This year the prompts are 3 books relating to past, present and future. I played around with this for awhile and was trying to figure out a theme with The Guest List as the present book but settled on (another) Jane Austen theme.
Several people, and a famous actress from the US, from a small English village where Jane Austen lived, whom all love Jane Austen, start the Jane Austen Society. They raise funds, start a museum and help reading programs post World War II. (I wonder if it is roughly based on how Jane Austen’s small cottage really became a museum).
A London working woman joins the Jane Austen Dating Agency with promises of regency style dates. She evens admits she’ll date a Wickam, until she does. There’s money laundering, and typical rich people business and love.
Each I listened to through Hoopla (listening to the Project still). So I’ll be back with an update on that.
My grandmother came from Irish heritage and reading this always made me think of her
Usually I can copy and paste my Goodreads year in books but it won’t work anymore. I read (or listened) to 191 books which was 66,537 pages. Wow! I didn’t watch much TV since not much aired this year. Thank goodness Outlander made it in.
This year, I read and loved the entire Winston Brother series by Penny Reid. I read the rest of the Flavia de Luc series by Alan Bradley and can’t wait to get my hands on the 10th book. I read, well listened to, my first book of verse and think Elizabeth Acevedo is very talented. I listened to Poet X and With the Fire on High and read Clap When you Land.
2020, thanks to Modern Mrs Darcy, got me into audiobooks and I would rather listen to a book than the radio now. I have listened to books 1-10 of the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny and it is very sad that Ralph Cosham died before being able to narrate all of them. I have listened to books 1-8 of the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones and am in love. (I started a lot of series this year.) And the number one audiobook this year, hands down, was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Even though I have read it more than once, I have never watched the movies. But Jim Dale is a phenomenal narrator and listening to him brought the story to life and gave me goose bumps almost the entire time.
I was expecting a light, sit by the pool read. But the story had depth and captivated me from the beginning.
I picked up this book on a whim at my favorite used bookstore, I think to check out Karen White who was recommended. This was an excellent start. She is a great storyteller.
I have loved almost every WWII historical novel I have read, and this didn’t disappoint. It is heart wrenching reading about what was done to the “feared” during the war.
One of the challenges I do every year, Around the Year in 52 books, ATY; has already put out their list for next year. One of the prompts is A book related to a codeword from the NATO Phonetic Alphabet. Someone else had an idea to do a side challenge doing the whole NATO alphabet instead of just one. It was fun making interpretations to fit.
I am interested in doing a comparison of the Great American Read list and the 100 books to read in a lifetime list (of which I have less than half left). The Great American Read has series in the list, so it actually has more than 100 books. Here is the list in the order they were voted:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Outlander (series) by Diana Gabaldon
Dragonfly in Amber √
Drums of Autumn √
The Fiery Cross √
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
An Echo in Bone
Written in my Own Heart’s Blood
Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone
Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling √
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone √
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets √
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban √
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire √
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix √
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince √
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows √
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two √
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen √
The Lord of the Rings (series) by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of the King
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Charlotte’s Webb by E.B. White √
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott √
The Chronicle’s of Narnia (series) by C.S. Lewis
The Magician’s Nephew
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe √
The Horse and His Boy
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Last Battle
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte √
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery √
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck √
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak √
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald √
The Help by Katherine Stockett
The Adventure’s of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
1984 by George Orwell
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Stand by Stephen King
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier √
A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens √
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger √
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls √
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood √
Dune by Frank Herbert
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Call of the Wild by Jack London √
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games √
Catching Fire √
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas √
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Giver by Lois Lowry √
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden √
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Game of Thrones (series) by George R.R. Martin
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
The Winds of Winter
A Dream of Spring
Foundation (series) by Isaac Asimov
Foundation and Empire
Foundation and Earth
Prelude to Foundation
Forward the Foundation
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriela Garcia Marquez
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks √
The Shack by William P. Young
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
Beloved by Toni Morison
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Wheel of Time (series) by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
The Eye of the World
The Great Hunt
The Dragon Reborn
The Shadow Rising
The Fires of Heaven
Lord of Chaos
A Crown of Swords
The Path of Daggers
Crossroads of Twilight
Knife of Dreams
The Gathering Storm
Towers of Midnight
A Memory of Light
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse √
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon √
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold √
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Hatchet (series) by Gary Paulsen
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
The Twilight Saga (series) by Stephanie Meyer
Tales of the City (series) by Armistead Maupin
Tales of the City
More Tales of the City
Further Tales of the City
Sure of You
Michael Tolliver Lives
Mary Ann in Autumn
The Days of Anna Madrigal
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline √
Left Behind (series) by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides
Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages
Glorious Appearing: The End of Days
Kingdom Come: The Final Victory
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn √
Watchers by Dean Koontz
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Alex Cross Mysteries (series) by John Patterson
Along Came a Spider
Kiss the Girls
Jack & Jill
Cat and Mouse
Pop Goes the Weasel
Roses are Red
Violets Are Blue
Four Blind Mice
The Big Bad Wolf
Alex Cross’s Trial
I, Alex Cross
Kill Alex Cross
Merry Christmas, Alex Cross
Alex Cross, Run
Cross My Heart
Hope to Die
Cross the Line
The People vs. Alex Cross
Target: Alex Cross
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
Fifty Shades of Grey (series) by E.L. James √
Fifty Shades of Grey √
Fifty Shades Darker √
Fifty Shades Freed √
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie √
Another Country by James Baldwin
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya √
Looking for Alaska by John Green √
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon
Mind Invaders by Dave Hunt
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
Dona Barbara by Romulo Gallegos
So many of these I have never heard of. So many I would have had higher on the list. Some I will probably never attempt to read. Maybe one year, instead of following the Popsugar and Around the Year reading challenges, I will try this out.
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup Biscoff Spread
1/4 cup oil
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
For the Biscoff Cookie Streusel:
1/2 cup chopped Biscoff cookies
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line muffin pans and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, set aside.
3. In a stand mixer, mash bananas. Add the Biscoff Spread, oil, egg, vanilla, and sugars.
4. Add the dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Batter will be slightly lumpy, don’t over mix.
5. Scoop batter into prepared pans.
1. In a small bowl, melt butter. Combine chopped Biscoff cookies, chopped pecans, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon to the melted butter. Stir until combined. Add a spoonful of the streusel to the top of the batter in each muffin cup.
2. Bake muffins for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
The 70s were a good decade. I mean my parents were married. I was born. My brother was born. But that decade is long gone and needed to be long gone out of my house too.
This bathroom is on the smaller side, it’s not an en suite type of bathroom. It works for me though. So originally, it had this fabric backed wallpaper, a plastic vanity (but with real marble counter/sink), the mirror with the medicine cabinet and original (heavy) doors on the shower. There were handicap handles all over the room as well and that slightly Gothic looking light.
I removed the wallpaper and any handle anywhere. Fixed and patched and painted. Replaced the light, mirror, vanity and toilet. I also decided to take down the heavy doors on the shower and only use a shower curtain, but some tiles were loose and I ended up finding termite damage. About a year or so later, I finally got around to removing all the tile, which ended up pulling the backerboard down with it. Eventually, I removed all the tile and cement from the pan. All of this mess was covered by a shower curtain for almost 2 years.
My original plumber didn’t want to do the work. Couldn’t get the next one to show up for the estimate. The one that finally came and ran the new plumbing, wouldn’t show back up to finish the work or send his tile guy. This summer, I finally found a tile guy that would do the work. So after the plumber had come and ran a new line, and fixed the old line, I cut the ceiling open over the shower and we put up the new backboard (after replacing rotted and damaged wood). Because the ceiling was going to be 2 different textures, I decided to cover the whole thing with beadboard.
(That’s my wonderful brother.) I also added a chair rail for the towel hooks and painted the bathroom again. I love my bathroom now.
The tile guy even did a backsplash on the sinks for me.
Here is a before and after.
I also finally got a barn door made and hung up from the bedroom to the bathroom.
This year I really did cut back on TV and read more. I followed the Popsugar Reading Challenge and the Around the Year in 52 books. I am happy to say, other than the book I am currently reading, I have finished both challenges. I have read 81 books this year. Some I loved, some I hated, some I didn’t see how they fit the challenge prompt, and some were still good enough to recommend.
I drug my feet in wanting to read a book I have been watching, and loving, on TV. I don’t usually like a book I have already watched or vice versa (other than Hunger Games). But I picked up this book for ‘time travel’ and it became one of my favorite books of all time. I have the next two on the list for my challenge next year.
I picked up this book for a ‘book with a map’. It was on the new book shelf at the library. And it was amazing. It is a book that I would like to see turned into a movie.
These were also high on my most loved books this year.
My favorite series this year. I have decided I will not read the ones that are being written by another author. It’s already sad enough that Stieg’s estranged father and brother are making all the money off of the 1st three and nothing is going to his life partner since they were never married.
After reading Annie’s book, I added many more books to my TBR. But read Big Stone Gap almost right away. Went ahead and read Big Cherry Holler for the heck of it and added the 3rd one to my challenge for next year.
These taught me some multicultural lessons.
Goodreads breaks it all down into a really cool page here.
Still too many started projects that I am too exhausted to finish.
Need new windows, stucco updated and a new furnace. (Must win lottery or have them donated.) Single mom seeking benefactor. Haha.
Can finally shower in the master bathroom. And finally have a door on the bathroom.
My mom is getting all new cabinets so we are going to replace mine with her old ones (going to be much better).
Need like 4 tons of gravel to finish off front and back yards. Add to above list for benefactor.
I had a tree fall down in a wind storm and it messed up some of the fence. The neighbors are fiercely private and I think I am going to have to jump the fence to fix it. (They have a huge fence around their back porch so they never go into the rest of their backyard.)
I have decided I do not like the paint color in this house. (I loved it in my other house but it got more natural light and didn’t seem so dark.) I am fine with it in the den, just not the other rooms.