Books, books, books… I love to read books.
I am just about to finish the highly acclaimed novel, The Help, which is about black women who work as maids for white women in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi. You might imagine the repressed, unjust circumstances they were working in — a far cry from today’s world. I can hardly put it down it is so historically revealing and honest. When I am finished I plan to see the movie, which is how I do things — book first, then movie.
Since I am almost finished reading it, I got to thinking about what would be next on my reading list. I am hoping I can finally check-out The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest from the public library, but I have been waiting for it to be available for months now. I would just go out and buy it, but since I read the first two books in the trilogy from the library I figure there is no sense buying the third. Plus, I am trying to turn over a new leaf when it comes to books. In the past, I had to buy the book. I had to go to bookstores, turn the pages of a brand new book as I read, and then admire the book on my bookshelf when I was done reading it. Well, since my bookshelf is getting full and my house is getting smaller everyday with all these toys floating around, I have become a regular at the public library. This is one of my new favorite things to do economically and intellectually. I am yet to read a book online though. I gotta have it in my hands.
As I consider the books I have read over the last year, my list includes:
1. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Steig Larsson
3. Bittersweet by Danielle Steele (had to read something happy and light after The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo)
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
6. The Best Advice I Ever Got by Katie Couric
7. A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
8. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
9. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson
10. Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult
11. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
13. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
14. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (started in 2011, will finish in 2012)
Last year was primarily a year of Steig Larsson and J.K. Rowling, which is how 2012 will start… but then what will I read? I am considering The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and possibly 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, but these are just a few ideas. Any suggestions?
First on my 2012 list includes:
1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larsson
2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowlings
3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowlings
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowlings
I might have to read something in between the next three Harry Potter books though. I like to space out my wizarding tales. Then I need to watch all seven movies. Currently, I have only seen the first two. I guess I like to space out my wizarding movies, too.
Aside from my 2012 reading list I began to think a little more broadly about other 2012 goals… with regard to reading, writing, running, parenting, travel, and other goals. I guess you could sort of view these goals as resolutions, but I prefer to use the term goals. For some reason, I am one of those people who says “oh, I do not make New Year’s resolutions,” while in fact I kind of do. It is in my nature to reflect on where I have been and look toward where I want to go next in life. In addition, I am naturally a very goal-oriented, list-making person so these little progress assessments keep me chugging. A new year is the obvious time to create new goals and lists. And I am always hearing how if you really want to accomplish your goals you should write them down.
Allow me to share a loose draft of some new goals for this year that I would otherwise keep private. But since I have a blog and a suitable venue to share I will do so in list fashion…
Reading — Read 12 books in 2012.
Writing — Continue posting stories on my blog at least once/week, revamp my blog (i.e. make it better), get more subscribers, edit the book I wrote in November, reach out to some local publications and try to make some side money writing, and collaborate with other writers (anybody out there?).
Arithmetic — Ok, I do not really have any arithmetic goals (other than simple math I do on my runs), but it seemed to come next in line… get it? Reading, writing, and arithmetic! Never mind.
Running — I am not sure yet on this one. No big races/events I am training for right now so I guess “maintenance running” would be good. Also, Jan & I are finally breaking down and buying a jogging stroller so we can run together… even though neither one of us still wants to push the darn stroller. But I think it will be good for us this spring/summer. I know Lance will like it, too.
Parenting — Taking care of Lance is my main job right now since I am a PhD drop-out (maybe temporarily, maybe forever) and otherwise unemployed. This is also a rather broad topic beyond the obvious… like keeping him clothed, bathed, fed, healthy, and safe… so I will just note a few things that come to mind… I want to continue taking him to Kindermusik once a week, reading to him more often now that he is becoming more interested in books, taking him to story hour at the library, playing with him, talking to him, singing to him (within the confines of my own home), spending time outside with him, getting him to use a sippy cup, and keeping him curious and healthy. No need to put any pressure or huge expectations on him or I right now. We have a good thing going so far.
Travel –Believe it or not, I think I might want to try to stay home a little more this year. After writing about our 2011 year of travel, I was exhausted. That was a ton of traveling — staying home and taking it easy a little more might be wise. So… my travel goal is to stay home the rest of this month, then go on no more than one trip/month. Obviously, I still love to travel and it will be hard for me to stay home for more than a few weeks at a time without feeling the urge to go somewhere, but one trip/month seems reasonable. Not outrageous, yet not boring. We’ll see how it goes.
Other — Since I will be staying home more (or so I think) this year I would like to catch up on organizing and printing some of my pictures, get an iMac computer to use for my pictures/blog/writing, resume my German lessons (using my iMac), and become more involved locally. I already have a few things lined up in that regard. I am planning to start going to a Mom’s group once/month (went this a.m.!), I just joined the Junior Wednesday Club of Danville, and I am starting as a reader/communion assistant next month at my church.
From the looks of it, 2012 is going to be another great year now that I have made a few lists. I love lists. I think I will make more lists in 2012, too, which is a nice attainable goal in case I do not accomplish some of the other ones.
In other random news (this would be the “and more” part of this post as depicted in the title)…
– Lance, the one-year-old big boy, loves to give his new stuffed lion named Lenny huge hugs. He totes him around the house now by the leg and will stop to give him the occasional hug (tackle-style). It is the cutest thing. Seriously. I need to catch it on video. I think I will try later. Then I will post it. If it turns out decent. Ok, I am done talking about Lance, Lenny, and tackle-style hugs.
– Our heater broke last week. What a drag. Yesterday our landlord finally sent a heater fix-it man. He had to order a part from Chicago that arrived today. This afternoon he fixed it. Our heater now works. I am singing praises. In my warm, toasty house.
– I cut five inches of my hair off yesterday because I felt the urge. Well, actually, Jerry my eccentric stylist cut five inches of my hair off yesterday. Now it is short, sassy, and oh-so-much lighter.
Last thing for today —
Without being too sentimental, I would like to extend a HUGE THANK-YOU to all of my subscribers and readers today. I began writing this blog last summer as a creative outlet alongside my Mommyhood duties and have grown to enjoy it so much. I made my first post on July 7, 2011 and since then have made 50 posts (this one is #51… yippee!). I am motivated to continue writing, growing, and learning this year through my stories — and your readership means the world to me! I truly love to write and feel inspired to continue this year and see where it leads me…
Until post #52, I love ya readers!
The Banter Lady… who is off to finish reading The Help…