Tag Archives: First Book of the Year

let’s try this again: first book of the year, take two

First Book 2016

Apparently, I’m allergic to Virginia Woolf.

Or, at least my copy of A Room of One’s Own.

As I wrote in my previous post, my First Book of the Year selection was to be Woolf’s longform essay on women and writing. Perfect for the beginning of this year, for several reasons.

But as soon as I opened it, I started sneezing.

And sneezing.

And sneezing.

An hour of this. Remnants of the sinus/migraine nonsense from earlier?  Some reaction to the chamomile and mint tea?

“I wonder if this book was in someone’s attic,” I wondered between sneezes.  I’d purchased it a few weeks ago at Half Price Books.

“Get rid of it,” The Husband said. “It’s killing you.”

“But it’s my First Book of the Year.”

I sneezed again.

“You’re not going to make it to your second book of the year if you keep reading that book.”

I checked the library’s website to see if the e-book was available.  (It’s checked out; I put a hold on it.) I checked another library’s catalog.  They don’t own it.

I answered with a sneeze.

The Husband stared at me.

“Get. Rid. Of. It.”

“We’ll sell it — ACHOO! — back,” I said, taking it down to the garage.

In a matter of minutes, my sneezing stopped.

So, we change direction. Pick something else.  Go with Plan B, the book I was planning to read after Virginia Woolf.

Boys in the Trees

Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon.

Now if only I could get the lyrics of “Coming Around Again” out of my head.

Baby sneezes
Mommy pleases
Daddy breezes in
So good on paper 
So romantic 
But so bewildering …. 

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welcoming 2016 with the first book of the year

Happy New Year! I hope that your New Year’s celebrations were enjoyable ones and that this first day of 2016 is going well.

We had a quiet New Year’s Eve at home; I made gluten-free lasagna for dinner, read some poetry and essay collections (Spot the Terrorist by Lori Jakiela; Looking for The Gulf Motel by Richard Blanco, and Remains of Passion by Sarah Einstein) to reach my goal of reading 52 books in 2015. We watched the now-insufferable Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, made it to midnight, and tumbled into bed shortly thereafter.

My head was pounding when I woke up this morning; this would be understandable if I’d had wine with dinner, but I didn’t because all we have in the house is red wine. Ironically, that’s usually a surefire migraine trigger for me.  I wound up going back to bed for a few hours and now, with the assistance of my friend Maxalt and some chamomile tea, am feeling much more like myself.

Which is good, because I had big plans for today.

First Book 2016

I’m thrilled that Sheila from Book Journey is hosting her annual First Book of the Year event. I love this event because I’ve always given a considerable amount of thought to which book will be the first that I read in any given year. I place a great deal of importance on selecting the book that I do, because I feel that the first book can set the tone for a year, whether it is to inspire change or growth or … whatever.

A Room of One's Own

For 2016, I chose A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf as my First Book of the Year. It’s one that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time now, it is my selection for The Classics Club’s current spin as well as The Classic Club’s Women’s Classic Literature Event, and since I own this one, it allows me to Read at Least One of My Own Damn Books. (I say it every year, but reading my own damn books is going to be a focus area for me this year. Really.)

I’m excited about this one.  I’ll let you know if it lives up to my expectations.

(The year and the book.)

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currently … a little christmas, now

Trimming the Tree - Reading Elf

Currently…
Things are getting back to normal after our family’s scare on Thanksgiving.  We’ve had some time to reflect on everything and how close it seemed to having our lives changed forever. I’d like to think I already was appreciative, grateful, thankful, etc. without a medical emergency as a wake-up call and that I wasn’t taking anything or anyone for granted, but this has magnified that. Needless to say, It has been an emotional week (on quite a few fronts, actually).

Decorating…
We decided to put the Christmas tree up yesterday because, as one of my favorite holiday songs goes, we definitely needed a little Christmas in the aftermath of the past week. Every single ornament has some personal, sentimental significance. There isn’t one ordinary ornament on the tree. If I had to choose a favorite, it’s the reading elf that’s pictured above.  I’ve had it forever; it was given to me when I was a young child. We don’t do outdoor lights or much decorating besides the tree.

Reading … 
Thirteen Ways of LookingYou all know how much I love Colum McCann.  I love everything he has written and I think he’s a brilliant author. I’m reading Thirteen Ways of Looking for a review and I am just completely in awe of this man. The title novella is probably one of the best pieces of shorter fiction I’ve ever read.

Listening …
Speaking of short fiction, my current audiobook is The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, which I thought was on my list for The Classics Club, but it isn’t.  The only Hemingway I’ve ever read is The Old Man and the Sea, which was back in high school or something and left me unimpressed (like many people).  I was in the mood for short stories on audio when I picked this up at the library.   Some are better than others.  Of those I’ve read so far, the ones I thought were particularly well-done are “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” “Capitol of the World,” and “Up in Michigan.”

Blogging…
Sheila from Book Journey is planning to host her third annual First Book of the Year event on January 1.  Like Sheila, I always give a lot of thought to the first book I read in any given year. I like it to be something that, in whatever way, sets the tone for the months to come — whether that happens to be related to a goal, something to provide inspiration, or whatever.

ReadMyOwnDamnBooksbuttonI like having my first book of the year be one that I already own, because that gives me a personal sense of accomplishment that at least ONE book from my shelves will be read in any given year. And as luck would have it, there’s a “reading effort” that will help me with this.  Andi from Estella’s Revenge is hosting #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, billed as a “you do you,” choose-your-own-adventure. No rules or requirements except reading your own damn books. So, I’m in … although I don’t know what my personal guidelines will be yet. I may just make it up as I go, with the objective being to read as many from my stash as possible.

If you’re participating in The Classics Club, it’s time to spin! This involves listing “your choice of any twenty books you’ve left to read from your Classics Club list — in a separate post. Tomorrow the organizers will post a number from 1 through 20. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by February 1, 2016. More details are here.

Since I never finished (or even started) my designated book for the last spin I joined, I’m highly tempted to reuse my same list for this go-around.  But it’s worth a revision, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings!

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First Book of the Year 2015

First Book of the Year 2015

For the second consecutive year, Sheila from BookJourney is hosting the First Book of the Year 2015. I’ve always placed a great deal of meaning and importance on selecting the first book to start off a new year, so this event is perfect for me.

I want to focus on my writing this year. I’ve had that as a goal previously, but in a vague and undefined sense. Focus on the writing and Write more don’t quite cut it as goals.

So, this year I am planning to write more. I’m also planning to submit my work to more places and have set a goal of 20 submissions. That’s a huge stretch for me because I rarely submit; I intend to, but … I don’t.  This means establishing a system for myself, being diligent about checking Duotrope and other sites I subscribe to, and generally, being more proactive than I have been. If this is something I want – and I do –  I need to make this a priority.

How does all this relate to my First Book of the Year?

Well, I always like the first book to be something that connects to my New Year’s goals and this year’s is perfect.

It is one that has been on my TBR shelf for a long, long time. (So, it counts for Roof Beam Reader’s Official 2015 TBR Pile Challenge, which I plan on signing up for.)

It’s always recommended to writers by other writers.

It’s quoted all the time.

I admire and respect the author.

And frankly, I really should have read this a long time ago.

Without further ado … my First Book of the Year!

Bird by Bird

I cannot wait to finally read this!

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