Monday, July 23, 2012

Moving On

When I first started this blog, it was called Lost in a Good Story. I started a recipe blog called Lost in the Kitchen at the same time. I thought this was very clever and had visions of book deals and fame. This is very indicative of where I was in my life at that time – I felt lost, without purpose, I wasn't sure what I wanted my life to look like, and I needed to feel important. The blog(s) gave me a huge sense of purpose and a huge sense of accomplishment. Just watching my list of books grow gave my pleasure.
I eventually gave up on the recipe blog and became comfortable at my book blog. I renamed it It's All About Me, because it symbolised what I was doing for myself, something that was only mine.
The blogging experience DID make me feel important, though not in the way I thought I wanted. No one offered me a book deal, but I learned that my voice mattered and that people were interested in what I had to say. This was a crucial discovery and I can honestly say that I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't started blogging.
Lately, as whoever still reads this must have noticed, I haven't been blogging any more. This is because I haven't been sure what I wanted to say. Blogging about books wasn't doing it for me anymore, but I didn't want to leave the book blogging community. I felt that my blog should have a focus but I couldn't decide what that should be.
In real life, I decided to leave the communication field I have been working in for over ten years and to move into learning, development, training and coaching. My blogging will follow this path.
This blog has now served its purpose and it is time for me to move on. I am thankful for everything that it brought me and I am thankful to all of you who visited and commented.
I will continue blogging - about all sorts of topics, books included - at my new home, Create Your World
I hope that at least some of you will follow me there.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Thoughts on going back to work

Yep, that's right, today is my first day back at work following 6 weeks off due to burn out. How does it feel? Well, I'd rather be cycling in the park or reading a book on my couch, but it isn't so bad. What makes it good, even, is that I'm sure that this is the slow start of the next phase of my working life. Somewhere near is the job that is perfect for me at this point in time and I know that we are slowly moving towards each other. It's going to be great, whatever it is!

I haven't been doing much blogging while I was off, mostly because I wanted to limit my time at the computer, I spend enough time in front of a screen when I'm working. But I have been reading and will hopefully post thoughts on these books over the next days and weeks.

I started a new book today - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. I didn't get very far though because the achingly descriptive part about foot binding made me cry and actually made me feel faint and nauseous. Talk about a strong reaction! I'll give the book another shot later, I really do want to read it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happiness is your birth right

This was the message on my Yogi tea this morning and it got me thinking.

Happiness is your birth right.

Isn't it a wonderful sentiment? And isn't it true? Certainly in my belief system, we are here because we want to be here, to grow and to learn, to become the best people we can be. Our souls, our true selves, believe that we can become the best people we can be during this lifetime. Surely that includes happiness.

Happiness is your birth right.

Why is happiness so hard? Why is it so hard to hold on to? Why do so many of us question whether we deserve it, even after we've experienced it? I admit to these thoughts myself and I'm sure I'm not the only one who sometimes wonders exactly how happy I'll be allowed to be before it's taken away or before things go wrong.

Who is allowing me to be happy though? Who has the power to take happiness away?

Happiness is your birth right.

You're the only one who controls your own happiness. With your words, with your attitudes, with your actions. We are the ones who are creating our lives, either happy ones or less so.

So let's all decide to be happy, let's choose happiness and see if it follows.


Happiness is your birth right.

I hope this positive message brightens someone's day, like it did mine.

P.S. I LOVE Yogi tea! I drink so much more of it since I discovered that each tea bag comes with a message! :-)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend Cooking: Savory Muffins

One of the things I'm doing while on medical leave is cooking. I really, really like to cook and bake, but only if I have plenty of time. I hate the day-to-day quick, stressed out cooking and the constant question about what we'll have for dinner the following day and if anything needs to be prepared ahead of time. This wasn't such a problem before Shane came along, but now I find it extremely important that we have a nice meal together every evening.

Where do I get my recipes? From magazines, from blogs, from websites, from cookbooks. The blogs are the hardest to track, but ever since I found Pinterest, things have become easier.

I pinned this recipe for Savory Muffins with Sweet Potato and Feta a while ago from one of my favorite food bloggers, Alanna. She blogs at A Veggie Venture and is truly inspired when it comes to putting together healthy meals that focus on vegetables. (The photo is Alanna's, from the original post with the recipe. I was too busy eating them to think of taking a photo!)

The muffins were fabulous. I pretty much followed the recipe, except I used less green onion and subbed grated cheese for the parmesan as I didn't have any. We had the muffins with this simple carrot, sweet potato and coriander soup:

Melt 50g butter in a pot, add 500g sliced carrots, 300g diced sweet potato, 1 diced onion, toss in the butter until coated. Cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes, adding a little water if necessary. Add 1.2 liters of vegetable stock, a couple of potatoes, loads of fresh coriander and simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft. Whizz and serve.

We (I mean Shane) finished all the soup in no time, but we had leftover muffins that Joe took in to work - they were a hit with his colleagues too!

Since the muffin recipe came from Pinterest, this is my first 'task' for the Pinterest challenge that Trish is running in May.

It's Monday today, but I'm also entering this post into the Weekend Cooking weekly event hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Bealtaine!

Today is the first day of May, when we celebrate Spring and the uplifting energy it brings with it. The day was called Bealtaine by the ancient Celts and marked the second most important festival of the year. It was all about fertility and hope, optimism for good harvest. Bealtaine is still the Irish Gaelic word for the month of May.

I like to see it as a new beginning, which seems to be very fitting for me this year, as I struggle to figure out what my next step in life should be and when I should take it. Loads of people around the world celebrate May 1 in one way or another and many of the associated traditions (like the maypole) come from long, long ago. All that energy that accumulated through time and also the energy used today must create a perfect environment for making dreams come true.

To all of you out there who can use some positive energy to introduce change into your lives, today's the day!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pure indulgence

I just spent a few hours reading, enjoying, relishing The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Amazing. It's a story told in words and in pictures, where the pictures are sometimes just pictures and sometimes create a mini-movie inside the book. Did I already say it was amazing?

The book tells the story of 12-year-old Hugo, an orphan who is a whizz at fixing clocks and anything mechanical. He manages to fix an automaton and through it discovers a picture that changes his life forever. It's a story of the magic that can happen in real life.

There are also non-fiction elements to it, but I don't want to talk about details because they are not revealed until the second half of the book. Just know that there is some information on the beginning of cinema and that I now need to read something on the subject.

The drawings are absolutely beautiful and I love the way each of them brings the story forward and then text takes over. Everything works so well together.

I absolutely had to jot down this beautiful and wise passage, something Hugo says to his friend Isabelle:
"I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I believe that if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason too."
I love it.

Now, why did I call this post 'pure indulgence'? Because I'm having a really bad week, which is why I'm at home able to read books. I almost fainted at work on Tuesday plus had an anxiety attack and was taken to the emergency room. I seem to be ok for now, though I have to get some tests done, but it was scary and I'm at home resting for a while. The most likely reason for it is stress and fatigue, fingers crossed that's all it is!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Pinteresting Challenge

I love making lists. Many of them are only in my head, like a list of hobbies I'd like to take up (violin, crochet, sewing) or the list of cookery skills I'd like to try (making my own pizza dough, pickling something, baking bread). Some are transferred onto paper, like lists of books I want to read (on Goodreads and on this blog) or lists of recipes I want to try (cut out from magazines and pasted into a notebook).

I love inspiration. I look at magazines and I feel inspired to grow my own tomatoes, to put up shelves, to reorganize the kitchen. And to live better.

I love Pinterest (an online pinning board where you collect ideas from around the web). It satisfies all this in me and gives me hope that someday, somehow, I will find the time to put all the inspiration out there into action.

The problem is that although I pin every day, I rarely make anything I pin. For this reason I feel that I need to join Trish's new challenge: Pin It and Do It. Since the challenge is quite short, it ends at the end of May, I'm signing up for the middle level and vow to make or do 4-7 things I pinned.

I'm not making any lists for this one, we'll what inspires me most!

Want to see what I'm choosing from? Here's a link to my Pinterest dashboard. Not on Pinterest? Let me know if you need an invite and I'll send one.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ask me questions! Please!

It doesn't look like I'm getting any closer to reviewing the books I've read this year. I think I need to accept that unless I do it right after I finish the book it's just not going to happen. So I'm stealing something I saw over at Trish's and am asking for your help.

Ask me anything about the following books and I'll answer your questions instead of doing a conventional review post.

Love Walked in by Marisa de los Santos
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
I don't really remember details of some of what I though of some of these so hopefully your questions will help!

Thank you, fellow readers. :-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One Last Summer by Catrin Collier

A very touching book about World War II, told from the perspective of a young German girl. 18-year-old Charlotte von Datski thinks she has it all - she lives in a beautiful house, comes from an aristocratic Prussian family and just got engaged to a count, a handsome man she has been admiring for a long time. But not only is she in for a surprise about what is expected of her once she becomes a wife, all this is happening in 1939 and the world is on the brink of war.

From day to day, Charlotte starts losing people she loves and is forced to grow and take charge of running the family home. She lets go of her ideals and her dreams and just tries to survive the horrible years of war. When the war ends and the Russians take Prussia, she flees west.

The story is not unlike so many horrible tales of those who survived the second World War. But it is the more engrossing because it is told by someone so young. The fact that it's told from the German perspective add a lot of value too - Charlotte is just a regular young girl looking out for her family, with no interest in politics and no racist beliefs. And yet, she is not allowed to stand to one side, she is forced to get involved and the side is chosen for her from the start.

It was strange for me personally to read this book, being Polish. East Prussia ceased to exist after the war and those lands are now part of Poland. Poland got land after the war ended, but it had so much of it taken away too. It's so unfair - and seems completely crazy - that politicians and armies could divide lands arbitrarily like that. It's so sad that so many people - not just in this conflict of course - have to leave their homes and their country like that. That can never be ok.

I was surprised by how powerful this book was and by what a page-turner it was too. I couldn't put it down, I didn't want to go to sleep at all. Despite the fact that I pretty much knew how it turned out, I needed to know for sure what came next.

The story is based on the lives of the author's mother and grandmother, which makes it more engrossing. I can't believe that real people lived this story. I can't imagine ever having the strength to go through what they went through, but I suppose people are strong. You continue on and tackle whatever is thrown your way.

Now on to happier books I think!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Top Books to Play Hooky With

I want to play hooky. I want to disappear for a day or two. I want to be left alone. I don't want to deal with anything 'adult'.

But I can't. So instead I'm making this Top Ten Tuesday list of Best Books to Play Hooky With. The event is organised over at The Broke and the Bookish. I'm a day late, but today is when I need to do it.

Here are the top ten books I'd like to stay home with (tomorrow), in no particular order:

1. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - I get so envious of anyone who hasn't read these yet, I wish the experience was still before me. Definitely books that couldn't be put down.

2. Room by Emma Donaghue - Another one I've already read, but it's the only one I actually remember playing hooky with. Well, not exactly playing hooky, I was feeling sick and stayed home and read this instead. Which means I didn't get any rest at all, I couldn't stop reading!

3. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - I've heard amazing things about this series and can't wait to start it. It's on my shelf, but I think I'll be really absorbed by it so I'm waiting for a time when it'll be ok to be that absorbed. Easter vacation maybe?

4. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley - Nothing like a super-sized chunkster that everyone you know thinks you're going to love. It's too heavy to carry around, so it would have to be read at home. And the only way I can do that is if I play hooky. It's a no-brainer, really.

5. The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde - I remember when I read the first four books there was no talking to me at all. It's such an original concept and a must for any book lover. I'm so happy that I still have two left!

6. The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris - I'm just reading the latest book and I really wish I didn't have to go to work so I could finish it faster!

7. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - I whizzed through this one when I read it a few years ago. Definitely one to read while snuggled up inside with no responsibilities.

8. Uglies by Westerfield - judging by the reviews, this is exactly my kind of dystopia, a world one would really not like to live in. I'll bet the action moves fast and you can never guess what will happen next.

9. The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter - total YA, about a teenage girl who goes to spy school. Great fluff to stay home with.

10. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin - I haven't even read A Game of Thrones, which is the first one, but my husband recently all of them while on extended sick leave and he sure didn't want to be doing anything else. I find the size of the books daunting, but I'm intrigued.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Random Thoughts

I haven't been devoting enough (or any) time to this blog lately. I don't want to stop blogging, but I need to figure out what I want to blog about. I have been reading a lot, but I don't really feel like doing book posts. Sound familiar to anyone? Any ideas?


I went to London last week to do a bit of hanging out, a bit of relaxing and a bit of soul searching. I got exactly what I went for, plus five pairs of new shoes. Including these lovely red Doc Martens - they have ribbons, so pretty! Does anyone ever really need new Doc Martens? Hmm, I guess this part of my trip can't be considered as soul searching - though it was certainly good for the soul!


One of the things I did in London was get a tarot reading done at a great bookstore called Mysteries. I'd never had one before. It was a great experience and it got me re-interested in the tarot. Hopefully I'll be able to do my own readings soon enough.


I haven't actually done it yet but I've been inspired by Trish and really want to start doing regular updates about my two-year-old. He is so amazing right now and I'm afraid I'll lose the magic as time runs away from us. Ideally, I would like to do it as a scrapbook/journal type project and do shorter online updates too. I just can't decide on how to start.


That's it for now. Let's hope this blog gets some structure soon!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Upcoming London adventure

I've booked tickets to London for no specific reason. Yep, I took a few days off next week and will go to London on my own, with not much of a plan and just see what happens. I wanted Alex to come with me, but I didn't give her much notice and she can't. So it'll be a solitary adventure. How exciting!

I've been trying to plan just a little and come up with some things I specifically want to do. I will srat with a good friend my first night. I definitely want to see a show of some sort, maybe two. I definitely want to do a bit of shoe shopping, although not too much. I definitely want to buy some make-up at Boots, I'm addicted to them. And I definitely want to visit some bookstores.

I also wouldn't mind taking a workshop of some sort - something esoteric, to do with the soul and the universe and our higher selves. But I didn't find anything concrete for the days I'll be there. I did however find this link to a walk through esoteric London, covering all the major bookstores and centers. Pretty cool, huh?

I'll start with this and see how I get on. I'm hoping to stumble upon something really great, like a workshop, or a book signing or reading.

Do you know of anywhere interesting I should go? Anything interesting I should do?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekend Cooking: Healthy Desserts

I started WeightWatchers again last week. As in, I'm going to the meetings and everything. It feels good to have some control over the food I eat. We'll see how it goes, but I'm feeling positive.

My downfall on the weight loss journey is snacking in the evening. I hate the thought of my dinner being the last thing I have, I feel cheated unless I get to have a little something in front of the tv afterwards. WeightWatchers allows me such flexibility - I can save some points for the evening if I want to.

So aside from the regular snacks - popcorn, a piece of chocolate, fruit - I've taken an interest in healthy desserts. I'm sure there must be loads of ideas out there and I'm trying to find the ones that would work for me. Because swirling some fruit into greek yogurt really doesn't do it for me, even for breakfast.

What's your favorite healthy dessert?

This weekend, I tried this recipe for a chocolate pear crisp. Except that I made it with apples and rhubarb so I guess it should be called something else.

The original pear recipe is by Mary Cadogan and comes from BBC Good Food Magazine. You can see it online here.

I forgot to take a photo before we ate them, so I've used the one from BBC Good Food Online.

Apple and rhubarb crisp
Serves 4
5 ww points per portion

3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
Rhubarb from a jar (optional, I only added it because I didn't think there was enough apple)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar

For the topping:
50g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
25g ground almonds
1 egg white

Heat oven to 160C.

Put the apples in a pan with the lemon juice and the sugar. Add a bit of water so that the mixture doesn't stick to the pan when heated. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover, then cook for 8-10 minutes more until the juices thicken up. Spoon into 4 ramekins. Add a couple of tablespoons of rhubarb into each ramekin, if using.

For the topping, sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl, then stir in the almonds. Whisk the egg white until stiff, then fold in the dry ingredients. Spoon over the pears and shake the ramekins so the mixture evens out.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the topping is firm to the touch. Serve warm or cold.

This post is my entry into Weekend Cooking,  a weekly event hosted by Beth Fish Reads

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mini-Reviews - Again!

It seems that I do more mini-reviews than any other kind these days. But I've fallen so far behind now that this is all I can do.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Ummm... At what point did it stop being about Rose being able to taste the cook's feelings in the food she ate? At what point did it start being about the brother? And what was going on with him anyway? I don't get it! I mean I get what's up with him but I don't believe in it, I don't believe in the way the family handles him and his being different and I don't believe in this story. The brother plot line takes up a huge part of the book and isn't even mentioned in the publicity blurb. So strange. Basically, I was expecting something similar to Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel or Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Very disappointing.

Crossed by Ally Condie
I rarely like sequels more than the original books, but in this case I liked Crossed much more than Matched. In Matched, I found the constant back-and-forth between Kai and Xander annoying. Here, this is more or less resolved and we can move on. I seem to be in the minority in liking this book, mostly because nothing really happens. That's true, but I didn't need that much to happen. I was fascinated by the world Condie built, the way undesirables were dealt with, the faked elements of the conflict with the Outer Regions, the rebellion, the farmers on the outskirts, not really belonging anywhere. Aspects of daily life were so interesting - the pills, the career choices, family obligations, etc. I also loved the importance attached to culture, to art and to writing. So many were willing to die to protect the world's cultural heritage. I can't wait to see where the next book takes us!

Murder Runs in the Family by Anne George
A mystery series set in Alabama. I like it because the main characters and amateur detectives are two sisters in their sixties. I rarely read books with characters like these and I enjoy their outlook. Of course, I doubt they are very typical people, but still. In this book, the third one of the series, the sisters witness what looks like a suicide but is most decidedly a murder. It involves some local geneologists, a local judge and other assorted figures. A good story and colorful characters, you can't really go wrong.

Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
Another great series, this time young adult. Four childhood friends brave the world, all the while keeping in touch through letters, phone calls and of course the traveling pants, a pair of jeans that makes each of them look amazing. The pants are magic. In this third book in the series, the girls experience their last summer before college and it includes new jobs, new loves, new baby siblings and finding the strength to find and stay in tune with one's own true self, despite family and societal pressure. I listed to this on audio and really enjoyed the narration by Angela Goethals.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Here I am!

Yes, I am still here, I really am.

I had to take an unwanted and unplanned break, I have had very little time to blog since the beginning of the year.

I had pneumonia. My husband had a slipped disc. I work full-time at a stressful press job with tight deadlines. I have a two-year-old. And I was preparing a show in which I played the leading role. Spare time was a thing of the past.

But I'm back. I have a few days off now. My husband has had back surgery and will hopefully get better now. I miss the community feeling of our blogging world and I want to, need to, make time for it.

I'm not quite ready to start reviewing books yet, though I have been reading.

But I wanted to post something and say hi.

I've missed you!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012 Movie Madness

I've tried tracking the movies I watch before, but it didn't work out. When I saw this fun event/challenge, I knew I wanted to try again.

2012 Movie Madness has several levels and I'm hoping to watch at least 25 movies this year. I watch more series than movies, but I always mean to watch more. I also want to use this opportunity to get good ideas of movies to watch. We have digital tv and can't rent movies from our screen but I never recognise any titles. Sad, isn't it?

Series count too actually, but just one entry per series.

The events is hosted by The Talking Teacup and A Girl, Books and Other Things. Monthly updates etc will be posted on both their sites.

Here is my list of movies and series watched in 2012:

4. series - The West Wing
3. Bridesmaids
2. A Fish Called Wanda
1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book Exchanges!

In 2011, some of the most rewarding books I read were part of the book exchange that I did with Alex from The Sleepless Reader. I enjoyed reading the books that Alex chose for me, though some were not books I would have chosen myself. That was the whole point though and I truly felt enriched by the experience.

So we decided to do it again. And my friend Larissa from Like People and Butterflies decided to join us too. So here we go.

Alex wants me to read:

Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmler Bradley
84 Charring Cross Road by Helene Hanff
King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

I want Alex to read:

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne
Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

(I don't know how to put book covers together like Alex did, so the pictures are missing from my and Larissa's lists...)

Larissa wants me to read:

The Lovers by Alice Ferney
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Promethea by Alan Moore
Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco

I want Larissa to read:

Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Alborn

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

European Reading Challenge

Rose from Rose City Reader is hosting a European Reading Challenge. One of my goals for this year is to branch out in my reading and I always mean to read more non-Anglophone authors and about European settings so I'm signing up.

Visit the challenge post for the details, I'm choosing to sign up for 5 books set in different European countries or by European authors.

My possibilities are below.

Completed: 0/5 as of 11 January 2012

France - The Lovers by Alice Ferney
Ireland - The Likeness by Tana French
Italy - Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco
Poland - ?
Sweden - April Witch by Majgull Axelsson
United Kingdom - The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff

Graphic Novels Challenge

Nicola from Back to Books is hosting the 2012 Graphic Novels Challenge. I keep meaning to read more graphic novels but somehow never manage... I think I read only one in 2011. I'm hoping that this challenge will motivate me and also give me inspiration for graphic novels worth reading.

All information can be found here. The goal is ambitious - 12 books in 2012. But many are short and read quickly so hopefully I'll at least come close!

Completed: 0/12 as of 11 January 2012

2nds Challenge

Katy is organising a 2nds Challenge and I'm signing up. I'm always discovering new authors and never reading anything more by them, I'm missing out. I'm hoping that this challenge will help.

Visit the challenge post for the details, I'll just say that I'll be reading 6 books that are second in a series or that are by authors I've only read once.

Here are my choices:

Completed: 0/6 as of 11 January 2012

The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
Crossed by Ally Carter
something by Tracy Chevalier
Redemption Falls by Joseph O'Connor
Something Blue by Emily Giffin
something by Tana French
Ludmilla's Broken English by D.B.C. Pierre

What's in a Name 5

This is the fifth edition of the What's in a Name challenge, organised by Beth Fish Reads. It's one of  my favorite challenges, just because I love making the original lists of possibilities. The categories are always so cool!

The challenge requires 6 books, one per category, to be read in 2012. Head on over to the challenge post for the details.

I've participated in the second, the third, and the fourth and here are my possibilities for the fifth:

A book with a topographical feature (land formation) in the title: The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel

A book with something you'd see in the sky in the title: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

A book with a creepy crawly in the title: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

A book with a type of house in the title: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

A book with something you'd carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack in the title: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

A book with a something you'd find on a calendar in the title: April Witch by Majgull Axelsson, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Bookish Goals

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to my first post of 2012! I've been taking my time thinking about what I want this year's reading to be about and here's what I came up with:

  • I will only participate in a couple of challenges. I will no longer participate in any of the more general challenges, in any case. I haven't been even trying to complete them so there isn't much point. What I'll miss about participating in challenges is making lists so maybe I'll just make some lists for myself of books I want to read per genre this year... Hmmm, that sounds like fun!!
  • I would like to a participate in a read-along or two in theory, but I'm afraid of committing to something so specific, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to keep up and I don't want to put any extra pressure on myself because I don't have time to read. I'll see how it goes, maybe I'll try one and see how it goes.
  • I want to re-read several books this year. I haven't re-read anything in years and there are so many books that deserve it.
  • I want to read more classics. Now, this one is on my list every year, but it's always true.
  • I want to vary my reading more. I read mostly young adult and fantasy these days, which I think is because I'm so tired and generally overstretched all the time. But I want to make more of an effort to read more non-fiction and more non-YA or fantasy fiction.
  • I want to read more graphic novels - I like them, but read only one or two last year... I want to change that.
  • I want to read more poetry. Kailana was talking about this recently and it made me think. I used to love poetry, even used to write some (generally horrible) poems myself, but haven't read a single poem in years. Thing is, I think that poetry is way more fun to read in a group so that you can analyse together, so I'm waiting for someone to organise an event or read-along or something. :-)
Most of all though, I want to continue to enjoy my reading. I find that if I set too many goals then I end up forcing myself to read books that maybe I'm not in the mood for at that particular time. I don't want, I want to love my reading time. This means giving up on books that simply aren't doing it for me and not feeling guilty about it!

That's it, I think. I'm off to make some of my lists now!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Books Read in 2012

20. Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson
19. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
18. The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
17. Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris
16. One Last Summer by Catrin Collier

15. Molly Make Believe by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
14. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
13. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
12. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
11. From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
10. All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
7. Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
6. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

5. Crossed by Ally Condie
4. Murder Runs in the Family by Anne George
3. The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
2. 84 Charring Cross Road by Helene Hanff
1. Love Walked in by Marisa de los Santos