January 2012 {monthly summary}

Books Read

Books Acquired

  • none
    (I did finish a book of my own collection, so I am allowed to buy a book, but I’m waiting until a book I’m eagerly awaiting is released in February)

Books Added to TBR List

  • Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka
  • A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead
  • Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor
  • Bunheads by Sophie Flack
  • We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

2012 Resolution and Challenge Progress

  • 0 book towards my Copyright 2012 Resolution — 5 more to go
  • 1 book towards my Personal Collection Resolution — 9 more to go
  • 2 books towards my Years of Books Resolution — 3 more to go
  • 0 books towards my Inspirational Resolution — 5 more to go
  • 1 book from the Around the World in 12 Books Challenge — 11 more to go

Non-Fiction Resolution 2011 = COMPLETED :o)

I’ve finished my 4th challenge/resolution for the year 2011. (That is 50% of all my resolutions/challenges for the year.) 😀

Read at least FIVE non-fiction books (that don’t count towards the memoir/biography resolution) in 2011. Here is the link to my original post about this resolution: fiction vs. non-fiction.

1. SeinLanguage by Jerry Seinfeld
2. Lost States by Michael J Trinklein
3. The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
4. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson
5. Wheels of Change–How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy


July 2011 in Books

Books Read

  • Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella (I didn’t actually finish it–listened to about 2/3 of it though)
  • Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson
  • Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (reread)
  • Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  • Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • Heartless by Gail Carriger
New Year’s Resolutions Progress
  • 1 book towards my Memoir/Biography Resolution (2 more needed)
  • 0 books towards my Non-Fiction Resolution (1 more needed)
  • 0 books towards my Travel the Globe Resolution (4 more for this one)
    1 more for the “Further Exploration” sub-resolution (6 more to go)
    0 more for the “Regional USA” sub-resolution (6 more to go)
  • 1 book from my Personal Collection, making 11 of 10 for this resolution
  • 2 books towards my completed Published in 2011 Resolution, making 11 of 5 for this resolution!

the half-way mark of 2011 (and June 2011 wrap-up)

2011 Half-Way Update

As it’s the beginning of July, and therefore halfway through the year of 2011, I thought I’d give a little update as to how my resolutions, challenges, and reading life are going. So I’ve taken what I keep track of for the year and shortened it a bit, to let you all know how I’m doing.

  • Total Books Read: 43
  • Books: 38
  • Audiobooks: 5
  • Pages: 10138 (average of 290 per book)
  • Hours: 32.5 (average of 6.5 hours per audiobook)
  • Fiction: 36
  • Nonfiction: 7
  • Female Authors: 24
  • Male Authors: 18
  • New-to-Me Authors: 29
  • Not New-to-Me Authors: 10
  • Most Read Author: Suzanne Collins (3 books)
  • Books by Dead Authors: 8
  • Books by Living Authors: 38
  • American Authors: 24
  • Non-American Authors: 13 (3 British, 3 Canadian, 1 Maori, 1 German, 1 French, 1 Latvian, 1 Ukrainian, 1 Greek, 1 Australian, 1 Turkish)
  • Longest Book: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (509 pages)
  • Shortest Book: Persuasions Vol 31. by various authors (66 pages)
  • Longest Audiobook: Edenborn by Nick Sagan (9.5 hours)
  • Shortest Audiobook: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (4.5 hours)
  • Challenges Finished: 1 (of 2): Victorian Literature Challenge
  • Challenges Continuing: 1 (of 1 remaining): Harry Potter Reading Marathon
  • Resolutions Finished: 2 (0f 7): Published in 2011 Resolution & Personal Collection Resolution
  • Resolutions Continuing: 5 (of 5 remaining): Memoir/Biography Resolution, Non-Fiction Resolution, Travel the Globe Resolution, Further Exploration Sub-Resolution, Regional USA Sub-Resolution)

June 2011 Wrap Up

Books Read
America Pacifica
 by Anna North
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen (audiobook)
Edenborn by Nick Sagan (audiobook)
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (audiobook)
Bliss by OZ Livaneli
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

New Year’s Resolutions Progress
  • Victorian Literature Challenge 2011 already completed
  • 1 book towards the Harry Potter Reading Marathon (6 more to go)
  • 0 books towards my Memoir/Biography Resolution 😦 (3 more needed)
  • 1 books towards my Non-Fiction Resolution (1 more needed)
  • 1 books towards my Travel the Globe Resolution (3 more for this one)
    1 more for the “Further Exploration” sub-resolution (7 more to go)
    2 more for the “Regional USA” sub-resolution (6 more to go)
  • Personal Collection Resolution already completed, but 1 book added
  • Published in 2011 Resolution already completed, but 3 more added

May 2011 Wrap-Up

Books Read

  • Tevye the Dairyman by Sholem Aleichem
  • Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico
  • Maus I by Art Spiegelman
  • Maus II by Art Spiegelman
  • The Odyssey by Homer (a reread)
  • Push by Sapphire (on audiobook)
  • Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
Books Purchased
  • Dreams of Joy by Lisa See–it was released May 31st 🙂
Also, just to let you know, my book buying has sort of changed as of late. I no longer buy a lot of books for myself, which is fine because I have plenty on my shelf that have waited their fair share of time for me to read. Instead, I’ve been buying books for work. What I mean by that is this: I work at a daycare and I am in charge of toddlers (18-36 months). The daycare at which I work is pretty small and fairly new, so it lacks on some precious resources, like books. So I’ve been buying books like board books and what not that are age-appropriate for the kids I work with. Yes, they’re still mine and I’ll take them when/if I leave that job. I look at them as an investment–I know I’ll have kids someday, so the books can be for them too. But I love buying books for my kids at work 🙂 So fun!
New Year’s Resolutions Progress
  • 1 book towards the Victorian Lit Challenge, making 4 total for the 1-4 needed – COMPLETED TO THE FULLEST! 
  • 1 book (I combined Maus I & Maus II as one) towards my Memoir/Biography Resolution (3 more needed)
  • 0 books towards my Non-Fiction Resolution (2 more needed)
  • books towards my Travel the Globe Resolution (4 more for this one)
    0 more for the “Further Exploration” sub-resolution (8 more to go)
    1 more for the “Regional USA” sub-resolution (8 more to go)
  • 3 books from my Personal Collection, which allowed me to COMPLETE THE RESOLUTION and have one to spare
  • 1 book towards my completed Published in 2011 Resolution, making 6 total (resolved to read 5)

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
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.
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)