1. It's December and the biggest casualties of the season have been blogging and housework. As I am writing this post right now, you can deduce that housework is on the very lowest rung of my priorities.
2. The winner of my blogiversary/blogoversary/bloggiversary is Amy from The House of the Seven Tails. She has been notified and I believe the book is in transit as I type. She chose The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
3. I am just a couple of pounds away from losing 25 pounds from my highest weight from about a year ago. I can't decide whether to push to lose those couple of pounds so I can hit an exciting milestone, or just chill out because it's December and I should just be satisfied to maintain, which is easy to do as long as I work out. As I ponder this, I nibble on intense dark chocolate with hazelnuts. Perhaps this is a sign...
4. As far as reading goes, I'm trying to finish the books I'm currently reading before the end of the year: Of Human Bondage, Mary Barton, and Battle Cry of Freedom. If I actually manage to do this, there's a good chance that the house will remain in a state of chaos and Santa might be a no-show. But who knows? I believe in Christmas miracles. I would just like to have a clean reading slate (and a clean house) come January, which brings me to...
5. The TBR Double Dare, hosted by C.B. James. Let me just say, as a library addict, I'm scared. The challenge is to read only books in my TBR stack from January 1 to April 1. Here's a picture of my current TBR shelf:
I purposely selected this little nook to limit my book purchases. At first, my rule was that I couldn't get any more books if the row was full. Then it became two rows deep, and now I've added a second story. These are mostly books that I have bought from the used bookstore at the library, so I tell myself that I'm supporting a good cause.
I have some unread books elsewhere, such as about half of these on my mantel (guarded by our Christmas alpaca):
I know it's a peculiar business, this mixing of read and unread books. It defies all of the usual conventions of book bloggers. But the unread books here have earned mantel status by having been bought brand new, and they like to rub shoulders with my favorite classics rather than the battered and torn low-lives found in the other TBR locale.
There are even more at other locations in the house. I like to have books in every room in case there's some sort of apocalyptic event that confines me to a small area of my home. Do I have food and water in every room? No.
6. I need to go do some Christmas shopping--a window of opportunity has just now opened...
7. Back from shopping, and then lunch with daughter.
8. As the year wraps up, I need to report on the Civil War Reading Challenge hosted over at War Through the Generations. I have completed the challenge, but have not reviewed any of the books. A list with starred favorites will have to suffice:
Mine Eyes Have Seen by Ann Rinaldi *
The River Between Us by Richard Peck
My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt*
Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles
And I'm trying to finish an excellent general history of the Civil War, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson.*
Next year the focus will be on World War I. I'm on board with the goal of actually reviewing the books I have read. Sign-ups can be found here.
9. And that concludes my contributions for 2011, unless I forgot about something important. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! May you receive many bookish delights and the time to enjoy them!
It's time for me to tackle that housework now. Oh, joy.