Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Book List

I've always been a big reader, and in 2007 I made a resolution to record all the books I read for the year. It was so much fun being able to go back and look at my list that I decided to keep going. This year I read 90 books. (This doesn't include books I started but didn't finish or books that I'd read before and re-read in 2009. All 90 books were new-to-me titles.)

I don't know if I mentioned this before or not, but in early August I got a Kindle. Yay! I love my Kindle! It feels like I've done a lot more reading since the Kindle entered my life, but according to my notebook, I've only read 27 books on the Kindle since early August, and only 5 physical books. I averaged 7.5 books a month for the whole year, but only 6.4 books a month for those 5 months. Some of that may be that I've read lots of samples that didn't impress me enough to buy the whole book. There were also several books that I started on the Kindle and never finished. Some how, it's easier to quit a book and move on with the Kindle. As long as it's a free book (and there's a surprisingly large number of free, legal books available), I don't mind. But it does effect my reading stats.

So, enough chatter. On to the list!

1. Mr. Cavendish, I Presume- Julia Quinn
2. Betrayed- P.C. Cast & Kristen Cast
3. Tainted Trail- Wen Spencer
4. Halfway to Half Way- Suzann Ledbetter
5. Bitter Waters- Wen Spencer
6. King of Sword and Sky- C.L. Wilson
7. Magic Study- Maria V. Snyder
8. Forever Princess- Meg Cabot
9. Plum Spooky- Janet Evanovich
10. Wolfsbane and Mistletoe- Charlaine Harris, et al
11. A Dead Guy in a Pear Tree- Leslie Kelly
12. Running Hot- Jayne Ann Krentz
13. The Grand Sophy- Georgette Heyer
14. Wanderlust- Ann Aguirre
15. Cotillion- Georgette Heyer
16. The Talisman Ring- Georgette Heyer
17. Cousin Kate- Georgette Heyer
18. Dark of Night- Suzann Brockmann
19. Bone Crossed- Patricia Briggs
20. What I Did For Love- Susan Elizabeth Phillips
21. The Sharing Knife: Horizon- Lois McMaster Bujold
22. Dogs and Goddesses- Jennifer Crusie, Ann Stewart, Lani Diane Rich
23. Wicked Pleasure- Lora Leigh
24. Audrey, Wait!- Robin Benway
25. In the Bleak Midwinter- Julia Spencer-Fleming
26. Tips on Having a Gay (ex)Boyfriend- Carrie Jones
27. The Unknown Ajax- Georgette Heyer
28. Dog Warrior- Wen Spencer
29. Graceling- Kristen Cashore
30. Chosen- P.C. Cast & Kristen Cast
31. A Fountain Filled With Blood- Julia Spencer-Fleming
32. Swallowing Darkness- Laurell K. Hamilton
33. Endless Blue- Wen Spencer
34. Need- Carrie Jones
35. Turn Coat- Jim Butcher
36. Out of the Deep I Cry- Julia Spencer-Fleming
37. Doctor Who: The Stone Rose- Jacqueline Rayner
38. Impossible- Nancy Werlin
39. Silent in the Grave- Deanna Raybourn
40. To Darkness and To Death- Julia Spencer-Fleming
41. All Mortal Flesh- Julia Spencer-Fleming
42. Silent in the Sanctuary- Deanna Raybourn
43. Silent on the Moor- Deanna Raybourn
44. Black Sheep- Georgette Heyer
45. Frederika- Georgette Heyer
46. The Awakening- Kelley Armstrong
47. And Only to Deceive- Tasha Alexander
48. Magician's Ward- Patricia C. Wrede
49. A Little Bit Wicked- Kristin Chenoweth
50. Untamed- P.C. Cast & Kristen Cast
51. Shakespeare- Bill Bryson
52. Dead and Gone- Charlaine Harris
53. I Shall Not Want- Julia Spencer-Fleming
54. Faro's Daughter- Georgette Heyer
55. The Perfect Poison- Amanda Quick
56. Finger Lickin' Fifteen- Janet Evanovich
57. What Happens in London- Julia Quinn
58. The Patriot Witch- C.C. Finley
59. Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch- B.J. Daniels
60. Hide in Plain Sight- Marta Perry
61. Casting Spells- Barbara Bretton
62. Doc Sidhe- Aaron Allston
63. Baby Bonanza- Maureen Child
64. Hunting Ground- Patricia Briggs
65. Don't Tempt Me- Loretta Chase
66. His Lady Mistress- Elizabeth Rolls
67. Magic Bites- Ilona Andrews
68. Having Tanner Bravo's Baby- Christine Rimmer
69. Obsidian Prey- Jayne Castle
70. The Wild's Call- Jeri Smith-Ready
71. Asking For Trouble- Kristina Lloyd
72. Magic Burns- Ilona Andrews
73. Magic Strikes- Ilona Andrews
74. Ms. Match- Jo Leigh
75. Red-Headed Stepchild- Jayne Wells
76. On the Edge- Ilona Andrews
77. Bad Moon Rising- Sherrilyn Kenyon
78. Soulless- Gail Carriger
79. Grave Secret- Charlaine Harris
80. Speed Dating- Nancy Warren
81. Bound For the Holidays- Mackenzie McCade
82. By Reason of Insanity- Randy Singer
83. Fire and Ice- Laura Hamilton
84. Tiger Eye- Marjorie M. Liu
85. If He's Wicked- Hannah Howell
86. Bedlam Boyz- Ellen Guon
87. Lord of Scoundrels- Loretta Chase
88. Northanger Abbey- Jane Austen
89. Peep Show- Mathilde Madden
90. Murder Takes the Cake- Gayle Trent

Happy New Year's, all!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quibble with Bones

"Why do people hate to spend Christmas alone?"
"Because it means nobody loves them."

I finally got around to watching last week's Bones tonight, and I have to disagree with the above exchange. I can see why someone might feel unloved if no one wants to spend Christmas with them. But I spent Christmas by myself last year by choice, and I have to say, it was heaven. Bliss. The most relaxing holiday I'd had in years, maybe ever. I'm looking forward to seeing the 'rents next week, but as I look around my disaster of an apartment (had to empty my entire storage closet to get to the Christmas tree and decorations) and the infinite list of things to be done between now and Wednesday when they arrive, that quiet, peaceful Christmas last year is looking better and better.

Friday, December 04, 2009


There's been some discussion on Rav about stockings lately. What do you put in them? When do you stop giving them? And that's got me thinking about the subject.

First of all, I never realized that for some folks, stockings are for kids. Why shouldn't an adult get a stocking? Where else are you going to put the little things, so that they don't get lost? In my family the stocking is also used for the small necessities. A new toothbrush. Toothpaste. Once we got old enough to need it, deodorant. Razors. It's a family tradition to find stuff like that in the stocking, and I'm pretty sure my brother and I would both be sorely disappointed to not find a toothbrush in our stocking Christmas morning, even though we're adults and perfectly capable of buying one for ourselves.

This is the second year in a row that I've had Christmas at my apartment in Houston rather than traveling to Massachusetts to my parents' house. Last year I unselfconsciously bought those little things that I needed- thermometer covers for one- wrapped them, and stuck them in my own stocking to be opened again on Christmas morning. Goofy? Well, yes, a little. But it made me happy. This year I'm shopping not only for my own stocking but also my parents' stockings since they are coming down here for Christmas. This year I'm a little more aware of the oddness of doing this. Will it upset my mother to see me unwrap the thermometer covers I bought myself and put in my own stocking? Possibly. Not because her daughter is buying gifts for herself, wrapping them, and then giving them to herself (after all, Mom did this for herself for years, wrapping her own toothbrushes and whatnot), but because they will be a reminder that I'm not healthy, and I need those things. But this is my reality. Might as well face it and wring whatever joy I can out of it. And for me, one of those new joys is unwrapping thermometer covers from my stocking Christmas morning.

And it's been unexpected fun to shop for Mom and Dad's stockings this year. I thought I was done with Christmas shopping the day before Thanksgiving, but I had totally forgotten the stocking stuffers. After a quick trip to the dollar store and Target there are toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste for all. I'm running low on band aids, so I'll be getting a box of those in my stocking, too. I was hoping for a roll of Lifesavers for each stocking, but Target didn't carry them. (Well, that's not strictly true. They had those Lifesaver storybook things for $2.99 a pop, but I'm not paying three bucks each for a roll of Lifesavers and a bunch of extra packaging I don't need.) The only place I've routinely seen Lifesavers in the last 10 years is the airport, and I'm not fighting the airport insanity just for a stocking stuffer. I'll keep looking. Maybe at Walgreens or somewhere like that? I have to admit, I don't look too closely at the candy aisle these days.

There are other things that often go in my parents' stockings. For Mom, it's hand cream and pantyhose. But I feel a little awkward getting her those things. It's kind of a joke between her and Dad, one I suspect I don't know the true story to, so I think I'll leave that to them.

I've also made some hand knit ornaments for them that I plan to wrap and put in their stockings. I know they'll get a kick out of those. But that seems awfully thin. Toothbrush, toothpaste, ornament. Lifesavers (if I can find them), orange in the toe, candy cane hooked over the top. Can anyone think of any other fun, useful, inexpensive items to drop in their stockings?