Tuesday, December 13, 2011

my fave books of 2011

As the year comes to an end, I thought I would share a few books with you that I have read in 2011 and absolutely LOVED!! Maybe you will find that you want to read one (or more) of them, or even purchase one as a holiday gift for someone.

I am a big fan of goodreads.com and this year I noticed they had a "reading challenge" that you could set for yourself. Back in January, I set it at 50 books. As my first year OUT of graduate school and finally free to read for fun, I thought this would be a fantastic challenge. Towards the end of the year and closing in on 50 books, I bumped my challenge up to 55 and it looks like I will just make that. I'm at 53 right now.

What I also love about the site is it's organizational capabilities...you can create your own bookshelves to sort your books in a way that suits you. Lovely!

As for my 2011 favorites:
My absolute most favorite book of 2011...The Soldier's Wife. I couldn't get enough of this story, it was one of those that makes you want to neglect all other necessary duties in your life i.e.work, shower, dishes, cooking etc...you get the point. It was that good. Setting: WWII, Guernsey occupation.
Unbroken was another book I plowed through...all 400+ pages of it. It was a heart-breaking history lesson wrapped up in a wonderfully written story about Louis Zamperini's life during WWII. Amazing.

The Scent of Rain & Lightning was one of those books that made me sad once I was done with it...not that the story was necessarily sad, although some parts were, it was more that my "relationship" with these characters would no longer exist. Loved this book!!

I'm not exactly sure how I was led to Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, but I'm really glad that it happened. This was such a heart warming story...once you get through the first chapter or two...and BONUS---it's set in Savannah, GA!!! I would love to see this made into a movie. Author, Beth Hoffman is such a sweet woman too...who I've communicated with via Twitter, and I anxiously await her next book, which I believe comes out in 2012.

I had wanted to read Secret Daughter so badly that after many months of waiting and hoping it would come to my local library in the form of an e-book, I finally had to "overlook" my slight phobia of REAL library books and check this one out. And it was worth it. A great international story with a very realistic story line for today's world.

Another book I waited and waited to read electronically from my library, but finally accepted that it was just not going to happen, so I also checked Still Alice out from my public library in real book form. A story about a woman who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and how it affects her very successful professional life and her family. We hear so much about Alzheimer's these days, I felt I needed to read this one. I will also be reading Genova's other book "Left Neglected" in the near future.

Friday, December 09, 2011

25 books of Christmas

My December Daily layout about "25 books of Christmas"

After hearing about this on a couple different blogs, I decided that we absolutely HAD to do this in our house too...25 Books of Christmas. It works just like an Advent calendar really. Each night, E will open up a wrapped book (Christmas themed) and we will read it at bedtime. We have been having a great time with this so far. He really looks forward to it and it is helping to get us out of the rut of reading the same books over and over again.

December has been fantastic so far. In the mornings, we have our Lego City Advent calendar, which is helping tremendously in getting E out of the bed...even if he does run right back to it and hide under the covers. In the evenings, we have our books. It's great.

The only hang up...um, we don't have 25 Christmas-themed books...but we will soon. We started with about 8-10. I purchased about 5-6 used on Amazon for super cheap, I'm talking .01, so essentially they cost me $4.00 w/shipping. Love!!  I did splurge on a couple new ones that I knew we would love (Merry Christmas, Splat; A Pirates Night Before Christmas). I figure this is a great investment as we'll do this every year for quite a few years. Yay!

So far, we have read: 

I'm taking suggestions for any "must-read" Christmas books you think would be great additions to this project...I'm pretty sure I'm still short of 25. :)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

books!! books!! books!!

So many books. So little time.

I just wanted to share a few books with you that I am DYING to read...since getting my Nook, I've been getting my e-books through my local library (free!!) which is absolutely wonderful. The only downfall...they don't have EVERYTHING...in particular, they are no longer going to have anything published my Harper Collins because they have put strict rules on the number of times an e-book can be circulated which forces the library to buy multiple copies...all that to say, I'll have to buy a couple books from B&N because I can wait no longer! Luckily, with all those hotel points O has been racking up, he got me a gift card to B&N. I've been anxiously checking the mailbox every day!! Hee!!

The Golden Hour by Margaret Wurtele

This one has been on my "to-read" list for while!!

This one will be published in early 2012...it sounds sooo good!!

Another one I've been waiting on for a while...this might be my next or 2nd next book to read!!

And you may have noticed, that yes, they are all books which take place during the WWII era...which I am completely obsessed with. Who knew?!? I sure wasn't obsessed with it back in high school.

I'm hoping the holidays provide ample reading time...I know the 14 hour car ride to TX will...as long as E is entertained of course. Really hoping I can check a few of these off my list before the end of the year. And I only  have 3 books left to read to meet my Goodreads challenge (and get my "badge")...Hooray!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

a few random thoughts

*i'm hardly motivated to post these days as it seems i'm posting purely for myself...well, I guess that's reason enough. I'm recording my thoughts/experiences, right?

*I'm still trying to cram too many things into one day: work, ymca, scrapbooking, reading, bedtime w/Ethan...there just isn't enough time for it all. one of these days I'll realize that.

*I was home "sick" today...I actually feel fine, but I have next to NO voice. that doesn't work so well being a school counselor. i came home early on Monday and refrained from talking as much as possible both then and today. It works well until I pick up E. :)  hopefully tomorrow things are better as I have 5 classes to teach. and 3 more on Thursday and 3 more on Friday. (yikes!!!)

*only 9.5 work days left until Christmas break. Woohoo!!

*E and I are Texas-bound for Christmas this year and I could not be more excited. I cannot wait. Christmas is SO much better w/ALL of the family. we are driving out with mom and her husband and then flying back so we can stay in TX longer.

*Ethan will have his first experience ice skating while there...so excited for that.

*Also extra excited for this Christmas with Ethan as I think this is a perfect age to truly enjoy the holiday. Last year, he totally "got" the idea of Christmas, but this year, even more. We are doing our very first Advent Calendar (Lego City) and it's so enjoyable to watch him open the "windows" every morning. 

*there are just SO many wonderful things about the holiday season with an almost-four-year-old!!