Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Project Update and BOTY 2013 Progress

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We've moved right past that gut stuffing extravaganza (two dinners was not our best idea) and are currently enjoying (*sarcasm*) some frigid winter weather in our neck of the woods. I'm all for winter, but I'm not a fan of 11 degrees outside...neither are the dogs. The good news is that a 100 lb. Great Dane can be a great foot warmer, especially when she likes to snuggle in her sleep.

I am neck deep in Christmas present projects, but I'm moving along at a decent clip. I have already ran into one project that is taking far longer than I expected. Let's hope that is not a trend. of this evening, this is where the count stands (not too bad for December 6th if you ask me):

Yep...that's right...I am actually half way there. Unfortunately, all of the bigger projects remain. The completion rate will be a lot slower from here out. The goal for the weekend is to complete at least 5 more projects. I have high hopes and big plans. I'd like to have Tyler and Victoria's presents wrapped, boxed and shipped toward Ohio by Monday afternoon. I have one piece left for each of them and then it's ready to roll, so things are looking good.

Switching gears...

As you no doubt already know if you have been following my blog, 2013 has been a bit of a rough year. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that I am very much behind on my goals for books reading this year. I am currently sitting at 46 out of my goal of 64. That's 72%...I currently have a C in reading. For me, that's totally pathetic.

Not only is the reading behind, but I haven't managed a single book review from the books I've read since January 1st. Just sad I tell you. But...all is not lost. I am still planning on completing a bracket and giving you my pick for the 2013 Book of the Year.

Here are the contenders so far:

1. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen: 3 stars
2. The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen: 4 stars
3. Losing Charlotte by Heather Clay: 2 stars
4. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant: 4 stars
5. Escape by Carolyn Jessop: 4 stars
6. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger: 1 star
7. On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah: 4 stars
8. Rasputin's Daughter by Robert Alexander: 3 stars
9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: 5 stars
10. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain: 5 stars
11. The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory: 4 stars
12. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom: 5 stars
13. Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres: 2 stars
14. The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory: 3 stars
15. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot: 3 stars
16. The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue: 2 stars
17. The 19th Wife by Greg Ebershoff: 3 stars
18. The Host by Stephenie Meyer: 4 stars
19. Matched by Ally Condie: 4 stars
20. Crossed by Ally Condie: 3 stars
21. Reached by Ally Condie: 3 stars
22. Delirium by Lauren Oliver: 4 stars
23. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver: 4 stars
24. Requiem by Lauren Oliver: 4 stars
25. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly: 4 stars
26. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly: 4 stars
27. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: 3 stars
28. The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare: 5 stars
29. The Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare: 5 stars
30. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin: 4 stars
31. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen: 4 stars
32. Life of Pi by Yann Martel: 2 stars
33. Deenie by Judy Blume: 2 stars
34. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown: 3 stars
35. Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir: 4 stars
36. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen: 3 stars
37. The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks: 4 stars
38. Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult: 3 stars
39. Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston: 3 stars
40. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: 4 stars
41. Sea Glass by Anita Shreve: 3 stars
42. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks: 4 stars
43. Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark: 4 stars
44. Summer Island by Kristin Hannah: 4 stars
45. The Next Queen of Heaven by Gregory Maguire: 2 stars
46. Strange Bedpersons by Jennifer Crusie: 4 stars

I expect that I might finish another small handful before the year is up. We'll see where the total lands, but for right now I'm planning that only books with 3 or more stars will be entered into the bracket. That way I can use the smaller 32 seeder.

If I really do well and bust out enough books then, I'll leave them all in. (This would require a total of 64, so don't hold your breath.) If I complete a small handful of only really good books, then only books with 4 or 5 stars will be entered. I'm totally playing it by ear.

Why not just enter the 5 star books, you ask? After all, these are clearly the best of the best in my opinion if I rated them at 5 stars. Well...I kind of like the progression. All 4 star books are not created equal. I like to see how then end up ranking. I just find it fun. I may even decide to break things up by category similar to the way that Goodreads does their Choice Awards. We'll see how ambitious I get about things. By December 25th I may just want a few days of napping after the crafting extravaganza.

For now, I'll be updating short reviews for the completed books in groups of 5-10. That way at least you'll have some idea of what these books are about before I start deciding which ones rank higher.

Now...back to the gift making...


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