Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Glance to the Past - 2010

This year has been a whirlwind. It did not bring me everything I asked for but so much more than I expected.

This year saw me break my blog in two and have my much neglected home blog and my break-away book blog which I started in about June. And I'm really feeling like I've come home.

So to take a quick look....

March saw me join my first reading challenge over at Callipidder Days.. and looking back I realized I hadn't visited there in awhile.

I joined and finished a Summer Reading Challenge

In August I decided to finish my degree and went back to school as a VERY non-traditional student. I thought at the outset that I was just doing it to help my current, good position. But I'm re-thinking

I joined, but did not finish (yet) a fall reading challenge - these challenges are great! I find myself stumbling across books I"ve overlooked or haven't heard of and find my horizons broadened with every season.

October changed my whole world..for the good! I discovered the glory of Iowa City... a college town full of life I didn't think I'd ever find again. And a very plausible option for somewhere to live other than here.

And I did my first, or many, meme. I don't want my whole blog to be just a meme roll, but I join in from time to time and LOVE reading them too!

November made me realize that 3 classes, 2 teenage girls and 1 full time job, make me pretty busy and not always able to blog :(

December brought me straight A's in school and things going pretty smoothly at home. My girls did good in school too and seem pretty happy right now. Weather is annoying, but it is Iowa.

And now, in the lull between the numbers, I'm looking forward to 2011 and wondering how it will play out and making plans anyway, but ready to modify, adjust, and overcome at a moments notice.

And hopefully get to read TONS of amazing books :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Another Tuesday! But not quite 10

It's Top Ten Tuesday again!

One of the things I look forward to during the week is reading every ones answers to the Tuesday question for this weekly meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish.

This week we are reporting on our Best Reads of  2010. I would love to step up my reading and read more than 20 books a year, because this year I only have 5 I would consider Best Reads. That makes me sad! I think I have some on my TBR list that may qualify for next year though :)

So, for my part, here is my countdown of favorites:

5) The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield  4.5/5 

1)  To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee - 5/5

Next year I want to have a hard time choosing 10!! :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

For Unto YOU!

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 
Luke 2:8-14

From THE book worth constant re-read :)
Wishing all my Blog world friends a joyous and peace-filled Christmas.



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fall Reading Challenge Wrap-up

Fall has come and gone and while it feels like winter has already been here for months actually the calendar just turned winter and my fall reading challenge is over.

One good thinkg about a self-imposed challenge is it is not a failure if you don't get through your list...and it's not a race.. and there are no grades... So I consider it a HUGE success!

I made it though 4 1/5 or my challenge book list. I had some fabulous reads and some not as fabulous, but I'm glad to have read each one.

Here is how I fared with links to my reviews.

Still on the TBR Pile
I'm a little over 100 pages into Dr. Zhivago. And still relishing it! It's like the best cheesecake, you want to devour it and can't wait for more of it, but the slower you go the more you get from each bite...if that makes sense. :)

 The library called yesterday and said this was in now... I was on the waiting list, but since there is still a lot to find out about Yuri and Lara, I better let it go. I've heard the first few chapters on the audiobook and I can't wait to get to this one!

This is a continuation from my summer vacation. We went back to my dad's boyhood home of Ansted West Virginia. I hadn't been back there in years and it was so cool to get to see it again and to share it with my daughters who had never been there. So I wanted to read something from the region as a tribute and part of my blog.

So these will push my start of the Back To The Classics Challenge back a bit.

And my daughter's boyfriend brought me over a book he thought I might like. When a young man admits to liking to read, especially when he dates your daughter and he is willing to share his books with you... You. Do. Not. Say. No! :)

I'll bump this up to the top of the list.

It's Brising by Christopher Paolini.

I've read the other two and he owns all 3 so he lent it to me.. How sweet is that!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Semester's joyous end

It's official... even at 45 I can go back to school and do well.

I took 3 classes this semester, held down a full time job, and tried to keep raising 2 teenage girls and yes


Grades were just posted....


YAY!! My house however, looks like I'm audittioning for an episode of Clean Sweep. But I have 3 weeks and a new calendar. We'll do some 'family' organizing and see if we can't work some of these chores out a bit.

I'm going to reward myself with another semester of 3 classes :) And maybe something nice... like a book!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Perfect Book for the weather and Follow Friday! yay!

I am having so much fun leisurley reading Dr. Zhivago. I'm not very far into it but so far I'm enthralled.

Part of it could be that I'm reading the perfect book for the perfect weather! We have 11 inches of snow on the ground with wind and everyone all bundled up everywhere they go. So very perfect for the Russian setting.

I can't wait until this weekend when I can curl up in my chair, turn on the Christmas tree lights and relish this reading!

I love the questions this week for Follow Friday so I'm going to join in that too.

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View.
My answer to this week's Follow Friday question:

What did you study in college, or are currently studying and did it lead to your current 9 to 5 or are you doing something totally different?

Funny you should ask.... I just went back to school... I like to tell people I'm working on my Masters.. and I am... but I have to finish my Associates first...then my Bachelors... then... well you get it...

The odd part is I'm 45, so not exactly traditional. I'm in class with my daughter's friends and she is even taking one of the High School sponsored College classes at the same time I'm taking it! So we shared a book... how wierd is that!

My major? Oh..well... we'll see ;) I work in animal nutrition now, and while my goals aren't specifically Ag oriented, they sure won't hurt in the type of position I'm pursuing, and I've had suggestions from management that it may behoove me to consider a degree in IT. I dunno. 

I think the direction my blogging has gone is a stronger indication that the stacks are where my heart lies. Hmmm trained in IT and loves to get lost in the stacks... wonder what goes together like that???  

Looking forward to seeing what you guys are up to!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nights in Rodanthe - a bedtime story

I finished it very quickly, less than 10 days, that is quick for me!
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks,
 (My rating: 3/5 )
but don't take that to mean I couldn't tear myself away from it necessarily... well lets face it, at all. It was more like being 7 with a loose tooth, or a big band-aid, the faster you pull it the less it will hurt. I was just busy getting it done.

And it's not that the story is awful...just a fairy tale and yes I do know that is Spark's stock in trade. Still.

Well I had to read one. And now I've got that over with.

Nicholas Sparks is a 'meh' writer who writes ok stories that make GREAT movies! (I do like all the movies I"ve seen, cheesy or not.) I think it is because I feel like the actors do a better job at bringing the characters to life than Sparks did writing them.

Sorry for the brief opinion (aka: review, cuz that's just how I do it), I have 91 vocab words on the final and I"m busy making flashcards! Ah to be back in college!

Oh and on to some more challenging reading (sorry folks if you really really like him, I can sure see it as guilty pleasure reading or for the sweet escapism...we can all use that sometimes!)

Next up is Dr. Zhivago
The Help is on the waitlist at the library after that !

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fall Reading Challenge book 3 - To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee -
My Rating: 5/5

I wish I wish I wish that I had come to this book of all books without having seen the movie first!!! This was such a deeply moving and morally challenging book that I sure would have liked to have had no preconceptions in my head or actor portrayals to skew my experience.

Like most, I absolutely love this book above and beyond both what I thought I would and most other books. It has that parable-ic quality that makes you examine life in the here and now, and especially your own behavior.

It made me wonder what my hypocritical action is, because I have one I'm sure. There is only one Atticus. The rest of us are more Scouts, Jems, and hopefully not too many Aunties. (I really didn't like it when she came to live with them... I guess it worked out ok, but I still am not a huge fan of hers).

I have a friend who reads this book every year. I thought that was kind of strange...but he is a lawyer, so I guess it's like re-reading the bible. Every time you read it, something speaks to you in a new and enlightening way.

Despite the fact that I wished I had NOT seen the movie first, I went to the library and checked out the movie yesterday!

Definitely on my 'best books ever' list!!