Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year in Books

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone!  The fun thing about this time of year is getting to read everyone's recaps.  It's nice to get a summary of the past 12 months, to be reminded of some of your favorite reads on other people's blog, or even discover a post or two that were missed...12 months can amount to a whole lot of written words, after all.

As you all know, my posting has dwindled down to barely a post a month.  The reasoning behind that is a post unto itself, which, if I get my act together as I would like, will make its way out of my drafts folder and onto this neglected space soon.  Needless to say, while there has been more than enough to recap in my real life, my blog life hasn't left enough behind to waste anyone's time with.  Instead, I leave you with my reading list for the year.  For me, this is a legit recap; I can look at the title and remember where I was and who I was with when I finished each of these books.  Books 6 through 11 were read on the beach in Mexico while vacationing with Tony.  I started book 28 during my first week in my new job.  These books hold memories for me:

1.  666 Park Avenue, Gabriella Pierce
2.  The Diviners (The Diviners #1), Libra Bray *
3.  Reached (Matched #3), Ally Condie
4.  Changeling (Order of Darkness #1), Phillipa Gregory
5.  Just One of the Guys, Kristan Higgins
6.  Waterfall (River of Time #1), Lisa T. Bergren *
7.  Vanity Fare, Megan Caldwell
8.  The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1), Amanda Stevens
9.  It Had to be You (Chicago Stars #1), Susan Elizabeth Phillips
10.  Midnight on Julia Street, Ciji Ware *
11.  A Cottage By the Sea, Ciji Ware *
12.  Crystal Cove (Friday Harbor #4), Lisa Kleypas
13.  City Girl, Country Vet, Cathy Woodman
14. The Best Man (Blue Heron #1), Kristan Higgins
15.  A Light on the Veranda, Ciji Ware
16.  The Mermaid Collector, Erika Marks
17.  City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4), Cassandra Clare *
18.  The Ashford Affair, Lauren Willig *
19.  Whiskey Beach, Nora Roberts *
20.  Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes, Roisin Meaney
21.  A Royal Pain (Unruly Royals #1), Megan Mulry
22.  Cascade (River of Time #2), Lisa T. Bergren *
23.  Torrent (River of Time #3), Lisa T. Bergren *
24.  Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13), Charlaine Harris
25.  The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman *
26.  The Witch of Little Italy, Suzanne Palmieri-Hayes
27.  Brooklyn Girls, Gemma Burgess
28.  Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walters
29.  The Girls' Guide to Love and Supper Clubs, Dana Bate
30.  Letters from Skye, Jessica Brockmole
31.  Finding Colin Firth, Mia March *
32.  NYPD Red, James Patterson
33.  The Meryl Streep Move Club, Mia March *
34.  Where'd You Go Bernadette, Maria Semple *
35.  If the Shoe Fits (Unruly Royals #2), Megan Mulry *
36.  Winds of Salem (The Beauchamp Family #3), Melissa de la Cruz *
37.  Summerset Abbey (Summerset Abbey #1), T.J. Brown
38.  The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1), James Dashner
39.  The Firebird (Slains #2), Susanna Kearsley *
40.  The Week Before the Wedding, Beth Kendrick
41.  MacNamara's Woman, Lisa Gardner as Alicia Scott
42.  Allegiant (Divergent #3), Veronica Roth
43.  Dark Witch (Cousins O'Dwyer Triliogy #1), Nora Roberts *
44.  Fifty Shades of Gray (Fifty Shades #1), E.L. James *
45.  Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2), E.L. James
46.  Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3), E.L. James
47.  The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2), Kristan Higgins
48.  The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession, Charlie Lovett *
49.  Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Janet Evanovich
50.  Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1), Veronica Rossi *
51.  Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2), Veronica Rossi *
52.  The Heist, Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
53.  My Story, Elizabeth Smart

The books with an asteric (*) next to them were my favorites, and the ones in blue were book club reads.  I was horribly remiss with finishing book club reads this year...were I to add books that had been started, but never completed to this list it would be twice as long and include several more books in blue.
You'll notice a theme with my reading list: I like Young Adult, sci-fi/dystopian society novels, adore series (I get attached to characters), and am a total sucker for anything with a bit of romance.  Feel free to check out my Goodreads account to see what else I've read and what books I can't wait to get my hands on.  You may find some goodies to add to your list, too!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Matthew and Mary

Tonight, I ventured out into the effing cold wintery wonderland that is Northern Colorado in pursuit of BOGO coffee at World Market.  I love when World Market runs this sale, and since I had recently run through my WM coffee stash, it was time to stock up!  Plus, I find it difficult to resist holiday coffees.  (Marzipan-flavored dark roast? Yes please!)  While that was all well and good, the most exciting part of the evening came at the check-out when I was offered a free Downton Abbey tote.  And, not just any Downton Abbey tote, but one with Anna and Mr. Bates on it...be still my heart.  There was no resisting on my part. 

Inspired by the snow, the holiday season, and my new tote, I find myself watching the final episode of Downton Abbey season 2 -- the Christmas episode.  This is, by far, my favorite episode of all 3 seasons.  I know that sounds odd since so much of the episode has to do with the Spanish Flu and possible death, but it's also the episode when Matthew and Mary share a dance and an unexpected kiss; when Anna and Bates finally marry; and when Mary finally opens up her heart to Matthew's proposal.  Christmas and romance all tied up with a British period-piece bow is about as good as it gets in my world.