Year End Reading Wrap-Up

345 books read - GOAL MET (goal was 300, so met and surpassed)!  Now, if you go over to the reading blog, you'll see far fewer books listed and I've only done one quarterly list, so click here to see the 2016 reads.  Here's the thing: among the unlisted are the picture books I "read" for MPOW's Mock Caldecott, while many more fell into the "you can't talk about this" category for the Book Award Committee.  Which is also, in its way, one of the reasons why I haven't blogged as much this year as in previous years.

So... here's the 2016 reading analysis (2015 numbers in parens):
  • number of books read in 2016:  345 (309) 
  • best month: December/52 (last year was also December with 49)
  • worst month: tie between June and August/22 (April/13)
  • average read per month: 28.75 (25.75) 
  • adult fiction as percentage of total: 21 (17) 
  • children's/YA fiction as percentage of total: 35 (55)
  • Advance Readers Copies: 90 (191) 
  • e-books: 0 (5)
  • books read that were published this year: 300 (249)
  • books that will be published in the coming year: 6 (22) 
  • five star reviews (aka "Must Read"): 5 (30) 
  • one star reviews (aka "DNF"): 11 (15) 
Thanks to Book Committee Books unread, Mt. Bookpile is at 287! And with another year of committee work ahead, it doesn't look like that will go down terribly far, but I'm going to try to keep it below 300.  As with 2016, my public reading goal will be 125 and 300 as my personal goal.  We'll see how that goes.


Times have changed

Goodness, it's been a while since I last blogged - sorry about that.  My excuses include too much reading (book award committee; stay tuned), getting a new team settled at work and some health issues.  And I'll strive to do better in the new year.

I'm watching a tv show and they're talking egg nog.  It's one of those seasonal drinks that people feel strongly about, usually in the "I hate it but..." category.  I blame the godawful storebought crap that arrives on shelves sometime after the pumpkin spice crap arrives (sidequestion: WTF is pumpkin spice and why is it suddenly a thing?  just use nutmeg and cinnamon and get on with your lives).

Honestly, it store bought eggnog was my introduction to the drink, I'd stay far, far away, too.  But mine wasn't.  And it's why I know that there's good eggnog out there, especially if you're daring and willing to risk your health (kinda like eating raw cookie dough is a risk).

You see, years ago - decades ago - my parents used to entertain (note; my mother called it "retaliating" and I don't think she was kidding!).  They'd serve that dip that's Lipton's Onion Soup Mix and sour cream.  They'd have Bugles.  And in late December, my father would make the Joy of Cooking's eggnog (recipe here).  Guess who got to be his "little taster"?  Yep.

Remember: things were different back then.  An adult (Dad) giving a >10 year-old (me) alcohol wasn't considered weird or bad.  Nor was uncooked eggs in a recipe.  Such things fill my generation with horror, but my parents' generation?  Not so much.  The routine was, Dad would start the process.  Add some rum.  Give me a taste.  Add more rum.  Another taste.  Etc.  And by the end, I'd probably had at least one or two full drinks of eggnog.  No idea how much rum, or how many raw eggs. (Reader, I lived.)

For some reason this made me tired and kept me out of their hair during the party. Go figure.

Even better, however, was the appreciation it gave me for the real thing: eggnog with alcohol, delicately spiced.  The supermarket stuff has no alcohol and is overly spiced.  Ugh.  I can understand why no one wants to drink it - I avoid at all costs.  But if someone offers me the real thing?  Yes, please.  More, please.


Notable quotes

Ruth believed in precycling. An evolution on recycling. She make use of things before people threw them out.
A Great Reckoning, Louise Penny 

PDQ Bach didn't plagiarize, he recycled.
Peter Schickele


Notes from Mt. Bookpile

A few days late, but there's been a lot (and I mean A LOT) going on at home. And you're just going to have to trust me on this, but I've read about 40 more books than are listed! Thing is, I'm on a book award committee and we're not allowed to publicly talk about our reading, even if it's just to say "hey, I read this" with no real comments or ratings. In other words, this year you're going to see a whole lot of older books or children's/young adult books mentioned and take it on faith that my adult book reading is keeping me very busy.   As always, reviews on the other blog.

Children's/Young Adult




Lazy Thoughts

Reading... nothing that really excites me just now.  It's a good mix of YA and adult books, but with the exception of known quantities (aka murder mystery series I've been catching up on) everything has felt a bit "meh"

Listening... to more classical music than usual.  I can play my iPod in my office, and classical just feels right.

Watching... the last of Downton Abbey and The Good Wife, two series that have definitely reached their last.

Following... nothing and no one in particular.  I'm looking for new and exciting, so anyone with suggestions should chime in now.

Uncorking... or, as is more pertinent this month, Steeping... a mint green tea.

Looking... at the melting snow outside and wondering what's going on with winter.


First #NaNoWriMo and now #InCoWriMo

Are you ready for InCoWriMo?

What, you don't know what InCoWriMo is?  Silly you.  It's International Correspondence Writing Month.  You know, when you actually pick up paper and pen, write someone a note, fold it and insert in an envelope, get a stamp and then put it into a mailbox to be delivered to someone.  I do it even when it's not InCoWriMo!


So if you want to reminisce and re-encounter that glorious feeling when you see mail, actual mail, in your mailbox, leave me a comment.  Or, maybe, send someone you love a note... card... letter... drawing.  Whatever.

February's a short month.  Don't delay!


It's a sign!

When I made my recent Big Life Change, my new home was on a strange little road.  It was the building I live in and two other buildings that have mostly elderly people (elderly = qualifying for senior housing).  The road sort of dead ends after it passes between those buildings... ironically, I hope, there's a graveyard "next door".  It's a great memento mori to have a literal dead end right there.

There is a cut-through to another two-building complex so we do have access to the next street but that's driving through their parking lot, not on an actual road.

Even better, we live where the street has no name.  Or, apparently, is findable on most GPS.

Then, yesterday, I drove home and... wait!  what?  It's a street sign.  With the name of my road on it.  Underneath is "PVT WAY"  (of course, now I'm curious what counts as private way, vs regular or semi-private or incredibly public; and why  are we a 'way' not a 'road'?  not that I'd be opposed to changing my address to C---- Way).



Lazy Thoughts

Reading... a whole lot of adult books that I can't talk about except with a few select others.

Listening... to Je rĂªve by Noir Silence.  It's been my constant earworm for about a month now.  No idea why.

Watching... anything that isn't the GOP or Democratic debates.

Following... all the tributes to David Bowie and Alan Rickman.  There's a third 69-year-old British man I crush heavily on, and I've got my fingers crossed I don't see his name any time soon.

Uncorking... a glorious Malbec Rose.

Looking... at The Herd and wishing I had their totally pampered life.


That's me, under the covers...

One of the things I hate about moving is the whole having to find a new doctor part.  It's bad enough that you have to try to find one that takes your insurance and will see you relatively quickly (as opposed to "Dr X has no first patient appointments until four months from now"), but then having to explain the information behind the numbers and data.  No, no family history (I'm adopted - read the information sheet I filled out, please!).  Yes, I'm always this pale.  No, my blood pressure isn't always this difficult to get but thanks for bruising my arm on your 10th try.  Etc..

There's also the conflicting advice/concerns issue.  One doctor's "we'll keep an eye on this" is another emergency, or complete who cares.  Which do you trust?

So last month I finally saw my new doctor and had one of those regular exam things, and once they got the previous results from my previous doctor/hospital (that was fun: no one read that I said, specifically, that the hospital wasn't in this state but no one read that so of course the hospital with a similar name here had no record of me) the nurse called.  Could I come in for an additional test?  This new place has everything on line and the notes say that what they're looking at has existed over 10 years. Unchanged.  So why the additional test?  Was there something that previous doctor missed?

I go back in a few weeks.  Meanwhile, that's me over there, under the covers, pretending it's all ok.