Saturday, January 31, 2009

January Books

Yes, the post is back-dated to fit it into where it should have gone

Molly Caldwell Crosby - The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic that Shaped Our History
(Very interesting, and another one where I'm not necessarily that interested in the topic, but the writer gets me interested in it.*)

Sharon Shinn - Mystic and Rider
(I loved this series, as you can probably guess by seeing how I devoured all of them in only a few days)

Gina Kolata - Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss and the Myths and Realities of Dieting

Sharon Shinn - The Thirteenth House

Amy Grant - Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far

Sharon Shinn - Dark Moon Defender

Keri Wyatt Kent - Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity
(Reviewed here.)

Sharon Shinn - Reader and Raelynx

Eleanor Herman - Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge
(I wanted to like this one much more than I did. I loved the history, but really disliked her writing style and some of her organization of the material.)

Sharon Shinn - Fortune and Fate

Dawn Jackson Blatner - The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life

Jan Burke - Hocus

Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz - The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal

Mercedes Lackey and Roberta Gellis - This Scepter’d Isle

Laura Shapiro - Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America

Mercedes Lackey and Roberta Gellis - Ill Met by Moonlight

Carolyn Mahaney - Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother

Mercedes Lackey and Roberta Gellis - By Slanderous Tongues

Paula Uruburu - American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, The Birth of the “It” Girl and the Crime of the Century
(Another one that I thought was poorly written. Trimming about 50 pages would have helped too.)

Margaret McMullan - When I Crossed No-Bob

Jeff Sypeck - Becoming Charlemagne: Europe, Baghdad, and the Empires of A. D. 800

Sue Henry - Murder at Five Finger Light

Mary Anna Evans - Relics

Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
(Along with many many other people, I loved it. Admittedly, I am quite the sucker for epistolary novels so that didn't hurt.)

Edward Beauclerk Maurice - The Last Gentleman Adventurer: Coming of Age in the Arctic
(My only complaint was I would have like more of a wrap-up of what happened with the rest of his life, but considering that he died while still working on the book perhaps it was planned but impossible to provide.)

Gail Carson Levine - Fairest

Ben Macintyre - The Englishman’s Daughter: A True Story of Love and Betrayal in World War I

Margaret McMullan - How I Found the Strong: A Novel of the Civil War
(Probably should have read this before When I Crossed No-Bob (see above) but I didn't catch that they were related.)

Allison Winn Scotch - Time of My Life

Jane Bryant Quinn - Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People

Lois Lenski - Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison

Elizabeth Warren & Amelia Warren Tyagi - The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers are Going Broke (With Surprising Solutions That Will Change Our Children’s Futures)

Sharon Shinn - Summers at Castle Auburn

Carolyn Burke - Lee Miller: A Life
(Another one I thought could probably have been a little more tightly edited. And I really wish some of the photos that were described in detail would have been included. )

Alison Weir - Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey
(I've read and enjoyed several of her non-fiction works but this was her first novel for me. I'm already looking for the second.)

Johanna Reiss - The Upstairs Room

* Other non-fiction books that I found fascinating even though I had no real interest in the topic include:
  • Jennifer 8 Lee's The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food. I mean, I don't like to eat Chinese food AT ALL (bad experience with the stomach flu after eating it years ago have left me still scarred & unable to face any of it). But I loved the book so much I've pressured a couple of people to give it a try, and they've enjoyed it too.

  • Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Yeah, not all that interested in cadavers, human or otherwise. But this was so interesting, and funny even. Her other books, Spook and Bonk, I thought were ok, but didn't quite live up to Stiff.

  • Tom Vanderbilt's Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)
    I mean, traffic? Snore. But no, I didn't want to finish it.

  • Liz Curtis Higg's My Heart’s in the Lowlands: Ten Days in Bonny Scotland. This one sorta feels like I'm coming close to not following my standards of books I wouldn't expect to like but did, except I'm including it anyway because I didn't expect to like it that much; I mean, a travelogue for places I don't realistically expect to ever visit, but could, so it' s not like it's all that exotic or anything.

    But instead, it was so wonderful. I wished for a longer trip. I wished I really *could* travel to Scotland with Liz (after reading the book, she's definitely Liz, not Mrs. Higgs or anything). Suddenly spending 10 days in that part of Scotland seemed like a fantastic idea, and I found myself scheming how I could make it happen. Someday...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goals for 2009

I didn't do all that well at accomplishing my 2008 goals, but that's not going to stop me from trying again in 2009.
  • Spiritual – Find a church to attend. And attend regularly. (yes, this is a repeat from last year.)
  • Physical – Exercise as I'm able before delivery; after I've recovered, exercise 3 x a week for 30 minutes.
  • Intellectual – Finish computer courses
  • Family - I have no idea what sort of goal to set here; seems like it should be something baby-related, but what??
  • Social – Have guests over once a quarter.
  • Household – Prepare a nursery by June 1.