Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 2013 Book List - and Beyond

Happy New Year!! I hope each and every one of you have a magnificent 2014 full of adventures and blessings.

Part of my yearly adventure is discovering which books ought to be grafted into my life, and then devouring them at my earliest opportunity. Thanks to Goodreads, I have kept better track of my reading habits these past two years.

My goal for 2012: 50 books.
Books read: 20.

My goal for 2013: 50 books.
Books read: 34.

My goal for 2014: 50 books.

Will I reach my goal this year? Who knows! But hopefully I will continue the trend of reading more each year than the last. Otherwise I'll have to live to be older than Methuselah in order to read all the books that I want to read.

Another great thing about Goodreads is that I've better tracked what genres of books I tend to gravitate toward. This shows me not only which genres I've neglected, but what series I've left unfinished, and which authors I ought to explore more.

Below is the full list of what I read last year, from beginning to end. If you'd like more information on any of these titles, you can view my fully hyperlinked Goodreads list here.

Also below? A preview of those books I intend to read in 2014.

according to Goodreads

Historical Autobiography

The English Governess at the Siamese Court, by Anna Leonowens
A Voyage to Abyssinia, by Jeronimo Lobo
Umrao Jaan Ada, by Umrao Jaan
Two Years Before the Mast, by Richard Henry Dana
Our Nig: Sketches From the Life of a Free Black, by Harriet E. Wilson

Ancient and Medieval Literature
The Iliad, by Homer
The Odyssey, by Homer
The Aeneid, by Virgil
Agricola and Germania, by Tacitus
The Prose Edda, by Snorri Sturluson
The Lais of Marie de France, by Marie de France

Science Fiction
Gateway to Reality, by Becca J Campbell
Romulus Buckle and the City of the Founders, by Robert Preston
Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne

Lirael, by Garth Nix
Cat’s Paw, by L. A. Taylor
His Own Good Sword, by Amanda McCrina
Gasher Creek, by J. Birch
The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland – For a Little While, by Catherynne M. Valente
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente

MG/YA Books
Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan
The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan
The Titan’s Curse, by Rick Riordan
Instructions, by Neil Gaiman
Edgar Wilde and the Lost Grimoire, by Paul Ramey
Carry On, Mr Bowditch, by Jean Lee Latham

Victorian Literature
A Study in Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sign of Four, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Lifestyle and Inspirational 
Wrecked, by Jeff Goins
The Science of Skinny, by Dee McCaffrey

Anthologies and Compilations
Dark Fairy Queen Writerly Bridal Shower (anthology)
The Viking Gods, by Lorenz Frolich

(By no means exhaustive!)
Goal of total books read: 50

Beowulf (Seamus Haney translation)
Confessions, by St Augustine
City of God, by St Augustine
Abhorsen, by Garth Nix
Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan
The Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan
Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War, by Robert Preston
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels, by Catherynne M Valente
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, by Mathias Malzieu
Lillian Alling: The Journey Home, by Susan Smith-Josephy
An Ottoman Traveler: Selections from the Book of Travels, by Evliya Celebi
Titus Groan, by Mervyn Peake
Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip, by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns

How many books did you read in 2013?
How many do you plan to read in 2014?
Are you on Goodreads? 
Let me know in the comments below!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


All right, VisDare family. Here's the scoop:

I have just finished moving two houses, an art studio, and a storage container.
I am still up to my eyeballs in edits, class reviews, and semester exam prep.
Plus, you know, life and stuff. And the holidays are coming up.


The VisDare is NOT "going on hiatus." 

But it will be low key for the next few weeks ---- with a twist.

VisDare regulars may remember a challenge posted last January, where I COMPLETELY GOOFED UP on the link thingy. Somehow, I set the ending date for more than a year later: January 2014.

This means that the VisDare from last January is still live.

At the time of my blogging faux pas, my friend Jeff Hollar suggested that every VisDare regular should do an entry on this curious character every week until the link ran out. 

I thought - and still think - this is a fabulous idea: a rare time to take one VisDare and squeeze all the possibilities out of it - and have a grand time doing so.

SSOOOOOO……follow the link below.
Look at the photo.
Add a new entry.
Add multiple entries, if you like.
Add ons? Alternate versions?
All acceptable.
Then get your friends to add an entry.
Collaborate with others! Co-write something awesome.

Heck - you can even go over 150 words on this one. 
(I'm not counting. Not this time.)

The guy needs a STORY. I mean, a really REALLY good story.
He's been given over a year of "shelf life" so to speak, so we'll give him a legacy, ok?

 Or give him several.

That's the nature of fiction after all, right? One person, many lives, one grand adventure.

So here's the link to the Year-Long VisDare Challenge - live until January 16th!!

And the usual week-to-week VisDare challenge?

That returns on January 22nd.

(Pinky swear.)

Your devoted VisDare Cohort,