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Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018: a Resolution, a Revolution, and a Revelation

Hey Readers,

The bulk of this was written a few nights ago when I was exhausted, sad, and letting myself have emotions. The portion after my signature was written just before posting. Starting tomorrow I will be posting what I'm reading, and if something is particularly amazing, I'll review it. I will at least indicate if it meets one of the below mentioned challenges. Happy New Year readers. 

Sorry to have been so absent the last few weeks, I got a bit turned around with how quickly everything's flown by this month. This year really. It felt like just last week I was making a post about a book club and suddenly, it's the end of the month. You know how you get lost in a book? The sort of lost where you feel like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, heels over head, spinning around, then suddenly blinking and realizing you've lost so much time between the pages of a book that you forgot what day it was; that's how I've felt for much of this year.

This blog started as a project, something to do in my down time, and a fun way to record what I've read over the past year. I was so ambitious and ready to write these epic and amazing posts where I detailed everything I loved and loathed about the book, I'd have all these hyperlinks to everything I'd referenced and I'd make notes about what book fit what challenge and feel so accomplished for checking something off my list. And then my dad died. And I don't think I really read anything for a while, not the same way at least.

To say that I got distracted would be dishonest and an understatement. I went numb. Making sure my mother was okay, maintaining my job, trying to put on this happy face and keep commitments to publishers who really didn't even know who I was. Reading lost the sparkle for a while, and it is barely coming back going into the new year. Everyone always makes these grand resolutions that no one ever really keeps, and I so desperately wanted this blog, this project to save me from what was really going on around me, to save me from what was really going on inside my head.

My mother moved in with me in October, and I got my own office/reading room/library/study that I absolutely love. For a second I thought that I could get back on track, catch up with what I wanted my posts to be, have them become something special again. That's never happened, but I like to think that with the new year, all of it will come back. The spark, the sparkle, the everything. I know it won't, but aren't resolutions really all about pretending?

I know that in 2018 I will read books, and I know that there will be times when I simply can't, or when I'm reading just to save myself even only for a moment; I probably won't stick with a single reading challenge, just like this past year, but I'm putting the effort into making the lists because it feels like a more attainable goal that way. Sort of like a vision board that eventually becomes a dart board.

2018 won't be the year that fixes everything, it won't be a better year than 2017, but it will be a different and new year. I'm going to be a different and new reader. I just hope that we can all stay around for the ride.


P.S. I did still plan for the Pop Sugar challenge, the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, a Litsy challenge for fans of My Favorite Murder (still missing books endorsed by Karen and Georgia!) and the Planner Girl Book Club bingo challenge. Tomorrow I'll set a goal on Goodreads, and start reading again.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Wanna Join a Book Club?

Yes Readers,

Today is a day of several posts. And spreadsheets, so many spreadsheets.

I host a book club through Facebook that was born out of the Plagues, Witches and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction - Coursera group, created many moons ago by people who had taken this excellent MOOC. It is hands down one of the best you can take, particularly if you're an avid reader or history buff.

This year, I stopped hosting discussions in March after my father died. I've only recently decided to restart them, but I needed them to change.

Instead of doing one book a month, we're doing one every six weeks. Hopefully this eliminates the issue of not having enough time to read the selections. I've also gone ahead and chosen all nine books for the year, which helps alleviate stress on my end because the previous method of choosing involved polls and voting and a crap load of effort on my end. I'm keeping the discussion questions, though I may not do quite as many, and I am keeping the I Liked and the I Hated threads, because not every reader is going to love every element of every book, and sometimes people like the unexpected aspects of a novel.

Below are the books, discussion dates, and page counts, and I'd love for anyone to join! I can easily add you to the group on FB, but I'll figure out how to make the discussions work in the blogspace or Litsy.


Page Count
Discussion Dates
Tulip Fever
Deborah Moggach
Jan. 8-14, 2018
The Hamiton Affair
Elizabeth Cobbs
Feb. 19-25, 2018
Whispers of the Moon Moth
Lindsay Jayne Ashford
Apr. 2-7, 2018
Before We Were Yours
Lisa Wingate
May 14-19, 2018
Butterfly Island
Corina Bomann
June 25-30, 2018
The Essex Serpent
Sarah Perry
Aug. 6-12, 2018
Lincoln in the Bardo
George Saunders
Sept. 17-23, 2018
The Witches of
New York
Ami McKay
Oct. 29 - Nov. 4, 2018
The Cottingley Secret
Hazel Gaynor
Dec. 10-15, 2018

And the Winners Are...

Happy Sunday Readers!!

This past week the Pop Sugar 2018 Reading Challenge came out!! Yay! So I've spent the week assembling titles just like last December. 

The winners are...

Book Title
White Oleander
Janet Fitch
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Monica Hesse
Legendary (Caraval #2)
Stephanie Garber
The Palace Job (Rouges of the Republic #1)
Patrick Weekes
The Ice Princess (Fjallbacka #1)
Camilla Lackberg
Whisper of the Moon Moth
Lindsay Jayne Ashford
Butterfly Island
Corina Bomann
4:50 From Paddington
Agatha Christie
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Patrick Suskind
H is for Hawk
Helen Macdonald
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike #1)
Robert Galbraith 
(J.K. Rowling)
Of Fire and Stars
Audrey Coulthurst
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Choderlos De Laclos
The Star Touched Queen
Roshani Chokshi
Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls,
Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and
Other Misfits are Taking Over the World
Leslie Simon
Furiously Happy
Jenny Lawson
Sarah Waters
Welcome to Nightvale
Joseph Fink & 
Jeffrey Cranor
Marianne Zapata
Freud's Mistress
Karen Mack
Bellman & Black
Diane Setterfield
Smilla's Sense of Snow
Peter Hoeg
Alexandra Bracken
The Mists of Avalon
Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Girl From Everywhere
Heidi Heilig
All the Birds in the Sky
Charlie Jane Anders
Beyond Our Stars
Marie Langager
Valley of the Dolls
Jacqueline Susann
The Halloween Tree
Ray Bradbury
White Bodies
Jane Robins
People of the Book
Geraldine Brooks
Second Life (Reese Witherspoon)
S.j. Watson
The Phantom Tollbooth
Norton Juster & 
Jules Feiffer
The Case for Jamie (A Charlotte Holmes Novel)
Brittany Cavallaro
Dark Matter
Blake Crouch
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Emily M. Danforth
January 1973: Watergate, Roe v. Wade, Vietnam, and the Month that Changed America Forever
James Robenalt
Cloud Atlas
David Mitchell
The Library at Mount Char
Scott Hawkins
2015 A Trillogy : Queen of Hearts
Colleen Oakes
The Women
TC Boyle
Ramez Naam
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
Stephanie Oakes
Celtic Gods and Heroes
Marie-Louise Sjoestedt
The Peach Keeper
Sarah Addison Allen
Alice in Quantumland: An Allegory of Quantum Physics
Robert Gilmore
The Witches of New York
Ami McKay
Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters:
From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima
James Mahaffrey
Red Clocks
Leni Zumas
The Last Painting of Sarah de Vos
Dominic Smith

Until Next Time,