Thursday, December 15, 2011

Multi-topic Post

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.


  1. Hee hee, I love your Christmas alpaca. This time of year does seem to hinder us from reading and blogging. Sigh.

  2. Oh, that double dare is terrifying. I am tempted, but a) I would have to cheat and discount all the other challenge books I already signed up for and b) I work in a library! How am I supposed to survive?

  3. Yes, I love our alpaca. We bought it at an actual alpaca farm and we try to make it festive around the holidays. January will be a better reading month, fingers crossed.

  4. Yes, housekeeping, blah! My favorite fantasy is to hire a maid so that I have more time to read and blog. Instead I just lower my standards as to what a clean house is...

  5. Yes, cleaning is the bottom of my priority list, too, but I do need to get some accomplished this weekend. Merry Christmas!

  6. Glad to see you are still alive and kicking. I've missed you! Hopefully the housework is going well. I had to clean a bit today since it's book club here tonight. I'm hoping it lasts through the rest of the year! Good luck with all and Merry Christmas back at ya!

  7. I'd choose blogging over housekeeping any day. :-D Happy holidays!

  8. I would definitely choose reading over housework, unless company was imminent. I love the idea of the TBR Challenge! Have a lovely holiday!

  9. breethethingswereadNovember 18, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    I love the idea of a small cubby for TBRs. I need to adopt that policy. Congratulations on the weight loss!

  10. That's what I need to do--host a book club and then I'll be forced to clean!

  11. If you do find a cubby to restrict you TBR selections, I hope you have more self-discipline than I have!

  12. I love the idea of the TBR challenge, but I don't know how long I will last. Thanks for the holiday wishes!

  13. Good luck with getting something done this weekend! We trying our best, but seem to be making more messes as we get some projects done, which makes me want to hide in a book. Merry Christmas!

  14. breethethingswereadNovember 18, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Not likely. I have little to no self-discipline when it comes to books.

  15. Oh how I love a multi-topic post. Except it makes concise commenting impossible! ;)

    Love the Christmas Alpaca - Even if it did draw my eye to Brothers Karamazov, which made me shudder in horror.

    Your TBR shelves look a lot like mine--double stacked and double decker. It is crazy isn't it? Why does one need so many books?!?

    I hope that you're able to get everything finished that you need to. It's OK if the housework slides a bit.

    Merry Christmas Shelley!

  16. I maybe one of those who do mix my read and unread books. I tend to organize books by their size!
    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  17. December is not a time to be losing weight. Chill out and take the chocolate, baby.

  18. Hope you had a lovely holiday season. Your small shelf method for your books... I would totally do the same thing and then justify to myself :) We love book and we can't help it.
    Take care :)

  19. You TBR shelf is actually a bit small. ;-) Mine has probably four or five times as many books as yours, which makes the TBR Double Dare a bit easier for me too keep. Hope you have a good time with it.

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