Book Diary 2015

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve kept a book diary for years. This year my challenge was mostly remembering to enter titles that I read on my kindle, especially when I was traveling.

I finished 42 books this year. My 2 favorites were the Martian by Andy Weir (and no I still haven’t seen the movie…another thing I’m bad at) and Guests on Earth by Lee Smith.

Weir’s book was a revelation from a first time author; it was one of those titles that I stayed up way too late on work nights to just read 1 more chapter.

I’ve loved Lee Smith for years and Guests was a bit of a departure for her. While I knew who Zelda Fitzgerald was, I wasn’t aware of her story. Making her a character in this novel grounded it in reality and I highly recommend it…and really all her books.

Happy reading in 2016.

How to deal with ghosts…

look it in the face the bad spirits can’t abide being looked at in the face and the good spirits  will look you right back

I just found this draft and it’s just a fragment of a quote from the Benjamin January book series, maybe the 7th volume. For whatever reason this really resonated with me, this is my methodology when walking down city streets by myself. If a passerby won’t look me in the eye, then I’m wary.

 

Bracket Mania

I’m not much into basketball. And when I have filled out an NCAA March Madness bracket, I usually choose by states/underdog/colors/odd mascots. Way scientific.

But here’s my secret, I love the whole bracket nonsense. So for your enjoyment here’s some sports-alternative brackets to play with.

And then there are a couple of brackets that are judged by others (and we’re not allowed to vote) but that’s OK. Mostly because I haven’t read many of the books in question. But the commentary does just what it’s supposed to do…make me want to go read them.

I know there are a ton others…yes and the pizza chain/book one…but any that I need to know about and participate in?

*edit* How could I forget Mammal March Madness? It has its own twitter tag too: #2013MMM

Top 5 Read for 2012

My #1 read for 2012 is easy. The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum which I wrote about back in April about 2 weeks after I had finished it.  I’ve been singing its praises for months.

Numbers 2-? in no particular order. I can’t really say 5 since I’m including a couple of series. (Yes, I know that’s cheating.)

The Fables series of graphic novels. I read #1 through #17 over the past 11 months and while they probably went on past their prime, I love fairy tale re-told.

97 Orchard: an edible history of 5 immigrant families by Jane Ziegelman which also happens to be the 1st book I read in 2012 (finished on January 11th).

Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls by Jane Lindskold which is straight up science fiction which I don’t always read. I wish she written another novel with the same characters or at least in the same universe.

Complete stories of Theodore Sturgeon (v.6-8) and currently reading volume 9 – these are a fascinating look at a prolific writer. I’ve read the first 8 and we’re still only in the late 50s. I like how sometimes he seems so far ahead of his times and then sometimes he’s a total product of his age.

Other books that stood out were Ruined by Paula Morris (although it was a re-read) for book club. The centerpiece of this YA novel is a ghostwalk and while I don’t think the conclusion is entirely successful, it’s a great introduction to New Orleans carnival traditions for non-natives. And, also, re-reading (for the 3rd or 4th time) Chopin’s the Awakening and then having our book club meeting in Grand Isle where it’s partially set. Don’t worry no one walked out into the gulf for good.