Books: 2010

  1. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
  2. A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
  3. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  4. Key of Light by Nora Roberts
  5. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  6. Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts
  7. Key of Valor by Nora Roberts
  8. The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery
  9. The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
  10. Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
  11. Rising Tides by Nora Roberts
  12. Inner Harbor by Nora Roberts
  13. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
  14. Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts
  15. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  16. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  17. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
  18. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  19. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  20. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  21. Bite Me: A Love Story by Christopher Moore
  22. Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts
  23. Tears of the Moon by Nora Roberts
  24. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
  25. Heart of the Sea by Nora Roberts
  26. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  27. The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
  28. A Trip to the Stars by Nicholas Christopher
  29. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  30. The Umpire Strikes Back by Ron Luciano
  31. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  32. The Passage by Justin Cronin
  33. Fire by Kristin Cashore
  34. This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  35. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
  36. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest Stieg Larsson
  37. Insatiable by Meg Cabot
  38. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  39. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  40. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
  41. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  42. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  43. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  44. Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore
  45. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  46. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
  47. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  48. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
  49. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  50. Night World Book 1 (Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, Enchantress) by L.J. Smith
  51. The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
  52. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
  53. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
  54. Matched by Ally Condie
  55. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
  56. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
  57. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

Last year, I resolved to read more than 40 books, and I think it’s safe to say that I definitely managed to do that. 2010 was a year of reading like a maniac, the likes of which I haven’t seen in a while. (In fact, the last year I read more than 50 books was the 2007, the year I took that YA lit class in library school, which had me reading 33 books over one semester.) I seem to normally hover around 40 books in a good-reading year, 25 in a bad-reading year, so this year feels really good.

The highs in books this year were of course the last two books in the Martin series, the Percy Jackson series, Maggie Stiefvater’s two YA novels, the Passage, the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (seriously, read it), the Millennium trilogy, and of course the Hunger Games series, which totally rocked my socks. I also read a whole lot of books I’m not exactly embarrassed to have on my list, but… it’s not like I’m going to brag about exactly how many Nora Roberts books I read this year. (Although I will stand behind my assertion that there’s a time and a place for a purely predictable story with an absurdly happy ending. I have never been one who thinks that everything one reads needs to be literary, smart, or educational.)

And considering the fact that I’m currently re-reading the Harry Potter series from the beginning (spurred by the first half of the Deathly Hallows movie, naturally), it’s interesting that I haven’t actually read books 1-4 since before I started keeping track of my reading (so, 2004 or earlier). I read books 5 and 6 in 2005, 6 and 7 in 2007, and in 2009, I read book 6 once and book 7 twice. Not that anyone cares about that other than me, but it explains why it has been so enjoyable to re-read the series from the beginning.

Anyway! So what will by book resolution for 2011 be? I want to stick with the read-like-a-maniac thing, so my goal will be to read 52 books in 2011, and to read at least two classics that I haven’t read before. So I’ll leave this post with a question: what’s your favorite classic book? Mine is Jane Eyre; I collect copies and re-read it every few years and just love it. (Interesting too, since I haven’t yet been able to get through a Jane Austen novel.)

In Previous Years…
Books Read in 2009
Books Read in 2008
Books Read in 2007
Books Read in 2006
Books Read in 2005

#101 and Done!

Way back in January, I started a new photo project for the new year (because sixty-four colors and my third year of Project 365 weren’t enough, simultaneously): Scavenger Hunt 101. When Pookie and Schnookie suggested it, I was really skeptical. There were a lot of items on this list (a child crying, someone meditating or praying, a public display of affection… I could go on) that really didn’t inspire me at all. But I went for it anyway, and carried the master list, written in a notebook, in my bag all year. I’m really glad that I did this, now that it’s over. It got me shooting things I probably wouldn’t care so much about normally, and it really challenged me to think outside the box for some of the more pesky scavenger hunt items. I thought it would be fun to feature a few of my favorite shots from the whole set, which you can see over here, in order.

he's the best non-human creature I know
#2, the home of a non-human creature.

February 3, 2010
#6, winter.

as if there could ever be another
#15, a toy.

in repose
#23, a flower.

stripes in the (contained) wild
#45, a fish.

a few of my favorite things
#49, your favorite color.

April 13, 2010
#79, an exotic animal.

the towering oak
#80, your favorite shade-tree.

May 21, 2010
#84, the place where you eat most of your meals.

stripes in the shadows
#86, a shadow.

Is it possible to make ugly NJ Transit seats almost pleasing to the eye?
#93, a train.

see you next year!
#101, a self-portrait.

December Daily Week Five

Yes, I’m still going, and still loving this project. Updates in smaller chunks seem so much more manageable, if you can get past having a giant mess on one’s dining room table all month. (Oh, to have a craft table…) It’s hard to see this (for me at least) without photos; I’m planning one final post to update the pages that will have photos in the end. It has been a big help to me to focus on the happy, festive, holiday things, especially this week in spite of the disaster!blizzard!pocalypse of 2010. It has been a crappy week, but looking at these photos, it is a lot easier to remember that a hell of a lot of fun stuff has happened, too. (Last week’s update.)

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

Secret December Craft: Christmas Cards!

I have hinted a few times about my secret December craft, and while that was probably obnoxious, I really wanted this to be a surprise. This seems surprising even to me, but for all of my crafting, I have never made my own Christmas cards, and this year I wanted to change that.

And then I saw a post on Apartment Therapy all about linoleum printing and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

See, back in 7th grade, one of our art class projects was linoleum printing, and I had so much fun with it that I kept my carved linoleum block and still have it sixteen years later. For real. Why I kept it for all these years, I’m still not really sure, especially since I was ruthless when it came to childhood mementos when I moved last summer.

gathering supplies

Anyway, the AT post told me what tools to buy, and I found most of them at a local art store, and bought the rest online. The cards and envelopes came from Paper Source, and the stamp on the inside was from AC Moore, after I had bought a more expensive one at PS; I couldn’t resist a snow theme.

in process

I stamped about 30 cards in an hour or two one weeknight, and the only issue was that I came veeeery close to running out of space to lay each card out to dry overnight.

penguins!

I stamped the insides of the cards and the envelopes another night, and was really disappointed in the white stamp pad, as well as the cheap white gel pens that I bought and didn’t end up using. Oh well.

december daily book

And of course I had to washi tape the envelopes closed.

All in all, I am so, so happy with how these turned out, and I would do it again. (And I will definitely be linoleum printing again; perhaps here is where my future internet fortune lies!)

December Daily Week Four

This project continues, although I have to admit two things: 1. While working on it in short bursts is surprisingly easy (as long as you leave your craft crap out so you don’t have to set up/clean up every time), making these books without having photos printed is tough. It’s hard to imagine what I want the finished book to look like, or figure out leaving space or blank pages for photos without having them in my hands. 2. I totally messed up because I was rushing, and now Tuesday and Wednesday of this week are totally out of order, and it’s bumming me out. Oh well; there’s nothing to do to fix it so I might as well just live with it. (Last week’s update)

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

#10: Cook something in my newly inherited crock pot

It’s no secret that I’ve been meaning to continue learning how to cook new things this year. This extends to using the crock pot that I inherited from my grandmother’s stash. And since half of my life lately seems to be motivated by finishing Scavenger Hunt 101, knocking #63 (a kitchen appliance) off while I’m accomplishing a 30 before 30 goal at the same time? Obvious.

before

After a brief poll on twitter, I decided to go with Marianne’s Slow Cooked Black Bean Soup, because my black bean-obsessed phase doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. I used leftover gift cards to buy a cheap immersion blender, and dusted Ghami’s crock pot off. Marianne cooked her soup in a much larger crock pot than the one I have, so I cut the recipe in half.

during

Things worked out so that my sister was over to enjoy this easy dinner with me, and let me tell you – this was SO tasty, and coming home to a good-smelling apartment that contained dinner that was ALREADY COOKED? Felt awfully luxurious. The soup ended up on the spicier side, which would probably be good for most people, but for my weakling’s palate, one habanero seemed just a touch too spicy. (I forget that when I use one in chili, the recipe itself is much bigger so the impact is smaller. And actually, I just wrote “one hot pepper” on my grocery list, so didn’t remember to try to look for the chipotles that Marianne used.)

black bean soup

So I learned not only that the crock pot is as great as it seems like it would be, but also that non-canned beans aren’t nearly as much of a hassle as I had originally assumed. And! I didn’t even splatter my entire kitchen with black beans while using the immersion blender. So I’d call that a pretty damn successful dinner.

December Daily Week Three

Here’s your patented weekly update on my December minibook’s progress. Don’t mind that blurred out page; that’s part of my super sekrit December craft, which I’ll be posting once it has made its way toward the recipients! (I really love stashing secret bits inside the envelopes, and making stripes out of washi tape. Seriously). (Last week’s update.)

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

December Daily Week Two

I’ve been steadily working on my December book (here are the first week’s pages), and I am enjoying the idea of posting updates on Wednesdays. Since I don’t have a photo printer, I’m going to wait until the end of the month to order the photos for this book, so some of these pages are not complete, but I’m loving how it’s coming together so far.

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

Red

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a roundup of photos from the archives that match the week’s color for sixty-four colors. I think it’s mostly because there are so many crayons that are so similar, and I may have already posted old shots for those colors. Either way, this week’s color was red, and you know I have a lot of that. The first shot was this week’s photo, and the rest are old favorites.

red!

dartboard on film

June 25, 2010

we took refuge under a tent of stripes

06.08

06.04

December 29, 2008

November 8, 2008

April 27, 2007