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.

2009 Book List

The last couple of years I’ve set a goal for myself of reading 50 books during the year.  Honestly I thought I was being a bit easy on myself – 50 books?  No problem.  I got laid off from work exactly one year ago and have had all the time in the world to read.  Did I?  Nope, I re-discovered TV.  It seems I make time to read when I have a full schedule with loads to do, go figure.  Nevertheless, these are the books I did somehow manage to read during commercial breaks in 2009:

1.  Firefly Lane

2.  Ladder of Years

3.  The Book of the Dead

4.  Hypocrite in a White Puffy Dress

5.  The Thirteenth Tale

6.  The Rossetti Letter

7.  The Stolen Child

8.  Daisy Faye and the Miracle Man

9.  Pompeii

10. Secret Sanction

11. The Last Lecture

12. Egnima

13. Lincoln

14. The Bell Jar

15. The Red Tent

16. The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard

17. Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three

18. Scarpetta

19. Evening Class

20. The Crazy School

21. Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders

22. Brimstone

23. Dance of Death

24. My Life in France

25. Freddy and the Bean Home News

26. The Lost Symbol

27. Freddy and the Ignormous

Fashion Friday

Not really a fashion Friday more like another random blog entry but I like the sound of ‘Fashion Friday’.  Sounds like I might be sheik, into the know with couture.  But if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you then you should know better.  Matter of fact I probably just misused that word.  However I did just buy a new jacket a few weeks ago.  I had a gift certificate and the jacket was the only thing in the store I liked.  Plus the only other ones I have are either full on winter coats that make me look like the Michelin man or are sweatshirt hoodies.  So without further ado here’s a picture of the jacket:

img_1352 img_1354

So my first thought when I put on the jacket was “Wowzer I look good!  (and check out my mad glamour shot skills! HA!!) This is like a more feminine biker jacket.  Now I just need a bike.  Hmm, there are some bonafide hotties that live a few apartments down from me that have bikes (mischievous thoughts brewing in my head).”  But then I remembered that I’ve never been on a motorcycle and would most likely fall off so maybe I should start with a ten speed.  The more I look at the jacket the more I see a modern take off the infamous Beat It jacket or when zipped up completely I have a strange urge to say “Houston we have a problem”.  Only thing missing is the space helmet and the American flag patched on.

Now that I’m looking at the picture I’ll make mention of the shirt I’m wearing.  That little gem was $10 at Target.  Man I love that store!  It says ‘Ireland ’88 Rugby Championship’.  It means nothing but I like it.  Actually I dated a guy that played Rugby and come to think of it, I think he went over and played in Ireland.  Not in 1988 of course but still.  Crap, I think the shirt is now tainted.

This afternoon I’m going with a friend hiking and to take pictures.  I guess she discovered some new trails we want to check out before the weather gets too bad and the fall colors disappear.  I’m glad about this because 1) it means I have plans 2) it gets me outside taking pictures and 3) it means I have a legitimate excuse to not go running and not feel guilty about it.  The past couple of days I managed to kick it up a notch to 4 miles and I’m more than happy to take a day off.  I also started back up doing crunches.  I hate those!  And so far, my body isn’t a fan either.  I have to bribe myself with a treat to get me through them.  Yesterday it was with pumpkin cheesecake.  I really have no intention of following through with my self-bribes but if it works on getting me through the crunches then I’m happy.  I seem to get distracted at night and forget about the treat so all is well.  Imagine, if I can keep this up if I have kids I’ll be able to get them to do what I want, then distract them so I don’t have to follow through with whatever I bribe them with.  I will be a genius.

Cripes it’s a week into November already!  Where has the time gone?  Back in January I made a goal to read 50 books this year.  And you know what?  I’m about 10 books behind.  I can’t seem to catch up try as I may.  But I still have about 8 weeks left so I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.  But holy moly, that’s 18 books in 8 weeks.  Dr. Suess counts right?  Ok, well I have a window of time here at work with nothing to do so I think I’ll log off wordpress and pick up my book.

I Think I’ll Do That Instead

About a month or so ago we had a lab meeting with the boss of the boss, so I knew it was going to be good.  Because work has been so slow for the past year, the powers that be have decided to close down the lab – hence we will all be out of a job.  The departure isn’t expected to happen before the new year so at least there is plenty of warning (unless they come in tomorrow and pull the plug but that’s doubtful).  Compared to a few co-workers I have it pretty good.  I have no family to support and no commitments that tie me down to Utah or anything else for that matter.  Needless to say I’m not worried and don’t plan on even thinking of making future decisions until I get back from my trip to Arkansas at the end of the month.  And probably not even then either.

But then again, this has caused me to think of my dream jobs and how sweet life would be if I could manage to get one of these.  In no way am I qualified for any of them really but that’s why they’re called DREAM jobs.

And in no particular order:

1.  Food Taste Tester

This could turn out very badly.  Like if I was required to eat some delicacy from some island no one had ever heard of.  This would probably end up being something with more than 4 legs and still alive.  Maybe the title should really be Food Taste Tester with an emphasizes on dessert (as long as the dessert doesn’t turn out to be flan or tapioca pudding *shudder*)

2.  Hotel Tester

Imagine getting paid to go on vacations to check out hotel services.  I would make sure they knew I could travel abroad.

3.  Photographer for National Geographic

You get to travel and see the most beautiful and interesting places in the world.  Um, yes please.

4.  Photographer for Favorite Band

Let’s see, you get to travel and hang with your favorite band all the time.  You get exclusive interviews and free reign to take pics and not only would they let you, but unlike the paparazzi, they would be paying you to do so.

5.  Book Reviewer

I read lots of books anyway so I might as well get paid to do so.  And the review wouldn’t be hard to do because it’s just your opinion of what you read.  Simple as that.

6.  Movie Critic

This is the same idea as the book reviewer.  How are people “qualified” to do this anyway?  Just watch a movie and say what you thought of it.  See… thumbs up, thumbs down.

7.  Toy Tester

Imagine going into a room full of toys and being told you will get paid to play with them.  I think I would feel like Tom Hanks in Big.

8.  Mattress Tester

Now hold on just a minute.  I already know where some of you may be going with this one but I’m referring to SLEEPING on the mattress – that or jumping from mattress to mattress in the store.  “Ma’am we’ll pay you and all you have to do is take a little nap.”  Where do I sign?

9.  Bookstore

I would prefer to work in an old, local, used bookstore as opposed to a large chain but either could be fun.  You would have full access to all sorts of different kinds of books and if your store wasn’t busy you would have plenty of time to read.

10.  Hiker

I heard a guy yesterday say that he was a professional hiker.  I’m not sure what that entails exactly but I think it’s kind of strenuous.  My job wouldn’t be.  I would go walking on trails and get paid for it.  Let’s see, get to be outside, lots of exercise, and not be bothered with phone calls and deadlines.

Who knows?  Maybe in 6 months I’ll be writing an entry from a hotel on some remote island, dining on bugs, while taking pictures for National Geographic as I go for a walk on a backwoods trail.

My Heaven

Lastnight I was over at the park near my house, as I am almost every night, and it occured to me that it was my heaven.  So let me paint the picture for you seeing as how I did not follow my own advice about having my camera with me at all times.  In my heaven it would be sunset all day.  That perfect time in the evening when there’s still enough light to do whatever but not so much that you swerve off the rode when you turn your car west.  It’s in the upper 70s maybe even low 80s but feels cooler than that because there is a slight breeze blowing.  And heaven is a gargantuous park with soft green grass (with no chiggers!) to lay in possibly taking a nap, wide sidewalks, flowers/trees, and maybe even a pond.  In heaven I wear my shorts and groddy work out shirt because it’s unbelievably comfortable, switch between flip flops and sneakers that I don’t lace up, and pile my hair in a high, loose ponytail on my head.  And I never run out of Otter Pop Flavor Ice Popsicles or Jr. Mints.  All the orange and blue Otter Pops have already been removed and discarded from the box because those flavors are barfy and taste like cold medication. And I eat as many of the others as I want at one time,  I usually have 3-5 at one sitting.  There’s a never ending supply of good books everywhere and my Ipod battery never needs to be charged.  AAHHH, heaven!