Thursday, December 30, 2010

Books read in 2010

I make a list at the beginning of every year of books I'd like to read during that year. It's not a "only read these books" list, as there is plenty of room for more reading. This year I made it through all but one! I realized by the beginning of December I wouldn't have time to get through a huge Dickens novel in time.

I read 38 books in 2010, some of them were amazing and others...not so much... :)

Stand out favorites were:

A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie. My roommate was in this play in college so I decided to read it. I read a Poirot story by Christie as well and decided I like Miss Marple better.

Sense & Sensibility (insight edition) by Jane Austen (and Bethany House) - I'm working my way through all of Austen and I'm not *so* in love with every single one. This one, however, was excellent and I really enjoyed the "insight edition" done by Bethany House. It reminded me of reading from a Norton Anthology where they have all the interesting tidbits in the margin only this was more like reading the book along with a friend who was having the same thoughts as you were.

God of the Hive by Laurie R. King - I wasn't as impressed with the first half (The Language of Bees - which must be read prior to this one) but I absolutely love the whole Mary Russell series and am well on my way to owning all of them.

Wayfarer by R.J. Anderson - a kidlit book with a fantastic take on faery lore, this is number two in the series and I highly recommend them both.

Sarah Addison Allen - read all of her books. Seriously. They are magical in a really unconventional way and I was delighted by them. Thank you Cat for the recommendation.

The Sandy Knoll Murder, Legacy of the Sheepshooters by Melany Tupper - SO not what I was expecting but it was historical, factual, well researched and totally fascinating story about a famous murder in a little town in Oregon.

Enchantment by Orson Scott Card - I read this book a few years ago and liked it and I liked it even more the second time around. It's a fantastic blend of folklore and modernity and it makes you really believe the fairy tales are true.

Not even close to favorites were:

Fair Blows the Wind by Louis L'Amour - I love L'Amour and I almost couldn't finish this one. It would have been fine if he hadn't gone 60 pages in with one story and then taken up the next 275 with a completely different story and gone back to the original one for the last 30 pages. That's not a literal page count but it feels pretty darn close. If you want to read one of his many fantastic books, don't make it this one.

Notes From The Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky - this one felt like reading the diary of a crazy person and I thought I was going to go crazy myself.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith - I have to confess I didn't even finish this one. I thought it would be funny but really it was just awful. Someone on facebook said this book was like taking Huck Finn and replacing all the dialogue with Chuck Norris facts and I think that was a pretty good description of what odd butchery it was.

You read anything else on my list and you should be alright, just avoid those unless you seriously want a challenge. :)

Did you read any good books this year?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


(Click image to enlarge)

Just a sampling of the thoughtful and wonderful goodies I was given. From steampunk hair clips to tea accessories to shoes to movies to books to tools to handmade gifts (top middle) and girly pretties (like an amazing Ott-Lite makeup mirror!) I am spoiled blessed beyond belief.

And now that Christmas is over and it's way too wet to work outside (that didn't stop me and the dog from playing in the rain puddles today however) I have all kinds of time for crafty and DIY projects (and thanks to my brother I have some new MAC tools to do the work with!)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

O Little Town of Bethlehem, on this O Holy Night you were home to What Child Is This.

All scholarly arguments about the actual date aside ;)

Merry Christmas to all and God bless us, every one.

(Photo taken in 2000 across the field of a family farm. Many thanks to that family for allowing the entire tour bus to unload on their property and for sharing fresh goat cheese with us!)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Decorating every corner

I usually don't, but I decided to bring a little Christmas into my bedroom this year.

I have these candle holders on each side of my headboard.

So I used some excess trimmed off the Christmas tree and used them like a vase (minus the water). A piece of wire ribbon is draped to add a little more festiveness.

That other branch is a vine maple, I've had it hanging on walls for years!

Some more tree trimmings go into this empty vessel and sit on my windowsill alongside this cute little birdie on a berry.

A $3.00 clearance urn holds some tiny pine cones.

A pine cone candle (sitting on a spray painted salsa jar lid) adds some color and some dried oregano adds a little greenery.

I used the cake plate from my Halloween decorating to layer a candle holder and sandalwood scented candle. Dried rose petals and gold spray painted oak leaves fill the space between.

I love burning candles in winter, don't you?

Little things here and there but it sure brightened up the room and made it smell good!