Books of 2016!

I set a lofty goal for 2016 – to finish 25 books.

I didn’t make it.

But I DID read 20 books. Over 8,000 pages. Not too shabby!  (I track my reading using Goodreads which syncs to my Kindle).

Here are my 20 books of 2016:

books

 

My least favorites of the bunch?

  • The Paying Guests (too long, not particularly compelling, and I just didn’t care about the characters very much)
  • Shrill (I wanted to like it, but I felt like it was billed as something new, brash and fresh, and it just wasn’t)

My favorites of the bunch?

Goals for 2017?

  • Read 25 books (I just finished my first book of 2017 – The Muse)
  • Finish the Harry Potter series (I am planning to read these to my children, and wanted to read them all myself, first)
  • Finally read The Goldfinch (it has been on my nightstand for 2 years)
  • Read at least 3 non-fiction titles. I’m thinking Between the World and Me, When Breath Becomes Air and Born to Run will make the cut. Speaking of…
  • Listen to Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born To Run on audio book (an awesome Christmas present from my dad!) I was going to read it in hardcover, but Bruce reads the audio book version himself. I’m a big fan (I’ve been to 50 shows!) and the book is poetry, so I’m going to dedicate my commute to listening. And yes, I’m counting it in my 2017 total.

Do you have any reading goals for 2017? Suggestions for books you think I’d love? Books to avoid?  Please let me know!  And connect with me on Goodreads, too!

Happy reading!

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Extra Ordinary.

Today was the best day ever.
It was really that good.

After a much-anticipated 35th birthday celebration dinner cut short by vomit (not mine), and a night woefully short on sleep, my expectations weren’t high.

 

Snooze Cat

Today we did nothing. And a few things.

We puttered.

We played.

We ate.

We avoided the tummy bug we were sure would sweep the 3 members of the family yet unbugged.

My husband broke out the vacuum. I shifted kid clothes. We had pasta for dinner. We wore our PJs far too late into the afternoon (and I am neither going to confirm nor deny whether some of us are still wearing them). We got some of Christmas put away, and didn’t worry about the rest. We read books. We laughed a lot. My husband and son played in the fresh snow in the dark – Pickle coming back inside with a chapped face and blazing ears “Mama, feel this ear! Now Mama, feel this ear!” Plum, feeling better, graced us with toothy grins and some belly laughs at dinner, and invented a new game of “peekaboo” with her brother. Pickle was helpful, sweet and affectionate, often struck by the need to hug and kiss any family member who was in a different room. He woke up from a luxuriously long nap, good-humored and generous and sat to play with Plum, exclaiming unprompted, “I love my sister.”

We had a few firsts, too.  Plum switched from her quick army-style crawl to an all-fours method.  Pickle started referring to me as his “mom” instead of “Mama.”

Everybody napped.

I read a book, uninterrupted, for over an hour.

I read a book, uninterrupted, for over an hour.

We were not in a rush to go anywhere. We were together, happily together. We accomplished enough to feel like the day wasn’t wasted, but were able to overlook the long to-do list of weekends – cleaning, straightening, cooking, shopping, going, doing.

Today was extra ordinary, and extraordinary. And when so many days with young children feel harried, half done, challenging and tiring, I am so grateful for this day.

Tomorrow I will go to work, and will worry about money, time, and whether we will get that tummy bug after all. But tonight, I will climb into my warm bed, read a bit more, and go to sleep with a grateful, rested heart, thankful.

Resolve! The August Edition!

I made some resolutions in January.  (Since even the word “resolutions” makes me turn and run the other way, I’ve decided to call them “Fluffies” – sounds much less daunting, eh?)

I revisited my Fluffies in July. The report card result?  NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.

So here’s a list of my (slightly later than) midyear Fluffies.

1. Read something

This one is sticking around.  I’m going to lighten up a bit though.  I’m not going to count catalogs  but I am going to count all other print media.  Because really, sometimes it takes the same amount of time to get through a dang New Yorker article as it does to get through a fluffy novel.  And since I tend to prefer my books to be of the fiction variety, a little nonfiction in the form of magazine or newspaper articles would do me some good.  I’m not going to count People though.

2. Date my husband.

I really like the guy.  He’s pretty fabulous.  But, as some wise woman once told me, when you have kids your relationship with your spouse can slide towards co-worker status.  And it does, because it kind of has to.  Heck, meeting the daily deadline of getting the family out the door in the morning takes coordination, collaboration, luck and managerial talent!  While I’m happy to have a great partner in this full-time endeavor, I don’t want to lose sight of who he is as a man, a husband and a person.  And I don’t want him to lose sight of me as a woman, a wife and a person.  Besides, if I call it “dating,” I might be motivated to put on some heels and a little perfume from my huge collection of tiny perfume bottles.

3.  Turn up the stereo.

I love music.  It is so very important to me for so many reasons.  It speaks to me.  It punctuates my life.  Most songs remind me of a place, a time, a person or all three.  Sometimes I’m happy to bop along with pop in the background, but sometimes I really want to listen to the music – to hear it.  I’m not sure how I’m going to make this happen with “Wee Sing Silly Songs” on repeat in my mom mobile – the main place I have the opportunity to listen to music – but I’m going to try to find a way to make it happen.

4. Move more

This one is hard for me.  Kudos to you mamas (and dads!) who figure out how to fit this in.  I have a lot of great excuses, and a busy life, but the movement is good for me, and good for my family if it means I will be more active, more fun, have more energy, and live longer.  I’m going to start very small.  I’m aiming for one good walk per week.  By myself.  I may have to get up at 5am to do it.  Can you already hear me whining?

I’m thinking I can knock out those four birds with one stone if I take my husband to the Y and we work out while reading and listening to music?  WIN! Okay, maybe a little overly-ambitious…