Remember January 2017 and those resolutions and goals you embraced? Now is the time to reflect back on your success, near success, or utter failure. Although I do try to stay active, I have long ago given up the resolutions to exercise or lose weight, but I have set other goals. This past year I joined the GOODREADS reading challenging, setting my goal at 102 books. There have been years when I have read 125 books and more. When I worked my year end totals were usually around 90, so I thought 102 would be a no brainer.
Well tomorrow is December 31st and I could possibly finish one more book (if I don't sew today or sleep tonight) but it seems that I will end the year at 95 books - 7 off my goal. The GOODREADS tally is a couple books shorter; at sometime I missed entering a book or two. My handwritten list is more accurate, but even that may be missing a book or two. So I came close to my goal but did not hit it. I must confess there have been times during the year when reading was a bit tedious and it took second place to other activities.
So will I set a new reading goal for 2018? I already have a lengthy list of new titles I want to snatch hold of, and I am considering joining a second book club, so I am definitely still in the reading game.
As the last hours of 2017 approach, here is a recap of some recent reading and listening ( and I do place my audio titles on the "read" list). Last night I finished NOTE YET UNSUNG, the conclusion to Tamara Alexander's Belmont Mansion series. Rebekah Carrington has just returned home to Nashville after 10 years in Europe studying music. With her grandmother no longer alive to protect Rebekah from a stepfather that Rebekah does not trust, she decides to find employment and live independently. An audition with the newly formed Nashville Symphonic Orchestra ends with dashed hopes as the conductor tells her that the world is not ready for female members, leaving Beca to take a job as a private tutor for the daughter of the Belmont estate owner. This book has some carryover from the previous Belmont novels, but it had been months and months since I read the other books and I had no trouble following this book. A trip home to the isolated Tennessee mountains by conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb adds another layer to this story which centers around the love of music and pursuing one's dreams.
IN SUCH GOOD COMPANY, a fast paced memoir by Carol Burnett was a delightful audio title that I enjoyed while driving this past month. Read by Carol herself, her reminiscing took right back to her variety show and all the hilarious skits I enjoyed along with family in the late 60's and 70's.
MAKE YOUR BED: Little Things that Can Change Your life is a short self-help book by Navy Seal Admiral William H. McRaven which begins with a chapter on making your bed. After being married for over 45 years to someone who spent 4 years in the Navy, I know about a well made bed (and a Navy shower). Long story short, no matter how badly your day goes, you have accomplished something if you started your dad with a made bed! I believe much of what Admiral McRaven says in this book is drawn from a graduation speech he gave at his college Alma mater. I listened to this book.
HOME FIRES: The Women's Institute at War 1939-1945 (published first as JAM BUSTERS) by Julie Summers. Have you seen the PBS series HOME FIRES which follows the women of a rural British village during WWII? Members of the international organization known as the WOMEN'S INSTITUTE, the ladies work together to see that the town has a safe bomb shelter, that refugee children from the cities have homes, and that food sources are wisely used. Being a television series, family stories of hardship, romance, and more make the show watchable. The book, however, is equally fascinating in a more scholarly way. Author Summers gathered all kinds of statistics and personal stories to give a well deserved homage to the sacrifices and efforts women all over Great Britain gave toward the war effort. Mass preservation of fruits and vegetables, carried out in British homes and meeting places, kept both families and troops fed. Recycling of even the smallest amounts of metal, glass, and paper served the war effort. I was amazed at the detail Summers went into; and equally amazing is that much of the information came from the diaries, journals and calendars of country women who never thought that their thoughts would be made part of history. Since this lengthy book was so packed with facts, unusual British village names, and statistics, it took me several months to finish the book. I would listen for a while and then put the title aside for a bit, then come back to it when time allowed. Truth be told, I sometimes started listening to this title thinking it would be put me to sleep. However, most times its appeal kept me awake for more than a hour before I tired enough to doze off.
Time to end my blogging for 2017 and sneak in some sewing room time. Wisconsin will end the year with arctic cold temperatures, but the wishes from my heart are warm. Wishing everyone a great 2018.