florida.
    What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
    Financial independence.
    What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory?
    My niece’s birthday.
    Did you move anywhere?
    No.
    What was the best month?
    All the ones after my niece has been born (the last 3.5).
    What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    I’m not sure. Maybe spending more time with family.
    What was your biggest failure?
    All things financial and career (per usual).
    Did you suffer illness or injury?
    No.
    What was the best thing you bought?
    I didn’t have major purchases, but I bought a lot of unique handmade and vintage items. I posted about the art fair already. I think I have yet to post about some of the other trips.
    Whose behavior merited celebration?
    Anyone who didn’t do or say anything awful.
    Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    Everyone who did.
    Where did most of your money go?
    School and make-up and skincare, I think.
    What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    My niece.
    What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?
    I don’t go to concerts.
    What song/album will always remind you of 2018?
    I’m so not a music person, should probably work a bit on that. I have listened to the Greatest Showman music, probably the most current music.
    Compared to this time last year, are you:
    1. happier or sadder? Happier or more positive at least, I hope, I think?
    2. thinner or fatter? Ouch, definitely fatter.
    3. richer or poorer? Um, less in debt.
    What do you wish you’d done more of? 
    Saved money.
    What do you wish you’d done less of?
    Spent money. Shared too many words and emotions at work (i.e. trust no one).
    What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Like I said, not a huge music person. But I have enjoyed learning about Christmas carols in Stories Behind the Best Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins. And as folk music is definitely my favorite genre, I enjoyed watching and listening to this bluegrass clogging video.
    How did you spend Christmas?
    With family, I’ll probably post about it soon.
    How are you spending New Year’s?
    Well, typing this post, I opted not to go with my family to friends. Tomorrow, per usual we have people over (to avoid people having run-ins with drunk drivers) for homemade doughnuts, ping-pong, and board games.
    Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
    Social media.
    What were the best books you read?
    The best books were old favorites for fiction. I did enjoy starting Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle and Diana Wynne Jones’ Crestomanci books as well as a few others, but no loves there. I appreciated a lot of the health and disease books I read and Sleep Smarter which I want to buy and use like a manual.
    What were the best movies you watched?
    I Am Dragon, Spiderman: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Bringing Up Baby, and Monkey Business.
    Did you fall in love in 2018?
    No.
    What was your favorite TV show?
    Yeah, I’m NOT a television person.
    Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    What did you want and get?
    Spiderman: Homecoming, The Hollow Crown, and The Magic of Ordinary Days.
    What did you want and not get?
    Books with beautiful covers on my wishlist.
    How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
    Apathetic.
    What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    Probably watched a movie? And later we did a family month birthday (we have 5 in that month). Apparently I didn’t do a birthday post, not sure why. But I need to work better at documenting memories, it’s disturbing what I can’t remember. I turned 28.
    What kept you sane?
    Easy books, funny movies, my room.
    What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Financial and career security.
    Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    Hmm, I think I did more fawning on old favs (including really old ones like Gregory Peck and Gary Cooper), Tom Hiddleston, oh, wait. I know a good one. When we watched She’s the Man, my sister and I were drooling over young Channing Tatum (let’s be real, the major reason I wanted to watch that). I also fancied the men in I Am Dragon. But I can’t think of anything that matched my Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hiddlestown rages (those later two, especially Hiddleston were more like “real” crushes, cringy I know).
    What political issue stirred you the most?
    We don’t do politics here.
    Who did you miss?
    No one.
    Who was the best new person you met?
    Most new people I’ve met have been work people.
    Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
    Always have an emergency fund.
    Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
    Five things I want to do in 2019:
    Achieve financial stability
    Implement patterns to make my life easier
    Travel more
    Maybe get out of my shell more (that’s not really a want but a should)
    Develop my talents more.

  • Reading

    2017 Reading in Review

    I read around 100 books. 89 new to me, 2 partial reads, and 12 re-reads. I feel like I may be off by one, but this is close enough.

    My Goodreads Year in Books has me at 101 books (I know I didn’t list some re-reads and removed a book that was local) and 27,766 pages. My shortest books was 32 pages and longest was 894 (pages are suspect because they include more that just the story and page numbers vary by publisher).

    Now for the challenges: I didn’t make many of them. I’m okay with that as I feel that I learned quite a bit this year. I read some excellent nonfiction, learned that tons of terrible nonfiction exists, learned to put down books that are silly or repetitive, etc. Also, some of these goals are a bit superficial and the books are ones I could read or re-read any year.

    See my 2018 goals here.

    Corinne’s Outdo Yourself Book Challenge
    I’m aiming for On Fire: 11-15 more books, or 4,000+ more pages. When I originally set this challenge I thought that I’d read 52 books last year, but I think I added my re-reads in later and now Goodreads shows 78. I still think that I could beat that if I work steadily. I beat that total with new reads alone.

    Adventures of Reading Challenge
    Level: Wrangler, 10-12 Books
    1. A book of Tennyson’s Poetry
    2. Confident Pluralism
    3. Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry
    (this is part of my US history self-ed course; I need to get back on track)
    4. Hemingway novel
    5. Henry James novel
    6. Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution
    7. Mill on the Floss
    8. At the Altar
    9. The Golden Road
    10. In the Teeth of the Evidence
    11. The Wimsey Papers
    12. Striding Folly

    Elyssa Nalani’s Grown Up Reading Challenge
    ~A book about world history: A History of Israel
    ~A book about an invention
    ~A book about personal development Reading People
    ~A book about relationships
    ~A book about business
    ~A book about art
    ~A book about religion/theology
    ~A book about personal finance The Behavior Gap
    ~A book about current events: The Tolerance of Intolerance; Prisoners of Geography; The Vanishing American Adult
    ~A book you were supposed to read in high school but didn’t
    ~A book about science
    ~A book of poetry Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems
    ~A book originally written in a different language Uncle Vanya
    ~A book more than 100 years old: The Time Machine and several others
    ~A play
    ~A book that won the Pulitzer Prize
    ~A classic Dombey and SonCheaper by the DozenUncle Vanya
    ~A banned book
    ~A book about food Paris, My Sweet
    ~An autobiography, biography or memoir: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus; Hillbilly Elegy, Night

    Modern Mrs. Darcy
    Reading for Growth Challenge
    ~A Newbery Award winner or Honor book
    ~A book in translation: Night
    ~A book over 600 pages: Basic Economics; Slave Counterpoint; A History of Israel; Dombey and Son
    ~A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems
    ~A book of any genre that addresses current events: The Tolerance of Intolerance; Prisoners of Geography; The Vanishing American Adult
    ~An immigrant story
    ~A book published before you were born: Barnaby Rudge and so many others, I would hazard a guess at half?
    ~3 Books by the same author: Blood Feud; The Capricorn Bracelet; and Flame Colored Taffeta by Rosemary Sutcliff
    ~A book by an #ownvoices or #diverse books author: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus; Night
    ~A book with an unreliable narrator or ambiguous ending We Have Always Lived in the Castle
    ~A book nominated for an award in 2017
    ~A Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award Winner: Mornings on Horseback

    Travel the World in Books Challenge
    I want to focus mainly on reading histories of these regions, but if I can manage a few works of fiction, I’d like to do that as well. I’d also like to read some geography and culture books as well. If I do reviews, I will try to link them.
    ~Africa
    ~Canada The Golden Road
    ~Continental Europe, East Uncle Vanya
    ~Continental Europe, West The Thief LordNight
    ~East Asia
    ~Middle East and Israel: Israel: A History by Martin Gilbert
    ~Russia Uncle Vanya
    ~South America The Bridge of San Luis ReyAll Roads Lead to Austen
    Bonus: The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA

    My Re-Reading Possibilities
    ~The Jane Austen novels
    (excluding Emma which I read last December)
    ~Much Ado About Nothing
    ~To Have and To Hold
    ~The Tale of Two Cities
    ~Book of Walter Scott’s Poetry
    ~Ivanhoe
    ~The Scarlet PimpernelThe Elusive Pimpernel, and El Dorado
    ~Aunt Jane’s Hero
    ~Evelina
    ~The Book Thief
    ~The Screwtape Letters
    ~The Silmarillion

    ~Freckles and Girl of the Limberlost

  • Daily Life

    Analyzing Yearly Resolutions or Goals: Conducting a Personal Review

    How to conduct your own annual review. I would say this is only interesting if you are someone with a lot of irons in the fire or if you make and can keep specific plans. I do better with more abstraction, but if I get busier, this might be fun.

    This might work better for those of us underperforming or stop and smell the roses or worry or plan and do nothing type people.