Saturday, December 28, 2013

Blog Redo

The end of the year is creeping up and it is time for a new start.  Sounds poetic but actually, January 1 seems pretty much like December 31 to me.  I gave up resolutions a LONG time ago and my mother pretty much killed the black-eyed pea tradition when .... well, let's just say one year we didn't have such good luck after eating said peas.  So, no peas, no resolutions, just one day to the next but I am going to give my blog an overhaul.  I have been looking through the various sites that supply backgrounds and templates and such but I think I still like putting up my own photos.  I don't know, the choices are endless and I get bored easily so it is easier to be able to change things up with photos.  We will see.  I will probably add more lists -- mostly for my own reference and -- oh who knows -- maybe I will surprise myself and go all fancy schmancy.  It will be fun!  But, anyway, if you come around here and it looks all wonky don't go away -- I will get it fixed.
2013 Reading Challenge and a Book Review

The year 2013 is rapidly coming to a close.  Most would say I should be grateful for that since this year has been a bit challenging in other areas than reading.  However, I don't feel that way.  I feel that every day is a blessing with it's own work to be done and it's own promise to be enjoyed.  I find that as I am getting older the days pass way to quickly  with too much time spent on meaningless endeavors.  But, as has been said in the past, all good things must come to an end and I guess that means 2013 as well.  Unfortunately that also means the Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge.  However, the 2014 Reading Challenge is just around the bend and I am already looking forward to that.

I signed up for 20 books to be read in the 2013 challenge however, I surpassed that by 6.  It was easy to do since some of my books were actually audio books that I listened to on my daily commute.  Loved listening to them and I found it made me a better driver because I would slow down so I could listen to more of the book!  One of the books is not on my Goodreads list as it just wouldn't load.  I have no idea what I was doing wrong but it didn't work but trust me, I read it.  I think my 2014 Challenge will be about the same.  I will commit to 20 books and see how it goes. 

My last book in this years challenge is "13 Little Blue Envelopes"  by Maureen Johnson.  It isn't usually the sort of thing I read but it was the first in my Nook queue so I decided to give it a go.  I actually enjoyed it although I found it sad in a few places but I think that is due to personal identification with "Aunt Peg" who reminded me so much of my Aunt Linnie.  I thought the concept of the book was really clever -- it progressed the main character -- Ginny -- through her adventures quite well and it didn't seem awkward.  I will say that in the beginning of the book the adventures seemed to have more "meat" to them and the last few adventures seemed to be hurried through -- not as much "adventure" but all in all it flowed nicely.  It ended nicely but rather abruptly and I do think you could see some personal growth in Ginny.  However, I think there were some things left unfinished -- perhaps room for a sequel.  Don't know how that would work but I guess you never know.

I would recommend this book as a light read.  It isn't a long book and it did keep calling me back so it held my interest. 

I also signed up for the "Pre-1960 Classic Children's Book Challenge" and I didn't do as well with that but it did spark my interest in the Nancy Drew books again.  I decided to try a series on this challenge and I started with the Bobbsey Twin books.  They were fun to read but didn't really grab me so I decided to revisit the Nancy Drew Books.  I had tried to read them as a child but they didn't hold my interest.  I was much more interested in the works of Kate Seredy, Lois Lenski and Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I even had a subscription to the Nancy Drew Book Club where I would receive a new book each month but I still couldn't get into them.  I am happy to say that I absolutely loved reading them in my old age and am going to try to read the entire series.  Don't know how that will work because I am going to want to actually buy the physical book because a part of it is actually owning the whole series but I will see how it goes.  All in all, I read two Bobbsey Twin books and three Nancy Drew books.  I am looking forward to the next ND book in the series as soon as I can go get it!

 That is the end of my reading challenge for this year.  I think I did pretty well.  I found authors new to me that I really liked and I discovered audio books which were quite enjoyable.  I think I will only sign up for one official challenge next year but I have set a few personal goals for myself which I will discuss in another blog entry. 

So, for anybody reading -- have a fantastic New Year! See you on the flip side!