Happy 2018!

I welcomed in 2018 very quietly. I have never been a big fan of the celebration of a new year. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I like to go to bed early? Hate parties? Much prefer to simply tuck in with a good movie and popcorn? Still, I am a fan of deciding on a new list of things to work on in the new year. It is one of my favorite things to make lists and a plan and write up new calendars. I am THAT kind of person. So, what am I planning to work on this year?



Reading Goals (outside of my GoodReads Reading Challenge goal of 80 books):

  1. Finish all the books I need to read that I already own BEFORE I 1) get more from the library (there are, of course, caveats) or 2) buy more (again…caveats)
    1. Caveat #1: It’s ok to get library books for book club reading
    2. Caveat #2: It’s ok to get library books if the book is working towards one of my other goals (reading or otherwise)
    3. Caveat #3: It’s ok to buy a book if needed for book club reading (and unable to get from library)
    4. Caveat #4: It’s ok to buy a book if it’s a reallllllly good deal (Under $5)
  2. Read a good mix of these two types of books on my to-read shelf: 1) Books that have been on my to-read list the longest and 2) Continue to work on finishing book series that are lingering mid-way finished on my list
  3. Complete a re-read of the Harry Potter series (which has been something I’ve been meaning to do for a few years now so let’s get it on a list officially!)

Kitchen Goals

  1. Learn how to make bread is my major goal in the kitchen this year – we’ll see how this goes!
  2. Make at least one new dish a month and write a blog post about it
  3. Make one “fun” recipe a month and share it with folks. I have been collecting tasty baked good recipes for years and never have a reason to make them so folks at work, get ready – I am making them and then getting them out of my apartment.
  4. Try to cook seafood this year. I am scared of cooking seafood – I don’t know why. Maybe I fear my apartment will permanently smell of the fish market? This may be a short-lived goal if that is indeed the case!

I have more vague goals about taking up running in a more regimented way again, to try and explore more of Florida, start day hiking etc. But this set of goals are pretty concrete so I wanted to share them out to keep me accountable over 2018.


Happy New Year (a few hours early!)

Happy New Year all!

A quick check in from the suddenly cold north (seriously, it couldn’t deliver a white Christmas for the 2nd year running but it can be cold and windy and gross right after it). I wanted to report back my reading goal for the year final numbers. I don’t read much non-fiction so this year I tried to add a lot more into my reading by doing an “every other” schedule with fiction books. I read 23 non-fiction books in 2015 compared to 13 in 2014. While I was hoping for a bigger number, still better! I will try to keep up the non-fiction reading in 2016 but I decided on a few different reading goals for 2016.

I want to finish a few series I’ve started over the years. My to-read list is scattered with book 3’s and 5’s and 10’s and I’d like to finally know what happened to a few of these characters. So, reading goal 1 for 2016: finish some series that have been lingering. Reading goal 2 for 2016: Keep adding non-fiction to the reading line-up as much as I can. Reading goal 3 for 2016: actually write reviews for the books I read which hopefully will translate into a more normal posting schedule on the blog! (well, I can dream I do that anyway!)

Wishing you all a wonderful and prosperous new year!

130 Books

Right before Thanksgiving, I very quietly passed my reading goal for this year. Back when I made the goal to read 130 books in January, I thought it would be an easy challenge. I had grossly underestimated myself the year before and blow my goal out of the water so I thought, I’ll aim high but within reach this year. Then I moved 2,000 miles.

Moving tends to disrupt one’s life in case you haven’t noticed. It creates a whole set of problems that seem to take months to sort out. Add in the fact that I had major furniture losses during my move, I couldn’t even unpack my books until a month after I got to Tallahassee. It was distressing. But I made it to the public library and slowly tried to get back into my reading groove. And then I got cable back…

I didn’t have cable back in ND. With Netflix, it wasn’t really a cost I could justify. But with the move, I was up for the introductory packages again and suddenly I had BBC America, ABC Family, Hallmark for cheesy movies and a myriad of other channels to lose myself in. Reading was something that I kept pushing off. Then I was 12 books off the pace to reaching my goal. Now, that wouldn’t be so bad as I am a fast reader but I was losing momentum by the day. Something needed to kick me into gear.

Now when I say I am a fast reader, I am one of those people who can demolish a book in a couple of hours if I find it interesting enough. I like to know what will happen next 🙂 And luckily in October, rather oddly, I got into a Christmas mood and went to the library looking for a good fix. I found a ton of cheesy Christmas Regency books. I may have od’ed on them in the end but it got me back on track to start tackling my reading list more. Perhaps not the most highbrow reading but hey, we all have our guilty pleasures.

My original goal for this year was to read my to-read list in order. I will be the first to admit that did not happen. At times it did but most of the time if a book came up to the top and I wasn’t in the mood, I would just go to the next book on the list or move that book out of my way. It’s really hard to keep to a straight list! A lot of the books are on there haphazardly or all 20 books of a series are in a row and I like some variety to my reading.

On the other hand, I sometimes plow through a series because I have to know what happens next. Take the Softwire series I read this month. It was a four book young adult science fiction series that I read over the course of two weeks basically. But I was invested in the characters and their plight and so I just kept reading. Plus, I never take for granted a series I can read in its entirety when I start. Harry Potter has made me very appreciative of a series I find after the fact because waiting for those books to come out was torturous. I also got back into the Amelia Peabody series in the last few months. Amelia is always nice to come back to and read a few books and then flit off again for a bit knowing I have half a series left there. I do want to get two more books in before I flit this time though – a particular relationship has to be coming to head soon!

So, a reading goal for next year…I’m working on that. I’m not sure if I want to aim for a higher number or maybe work on a particular genre on my to-read list. I have my favorite genres. Maybe I should challenge myself with some of the ones I don’t read from enough or maybe I’ll just give myself a year to read whatever with no real goal in mind. We’ll just have to wait and see.