bookishwench: (DruSpike theme match)
Yeah, I know, the new year is now nearly a week old, but I wanted to process some of the last year.

In 2014, my health did get better. I started off fairly terrified, but the prednisone did work pretty well. I had to juggle side effects and weird vitamins and blood tests and EMGs and an MRI and got cataracts, but overall I'm doing decently now. I'm not 100% for a regular person, but I'm pretty close to what I think is probably going to be 100% for me. Even that's an adjustment, but I'll definitely take it.

Tinkerbell died in July, of course, which was deeply sad, particularly since it was so abrupt. After a few months, we adopted Captain Hook and Chaka (now Crookshanks), and they're wonderful friends. Of course nothing will ever replace Tink, but the Captain and Crooky make it a lot less lonely around here.

I got the chance to teach a non-composition literature course in 2014, which was fun (I'll be repeating that next semester as well). Connected to that, I read a heck of a lot more than I have for a while, with Goodreads totaling it at 119 books (12,993 pages). I also wrote a bit more than I have in the preceding 2 years, actually completed a chapter of Shadowed Lives, and wrote Yuletide treats. So that went pretty well.

I turned 40, which is better than the alternative.

I applied for a full position at my college and was turned down without even an interview. While that was both depressing and made me angry, it also put a few things in perspective so far as what I can expect out of the upper echelons at the other campus, which actually suggests that maybe it was a good thing I didn't get the job there. I did get very nice letters of recommendation for people who were quite highly regarded (a teacher of 35 years, a doctor I worked on a education project with, the national head of a charity, the director of a library, etc.), so that did make me feel a bit better.

I finished paying off my car, and I used that savings in part to upgrade to a smart phone since I was starting to need more options just for my job (for example, if there's an emergency like a fire or a closed road on campus, that's sent out via text to staff, which I really didn't have).

I finally learned all the kana in Japanese, and I now know about 70 kanji as well, so that's moving along okay.

I actually got to meet one of the Snert Slayers I've known for 14+ years, my friend Mina who came into town for a couple days. I was really happy about that.

I started lectoring at church and was on the ballot for the parish council. I didn't get that (which is decided via picking out of a hat), but I have been asked to join the worship commission. Still debating that one.

I taught a college seminar for seniors on fairy tales, and they really seemed to enjoy it. I've been invited back for the next session as well, so I'm looking forward to that (a lot of work, and no actual money, but fun).

So, even though there were some sad, bad, or scary things in 2014, the overall outcomes actually were pretty good. That's a good thing.

So, having mentioned the books I read, I'm going to give a quick top ten list of the best books I read in 2014 below the cut )
bookishwench: (Bookish wench)
I bought 17 22 books for still less than what one new paperback would have cost. I feel little guilt, though I can't figure out where I'm going to put all of them...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Red Tent
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
The Road
The Lovely Bones
Eat, Pray, Love
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
The Kite Runner
The Help
Atonement (can you tell they had a lot of extra book club selections available?)
The Art of Handmade Flowers
Treasured Recipes from the Charleston Cake Lady
Nightjohn
Winnie the Pooh (weirdly, I have never read this)
The Legendary Past: Roman Myths
The Night before Christmas (pop up edition)
College Algebra
Heloise and Abelard: A New Biography
Quiet as a Nun (it's Antonia Fraser, and I've loved her biographies)
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters
Ben Franklin's Wit and Wisdom
bookishwench: (Bookish wench)
Stolen from an article posted by [livejournal.com profile] petzipellepingo. There are some weird omissions on this list. Bolding ones I've read in total, italicizing ones I've read in part.

list )

Still seems weird that the diary of Anne Frank, Life and Death in Shanghai, and Origin of Species aren't on here.

ETA: Okay, the website stipulates these written in English since 1923, which rather belies the "all-time" title, but I think Life and Death in Shanghai was originally written in English. It does explain Frank and Darwin, though.
bookishwench: (DruSpike theme match)
Taken from [livejournal.com profile] petzipellepingo, chosen via reader vote. For the heck of it, I'm bolding what I've read and italicizing what I've seen as a film since almost all of these have a movie version, many of them classics.

I've read very, very few. )
So, read 7, saw 15.

Also, a companion list of Wiki's Top 100 Mystery Novels of the Last 100 Years

Same deal, bold I read it, italics I saw it )

Read 7 (with another coming soon), saw 12.

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