All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

The Big Three Five

It’s been a pretty big week here. Last Thursday, this happened: img_4594My littlest fella started school. I’d posted here before about some of the concerns I had about it. He’s shy and lacks self confidence and he’s going to an extremely large school. There are fifteen classes of kids his page, that’s about 250 kids in his year alone and the school goes to year 9. So it’s super big. The first morning he was excited but when we got to school he was very nervous and unsure. Unfortunately for us, the first morning was a bit of a disaster. When we had to leave, he was sobbing  – basically our worst nightmare. We felt that everything that could go wrong for him in the first few minutes did and sometimes he can be hard to bring back once he’s lost his confidence in what he’s doing. They had someone with him (an aid or helper teacher maybe) when we left and we thought he was going to have the worst day. But when we picked him up he was beaming and full of excitement, babbling about all the things they did. Thankfully once he calmed down he obviously had a fantastic day. The second day routine was much better for him and now he’s had four awesome days. He seems to really enjoy the learning aspect of school, which we expected. He’s genuinely excited to go and he loves his teacher.

He looks so grown up in his school uniform. I could just about cry every time I see him to be honest.

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But it’s not all bad. Yesterday I turned 35 and had the first “child free” birthday with my husband since 2008! We decided – well to be honest decided – to go out for a “grown up” sort of lunch! A nice bar/restaurant place opened a couple weeks ago nearby, I’d been hearing a few things about it, seeing a few pics on social media so I thought we might go and check it out. I’m not much of a drinker – never have been. But I’d seen pics of the martinis they do. There’s a huge range, from espresso to nutella to white chocolate to apple to lychee and probably a bunch more. Originally I’d really wanted to try an espresso one but when we got there I changed my mind and went for the apple martini. I wanted something fresh and this was a perfect choice. This is literally the first martini I’ve ever had in my entire life and I thought it was delicious. I can’t wait to go back and try more! Although can I just say how unsteady those glasses are? Every time I picked it up I had to be incredibly careful or I’d have worn that drink. Maybe it’s a ploy because there’s no way that drunk people don’t spill half of every drink they buy in a glass like that!

img_4636Food was amazing….I had a club sandwich with beer battered fries. My husband had a Moroccan lamb burger with onion rings. He doesn’t even like onion so I thought he might give me the onion rings and I’d hand over my fries. But no. He ate them! That’s how good they were.

img_4635And another pic of my drink, because why the heck not?

Turning 35 felt kind of weird. Normally I don’t really care a whole lot about my birthdays. Some people find turning 30 hard but I didn’t think anything of it at all. In fact I can’t even remember my 30th birthday. Don’t even think I did anything in particular for it. I had a 4 month old at the time, so maybe that’s why! But for some reason, turning 35 felt like one of those ‘milestone’ birthdays. Perhaps it was triggered by a message from my younger brother who advised me that I was now on the path to 40. Technically it’s true although I do have a few years to go before I get there! It’s funny, there’s 3 years and 7 months between us and when we were kids, I adored the time of the year I was 4 years older than him. I would have a birthday in Feb and then until September I would be 4 years older. Then he’d have a birthday and I’d only be 3 years above him in age. Now it’s kind of the opposite! He always hated being the younger one, now he loves reminding me how much older than him I am!

It made me think about things….like what do I have to show for 35 years of existence? I don’t feel 35. Recently a friend of mine tagged me on facebook in an old school picture she found. It was year 7 and we are both 12. The thing that struck me about it was my oldest kid is only four years younger than I was in that picture. It didn’t seem possible that it’s been 23 years since that picture. The fact that I have an 8yo is what cemented how long ago it truly was. I can remember the days when 40 felt positively ancient and now it’s my next “milestone”. I understand the whole 40 is the new 30 thing, because when I was younger 40 felt so positively grown up, like you were almost retired or something. Now I suspect 40 is going to feel very much like ‘now’ does. And half the time I still live like I’m 21 and at university, eating inappropriate food for breakfast.

What does this have to do with books? Well, there’s a connection. What do you get a book blogger for her birthday? Books or money to buy books! The Friday before my birthday I went shopping with a few things in mind that I would’ve liked. Mostly it was a fail but I did find this:

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Victim Without A Face by Stefan Anheim. This is the first in the Fabian Risk series. I received the second one for review but I’m a bit precious about reading series books out of order or with no background when they contain the same characters. I’m okay with it in romance series connected by a town or something where the ‘couple’ changes each book. But with crime series’ quite often there’s continuity and background. This was a bit of a random find, I wasn’t really looking for it but when I spotted it I decided to grab it. I’ve already started reading it….I’m about 100p or so in and it’s gruesome and quite intriguing. Scandinavian crime is decent.

I was intending to hunt down Traitor To The Throne by Alwyn Hamilton but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Nor did I have much luck in finding the types of clothes I wanted to buy (shorts that didn’t have half my ass hanging out, maxi skirts) so I think I’ll plan a trip into the city at some stage soon to buy lots of books and things to wear. Well that’s the plan anyway. How come when you have money to spend you can never find anything to buy but when you don’t there are so many things you wish you could?

 

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August and 2011-Progress Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 24
Fiction: 22
Non-Fiction: 2
Library Books: 19
Books On My TBR List: 5
Books in a Series: 9
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 15
Male/Female Authors: 2/22
Kindle Books: 2
Books I Owned or Bought: 3
Favourite Book(s): The Tall Man, by Chloe Hooper, Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson, Past The Shallows, by Favel Parrett
Least Favourite Book(s): His At Night, by Sherry Thomas, Something Borrowed, by Emily Griffin.
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 4

August was my best reading month of the year so far, I got through 24 books, easily beating my previous best total of 20 for a month. I’m happy to see that I read a couple from my Kindle this month after last month’s total of 0 and also more books that I own – 5 of them came off my shelves or were eBooks that I owned. Still majorly utilising my local library though! I only managed 2 male authors again this month so no real improvement there, in fact probably went backwards as I read more books this month, so more books written by women!

I read another 4 books towards challenges in the month of August – three for the Global Challenge, so I’ve definitely picked up some pace there and one for the What’s In A Name?4 Challenge. Only one title left to read for that challenge, so that’ll be my first challenge completed for 2011. Just need to find a book with something ‘evil’ in the title…

Back in May I did a bit of a wrap up for the first third of the year, reading wise. The second third of the year has now passed. Between the beginning of January and the end of April, I’d read 56 books. Now at the end of August, my total stands at 143, so I’ve read a whopping 87 books between the beginning of May and the end of August. I set myself a goal of reading 175 books this year and I have been reading pretty much non-stop lately which won’t keep up, but I should easily make my target given I only have 32 books left to make it.

How was your reading for August?

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It Was Worth It In The End…. (I Think!)

Please meet….

The bookcase from HELL!

Why is it the bookcase from hell? Wellllllll it arrived in 13 pieces with about two hundred screws/bolts/wooden pegs/other things of which I do not know and no instructions whatsoever. Oh yes, that’s right. Not a single solitary piece of paper to tell you how this monstrosity might be best put together. It’s over six feet tall and over three feet wide and let me tell you, it’s made up of HEAVY parts. I know because I dropped the top of it on my foot. Well actually, it was propped up on it’s side and I knocked it over onto my foot. And I thought my foot was broken for about a week. It went black and purple and hurt like a bitch. Actually still hurts now if I poke it.

So, putting this together proved to be interesting. It almost caused a divorce between my fiance and I and we’re not even married yet. Eventually I washed my hands of it and went in another room and pretended it didn’t exist anymore and Rob continued hammering bits into place and shoving other bits into place and pretending he knew which screws/bolts/other things I don’t know about went where and eventually, it was as it is now. I am however, a little concerned about  this:

They’re the screws/bolts/things I don’t know about that are left over after the bookcase is up. Haha, I hope they’re like, spares or something…. but somehow I don’t think so!

So, anyway. Onto the actual bookcase. Once it was up I took possession of it once again and loved it and claimed it as mine. I figured out it houses roughly 35ish books per shelf, at 6 shelves that’s about 210 books. That leaves about four hundred books that are currently still homeless and living in piles in one of the bedrooms. So we need another two more for them. Plus another one for future books. At $350 each, it may be a while before we acquire them all. Or we also may try to find another version that comes with a frickin idea of how to put it together without killing each other.

Top shelf… consists of entirely TBR books, including The Handmaid’s Tale for Trish’s read-along challenge starting next week.

Second shelf, also all TBR books. Couple for challenges…The Heather Blazing for my What’s In A Name?3 Challenge, Frozen Tracks and Black Mamba Boy are for my Global Challenge 2010. I also dug out Captain Corelli’s Mandolin to have a second go at after reading Shannon’s review recently. She’s convinced me I should go back and give it another shot and actually make it past the first 50 pages. I also have the last book of the Millennium Trilogy which I have been reluctant to start as I’m just not ready to let go of the series yet.

Third shelf… majority are TBR except for the 2 Larsson books, the Irving novel, the Sookie Stackhouse novel and from Middlesex to the end of the shelf. They’re all books I want to read again soon.

Fourth shelf… First half of the shelf is TBR the second half is starting on books that I own and like and wanted to have close by rather than in piles still.

Fifth & sixth shelves… mostly series books. Sometimes I want to read just 1 of a series and it’s easy to have them all together so I can find them rather than having to look around for the exact one that I want. There’s also a bit of room down the bottom so I can rearrange things again when I start getting orders from The Book Depository.

I need to come up with some sort of method of reading my TBR books. At the moment they’re all just there intimidating me with their sheer numbers. Any ideas?

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