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Around the Net – Links of Interest

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I’ve been reading and reading and then did some more reading and I still feel like I haven’t really finished anything.

As always, the end of the year and the start of a new year, there are always lists and more lists of things that you should be doing, need to do or should have done.  This one is no exception.

Do you sometimes have such a hard day at the office or in life in general that all you want to do is come home and sit down with a book or the remote control and a glass of wine?  Do you have trouble figuring out what wines you like or get tired of the same old same old? This service is great to get rid of the monotony of the same old same old…. when it comes to wines, that is.

New Year’s Resolutions?  Did you make any this year?  I don’t make resolutions.  I do set goals but more on that later.  This article about resolutions was very interesting.

I work from home.  Seriously…. not just as a blogger but seriously work from home.  Sometimes it can be a great thing but sometimes it can be a pain.  One of the things that gets a bit complicated to manage when you work from home is your time….. when are you really in the office?  Should you take that one hour lunch that everyone seems to be taking?  This article speaks to me and I’m sure it will speak to a lot of you who work from home as well.

Work, work and more work….. sometimes it feels like there is enough to keep an entire world busy and it all seems to be on our shoulders.  Have you ever found yourself busy doing something when all of a sudden as if by divine intervention you are reminded that something needs to be replenished at home?  This article was both funny and sad.

Sometimes, in order to get more reading done I listen to books on my phone.  I have never been able to read in moving vehicles (I can on the train for some reason) so if I’m commuting by train I listen to books instead of reading them.  I thought this was so funny about listening to books at the gym.

 

Book Review – The Grownup By Gillian Flynn

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Do I still say Happy New Year?  Well, I guess there’s no harm in that right?  Happy New Year Everyone.  I haven’t gotten a heck of a lot of reading done but I’m working on it.  Most of you know I joined the Book the Month Club a few months ago and every month I look forward to receiving the ONE book.  This month….. TaDa!!!!! There were two …. WHAT?????? yep, as you can see in the picture above, I got a special gift from the Book of Month Club… Well, I’m not special.  We all got a special gift from them.

The Grownup – a short story by Gillian Flynn.  The author of Gone Girl.  I didn’t read Gone Girl.  Not because I have been living under a rock but because 1) the hype.  It felt as if for a while there everyone was reading it.  You couldn’t enter a subway in New York or a train in New Jersey without seeing that cover peaking at you hiding someone’s face.  Everyone was reading it and I rebelled and decided it was not for me.  I heard enough about it and there was no reason to read it now.  2) thriller and not just any type of thriller, I can handle a thriller but I had heard that this one was a scary thriller.  hmmm I’m a chicken…. haven’t you heard?  So not for me, I thought.  I decided that Gillian Flynn was not for me.

So, after receiving my January monthly box I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to read this very short story. After all, how scary can it be in 62 pages?  hmmmm I opened it…… I read the first few lines and ……What the……. seriously?  right off the bat the book was a punch in the gut.  It was gross…. my sensitive eyes could not believe what they were reading.  Was this a sex novel?  Not my type of genre, I must admit.  I’m a bit prudish for that.  I continued, imagining myself putting it down at around page 4 or 5.

I WAS HOOKED.  Good job Ms. Flynn.  You have converted a chicken.  2017 will find me reading more thrillers.  I read the book in about 1 hour — yes, ok, it was only 62 pages.  But considering I was not even planning on reading it, it says a lot for me and the book.  Yay me!!!!

The book follows a somewhat prostitute turned fortune teller.  Sounds like someone who you can’t like right?  But she’s funny, intelligent even though she lacks formal education, and loves books.  You even come to understand why she chose such careers for herself.  She tells us the story of her mother and why she got to where she is and even though her mother sounded like a winner I found myself sympathizing with her.  An single parent trying to do the best she could…. ok, maybe not!!! She learned the trade of con artistry from her mother and it has served her well.  She’s even gotten better at it.

The story takes a few twists and turns and we find ourselves in a mansion with an amazing library –yes I’m super jealous of that library – Our protagonist has somehow coned this family into letting her cleanse the house…. or did she?

The book was great.  I, of course, don’t have many other like genres to compare it to, but I had to finish it in one sitting.  The writing was super clear.  It was as if I was sitting in the library or in the kitchen with the characters.  There were points in the novel where I had so many goose bumps on my body that it hurt.  I was super hypersensitive to what was happening and THAT my friends is good thriller stuff.  I don’t like that feeling but I couldn’t stop reading almost just so I could put a stop to it.

I never thought I would recommend a scary thriller to anyone.  But, never say never right?  And it is only 62 pages…. go for it.

I gave this book 4 stars.  Why four you might ask?  Well because there were a few twists and turns that I just didn’t see the reason for and 4 because I don’t like being scared …. no seriously …. because the ending was really bad.  It was as if Gillian Flynn had ran out of words.  It felt incomplete ….

Hope you read it and if you do, let me know what you think.

Ana

Challenging January

I am reading…. at least I think I am reading but I’m not making that much progress and it’s making me crazy.  I have two books going.

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GETTING THINGS DONE and THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL one on audiobook and one on my kindle.  They are both going great and I’m enjoying both very much but for some reason I feel like nothing is happening and I’m not getting ahead in the reading.

GETTING THINGS DONE – I think where I’m setting myself back in this one is that I’m constantly backing it up and re-reading passages because I want to make sure I understand. There are so many interesting and worthy nuggets of information on how to get things done without all the stress that I want to make sure I get every last bit of them.  What happens, then is, I keep setting myself back.  I should have been done with this book at least a week ago.  As it turns out…. I’m not even half way done.

THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL  – This is my first Anne Brontë book and I’m so glad I chose this one.  The writing is … well as expected from one of the Brontë sisters.  There is a lot of description of the surroundings but she is really amazing at making the reader feel as if we are a part of a painting.  I can feel the coldness of the stone and the warmth of the fire in each of the rooms.  There is a description of a party where I was even able to see myself sitting with the family and enjoying a cup of tea.  So, it is not the book that is making me feel like no progress is being made when reading this novel.  Perhaps in this regard it’s the medium which I chose to read it.  For some reason I am always slower when reading on my kindle.  Add the fact that Anne Brontë doesn’t really speak in today’s English and there are quite a few things I have to make sure I understand before moving on….. Well.  I’m at 20% and feeling anxiety.

By the look of things right now it does not look like I’m going to have a review of either of these books done this week.  I was hoping I could.  This weekend I was not able to read for that long.  If you follow me on Instagram I was desperately trying to get my house undecorated (mission accomplished) by the time I sat down it was almost time to fall asleep.  I read for one hour, at the most, and was able to bring my Brontë reading to 20% (I know……) and then …. well…. the week starts and my schedule is not really my own.

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I didn’t want to let today go by without putting up a post and it has been a while since I’ve posted a review.  I want you to know that I am working towards getting a review up as soon as possible but it will be later than I wanted.

I hope you are all having a great January.  Stay tuned for a review ….. hmmmm shall we say next week?

XoXo

Ana

Around the Net – Links of Interest

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Now that the craziness of the New Year is wearing off, I have had a little bit more time to waste on the internet and do some random reading.  How lucky are you to be the beneficiary of those travels……..

First and foremost…. wine.  We have all been surprised by that one neighbor, friend or family member who pop up just to say hello and being the awesome hostesses we are we want to serve something yummy without breaking the bank….. Here is a list of 50 best wines under $50.00.  I’ll be sending the husband to the store to pick up some of these.

I love my technology…. I’m the first one to go get that new phone, new computer (I really need a new computer), new gadget… but I have also become very nostalgic of things of the past.  Calendars are one of those things that I cannot give up.  I love the look, the feel and writing the appointments in pen.

As I am sure you’ve noticed I have been blogging about books a lot.  It’s not on purpose but most of the stuff I have opinions about…. ok, stuff I feel comfortable enough to share my opinions…. are books.  My life is not as interesting as I wish it would be.  In the midst of some research to try to make this blog  better for you I came across this article about what a Book Blogger Does.  I thought it was interesting.

Ok, so as a book blogger I could not let this post go without inserting something about the  New York Times best books of 2016.  I have not read all of them and honestly I have no desire to read some of them.  That’s the beauty of reading…… you only have to read the books that interest you.

Update on the Gilmore Girls Challenge

As the New Year starts to take shape, I wanted to share with you my progress on the Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge (#GGReadingchallenge).  I’ll check back again in a few months.  Have you gotten any further?  Keep me posted about your progress as well.

#GGreadingchallenge

1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
5. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
8. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
9. The Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
10. The Art of Fiction by Henry James
11. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
12. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
13. Atonement by Ian McEwan
14. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
16. Babe by Dick King-Smith
17. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
19. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
20. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
21. Beloved by Toni Morrison
22. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
23. The Bhagava Gita
24. The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
25. Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
26. A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
27. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
28. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
29. Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
30. Candide by Voltaire
31. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
32. Carrie by Stephen King
33. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
34. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
35. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
36. The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
37. Christine by Stephen King
38. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
39. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
40. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
41. The Collected Stories by Eudora Welty
42. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
43. Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
44. The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
45. Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
46. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
47. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
48. Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
49. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
50. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
51. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
52. Cujo by Stephen King
53. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
54. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
55. David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
56. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
57. The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
58. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
59. Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
60. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
61. Deenie by Judy Blume
62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
63. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
64. The Divine Comedy by Dante
65. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
66. Don Quixote by Cervantes
67. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
68. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
69. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
70. Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
71. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
72. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
73. Eloise by Kay Thompson
74. Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
75. Emma by Jane Austen
76. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
77. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
78. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
79. Ethics by Spinoza
80. Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
81. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
82. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
83. Extravagance by Gary Krist
84. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
85. Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
86. The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
87. Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
88. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
89. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
90. Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
91. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
92. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
93. Fletch by Gregory McDonald
94. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
95. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
96. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
97. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
98. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
99. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
100. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
101. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
102. George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
103. Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
104. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
105. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
106. The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
107. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
108. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
109. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
110. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
111. The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
112. The Graduate by Charles Webb
113. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
114. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
115. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
116. The Group by Mary McCarthy
117. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
118. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
119. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
120. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
121. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
122. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
123. Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
124. Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
125. Henry V by William Shakespeare
126. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
127. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
128. Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
129. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
130. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
131. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
132. How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
133. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
134. How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland
135. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
136. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
137. The Iliad by Homer
138. I’m With the Band by Pamela des Barres
139. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
140. Inferno by Dante
141. Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
142. Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
143. It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton
144. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
145. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
146. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
147. The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
148. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
149. Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
150. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
151. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
152. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
153. Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
154. The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
155. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
156. The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
157. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
158. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
159. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
160. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
161. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
162. The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
163. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
164. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
165. Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
166. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
167. The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
168. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
169. The Love Story by Erich Segal
170. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
171. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
172. The Manticore by Robertson Davies
173. Marathon Man by William Goldman
174. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
175. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
176. Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
177. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
178. The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
179. Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
180. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
181. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
182. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
183. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
184. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
185. The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
186. Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
187. A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
188. Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
189. A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
190. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
191. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
192. Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
193. My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
194. My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
195. My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
196. Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
197. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
198. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
199. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
200. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
201. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
202. Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
203. New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
204. The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
205. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
206. Night by Elie Wiesel
207. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
208. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
209. Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
210. Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
211. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
212. Old School by Tobias Wolff
213. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
214. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
215. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
216. The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
217. Oracle Night by Paul Auster
218. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
219. Othello by Shakespeare
220. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
221. The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
222. Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
223. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
224. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
225. The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
226. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
227. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
228. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
229. Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
230. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
231. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
232. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
233. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
234. The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
235. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
236. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
237. Property by Valerie Martin
238. Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
239. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
240. Quattrocento by James Mckean
241. A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
242. Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
243. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
244. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
245. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
246. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
247. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
248. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
249. Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
250. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
251. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
252. Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
253. Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
254. Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
255. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
256. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
257. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
258. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
259. The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
260. Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
261. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
262. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
263. Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
264. The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
265. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
266. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
267. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
268. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
269. Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
270. Selected Hotels of Europe
271. Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
272. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
273. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
274. Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
275. Sexus by Henry Miller
276. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
277. Shane by Jack Shaefer
278. The Shining by Stephen King
279. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
280. S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
281. Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
282. Small Island by Andrea Levy
283. Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
284. Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
285. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
286. The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
287. Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
288. The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
289. Songbook by Nick Hornby
290. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
291. Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
292. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
293. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
294. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
295. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
296. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
297. A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
298. Stuart Little by E. B. White
299. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
300. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
301. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
302. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
303. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
304. Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
305. Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
306. Time and Again by Jack Finney
307. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
308. To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
309. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
310. The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
311. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
312. The Trial by Franz Kafka
313. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
314. Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
315. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
316. Ulysses by James Joyce
317. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
318. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
319. Unless by Carol Shields
320. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
321. The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
322. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
323. Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
324. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
325. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
326. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
327. Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
328. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
329. We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
330. What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
331. What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
332. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
333. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
334. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
335. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
336. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
337. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
338. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
339. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

 

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Favorites and Not so Much – December

This month I want to leave you with only positive vibes.  I am not including any “not so much.”  What you see here are all the things that make me happy in December 2016.  I am ready to start 2017.

Let’s do this……..

Books

This month, without a doubt my favorite book was Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.  What an amazing story.  It’s not like I’ve never heard or read any type of romance and to tell you the truth it is not something to choose to read.  This story however, made me happy, angry and even the characters I was not supposed to like were likable in their own crazy way.  I will be seeking out more books by this author and I hope you will as well.

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Music

When I just want to relax I enjoy either classic music or jazz.  The 30s and 40s are two decades that I’ve been obsessed with lately so it’s not surprising that I found and played (on repeat) Seven Nation Army (feat. Haley Reinhart)

Television

Well…… Duh!!!!! There really was nothing worth my time this month …. but thankfully I am still obsessed with November’s Netflix line up so……

YouTube

There have been a few YouTubers that stood out this month.  I have been loving Lauren And the Books.  Her and her boyfriend did an entire month of Vlogmas and the two of them are super cute.

Since forever, I have always been obsessed with other times.  Sometimes I literally feel as if I were born in the wrong time period.  I am fascinated by the Victorian Era, the 20s and 40s and in a smaller scale the 50s.  I found Lilly Jarlsson on YouTube  and spent an entire evening watching it.  I think I got through the entire thing.   If the Victorian Era is more your speed, there also John Thomas Grant’s Channel.  Honestly, I was fascinated (and still am) by both.  Can’t get enough!!

At the end of the month, as I was looking for ways to improve on my bullet journal journey I found a great channel BuJo Boosted.  If you are interested in a great channel all about how to improve your bullet journal experience, I recommend you go check this channel out.  I would have watched all the videos (need to pace myself) I’m supposed to be working after all.

Movies

We watched Jason Bourne this month.  Matt is so cute!!!!!! Anyway….. Not my favorite, I have to admit.  I am not much into violence but the earlier Bourne movies were much more psychological than this one.  I think this new one relied a whole lot more on violence and killings and not so much on outsmarting the “bad guys.”

 

Instagram

I have been following @chfericl for a while now.  He’s the chef and owner of one of the best restaurants in my area so, as you can imagine, I’m always interested in seeing what is going on in his kitchen.  He’s IG account is great and the food is amazing.  It tastes as good as it looks.  His restaurant also runs a few charities throughout the  year.  Go check him out and while you’re at it…. check out his website.

Quotes 

Hmmmm…. was I so busy that I missed a great quote?  perhaps.  However, this is what I want to keep thinking about now, at the end of the 2016.

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Blogs/Podcasts

As for Podcasts I discovered at some point in the middle of the month BookRiot.  They have quite a few podcasts and each better than the other.  They talk about books and nothing but books (ok sometimes there are other things mentioned) but books mostly.  Go listen.

Photos/videos (my own)

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The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (above).  The buildings around Park Avenue on a December night (New York City)

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Reading Challenge – Update

Update on my 12-12-12 Reading Challenge

If you remember back in February I posted a challenge to read 12 books, in 12 months, 12 different categories.  I’m not sure I accomplished it but I am going to own up to my successes and failures on this blog.

I promised you an update and here it is:

A book published this year

I read several published this year but the one that, in my opinion was the most memorable was A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towels.

A book you can finish in a day

For the first time I picked up a poetry book.  I really didn’t like it.  I’m not going to blame the book or the author because I’m sure it is totally my inability to understand poetry.  Milk and Honey by Kaur

A book you’ve been meaning to read

Another one I didn’t like My Beautiful Friend by Elena Ferrante.  I found it boring and, although I think I want to check the other three books in the series, I have not been able to do that….. it was bad.

A book recommended by local librarian or bookseller

I don’t think I was recommended any books by a librarian or a book seller.  I must ask for next year.

A book you should have read in school

Animal Farm by George Orwell.  I should have read it in Political Science and honestly I’m not sure how I made it 4 years of being a Political Science major and not reading it.  I didn’t like it and wound up giving it two stars.

A book chosen for you by someone you know (spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF)

Most of the books I read were suggested by people on GoodReads or YouTube.  I think I can safely say that most of them were.  The one I will refer to here is a recommendation from YouTube and it’s Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

A book published before you were born

Hmmm no idea.  Perhaps another one to wait for next year.  I’m really old, this may not exist 😉

A book that was banned at some point

hmmmmm don’t know what this would be.

A book you previously abandoned

I kept trying with Anna Karenina ….  still abandoned 😦

A book you own but have never read

I thought I was going to be able to unbox my books this year and put them neatly on my brand new book shelves but I never got the bookshelves so I will have to come back to this next year.  The books I read this year are all new acquisitions.

A book that intimidates you

This was supposed to be Anna Karenina by Tolstoy but ….. again…. I’m intimated enough that I never read it….. 2017 is the year.  I started it on 3 occasions and never made it through.

A book you’ve already read at least once

I don’t tend to re-read books but I will just so I can say this challenge is completed.  Not sure what it will be.

Around the Net – Links Of Interest

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Merry Christmas – From our House to Yours.  Whatever holiday you celebrate I want to wish you all a happy and healthy one and I hope you find peace in the midst of all the chaos.

I used to be really big on Christmas.   Actually, it’s not like  don’t like it.  I just don’t like what we have turned it into.  As an introvert I am always baffled how things seem to escalate from year to year.    I found this article about the trials and tribulations of the introvert at Christmas and I couldn’t agree more.  I’ll be just fine on December 28th.

Another thing that seems to be prevalent at this time of year are lists:  There are the best best of (whatever it is that you want), the 10, 5 or 3 whatever it is you should wear, listen, eat or read….. so here you go….. here are some of the lists I’ve been reading this week.

7 Ted Talks that Will Make You Happier (and Smarter)

5 Types of Shoes to Wear with Leggings

5 Things a Go-Getter Would Never Do

5 Books to Read in December 2016

19 Things to do Before You Start Your Day

41 New Year’s Resolutions to Make for 2017 (I can make my own, thank you)

And there you have it.  There are plenty of lists and I’m sure if we look close enough we can find even more.  I’m going back to my little corner of the world where I keep a nice cup of tea and a few good books and wait until the chaos is over.  I will be back after Christmas.

Until then…….. Have an awesome Whatever it is you celebrate.

XoXo

Ana

50 Things Every Woman Should have Before the Age of 50

I saw this on another blog and thought I’d share here. Being a woman of a certain age (read close to being 50) I have to start working on some of these ….. pronto 🙂

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1. An old boyfriend who makes you smile with melancholy when you remember him and an old boyfriend who makes you proud of how far you’ve come.

2. A piece of furniture that has never been previously owned by anyone in your family that you bought with your own money and makes you happy.

3. An outfit that makes you feel invincible if your future employer or man of your dreams calls to meet you in an hour.

4. A set of lingerie that you would not be ashamed to be seen wearing.

5. At least one scar on your heart where HE hurt you.

6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.

7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it.

8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account — all of which nobody has access to but you.

9. A dream so big it scares you.

10. At least One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.

11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a pair of totally unpractical shoes.

12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.

13. The belief that you are worthy of treating yourself with respect.

14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, a push-up bra and a great pair of spankx

15. At least One recipe you cook well to impress the fussiest of guests

16. A place to go just to think… where you can be completely alone with your thoughts.

17. At least one child who looks to you for guidance and advice…even if he or she isn’t your own.

18. The knowledge on how to break-up with a man or confront a friend without losing your temper or your self respect.

19. At least one lover who knew exactly how to touch you to make your toes curl.

20. The memory of a kiss so powerful…just the thought of it could sustain you into old age.

21. The medical history that runs in your family so you can take care of YOU!

22. The ability to live on your own and not be dependent on anyone.

23. An outfit that feels like you are in a cocoon and safe from the world…its usually fleece or flannel

24. The ability to let go of the hurts from your childhood and embrace the fact that your parents did the best they could with the skills they had

25. One secret that makes you smile.

26. A memory that makes you cringe….because those memories were lessons that brought you to here

27. A journal full of your deepest thoughts

28. A person you can call at 4 in the morning because you’re in a bind

29. The knowledge of what you are willing to accept and what you are not in a relationship

30. Something you do that’s just for you and no one else.

31. A piece of jewelry that has sentimental meaning

32. An older woman in your life who embodies the traits you wanna develop in your old age.

33. A spirituality that feeds your spirit and nourishes your soul.

34. A soundtrack to your life that when you hear it on the radio you sing at the top of you lungs

35. Someone or something you LOVE with your whole heart

36. A to do list that never gets completely checked off

37. Enough money to run away in case you have to

38. A purpose to rise out of bed every morning

39. The ability to look in a mirror and love the ripples and bumps and wrinkles that stare back at you….because you earned them all over time.

40. The ability to say NO without having to add anything further.

41. A hobby that you can get lost in for hours.

42. A hole in your heart from losing someone you have loved deeply…

43. Done at least one thing kind for someone that has no way to ever repay your kindness…

44. A “Been there – Done that” T-shirt to starting over from scratch..whether it be from a divorce, a career change, a massive loss or surviving life’s curve ball.

45. A photo album full of memories..even if it’s on a flash drive or save d to the cloud.

46. A passport… Up to date and ready to be stamped for the next adventure.

47. At least one grey hair, wrinkle and saggy body part…. If you don’t.. Something’s wrong.

48. An accomplishment that’s all yours…outside of your children, not tied to your spouse…something you have done or created all on your own.

49. The knowledge of who you are as a woman. What makes you happy and what is no longer tolerated.

50. The understanding that 50 is not over the hill…its not even close to the hill…. There is no hill even on the horizon….cuz you still have shit to do….