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Books 1-11

1) The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison
The Hollows series. (my review)

2) In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
Quite a good book about an American family in Germany during Hitler's rise (my review)

3) The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
What if the rapture happened but no one believed it was the rapture? (my review)

4) The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obrecht
Something like a folk tale told in several different perspectives (my review)

5) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Funny in spots, but kinda lost it towards the end (my review)

6) Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg
His fictional story in between chapters was probably the best part (my review)

7) Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell
I had a horrible time getting this from the library and I kinda wish I hadn't (my review)

8) Hit List by Laurell K Hamilton
Good and Ugly. (my review)

9) Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
This one was a funny one (my review)

10) Naked Heat by Richard Castle
How did I not know that Castle had books??  (my review)

11) White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison
another good Hollows book (my review)

Books 33 - 46

33) A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (my review)
Little slow but still very good.

34) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (my review)
Excellent book detailing the woman behind the HeLa cells

35) Limitless by Alan Glynn (my review)
The one instance I thought the movie IMPROVED the book.

36) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson (my review)
I missed something. This felt like an endurance test and I failed (loved the movie though)

37) Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl (my review)
Foodie book from the food critic of the NY Times

38) Diane: A Signature Life by Diane von Furstenberg (my review)
Quite the life she has led....and love her wrap dresses!

39) Born Standing Up by Steve Martin (my review)
I believe this is best as an audiobook since he plays the banjo for ya

40) Bag of Bones by Stephen King (my review)
Re-read because I love it so much

41) 11/22/63 by Stephen King (my review)
Quite a huge and good book about a time blip that helps a teacher stop the JFK assassination

42) A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (my review)
Better than I thought it would be, I enjoyed how it was put together

43) The Front by Patricia Cornwell (my review)

44) Shakespeare by Bill Bryson (my review)
Love Bryson and love Shakespeare

45) Stardust by Neil Gaiman (my review)
LOVE and loved the movie

46) Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs (my review)
Not the best Brennan book, but still a good read

Books 21 - 32

21) Buried Prey by John Sanford
Old case takes us to the start of Davenport (my review)

22) Official Book Club Selection by Kathy Griffin
Funny stuff. Listening to her read it was probably better than just reading it myself (my review)

23) The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
I only read this because of his appearance on The Daily Show. Good book to see if you're crazy! (my review)

24) Storm Front by Jim Butcher

25) French Woman Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano
Seriously, I've lost 7 pounds .... and I didn't even follow all of her suggestions (my review)

26) Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
LOVE her. (my review)

27) The Devil's Cloth by Michel Pastoureau
It could have been much more than it was (my review)

28) You Grow Girl by Gayla Trail
Pretty decent gardening book (my review)

29) A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
WHY am I so late to this game? (my review)

30) Side Jobs by Jim Butcher
Gearing up for Ghost Story (my review)

31) Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
Not a great start but I got hooked  (my review)

32) In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan

Trippy (my review)


Harry Potter tonight! Midnight! The end of a 12 year journey.



I'm not sure how to categorize today. It was good and bad and good and eh.

I started reading a new book this weekend - French Women Don't Get Fat. Thanks to my thyroid (or the lack thereof) I've gained more weight than I ever have. I exercise on the treadmill, intensely, and barely lose a pound. The CSA I'm part of is helping me to eat healthier and learn new recipes. I had already decided to just be fine with my new shape and move on when I remembered I had this book. It took a miracle but I found it in my stacks (1,100 books and counting now).  It's not a diet, but a plan. An idea. So I started today. The first step is to write down every drink/food that you ingest for 3 weeks. Calories don't matter, just portions, time of day, and what it is. Looking over my list today...boy howdy, I drink a lot of tea. No wonder I'm up peeing all day.


After 3 weeks starts the re-training your body for 3 months. I don't expect to lose weight but I do expect to eat better, with reasonable portions. I already cook almost everything so that helps.

My work laptop finally keeled over and died. Right in the middle of a big project. I think our IT guy managed to save my files. Plus side, using the tower in my office, I'm "forced" to look out the window at the lake. Darnit.

I called the strawberry farm here in Anderson and reserved 2 quarts of fresh strawberries. $4 a quart. I started eating some on the way home. Seriously, what is better than sun-ripened fresh berries?? I ended up throwing together a sweet cream base of ice cream and added in a cup of berries. It's churned and now freezing in my freezer. The initial taste test? OMG.

I ended up doing 40 minutes of pilates from a DVD. Towards the end I could only gape at my TV and yell "Are you kidding me??" But I vow that someday I will be that strong and flexible. Until then, I will yell at the TV. I'm going to be sore tomorrow.

I made Tuscan white bean soup (from a package, alas) tonight and am having a glass of red wine. I deserve it.

I have actual claw marks running down my leg. You would think I would know better than to rough house with an 85lb lab, but yet, I apparently didn't. The scratches don't hurt but both lines are turning a dark purple.  It's going to look stunning this week when I wear my dresses.

My neighbors have chickens. Possibly a 4H project.  I don't speak to the neighbors, nor they to me. But working outside yesterday I noticed that they let the chickens loose to clean the coop. No big deal. Until I saw a chicken running around my backyard. Somehow he got through the fence and the boy had to come get him.  Weird. Magic chicken. The coop REEKED and I ended up coming back inside. REEKED. GAG INDUCING. They really should clean it more often.

I took my last test for school and now have 2 weeks to refresh myself for the final. Almost. Done.

Sorry for the non-linear post.


Books 6-20

6) For A Few Demons More by Kim Harrison
This series is really growing on me. And yet, I'm so far behind (my review)

7) On The Line by Eric Ripert
It was cool seeing Ripert and Bourdain live and this is a great behind the scenes of a restaurant (my review)

8) Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
I find his books easier to be entertained by if he reads them to me (my review)

9) Doctor Who: The Jade Pyramid by Martin Day
My first Doctor Who book. Quite fun! (my review)

10) Twelve Red Herrings by Jeffrey Archer
Entertaining short stories that contain red herrings (my review)

11) Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell
Another audiobook. The annoying characters seemed to fade to the background (my review)

12) Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
Self help book to encourage you to quit wasting time (my review)

13) A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Love this man and his books (my review)

14) Gravity by Tess Gerritson
Pretty good little mystery/thriller (my review)

15) Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore
Another well read audio book. Very funny! (my review)

16) Fierce by Kelly Osbourne
Short audiobook with Kelly's tips for life (my review)

17) Bossypants by Tina Fey
Hilarious audiobook! Listen to it! (my review)

18) The Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats by Sgt. David Haynes and blogger Christopher Garlington
Librarything's Early Reviewers. Best places in Chicago to eat at (my review)

19) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Librivox audiobook. Sometimes you need to go back to your childhood (my review)

20) Dark Horse by Tami Hoag
Shady world of horses (my review)

Zen and the art of.....

I've been listening to a lot of Buddhist lectures lately and the overwhelming theme of them has been about paying attention to the world, yourself, and others and quit trying to get material things to make one happy. Everyone has those thoughts: if I lose weight, I'll be happier. If I find a mate, I'll be happier. If I win the lottery, I'll be happier. In reality, those things don't make you happier. You're the same person, but thinner, with a mate and some money. Most people have the running commentary in their brains, the one that criticizes everything you do, tells you all the lies of the If you only had.... and most of us believe that voice.

The only thing that can make you happier is you. No outside source can make you happy. You have to be happy with you. Why is this such a difficult concept? One of the suggestions I heard was- when things start getting out of control, that stupid little voice in your head starts in and won't shut up and everything just seems to be going to shit (my words, not the Buddhist guys) then just stop. For 1 minute. Stop everything and just sit there. I tried this a few times this week and it really did shut everything up. You can collect yourself and move on.

I've always done the "I should be this type of person" conversation with myself. I keep hearing from other people what I should be. And you know, screw it. I am just me. There's no shoulds, there's no I need to get married, I need to do this better, I need to try harder at this. I'm getting tired of berating myself for being who I AM instead of who I think I should be. I don't even think I would like the Should-Be Amanda. Screw her.

I downloaded the new Amanda Palmer cd and found this song. How appropriate that I heard it this week, in the midst of all my thought-tornadoes.

in my mind 
in a future five years from now
i’m 120 pounds 
and i never get hungover
because i will be the picture of discipline
never minding what state i’m in 
and i will be someone i admire
and it’s funny how i imagined that i would be that person now
but it does not seem to have happened 
maybe i’ve just forgotten how to see
that i’m not exactly the person that i thought i’d be
and in my mind 
in the faraway here and now
i’ve become in control somehow 
and i never lose my wallet
because i will be the picture of discipline
never fucking up anything 
and i’ll be a good defensive driver
and it’s funny how i imagined that i would be that person now
but it does not seem to have happened 
maybe i’ve just forgotten how to see
that i’ll never be the person that i thought i’d be
and in my mind 
when i’m old, i am beautiful 
planting tulips and vegetables
which i will mindfully watch over
not like me, now 
i’m so busy with everything
that i don’t look at anything
but i’m sure i’ll look when i am older
and it’s funny how i imagine that i could be that person now
but that’s not what i want, if that’s what i wanted then i’d be giving up somehow
how strange to see that i don’t want to be the person that i want to be
and in my mind 
i imagine so many things 
things that aren’t really happening
and when they put me in the ground, i’ll start pounding the lid
saying “i haven’t finished yet –
i still have a tattoo to get
that says ‘i’m living in the moment’.”
and it’s funny how i imagined that i could win this winless fight
but maybe it isn’t all that funny that i’ve been fighting all my life
but maybe i have to think it’s funny if i wanna live before i die
and maybe it’s funniest of all to think i’ll die before i actually see
that i am exactly the person that i want to be
fuck yes
i am exactly the person that i want to be

2011: 1-5

1) The Universe in a Single Atom by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Fairly intense science vs Buddhism speak from HHDL (my review)

2) Persuasion by Jane Austen
Part of the CraftLit podcast, I found I actually enjoyed this. And I figured I would never like Austen (my review)

3) What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz
My last book purchase for a while (my goal this year is to read what I already have) this is Koontz near his creepiest. It's nice to have him back (my review)

4) Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Not a fan, probably because I'm not a romantic (my review)

5) Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall
Enlightening book about our food and how it gets to us. (my review)

Final books of 2010

46) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
EXCELLENT audio book ready by Stephen Briggs (my review)

47) Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen
Ok book about a girl growing up in 80s America after fleeing Vietnam (my review)


My intention for January is to focus on being less distracted. I swear, some days I feel like I'm a hyper sugar-filled child. The entire MONTH of January is going to be working on improving this.

Not sure how yet, besides some meditation work. Will figure that out as I go along.