Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Book Stats

How many books read in 2015? - 42, which is 7 less than last year and 10 less than my goal of 52.  This was a hard year of focus for me.  It seemed like I'd sit down and fly through a book in a day or it would take me an entire month.  For some reason, I lost my joy in reading.  I think it has a lot to do with other life crazy things and I think I had a lot of anxiety about some topics I was reading about it and it made it hard.  Reading is emotional and apparently I was a wreck this year!

How many fiction and non fiction? I read 2 memoirs (nonfiction) and 40 fiction.

Male/Female author ratio? 25 females and 10 males (tried not to double count any)

Favorite book read in 2015? this is so hard... I was more generous this year with my goodreads 5 star rating it appears but have tons of 4 stars.  I think my top three that I turned around and recommended to others would be Lucia, Lucia by Adrianna Trigani, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlin.  With a bonus 4th of The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney. 

Least favorite? Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why? Broken Trust, it just wasn't hitting me and I meant to keep picking it up and I didn't.

How many books from the library? 8, which is up 1 from last year.   

How many books read did I purchase? 6 brand new (down from 9 last year, thought I feel like I bought more books ha), 2 were used from the book sales the previous year

How many were gifts? 2

How many borrowed from others? 1

How many were given to me for reviews? 15, up 4 from last year

How many books read on kindle? I read a half book in the Linda Castillo series on the kindle and that is it.  I did purchase a book for 1.99 when there was  sale but I haven't read it yet. And I have a new kindle fire.

Any re-reads? Nope

Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading? United States, France, Cuba, Egypt, England, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Italy, and Germany I do believe.  It's hard trying to remember if characters traveled other places.

Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation? Not so much recommendation but for book club, Can you Keep a Secret? and The Haunting of Hill House

Which author did you read the most of? Linda Castillo

What was your best reading month? January I read 5 but a lot of months I read 4.

What was your worst reading month? November.  The only books I finished were the chapter books I read with my kiddo!

2015 Reading Goals - revisited...

1. Read 52 books - Nope, I'm at 42.  And I will not be finishing my last book by midnight.
2. Read a book by Hemingway - I kind of forgot I said this. :p So, no.  I do know which one I will read whenever I get around to it!
3. Read one autobiography - I read memoirs but not really an autobiography.
4. Clear off my shelves. - I did manage this.  I have donated over 40 books. 

2016 Goals
1. Read 52 books.
2. Complete the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge.
3. Read more books that I own and continue donating.
4. Post more on the blog. 

How many books did you read this year? Did you complete your 2015 reading goals? What are your goals for 2016? Which author did you read the most of? What was your most recommended book? Any you couldn't finish?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 Read Harder Challenge and other book goals

I will admit that I am not good at keeping goals.  Making them, yes.  I am not accountable to myself.  Even when I make it public.  Last year I know a lot of people who started and some that finished the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge.  Last year, it did not appeal to me at all.  I don't know if it was the categories or just that last year was hard and I couldn't commit to anything. 

2016 is not last year.  It's a new year and a new goal.  I am excited about this challenge and I spent way too much time today looking at my goodreads TBR list and thinking and looking at books on my bookshelves to help me cross off books that I own that I've never read.  A twofer if you will.

So, I still have some categories blank.  I have some that I know I will be able to fill with a book I read to Isla so I'm kind of leaving it up for grabs.  I am sure I may change my mind on some of theses, so my plan is not set in stone. 

The majority of these books are ones I own which is how they got here...

Read a horror book: Shutter Island but I am up for suggestions on this.

Read a nonfiction book about science: The Immortal Life of Henriette Lachs

Read a collection of essays: Me Talk Pretty One Day (I think... )

Read a book out loud to someone else: Pirates Past Noon (Magic Treehouse for the Win!)

Read a middle grade novel: The Last Newspaper Boy in America

Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography): Eight Eight Years with Sarah Polk

Read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel: Uglies

Read a book published in the decade you were born:  I can't decide on this one.. I was born in the 80s.. any suggestions?

Listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie Award: Yes Please! by Amy Poehler

Read a book over 500 pages: The Poisonwood Bible

Read a book under 100 pages:  I am going to put an Isla book here or a book I found I own called Abraham and Sarah Todd

Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender: Being Emily

Read a book that is by an author from Southeast Asia: First they killed my Father: A daughter of Cambodia Remembers

Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900: The Red Tent

Read the first book in a series by a person of color: Blanche on the Lam

Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years: Lumberjanes

Read a book that was adapted in to a movie, then watch movie. Debate which is better: Suite Francaise

Read a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes: I know why the caged bird sings

Read a book religion (fiction or nonfiction: The Shack

Read a book about politics, in your country or another (fiction or nonfiction): ???? can't decide

Read a food memoir: Garlic & Sapphires:The Secret Life of a Critic in disguise

Read a play: ??? no idea

Read a book with a main character that has a mental illness: ??? I'm sure I own one but I couldn't easily find one.. not sure..

So that is my plan for this year.  And my usual, read 52 books in a year. 

What are your goals for 2016? Do you plan on doing any reading challenges? Any suggestions for an 80s book? Politics? Mental illness? Any I should change?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Choosing Books

I was listening to a Books on The Nightstand podcast and they were discussing how you choose books and it got me thinking about how I pick books and wondering about how others do too.  I think my process has evolved as technology as changed and as I’ve grown as a reader.  I used to find books solely by browsing shelves in the library, trying to remember the name of an author I’d enjoyed before and sometimes remembering a mention by a friend.  Sometimes I’d check out the lists of books to try out that the librarians had put together.  Or I’d be in Barnes and Noble wandering and doing the same thing.  In college I’d usually pick up books on the 5.95 and lower table just because of price, the cover (gasp) and maybe what it said on the back.  If I read all of it.

I have a back cover reading problem.  The more I know about the book, sometimes I am less inclined to pick it up and read it.  Weird.  Even then, sometimes for book club I may have read a blurb about it but when I get the book in my possession I very rarely read the jacket cover or the back.  I just jump in. 

Now when choosing books I tend to utilize my friend’s on goodreads suggestions.  I’ll scroll through and notice what books they read and usually if they get a 4 star or more  I may read the blurb.  I also will read whatever book is picked for my book club.  I’ve also started using podcasts, mostly the Book Riot podcasts, to add to my growing TBR list. 

I also used to read a lot of book blogs and get suggestions from them.  Now, I don’t get as many suggestions from them only because I rarely sit down daily to read blogs anymore.  When I do catch up, there are only a few blogs where I go all the way back and see what they posted and book blogs generally aren’t the place I go now.

I am weird too in the sense that when books are ALLL THE RAGE, I shy away.  I may read them years later unless book club forces it sooner.  I feel I am more picky with those and tend to not like them for a weird reason but if I wait and read it later when it DOES sound good to me, I usually love it.

What I don’t usually do when choosing books is read the blurbs from other authors.  I don’t really care what another author says about another book. I only look at those AFTER I’ve read and loved a book to maybe get another suggestions on an author or book I should check out that may be a similar taste.

Covers also win me over.  Cheap books win me over.  Authors I’ve already enjoyed win me over.  Books a friend whose reading style fits mine who recommended it usually will win me over.  And if I glance at goodreads and it has generally good reviews, I’ll check it out too.

I have over a 1000 books on my TBR list on goodreads.  I rarely go edit it because I have the best of intentions.  Maybe someday it will resonate and I will grab that book. ;)  I do so badly at reading the books I’ve stocked up on from used book sales that I need to go looking their more often!

I think I’m pretty comfortable in my reading bubble and I know that I’ve struggled a lot in 2015 to read as much as I want so I don’t tend to try out different genres or authors or styles just because I should diversify my reading.  I get the importance of reading diversely but I also understand the importance of keeping something I enjoy, something that I enjoy.

I am going to attempt a reading challenge in 2016.  And I know that I am not good at keeping personal challenges with myself but I am trying for some accountability with my book club friends and I have shelves of books that need to be read.  More on that later.

How do you choose books? How has the process evolved? What is one way to turn you off from a book?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What's in my Purse?

I love bags.  I used to carry two with me when I was teaching.  A purse and a bag for my stuff.  Then my friend started selling Initials Inc. and I had changed jobs but I was still carrying two bags.  I really don't need to carry two bags.  So I hosted a party because... BAGS!  Now I have a behemoth sized tote that I carry everywhere.  I wish I would have had this idea yesterday, but then again I do not.  It would have been more embarrassing.  I had more trash ha.  So, this is what is in my purse minus the usual 34234 receipts, my water bottle and my planner.  Since I take those out when I get to work every day.  And on another purse note, I think I need to get a purse organizer.  Or maybe I don't really need to carry my life with me.

I like big bags and I cannot lie... It's huge.  I can fit everything in it.  And I am a disaster in a store trying not to knock people out with it ha!
Inside view of my stuff...
All the stuff out of the bag..  You can tell I have a child and I like to read..

up close of my sunglasses.  so glad I splurged on prescription ones this year!
my nerdy gloves.
I think I have too many crayons in my purse.. And I may need to steal these fruit snacks soon! ;)
And, I love these pictures.  I just upgraded my phone over the weekend to a Samsung S6 edge and love it!
Do you carry a big bag? Small bag? No bag? What do you usually carry with you?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A few random things..

Shamelessly stolen from the wonderful Nora. ;)
Things I’m new to: feeling like an old lady.  I’ve been having feet issues for over a year and I’ve tried different shoes, tried walking differently, stopped working out and overall I’m still having foot issues.  Now somewhat new issues.  It’s really bumming me out and messing up with my life so I know I need to get it under control and will try to make an appointment in January but I kind of need a new family doctor unless I can use the PA I saw last year and get some kind of referral from her to whatever.  Also, my hip.  The last two months my hip has been all weird and sore.  I’m slightly concerned that I’m dying because I’m a hypochondriac but I just keep plugging away. 

Things I don’t understand: Why people support a certain man running for president.  I refuse to write his name in this space.  He is a racist.  He is not funny.  I cannot understand how one can support him and I will be removing those people from my social media life soon because I cannot handle knowing I know people who think that is okay.

Things that make me giggle: my husband and his mispronunciations of everything.  OH MY LORD.  THE man sees beginnings of words and makes up the ending.  Or he totally uses the wrong word for a situation.  He’s been making me laugh for like a week straight now with his crazy.

Things that make me happy: My daughter.  Every day.  <3 span="">
Give me what you got.. What's something new to you? What don't you understand? What's making you laugh/happy?