Friday, January 3, 2014

December Reading and Recap of Reads in 2013

December seem to fly by.  However, got some good reading done this past month.  Feel good to be able to write some young adult/kid's chapter books in the list, because I was hoping to read more with the kids.  We have found a fun series with Annie Barrows "Ivy and Bean" series.  We read "Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record" and "Ivy and Bean: Bound to Be Bad".  We had to skip book 4 because it wasn't in at the library, however, Grandma Xmas (aka Sophie) came through when she bought the 4th book in the series over break while we shopped at B and N. 

The other books I read this month:
"A Photographer's Life 1990-2005 by Annie Leibovitz  This was not my usual pick, but I was looking for some inspiration, dreamily thinking I would have time to be creative and write some posts, last month, about great pictures I've seen.  So I picked this big old book out and found it had some interesting photographs, but more interesting was the relationship I discovered by Leibovitz and her main subject/muse... Susan Santog.  Annie and Susan were partners for great portion of Susan's last years of her life.  This book has many other figures in it: Joan Didion, Johnny Cash, etc, but what struck me was the way in which she shot some pretty personal pictures of her partner Susan and the birth of her children ( one she birthed herself, the other via surrogate- 3 girls total: 2 twins.)  She also has some beautiful/genuine pictures of her parents.  After looking at the pictures and learning her story I looked up a little more about Annie and sadly, like so many, successful people, she has been having money problems and was not really noticed in Susan's obituary as her partner of numerous years (how hurtful would that be).  Why do successful people have money issues- probably the same answer as the rest of us who have money issues- living outside our means... 

"The Golden Tulip" by Rosalind Laker- GREAT book!  Historical fiction and story takes place during Vermeer's artistic period and he is one of the characters in the book.  The main character is a woman, the oldest of three girls of a famous Amsterdam artist (who is widowed and is also a gambler).  She is aspiring to be an artist like her father.  The three sisters in the book have typical sisterly relationship and are all different in their own ways.  This story was very enjoyable and I was sad to see the book end.  Plan on reading some of Rosalind's other books.

"The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh- Another Great read.  Can't write too much due to it being a book club book and so many of my bookies read my posts, so don't want to give anything about the book away, but I will say this book as stimulated my interest in learning more about "language of flowers". 

"Christmas Journey" by Anne Perry  Didn't like this book at all and glad it was short.  It was in the mystery section and I haven't read anything by Anne Perry so thought since it had a Christmas theme and a mystery would be good, but was really disappointed.  Mysteries to me are suppose to be highly entertaining and this one wasn't. 

Well that's December, what about the rest of the year.
Total books read:  58
Total audiobooks: 4
Favorite book: "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" by Cheryl Strayed
Close 2nd, 3rd: "The Golden Tulip" by Rosalind Laker and "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake" by Anna Quindlen

Looking back I read quite a bit of nonfiction and young adult literature.  I didn't listen to that many audiobooks this year, but hoping with some higher mileage/training ahead for me I'll get some good listening done over the next year.  I of course have already started my "to read" list for 2014.  Here are a few on the list:
"Blue Asylum" by Kathy Hepinstall
"The Chaperone" by Laura Moriarty
"Happier at home" by Gretchen Rubin (she wrote the Happiness Project which I really enjoyed)
"I'll Be Seeing You" by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan
"Life after Life" by Jill McCorkle
"Margot" by Jillian Cantor
"The Occupation of Eliza Goode" by Shelley Fraser Mickle
"The Sandcastle Girls" by Chris Bohjalian

It will be interesting to see how many of these I actually read.  I also have a shelf, almost full, of "to read" books in my reading room, also.  So many books, so little time- Happy Reading 2014!

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