Reading in 2013

I recently decided to commit to a Goodreads challenge (well, a self-imposed challenge on Goodreads) to read 30 books in 2013. I’ve set two ground rules: these books must be read (not listened to on audiobook) and they must be fiction (academic books are not going to count for the simple reason that I will have to read academic text books rather than reading them for fun).

I have completed one book so far this year and I finished it in the first week of January. I read Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams. It is the third book of his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. I am currently reading So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.

I have four books (Four? Oy vey.) that I have slightly abandoned that I would like to finish or at least continue to work through for this year. I would like to finish at least three of these books: I Only Say This Because I Love You (Deborah Tannen); Made to Crave (author); and The Meaning of Night (author). I am making progress on Middlemarch (George Eliot), but it is long and full of detail. I started it a few years ago, but I can’t make myself finish it. Why? Well, I’m not really sure.

So, my “to read” list for 2013 looks at little something like this:

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Who Says Vanilla is Boring?

Vanilla gets a bad wrap. “Why eat vanilla ice cream when you could have something with FLAVOR?” It’s a question that so many people ask. And it really makes sense. Vanilla is that “plain Jane,” creamy, white stuff. Right? WRONG.

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It’s the End of the World as We Know it….(I had to.)

Okay, okay. It’s NOT the end of the world, but what if you knew when the end would come. Yes, we have had predictions (remember the Myans? Y2K? That bad John Cusack movie?) but no actual proof. 

So, what if scientists discover a giant asteroid headed to Earth and NASA and Bruce Willis were powerless to do anything about it? And what if this asteroid had a precise date of impact? What would you do?

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Goodnight, Sleep Tight, and Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite…

Imagine moving into a new place — the cost of moving, the stress of living from boxes, getting used to the neighborhood, and the time it takes getting used to the surroundings. It can be stressful. But how stressful is this process? Is it enough to make a stable, level-headed person crack under the pressure?

In Ben H. Winters’ (author of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) latest novel, Bedbugsfrom Quirkbooks, Alex and Susan Wendt decide to leave their small one-bedroom apartment and move their family into a larger home in Brooklyn.  If you’re a homeowner or you’ve moved to a new town and needed an apartment to rent, you know the stress of finding “THE ONE” (see my previous posts about home ownership if you have no clue about this experience….).

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A Very ‘Peculiar’ Book Review

A few weeks ago I discovered that my mail was being held at the Post Office. Silly postal service did not get the memo that we had moved. But that’s another story. What matters here is that when I did get my large pile of bills, change of address notices, travel voucher checks, etc. I discovered that I had received my copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children had arrived from Quirk Books!

I wish I could say I dug right in and finished the book in a day, but I can’t.  Things have been crazy/busy, so it took some time to dive in. And once I did, I could hardly put this book down. Here’s why:

Notice anything peculiar about the girl in this picture?

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (by Ransom Riggs) is the story of Jacob and his grandfather, Abraham. Like most grandfathers, Jacob’s told stories. These stories were of a particularly bizarre nature. There was the story of a home that orphaned children escaped to during The War (WWII) for protection. This home was a haven for victims of the Holocaust and bombings that had torn their homes — and families — apart.  The children that live in this home, according to Abe, had special gifts. There were siblings who could lift heavy objects with ease, a girl who could hold fire in her hands, a boy with bees living inside of him, and an invisible boy. Not your normal orphan spread. All of these special children lived under the supervision and care of Miss Peregrine, or “The Bird.”

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