Books of 2012…that I actually read

It’s my end of the year book list again.  Looking back, some were winners and some were just total crap.  So with that in mind, here’s the list:

1.  The Sixth Man:  David Baldacci

2.  Red Mist:  Patricia Cornwell

3.  The Big Bad Wolf:  James Patterson

4.  London Bridge:  James Patterson

5.  Freddy and the Clockwork Twin: Walter R. Brooks

6.  Mary Mary:  James Patterson

7.  Fatherland: Robert Harris

8.  Year of the Chick:  Romi Moondi * none other than our fellow blogger!!

9.  Cat & Mouse: James Patterson

10.  Double Cross:  James Patterson

11.  I, Alex Cross:  James Patterson

12.  Cross Fire: James Patterson

13.  Hunger Games:  Suzanne Collins

14.  Catching Fire: Suzanne Collins

15.  Mocking Jay: Suzanne Collins

16.  At Home on Ladybug Farm:  Donna Ball

17.  Cross: James Patterson

18.  Cross Country: James Patterson

19.  Love Letters from Ladybug Farm:  Donna Ball

20.  Me Talk Pretty One Day:  David Sedaris

21.  The Weird Sisters:  Elenor Brown

22.   13 Reasons Why:  Jay Asher

23.  Heaven is Here:  Stephanie Nielson

24.  When You Are Engulfed in Flames: David Sedaris

25.  The Cinderella Deal:  Jennifer Cruise

26.  Girl Walks Into a Bar:  Rachel Dratch

27.  The Family Fang: Kevin Wilson

28.  Kill Alex Cross:  James Patterson

29.  I Didn’t Ask to be Born:  Bill Cosby

30.  Bet Me:  Jennifer Cruise

31.  Good Grief:  Lolly Winston

32.  Welcome to Temptation:  Jennifer Cruise

33.  The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb:  Melanie Benjamin

34.  In the Woods:  Tana French

35. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened:  Jenny Lawson

36.  The Fear Index:  Robert Harris

37.  These Girls:  Sarah Pekkane

38.  The Night Circus:  Erin Morgenstern

39.  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (& other concerns):  Mindy Kaling

40.  The Innocents:  Francesca Segal

41.  And then There Were None:  Agatha Christie

42.  The Shoe Maker’s Wife:  Adriana Trigiani

43:  11/22/63:  Stephen King

44.  Unholy Night:  Seth Grahame Smith

45.  Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter:  Seth Grahame Smith

46.  Doomsday Book:  Connie Willis

47.  The Glass Castle:  Jeannette Walls

48.  Mennonite in a Little Black Dress:  Rhoda Janzen

49.  Alice I Have Been:  Melanie Benjamin

50.  Murder on the Orient Express:  Agatha Christie

51.  Always the Designer Never the Bride:  Sandra Bricker

52.  The Lions of Lucerne:  Brad Thor

53.  Path of the Assassin:  Brad Thor

54.  The Witch’s Daughter:  Paula Brackston

55.  Best Friends Forever:  Jennifer Weiner

56.  State of the Union:  Brad Thor

57.  Blowback:  Brad Thor

58.  The Tiger’s Wife:  Tea Obreht

59.  Edgar Sawtee:  David Wroblewski

60.  Moloka’i:  Alan Brennert

61.  Trading Christmas:  Debbie Macomber

62.  The Litigators:  John Grisham

63.  The Year of Living Dangerously:  Quinn Cummings

64.  Dear Cary:  Dyan Cannon

65.  The Broker:  John Grisham

66.  Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother:  Amy Chua

67.  A Prayer for Owen Meany:  John Irving

68.  Running with Scissors:  Augusten Burroughs

69.  My Mother Was Nuts – a Memoir:  Penny Marshall

70.  The Bone Bed:  Patricia Cornwell

71.  Half Broke Horses:  Jeannette Walls

72.  Elvis and the Dearly Departed:  Peggy Webb

73.  The Dressmaker of Khair Khana:  Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

74.  The Playdate:  Louise Millar

75.  Secret Daughter:  Shilpi Somaya gowda

76.  Girls in White Dresses:  Jennifer Close

77.  The Language of Flowers:  Vanessa Diffenbaugh

78.  Pioneer Woman – Black Heels to Tractor Wheels:  Ree Drummond

79.  Elvis and the Grateful Dead:  Peggy Webb

80.  Takedown:  Brad Thor

81.  Notes From the Underwire:  Quinn Cummings

82.  Where’d You Go Bernadette:  Maria Semple

83.  Mr. Churchill’s Secretary:  Susan Elia Macneal

84.  When in Doubt Add Butter:  Beth Harbison

85.  The Alchemist:  Paulo Coelho

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ABC…It’s Easy As 123

I finally got my internship assignment today and I’ll be helping out in a 1st grade classroom for this next semester.  I was really hoping for kindergarten or 1st grade so I’m pretty excited about the placement.

To get ready I’ve been going shopping for an entire new wardrobe.  I hate shopping.  I mean I really despise doing it.  As a result 98% of my clothes are more than 7 yrs old, most likely stolen from my brother’s closet, and comprised of ratty t-shirts and work out shorts.  In the winter I basically wear the same pair of sweat pants everyday and throw on a hoodie.  I don’t bother tying my sneakers and wear a baseball hat when I don’t feel like washing my hair.  In the summer it’s much of the same; same pair of shorts everyday, t-shirt and flip flops.  Basically I dress like a teenage boy.

Having to get a new wardrobe was bound to happen and I’m a little surprised, albeit happy, that it took me nearly 33 years to do it.  In the past two weekends I’ve spent somewhere between $400-$450, which quite frankly, is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on what is basically just cloth and thread.  On the other hand, it’s been 33 yrs. in the making so…not so bad.  And even more surprising to me is that I found so many clothes that I liked and actually fit correctly.  Score!

I do need to put a kabosh on further spending as I now won’t have a job for the next four months due to this internship.  Ah well, it was fun while it lasted…well at least it was tolerable.

In other random and unimportant news, I’ve almost reached my book reading goal.  Yes, I really have one of those.  It’s the same goal I’ve had since 2008 – to read 50 books throughout the year.  I only successfully achieved this goal that first year, but 2012 looks to be an overachiever.  I’m currently on book 49 with a stack waiting in the wing to be read.  Success – even if it is in something so minor!

Book List 2011

Back in 2008 I made a goal of reading at least 50 books during the year.  Of course that was the only year I actually met that goal.  But anyway, here’s my list from 2011:

1.   The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

2.   Little Bee

3.   Winter Garden

4.   No One Can Take Your Place

5.   Think Twice

6.   Love, Lucy

7.   Bossypants

8.   The Truth About You and Me

9.   The Shop on Blossom Street

10.  Thin Rich Pretty

11.  Conspirita

12.  Her Fearful Symmetry

13.  And One Last Thing

14.  Secrets of a Shoe Addict

15.  Man in the Middle

16.  Mrs. Kimble

17.  Swan Thieves

18.  The Hunt

19.  The Beach House

20.  The Lifeguard

21.  The Swimsuit

22.  Port Morturary

23.  The Devil in Jr. League

24.  The Sisters of Hardscrabble Bay

25.  Pop Goes the Weasel

26.  Mortal Allies

27.  Seriously…I’m Kidding

28.  The Kingmaker

29.  Roses are Red

30.  Simple Genius

31.  First Family

32.  Stories I Only Tell My Friends

33.  Jack and Jill

34.  Violets are Blue

35.  4 Blind Mice

36.  Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed

37.  The Alchemist

 

So no surprise most of the books are thriller/murder mysteries.  And obviously I discovered James Patterson this year which I’m not sure how I avoided for so long since those are my favorite types of books.

On a happy note, this is the year I graduate…not till December, but still.

Who You Gonna Call?

Oooh, call me!  Call me!  I was waiting to post these pics because I had some other pictures I was wanting to post but as it turns out I still haven’t taken them.  Here are a few from my Halloween party last week.

   

The kids of course had no idea who or what I was but loved that I was walking around with a vacuum stuck on my back.  And check out that gun.  It’s an original toy from the 80’s I found in my brother’s stuff up in the attic.  Am I a rock star or what…ok fine, but it’s still a good costume.  By the way, this is my 300th post – whoo hoo!

Picture Update

I really didn’t mean to disappear for a couple of months but every time I came to the computer to write something I decided against it and before you know it, it’d been nearly two months.  So here’s what I’ve been up to during that time.

I had a month long break from school before starting back up again about three weeks ago.  This first summer term I’m taking Research Methods and just typing it out makes me snoozzzzzzzzzze.  In about another three weeks I’ll be adding Child Development to my load before getting a two week break before starting fall semester.  See what I mean?  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

During my month of May break, I had a whole list of stuff I wanted to do but you know, time passes quickly and I didn’t do nearly half of it.  I did manage to read 8 or 9 books which more than doubled what I had read this whole year up to that point.  Yay me.  And I’ve still been keeping up with my garden which has yielded barely any vegetables so far:

I have since picked and eaten the veggies in these photos and they were really good.  I’m sure more cucumbers are to come because the plants are huge and full of flowers.  So is the watermelon plant and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that one because I have become obsessed with watermelon this summer.

I added to the backyard by planting a lot of flowers and bushes.  It needed it badly and I was in the mood to experiment.  So far the majority of the flowers are thriving and slowly but surely our backyard is looking better and better.  I can’t wait for the sunflowers to finally get big and bloom but it might not be for a couple more months.  In the meantime here are some pics of just some of the flowers I’ve got back there:

I did notice the other day one of the flowers looked like it had been chewed and it didn’t take long to discover the culprit:

Every year we have wild rabbits that seem to roam through our neighborhood.  I have no idea where they actually live and I usually don’t mind them in the yard.  Just not when the eat my plants.

I also went on a little trip with my mom and sister down to Hot Springs.  We did some horseback riding and went to a wax museum among other things.  I’ve gotta be honest.  The wax museum was horrible.  It was so random and no one really looked like anybody they were supposed to.  Here are some of my favorites:

Ack!!  Seriously?!  Prince Charles reminds me of a rat and Queen Elizabeth hasn’t looked like that for at least 60 years.  I had to read the plaque to know who she was.

It was so dark in this section of the museum I took this picture mostly just to see what it was.  And then I had to laugh.  But the laughter really got going when we went into what I suppose was the kids/Disney section and saw this:

Gah, let’s take a closer look:

Hey what do you know, my new facebook profile picture.  I absolutely love his face.

In the beginning of May our town celebrated its annual Toad Suck Daze celebration.  In its honor, we had the kids at the preschool bring toads to school for some toad racing.  Imagine 16 preschool kids with toads but believe it or not, it was fun.  There are a couple of toads that live in the yard of the preschool and the kids LOVE to play with them.  I feel bad for the toads.  We had a frog fatality and I’ll spare you the details but will say barefeet = dead frog.

I hadn’t actually gone to the Toad Suck festivities since I was in high school but my brother and I decided to go and check it out this year.  This included walking the parameter and then leaving.  Too many people and a lot of lame stuff does not a good time make.  Trust me.  Although, one of the booths had a karaoke machine and was inviting participants.  When we waked by some white trashy girls (I know that sounds harsh but you weren’t there) were singing quite loudly and off key to R Kelly’s song Ignition.  It. Was. Hilarious….and terrible.  My brother got some video of it that I will have to get and post.

The only other thing I’ve been busy with is watching TV.  While I’m waiting for the summer shows like Burn Notice to start, I’ve become obsessed with Bones.

I’ve seen the show a number of times and like it but can’t watch it during the season because it’s on at the same time of a number of other shows I watch.  Lucky me, the reruns are on constantly.  There are about 12 episodes that get put on the DVR each week and I recently discovered all the seasons in their entirety on Netflix that I can access through my brother’s Xbox.  Lucky me indeed.  It’s taken me a while to actually be able to tolerate the character of Temperance Brennen.  Admittedly I watch the show for Seely Booth and his sarcasm.

I also spent a day making a ton of homemade strawberry jam that was/is absolutely heavenly and could quite possibly make applesauce a little later in the summer.  I might just be one of the oldest young people I know.

And there you have it – a run down of my two month hiatus.  You missed me didn’t you?

Book List From 2010

Some were great, some were crap.  Some were repeats and some were just random fillers.  Here’s my book list from this past year:

1.   Good Luck

2.   Bet Your Bottom Dollar

3.   Quentin’s

4.   A Rumor of Bones

5.   Questionable Remains

6.   The Heretic’s Daughter

7.   Let Them Eat Fruitcake

8.   Fallen Idols

9.   Archangel

10.  Little Children

11.  Far From Home

12.  The Undaunted

13.  The Help

14.  The Scarpetta Factor

15.  I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This (Bob Newhart autobiography)

16.  Second Helpings

17.  Hope in a Jar

18.  The Frog Prince

19.  A Year on Ladybug Farm

20.  Chill Factor

21.  Hour Game

22.  Murder on a Bad Hair Day

23.  Two Girls in a Blue Dress

24.  The Pink Ghetto

25.  Total Control

26.  The Winner

27.  The Associate

28.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

29.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

30.  The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

31.  Split Second

32.  The Camel Club

33.  This Time Together (Carol Burnett autobiography)

34.  Here We Go Again (Betty White autobiography)

35.  The Alchemist

36.  Where the Sidewalk Ends

37. Sideways Stories from Wayside School

38.  Freddy and the Baseball Team from Mars

39.  The Girl Who Played with Fire

My Blogroll

If you’re around or in a group long enough you start to see trends or patterns emerge.  They can be done consciously, like following trends in fashion.  Sometimes nature plays a part.  Put a bunch of girls living together and in a few months our cycle will all be synchronized.  We can come together because of our interests or circumstances, and sometimes by pure chance.

If you’re reading this more than likely you’re on my blogroll.  And I’m not the first to notice that many of you are on each others blogrolls as well.  When I first started blogging many of you were relatively new to the blogging world like me.  Most of us are more or less within the same age range and somehow we all came together.  Maybe wordpress is our Island of Misfit Toys.

But I’ve noticed some other trends among our little group.  It seems like when one is in a funk it won’t be long before a few of us are.  And this past year a handful of people on my blogroll went MIA around the same time.  A few of you are coming back, thankfully.  And this past week I noticed another trend.  I know that it’s a new year and a great time for reflection in our lives but it seems like a number of you have written about writing with more purpose and intent, giving more meaning in your entries.  And not just stated you would like to do it but are already starting to do so, and I love it.

I love that I get to peak inside and get a glimpse of your lives.  I love that you’re all funny and creative, willing to write honestly and put yourselves out there.  I’m glad I get to be a small part of this little group, no matter how it happened.