The Books of 2015

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2015.  what a year.
One  of my favorite anal-bookish things I love to do each year is keep track of my reading. I love to see the page count, the book count… I am a total dork when it comes to charts and all the bells and whistles.   I love keeping track on Goodreads each year and setting goals… however I lost track of everything this year.  I recall a big reading phase in late May and all of June just to keep my mind occupied… they were books with covers of cupcakes, and buildings, about friendships and businesses – safe books for me…. nothing deep but mind occupying.  I can recall bits of plot lines, but can not remember titles or authors – I am almost sure I did not review them and have no idea where to begin so they are among the missing.
In all honesty I probably would not have even tried to see where I landed on Goodreads for this year if I had not popped on there a few days ago and seen a super cool page to all the books I had remembered to record this year.  That love for lists and tracking sparked and I started to go through the ones I had not reviewed yet that I could recall.   And managed to come up with somewhat of a worthy year of reading :
goodreads 2015
click on image to go to report
I did not reach my goal that I set last year about this time, but I am surprised I was anywhere near it.  I like to see the books that I rated high.  I am not going to chat about them because honestly looking back they are all kind of blank to me (thank goodness for reviews!)
I do look forward to setting a goal for 2016.  And on that subject, have you picked your first book of the new year yet?  You can still join in the 2016 First Book Of The Year.  Come on… you know your going to read a book….. 😉

Do you use Goodreads to track your books?  Do you set reading goals?

Morning Meanderings…. Christmas After


It is so crazy what sort of negative anticipation a day can bring.

I was not at all looking forward to this Christmas… the first one without my son Justin.  We did not put up a tree.  I did not cook.  I did not purchase any gifts until December 24th when my husband and I went up town to find things for our son Brad who would be joining us for Christmas Day.  Until that point I had avoided retail stores as I did not want to see the decorations or the happy people eagerly choosing the gift that would make their persons day.

I had been told, from those who has gone before me on this painful path that the anticipation of the “day/holiday” is usually much worse than the actual day.  It is kind of hard to tell because I think by the time I reached Christmas Day I was numb.  I did what I had to do because my son was here and we tried to carry on with a little normalcy.  We watched TV and I gave Brad Justin’s IPAD knowing that I would never be able to use it myself and it would sit in storage until it was obsolete.  We had to guess at Justin’s password and by using his password hints we were able to figure it out, clean out his personal notes and register it to Brad. We also logged him off of his Facebook which 8 months ago was unthinkable.  As you can imagine it was a hard thing to do… but I know it was the right thing to do and Justin would have approved.

Al and Brad played cribbage on Justin’s cribbage board.  Justin LOVED cribbage and Al and he would play for hours.  It was sort of symbolic to use his board for the game.  I felt as though he were including him.


In the late afternoon we drove to the Casino which honestly Justin would have thought was an awesome way to spend Christmas.  We came up with that idea a few weeks ago as they have a seafood buffet.  At the time of decision I kept saying “Oh, we are those people you feel bad for because they have no traditions on Christmas…”  Once there, I seen my opinion on this was incorrect.  The casino was packed but not filled with sad and lonely lost people as I had imagined but couples and friends hanging out and having a good time.  Families were at the buffet and exchanging gifts and I had to change my attitude to maybe this was a nice way for families to enjoy a delicious meal and be together just as much as sitting at home around a tree.

Family traditions can be wherever you land.


I was wiped out by the time we came home around 8 pm.  Being “on” all day and the constant knowing what is missing while you try to keep going forward is exhausting.  I sat down and had a glass of wine out of a glass that Justin had made and hated that he was not here… and so glad I had climbed another milestone of firsts and made it through.  Justin wanted me to be happy.  I am trying kid…  I am trying.



Thank you to those of you who sent me a Christmas card.  That is so nice and I so appreciate your kind and encouraging words.


For those of you signed up to participate in 1st Book of the year, don’t forget to send me your picture!  Looking forward to the post!

Morning Meanderings… A Little Downton Abbey Moment


I am here.

I don’t know why I don’t post as much as I used to and I really wish I did.  I think about posts… and I dialogue them in my head… what I will say, what I will share…. a review, a funny moment, a hard one….

and then for whatever reason the days pass and I will think, “huh, I never did post about that.”

Really though… my whole life is like that now.  I struggle to get the simplest things done.  I would rather be at home than run an errand.  I still avoid crowds as much as possible, and I am working hard to avoid the retail stores this season as I just do not want to see all the decorations or the hustle of people happily gathering things for their soon to be celebrations.

But this…

is not about that.

I have been a Downton Abbey fan for the past couple of years since I first discovered this addicting PBS show.  Seriously if you have not watched this… you must.  All previous seasons are on Netflix.  In the past few months I have watched them all again…


That’s just good stuff.

A friend of mine told me that our local College Theatre was having a pre showing of the next season premiere that will not air in the United States until January 3rd.  It was a free event and people were encouraged to dress the era.  I was not up to dressing he part, but I was all in for going to the premiere.

The premiere was last night and it was fun to see those who did dress up.  Got to love our “Stars Hollow” style community.



The premiere was wonderful.  The gentleman in the above pic to the right had trivia for us.  Some of the questions were:

What is the first machine you see in the first episode, first season?

What is Mrs.Hughes first name?

What is the name of the man who came to an untimely death in season one?

What has just happened in the opening scene of Downtown abbey season one episode one?


We also received some swag..


That was my evening… and it was a nice one.

In other news, First Book Of The Year is coming along nicely and I am thrilled about that.  We currently have 65 signed up to participate!  I think this meme, and the book I choose to read will be my way of getting through the end of this year and entering the next.


First Book Of The Year 2016

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Every year I get excited about what will be that first book I will be chatting about going into the new year.  I make a big deal out of picking the book.  It is usually a book I have wanted to read for a while and for whatever reason, I just have not been able to find the time to read it.

This is the third year I am hosting this event and this year, it is all the more important to me.  It was a year ago today that I put out last years request. I would love for you to join me in this tradition of picking the book that you will be reading into the new year.  It can be a coveted book that you have been waiting to read, a guilty pleasure book, a re-read of a favorite that you want to explore once again… whatever you want.

Our posts of what we are reading will go live on January 1st.  You do not need to be done with the book on January 1st, just reading it on January 1st and yes, you can start on the 31st and be reading into the New Year.  I would like to link up all your posts here on the 1st as well so others can visit you and cheer you on!  If you are interested, please fill out the short form below.


Here are the fun collages I did with last year’s participants:






I have not had the best blog presence the past 7+ months.  Please help me spread the word of this event by chatting it up on your blogs, Twitter (link under post to do this easily), Facebook, and wherever else you like to chat. 🙂  I would love for this to be another great year of reading into the New Year.

Happy New Year: Reading Around The World 2015


Happy New Year everyone!  I hope everyone had a wonderful night and now here we are on January 1st 2015.  YAY to a new year!!!

This is the second annual First Book Of The Year Meme where I have offered book lovers around the world to send in a pic of themselves with the first book they will be reading this New Year.  For myself, that first book has always been a big deal… a book I have been wanting to read for a while, sometimes it is a comforting re-read… whatever.

The past few days my email has been a treasure of fellow readers sending in that first book.  It is always exciting to see what everyone chooses as their first read, and it is fun to see people from all over the world join in.

Here are this years participants:


PicMonkey Collage1


PicMonkey Collage2



PicMonkey Collage3


PicMonkey Collage4a


There they are!  If you see me in the bottom left corner, I have been so eager to read Stations Eleven after hearing all the great reviews of it.  I will be in my cozy chair today digging into this one.  There are many great titles here and thank you to all the book lovers who sent in a picture!  I seriously tear up when I see how many get behind this idea.


If you wrote a post to go with this First Book Of The Year Meme please link it here where it says Click Here 🙂

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Happy New Year from…

Kristin – Always With A Book

Chelsea-  You Should Have Seen It In Color

Donna – Writer Side Up

Kathryn – Book Date

Nise – Under The Boardwalk

Laura – Book Snob

Ann – Ann’s Reading Corner

Laurel Rain – An Interior Journey

Sue – Book by Book

Kim – Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Katherine I Wish I Lived In A  Library

Pat – Posting For Now

Mary – Bookfan

Freda – Freda’s Voice

Paige – authenticme

Elizabeth – Silver’s Reviews

Stacy – The Novel Life

Brook – Brooke Blogs

Cynthia – Binging On Books

Wendy – Beautiful Day

Martha – Reviews by Martha


Susie – Home With Susie

Jennifer – Librarian Eats

Connie – The Prairie Mom

Sharon – Faith, Hope, and Cherrytea

Melissa – Jayne’s Books

Laura – Brainonlaura

Sheree – The Eclectic Reader

Laura – Crafty Booksheeps

Jackie – Jackie’s Bookbytes

Earl – The Chronicles Of A Childrens Book Writer

Beth – Fueled By Fiction

Emma  – Words and Peace

Jackie –  Jackie’s Forget Me Nots

Heather – Based On A True Story

Beth – Beth’s Book Nook

Kimberly – Costa

Marcee – A Nurse and a Book

Judy – Busy Hands are Happy Hands

Karen – bookertalk

Ann – Books on The Table

Shannon – The Most Happy Reader

Tanya – Girlxoxo

Leslie – Under My Apple Tree

Laura – The Book Junkie

Nicola – Back To Books

Marcilia – Reading In The Tardis

Kai – Fiction State Of Mind

Janet – My Shore Lines

Brona – Brona’s Books

Josh – Just A Guy Who Likes To Read

Emma – Once Upon A Littlefield

MrsK – MrskBookstogo

Shannon – Shannon’s Book Bag

Laurie – Bay State Readers Advisory

Melissa – Melissafirman


Shanny – Shanny Reads

Maddy – Symphony Of Words

Suzanne – Chicks With Books

Lory – The Emerald City

Deb – Readerbuzz

and Me 🙂