Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 4

Jackson, Tennessee to Hot Springs, Arkansas (where we visited Hot Springs National Park)

Distance: 273 miles (1,528 of 3,156 total miles (48.4% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 4 hours

Temperature Range: 5°F to 25°F

Where we ate: Bubba Brew’s Brewing Company Spa City Taproom

Miles Remaining: 1,628

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 3

Northeast Ohio to Jackson, Tennessee (where we had catfish, po’boys, and steak for dinner)

Distance: 634 miles (1,255 of 3,156 total miles (39.8% of the total trip))

Driving Time: 10 hours (including two rest stops)

Temperature Range: -2°F to 26°F

Where we ate: Redbone’s Grill and Bar

Miles Remaining: 1,901

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 2

Northeast Ohio

Distance: 0 of 3,156 total miles (still 19.6% of the total trip; this was a zero day set aside for visiting family, including my baby niece, for New Year’s Eve)

Driving Time: Not applicable

Temperature Range: -2°F to 12°F

Miles Remaining: 2,535

2017: My Year in Books

Here at the end of 2017, I’m in the midst of my 17th relocation since I graduated high school (and my 23rd move since birth (not including the relocation from my mother’s uterus into the world at large)). That’s a lot of moving when I put it like that. It feels like a dubious accomplishment.

I vowed to make 2017 a travel year, but I didn’t know until November that in addition to the trips we took to California, Utah, Washington, DC, and Spain, we would also be relocating 3,000 miles southwest.

At the time this post publishes, if all goes according to plan, I’m sitting in a rental car with one spouse, two children, one cat, and a box full of muffins and pretzels, driving farther and farther away from the below-zero temperatures of this New England winter. I’ve spent the past few years in New England assembling a wardrobe largely made up of black and gray wool, which I trust will be of great use in San Diego.

Planned and unplanned travel and wardrobe choices aside, 2017 was, as usual, a year of books.

I read 101 books this year. The average (mean) books read per month was 8.41, and the average (mean) per week was 1.94. Total number of pages (according to Goodreads) was 27,931 (76.5 pages per day, 537 per week). Of course since a lot of these were audiobooks, not all of these were pages, per se.

Of these books, 69 were fiction (including children’s books), 10 were memoirs (up 100% from last year), and the remaining 21 were other nonfiction (an increase of nearly 150% from 2016). Of these, 16 were audiobooks and 6 were DNFs.

My Cavalcade of Classics list expired in January with disappointingly few books checked off. I plan to use my TBR List Declutter to help assemble a new, more reasonable Classics list. I’m not terribly skilled at “reasonable” when it comes to books, but it’s a laudable goal and probably something of a spiritual practice. Biblioasceticism or something.

Between Dewey’s and 24in48, I think I hit my readathon stride this year and learned a lot about how to assemble a readathon pile that holds my interest throughout 24 hours of reading.

As 2018 dawns, I am reading White Tears by Hari Kunzru. I predict that the first week of January will be filled with audiobooks, but after that I hope to be able to spend at least a little bit of time with my reading-with-my-eyes books in between house-hunting and connecting with homeschooling groups, orthodontists, veterinarians, pediatricians, dentists, and the myriad other members of our entourage.

 One of the biggest downsides of this late-breaking moving madness (we didn’t know we were moving until November 30; yippee!) is that I didn’t get my usual birthday/Christmas present of five library books selected for me by my spouse. Maybe I can convince him to get me a half-birthday/Christmas-in-June stack of books. Or maybe once we’re in the land of perpetual good weather, I’ll no longer want books as gifts. That would be strange development, indeed, but I rule nothing out anymore.

Below is my book list for 2017, by the month I finished each book. Click on the month name for the “Bookends” for that month, which includes other information about my reading progress throughout the year. I also cross-post most of my reviews on Goodreads. If you’d like to just go straight to Goodreads to see my reviews there, here’s the link to my Goodreads profile. You can also go there to see all 1163 books I’ve read and logged on Goodreads. If you’re not a Goodreads fan, you can check out my collection on LibraryThing instead, although it’s not as up-to-date as my Goodreads (alas).

Read More

Corner-to-Corner Road Trip: Day 1

Central Massachusetts to Northeast Ohio (via Pennsylvania, pictured below)

Distance: 621 miles of 3,156 total miles (19.6%)

Driving Time: 12 hours (should have been closer to 9.5)

Temperature Range: -1°F to 23°F

Miles remaining: 2,535

For those who might have missed our previous cross-country road trip, here’s Day One of our move from Utah to Massachusetts in June 2011.

TBR List Declutter, Issue 27

Craziness is afoot later this month, so during this relatively less hectic time I’m trying to squeeze in some TBR list decluttering for posting during the crunch. Let’s see how I do.

Wondering what this is all about? Check out the introductory post.

Read More

TBR List Declutter, Issue 26

We’ve had our first snow of the year, a good 4-5 inches on the ground and the trees and the rooftops. My children were outside shoveling the driveway with their dad and playing in the snow. They came in laughing and rosy-cheeked. I sat with a cat on my lap and read and ate popcorn and Spanish chocolate and drank La Croix and occasionally looked up to enjoy the snowy outdoors through double-paned glass.

I’m not usually so Scrooge-like about the first snow of the season, but the disinterest does give me an excuse to sit down and go through a few more titles on my TBR. So, silver lining!

Wondering what this is all about? Check out the introductory post.

Read More

TBR List Declutter, Issue 25

This issue of the TBR List Declutter is a bit delayed. I thought I’d gotten wifi at all of the places we were staying on vacation, but it turns out I didn’t. And in coffee shops in León, Spain, no one seemed to be working at tablets or laptops—they were all drinking coffee and eating gratis pastries and talking animatedly to one another (we-ird)—which left me feeling too self-conscious to post from there.

If you want to know the truth, I don’t really feel bad about missing my arbitrary weekly schedule for my TBR List Declutter. I was in Spain, goshdarnit, and it’s difficult to feel bad about anything in Spain, except for the fact that I was exhausted trying to understand and speak Spanish for ten days and traffic circles always make me cry, but in the face of castles and mountains that belong on postcards and cathedrals that also belong on postcards and beautiful, freezing beaches (postcards) and tapas for Thanksgiving (Instagram), I’m certainly not going to feel bad about not posting about books I don’t want to read.

Okay fine, I do want to read some of them. Don’t mind me; I’m just in a whiny mood because of the jet lag. (I know: boo-hoo, no one twisted your arm to go to Spain, did they? No, they didn’t, but that doesn’t make me any less tired.)

Wondering what this is all about? Check out the introductory post.

Read More

Bookends: November 2017

November. Holy moly. November.

It was fun, but oh, so tiring. My family traveled 15 out of 30 days, were in the capitals of three nations, and I lost ten pounds (not intentionally; I always lose weight when I’m traveling and then my son got a stomach virus, and, well, there you are). Sometime I’ll write about all of it (except the stomach virus), but it might have to wait until January. In the meantime, check out my Instagram (see sidebar) for images of our adventures.

In between all of that, I read a few books, and that’s what this is all about. I would have read more if those movies and games on the airplane seat backs weren’t so compelling. I’d say I hope to have more titles to report in December, but December’s going to be a whole different brand of crazy, so more reading is probably too much to ask.

At any rate, here are November’s books:

Read More

TBR List Declutter Week 24

Well, it’s Thanksgiving in the United States, but I’m not celebrating it as I usually do. I’m not going to tell you how I’m celebrating it because I’m writing this three weeks ago, and I’m not sure yet how I’m celebrating it. I’ll have to leave you in suspense until a future post. My eight-year-old would call that a cliffhanger.

Wondering what this is all about? Check out the introductory post.

Titles 231-240: Read More