2012 Half-Way Summary

June is over, so it’s time for the half-way summary for 2012!

  • Total Books Read: 20
  • Books: 12
  • Audiobooks: 8
  • Pages: 2427
    –202 page average total, 261 page average without children’s books included
  • Hours: 94
    –12 hour average per audiobook
  • Fiction: 16
  • Nonfiction: 4 (2 memoirs, 1 biography, 1 collection of myths)
  • Female Authors: 15
  • Male Authors: 4
  • New-to-Me Authors: 14
  • Not New-to-Me Authors: 5
  • Most Read Author: Lauren Willig (2 books)
  • Books by Dead Authors: 1
  • Books by Living Authors: 19
  • American Authors: 11
  • Non-American Authors: (1 South African, 1 Pakistani, 1 British, 1 Canadian, 1 Guatemalan, 1 Tanzanian)
  • Longest Book: The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig (388 pages)
  • Shortest Book: Ivy and Intrigue by Lauren Willig (106 pages)
                   –Kele’s Secret by Tololwa Mollel (14 pages) was shortest children’s book
  • Longest Audiobook: The Sheen on the Silk by Anne Perry (19 hours)
  • Shortest Audiobook: The Color Purple by Alice Walker (8 hours)
  • Challenges Finished: 1 (of 3): LM Montgomery Mini-Challenge 2012
  • Challenges Continuing: 2 (of 2 remaining)
    –Around the World in 12 Books Challenge (5 of 12 read)
    –RIP VII Challenge (annually takes place in September-October, so it hasn’t even started, but I resolved to read 4 in those two months)
  • Resolutions Finished: 0 (0f 4)
  • Resolutions Continuing: 4 (of 4)
    –Copyright 2012 Resolution (3 of 5 read)
    –Personal Collection Resolution (2 of 10 read)
    –Years of Books Resolution (2 of 5 read)
    –Inspirational Resolution (2 of 5 read)

General facts about my year so far:

  • I haven’t eaten fast-food once this year, although I may have started eating out at restaurants more than I used to 🙂 But I don’t eat out nearly as often as I used to eat fast food, so health-wise it’s better, but it probably hasn’t made a big difference, finance-wise.
  • Nick and I bought a house in February 2012 and we are “almost” done fixing it up (biggest/most time-consuming project so far has been putting on a new roof)
  • In March 2012, I went to see Hunger Games at midnight with friends
  • I started to run in April 2012 after years of vowing I’d never be one of those people 🙂
  • My younger sister got married in May 2012
  • We bought Nick a truck in May 2012
  • I ran my first 5K in June 2012–I also hit 6 miles as my farthest distance of continual running in June 2012
  • My maternal grandpa died in June 2012 😦
  • Nick and I had our 9th anniversary in June 2012 (that’s 9 years together, not married)

There’s No Place Like Home

I’m home! As you can see from my last post, I have been gone for pretty much the last week and a half, taking my belated honeymoon in Alaska 🙂 It was amazing. Alaska is so beautiful and we were lucky to have some really nice weather while we were there. Here are a few of my favorite pictures:

mountains from Auke Bay

humpback whale

Mendenhall Glacier, near Juneau

An old brothel token, good for "one screw"

Sawyer Glacier in the background (the same as the picture in the previous post)

the Seattle Public Library, right across the street from our hotel 🙂

And, as my honeymoon was a cruise, there were a few days of only cruising (they were long days). So I did have a bit of time to read.

I finished The Odyssey by Homer on the cruise. I originally read it 9 years ago–when I was 14. It was required reading for my honors English class freshman year of high school. I didn’t really hate it at the time, I just thought it was long and the way it was written, as a poem, really threw me off. It’s probably one of the reasons I also don’t care for Shakespeare. With those odd breaks in the middle of sentences, my flow of reading gets disrupted. But this time around I was older, wiser, a stronger reader, and I had it on my Kindle, written in prose form. And I enjoyed it much better (4/5 stars from me). I also read it because I want to read The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, and I thought refreshing my mind of Homer’s tale would help when I get to it.

The biggest difference between my two readings of The Odyssey was probably how I viewed Odysseus (or Ulysses, as my edition called him 😦 ). Last time I found him to be a great warrior and hero, fighting so hard to get home to his family. This time around though, I sort of found him to be a jerk. I mean, how can someone try for 20 years to get home and always be thinking about his wife and child, but still allow himself to be seduced? True, I’ve never been scorned by a great Olympian god 🙂 But it doesn’t seem like he was all that truthful.

On the plane home, I also finished listening to Push by Sapphire (or Precious as it might more commonly be known, after the movie). I LOVED IT! (5/5 from me!) I am so glad that I listened to it on audiobook, especially with Bahni Turpin as the narrator. While I love reading books written in dialect, I think the fact that Precious had the dialect and a strong African American female voice made the story that much more real.

Now, if you don’t like bluntness and a direct approach to a story focusing a lot on incest and abuse, this might not be the book for you. But I loved it. It gave Precious such a strong voice as a character, even if some might find it weakened her as a person. She had to say/write much of her thoughts in order to make sense of them, which might be seen as a weakness. But I felt it made her character strong in the story.

This story made me feel very lucky to have had the advantages I did and to have the basic necessities I had, such as a loving family, growing up. I feel sad that there are people out there who have lives similar to that of Precious and I hope that someday there is a better way to make sure people don’t fall through the cracks like that.

me and my hubby (Nick) at the Mendenhall Glacier

my life in April 2011

To follow in the steps of my previous monthly summary…

Where My Weight is Concerned
I was honestly going to do as I did in March and try to work out every day in April. But that didn’t exactly happen. I did however, maintain my weight through the whole month–I am down to 140 pounds 🙂 And I’m very happy with the way I’m looking and feeling. But the reason–or rather my excuse, because that is what it is–I didn’t work out much this month is explained next.

Where I am on the Job Front
On April 11th I started a full time job at a daycare in my hometown (I now live about 25 minutes away from there haha). The daycare is actually right down the road from where I grew up/my parents’ house. Anyways, I’m the toddler teacher, so I’m basically responsible for the 18-36 month olds for most of the day. So, I went from teaching teenagers during my student teaching (that’s what my degree is in, social studies for 7-12th graders) to teaching toddlers basic knowledge and skills (like colors, counting, and motor skills). But I’m really loving it. Of course there are days when I’m just exhausted when I get home. That’s my “reason” for not working out much the last couple weeks. I’ve never had a full time job–I’ve worked part time while going to university, but never a full time job. So I am just getting used to the way I have to manage my time. I definitely can’t work out twice a day like I was during the later part of March. But May is just around the corner, so I’m going to try more to work out on a consistent routine, even if it’s not exactly every day.
(Oh, and no that’s not a picture of my daycare. But it’s a pretty good representation of what I do haha)

In the World of Reading
I read only four books this month 😦

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Free World by David Bezmozgis
  • The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
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I didn’t even add any books to my TBR list this month! I think that’s because I got behind with my new job as far as reading blogs goes. I guess April was just sort of a funky month in multiple areas.
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But I did actually purchase a couple books this month:
  • Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen (Kindle Edition)
  • Dreams of Joy by Lisa See (a pre-order, as it doesn’t come out til May 31st)
  • The Annotated Sense & Sensibility by David M Shapard & Jane Austen (pre-order, comes out May 3rd)–I got this even though I already own a S&S because it is the bicentennial year of its publication and I loved the annotated P&P

I have progressed with my New Year’s Resolutions a bit:

  • 3 books towards the Victorian Lit Challenge (1-4 needed, so I could be done :)  )
  • 1 book towards my Memoir/Biography Resolution (4 more needed)
  • 3 books towards my Non-Fiction Resolution (2 more needed)
  • 2 books towards my Travel the Globe Resolution (4 more for this one, 8 for the “Further Exploration” sub-resolution)
  • 5 books towards my Published in 2011 Resolution – COMPLETED!!
  • 8 books from my Personal Collection (2 more to go)

March 2011: Books Read & Life in General

I want to start this post with a little update about my life in general. I usually don’t discuss much of my life on this blog because I have it for mostly reading purposes. But some good things have happened lately, so I just wanted to share them with you.

Where My Weight is Concerned:
During the month of March I decided to attempt to work out at least once a day. Some of the days, towards the end of the month I actually worked out twice! (For 31 days, I worked out 37 times) I would do either some Pilates or weight lifting (as per P90x) in the afternoon and then I would do dance workouts in the evening. I don’t like aerobics or cardio very much, but the dancing aspect of it made it so fun. (I love these Bollywood dance workouts haha) As a result of this consistent working out, I only lost about 1.5 pounds. But I lost at least a couple of inches in my core and hips. And I’m stronger, thanks to P90x. So while the weight number didn’t go down, inches did 😀 (By the way, I’m down 11 pounds since the beginning of the year.) And I’m so proud of myself! I am going to try to continue with this routine in April so maybe I’ll lose some more! But I might only be able to do it once a day, for reasons pertaining to my next piece of news.

Where I am on the Job Front:
I’ve been technically unemployed since the end of December 2009. During the first few months of 2010, I had to do my student teaching and I just didn’t have the time or energy to keep my part time job. Then I graduated in May 2010 with a Bachelors in Education–which means I couldn’t get a job that started until August! So I took on a summer-months nanny gig for my uncle’s niece. And then Nick (then fiance, now husband) graduated in the beginning of August and was looking for a job. As a mechanical engineer, he’ll easily make nearly twice what I can make 😦 So I decided to wait to look for a teaching job until he found a place. So I looked for jobs in retail and what not and for substituting at local schools, while he started his new job in the fall. Then we got married in December. And apparently I’m not cut out for retail positions, because I never got farther than online surveys and stuff 😦 So I thought to myself, “What do I have experience with that I could find a job in?” And it came to me: child care (aka daycares). I’ve taken care of kids for years, so I don’t know why I just recently figured out that it would make sense to look for a job at a local daycare. So this past Tuesday I started to inquire for jobs at daycares via websites. I got an email back that day, had an interview at a daycare on Wednesday and was offered a job on the spot! I’m so excited 🙂 Not only do I finally get to contribute, but I can stop feeling like a mooch to my husband. (I wouldn’t mind not working if I had a legit reason to be at home all day, like taking care of our own nonexistent children.) And, as a plus it’s about 40 hours a week and I actually get somewhat normal hours–I won’t work past 6:30pm, so I’ll actually get to spend time with Nick at home in the evenings (something that worried me about working in retail). So I start this job on April 12th (I would start next week, but I’m babysitting a couple of girls on spring break and my employer didn’t mind me sticking to that commitment, especially since those girls’ parents are one of my references).

In the World of Reading:

Books Read
The Disappeared by Kim Echlin
Lost States by Michael Trinklein
The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
The Rescuers by Margery Sharp
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
American Fairy Tales by L Frank Baum (Kindle Edition)
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Books Purchased
😦 NONE 😦

Books Added to my TBR List

 

 

  • The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown (Michelle’s review) (which I just finished)
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Just a Bookworm first mentioned it here, and she just reviewed it today here) (which I just reading yesterday)

 

New Year’s Resolutions Progress

  • 3 books towards the Victorian Lit Challenge (1-4 needed, so I could be done 🙂 )
  • 3 book towards my Non-Fiction Resolution (2 more needed)
  • 2 book towards my Travel the Globe Resolution (4 more for this one, 9 for the “Further Exploration” sub-resolution)
  • 3 book towards my Published in 2011 Resolution (2 to go)
  • 1 more books from my Personal Collection, for a total of 7 towards the resolution (3 more to go)