Rearview Mirror // May 2016

Well, as of yesterday I am officially retired from my seasonal job at the nursery!  I’m pretty stoked about not working 40+hrs/week anymore.  No set plans for employment in the future – for the summer, I’m hoping to focus on catching up on about a zillion projects here around the house, including (but not limited to) maintaining the huge vegetable garden we planted last weekend, painting virtually every paintable surface on the property, reorganizing closets and other storage areas, sifting through the million pictures we’ve taken in our six years of marriage, and helping my mom with some big stuff she has going on.

And, of course, blogging!  It’s super addictive.  I’m really behind on our house blog, so maybe as the picture situation gets under control, I can actually update some big projects there (like our front porch, which is now screened in and is amazing).

In the meantime, here’s the wrap-up for May!

Favorite May Read:

200-noneI think I’m going with Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None for this one.  It’s just brilliant writing all the way through – in my opinion, one of her best works.

Most Disappointing May Read:

51dnQWQDr5LFor this slot, Dragon Harper wins the prize.  I really felt bad not finishing this series, but Dragon Harper was sooo boring and choppy, with nonsensical plot lines and ridiculously young people running everything, plus not all that many dragons, which are kind of the point of the series…  point being, even though I didn’t want to give up, I just couldn’t wade through another 2000 pages of boringness.  Dragon Harper was a great example of how to take a really great series and just kind of ruin it by being boring and repetitive.  Super disappointing.

It also means that Todd McCaffrey’s Pern books win the Most Disappointing slot for two months running – a rather dubious accomplishment!

Other May Reads:  

  • Dragon’s Fire by Todd McCaffrey and Anne McCaffrey – 1/5 and a close second place for Most Disappointing Read.
  • The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly – 1/5 – a book I wanted to like but just didn’t.  It was depressing, violent, weird, gross, and acted like everything bad that happened to twelve-year-old David was his own fault, instead of the fault of his incredibly selfish dad.
  •  The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly – 3/5 – a tale of absolutely absurd adventure that was still rather entertaining.  And, you know, DRAGONS.
  • Towards Zero by Agatha Christie – 4/5 – putting the murder closer to the end of the book added a whole new level of intensity!
  • The Eternal World by Christopher Farnsworth – 3/5 – a really intriguing premise, but the ending fell off a bit, leaving me conflicted as to whether or not I should seek out another of Farnsworth’s books…???
  • Belle by Cameron Dokey – 3/5 – a pretty unexciting but pleasant retelling of Beauty & the Beast.
  • Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl – 3/5 – close to a 2/5 – not unenjoyable but a story with a pretty muddled plot.
  • Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie – 3/5 – an interesting mystery with an unusual setting, but nothing crazy.

Other May Posts:

  • A-Z of Books – basically, me nattering on about books in my life.

20 Books of Summer:

So this year I’ve officially signed up for Cathy746’s 20 Books of Summer Challenge – I’m pretty excited, actually.  Here’s the link to my (hopeful) list.  And I’ve already finished my first book!

TBR Update:

For those of you who don’t know, I’m weirdly obsessive with organizing the TBR, and have it on a spreadsheet divided into four different tabs:

  • Stand-Alones:  787 (DOWN TEN from 797!)
  • Personal (which includes all books I own, but lists any series I own as only one entry…):  533 (DOWN FIFTEEN from 548!)
  • Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series):  123 (up three from 120)
  • Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series):  51 (up one from 50)

The drop in numbers, if I’m honest, is probably due to a couple of DNFs and also the fact that I have several emails marked with books that need to be added (I get everyone’s book blog entries as emails, and then star the ones I want to add to the TBR  haha) but that I haven’t actually added yet…

Awaiting Review:

I knocked out a bunch with minireviews there right at the end of the month.  One of my summer goals is to review closer to completion so the book is fresher in my mind!!  Only three in the queue right now –

  • Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher (first book in the new series I started)
  • Remembered Death by Agatha Christie
  • House of Thieves by Charles Belfoure