I know I start out every monthly recap talking about how hard it is to believe that the month is gone, but we’re already a twelfth of the way through 2016! And next year is the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter. I’m not ready everyone, I’m just not ready.
The Big Blog News of the month is that I passed 100,000 all time views on the 22nd. I’m still impressed, I didn’t think I would stick with this for anywhere near as long as I have. With the scheduled and draft posts coming, I’ve already passed 700 posts and I feel like I’m picking up speed rather than slowing down in my old blogging age.
As you’ll see below and over the next few months, I think 2016 will be the Year of the Series! I’ve already read parts of three series and have plans to read/start more! This doesn’t even take into account multiple works by the same author which could technically be a series! (I’m looking at you Bechdel – where’s the third?) I’m serious though, I’ve created a new page under Series called “Super Series (7+ Books)” [Removed July 2017] and I’m going to create sub-pages for these larger-than-life series that is just a brief overview of my thoughts and how I came to the series. The first is up here: Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer [Removed July 2017].
Now on to the books I’ve read this month!
Books and Bookish Things
I’m so proud of myself this month I read nine books, all of which were on my TBR shelf. Three are from December 2015, so not too impressive, but three have been there for almost FOUR years! The list is below with the last book scheduled to be posted on Feb. 3! (I’m building a backlog, heck yeah!)
- The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3) – Jasper Fforde
- Something Rotten (Thursday Next #4) – Jasper Fforde
- First Among Sequels (Thursday Next #5) – Jasper Fforde
- Fun Home – Alison Bechdel
- Are You My Mother? – Alison Bechdel
- The Emperor’s Soul – Brandon Sanderson
- Bel Ami – Guy de Maupassant
- The Power of Forgiveness – Joan Gattuso
- Running with the Demon (Word & Void #1)
“If all history books were written by poets, I would be reading a lot more history books.” – Jess about Dr. Mütter’s Marvels
I also, just yesterday released episode nine of Come Read With Me featuring my friend Jess from my Rhode Island Camp Days and we discussed Dr. Mütter’s Marvels. (Oh, and Aptowicz retweeted it.) It was delayed by a month because of the holiday traveling, my getting sick and my new project below. I’m glad it’s now on the odd-month schedule as I should avoid most holidays from here on out! But still, I’m recording EPISODE 10 soon!
I’m very slowly releasing my new project, Bibliophilanthropy, to the public. It has taken a little bit longer than originally expected as I’m trying to incorporate feedback from fellow bloggers (thanks Sarah, Heather and Carolyn!) and friends (thanks Alie, Caitrin and Carlie!). I’m also trying really hard not to let myself get overwhelmed. I really believe in the idea and I want to make it the best I can, but I also have to make sure I’m not losing track of other things in my life (you know work and relationships, those pesky things). I’m really hoping to get a forum up on the site before I open it, but maybe that’s asking too much. That link above is fully live into the site and I plan to release by Valentine’s Day.
I saw these two beautiful posts earlier in the month that I wanted to share. In the second post, you have to click through to the fourth photo.
As successful as I was in reading books off my TBR shelf, I wasn’t so successful at not adding more. I blame professional development and a random trip to the Used Book Superstore 😀 Hopefully these books won’t languish on my shelf for too long as I’m really trying to read mostly TBR books this year!
- Call Me By Your Name – André Aciman
- Longbourn – Jo Baker
- The Generosity Factor – Ken Blanchard and S. Truett Cathy
- Influence – Robert B. Cialdini
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
- Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
I don’t have the bandwidth to really go into these, but suffice to say it was a busy month and the year is going to be even busier. We’ve decided we’re going to China for our summer vacation (Holy Sh!t!) and I’m very excited. Now I need to find a few books to read between now and then so I’m not totally culture shocked. The big things I did this month was a crafternoon with friends where I made an arm knitted scarf (left) and went on a scavenger hunt at the MFA (right).
The scarf is SO warm, but a bit ridiculous. I used four skeins of pretty thick yarn. I’m debating taking it apart and making it a little smaller. The museum was great even if their hints did NOT give us the theme they were looking for (poor questions/design/art choices), and I’d already visited everything they sent us to so it didn’t really highlight “areas of the museum you might not even know existed.” 😛 (Yes that is a hipster/la-di-da moment.)
The two little photos on the left are from the first real snow we had in Boston this year. We went to the Arnold Arboretum (Harvard site) and walked to the top of one of the big hills. It was beautiful, but very cold! We also went trampolining for my friend Mike’s birthday and Tim had a great time (it was hist first time). And then, speaking of culture shock, Tim and I went to a boxing conditioning class in Southie (Gym website). It was INTENSE. I don’t know how either of us made it through but we did. Still haven’t gone back yet, but I want to…eventually.
I’ve also taken a lot of time to keep myself mentally healthy. I’ve been trying to meditate again, or at least clear my mind and that’s been nice, but a great find at the end of last year was the YOU-app (App website). It’s a positive-based community about making small changes in your life to improve your mental and physical well being. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the little tasks they set throughout the days/weeks I’ve been using it and it’s been nice to think about things differently than I allow myself to most days.
I’m fully entrenching myself in Terry Brooks Shannara series. We started watching the show and I was like oh I have a Brooks trilogy someone recommended ages ago and then of course it’s actually THE earliest trilogy in the entire series. I’m also going to read Lev Grossman’s The Magician’s trilogy as Tim wants to watch the show and I asked him to kindly wait as I wanted to read it anyway.
What are you reading or doing? Any exciting plans for February?