Monthly Archives: January 2015

Reading and Resolutions

I’m back from my holiday hiatus, perhaps a bit later than most people. For me, the holiday break isn’t a time to put away work for a while. It is a time when I am away from the day job, and therefore can buckle down and get a lot of work done on my writing. I always have a few goals for myself to complete before the students come back to the college campus where I work (which happened this week.)

revisiondesk
The aftermath on my desk after a successful holiday-break-revision-push.

I more or less reached my writing goal for the holiday break. I finished a revision that’s been a struggle for me. I think I’m done, but then, I’ve thought that before. Revision is a process of finding a balance between my vision and the vision of others, and trusting that their vision is sometimes the right one, and that even when I can’t see it, I can reproduce it. And that’s hard. So it takes a lot of tries.

So, the revision is done, or at least at rest until I get some feedback to tell me it isn’t done. And that means I have time to ramble a bit about the end of one year and the beginning of the next.

happycats
The cats have made the same resolution they make every year. More sleeping in the sun. And what do you know, every year they achieve it!

I’m not a resolution maker. Sure, there are things I want to change or adjust in my life. There’s always body fat to be battled and disorganized cupboards that could be cleaned. But I find nothing magical about January that’s going to push me into doing what I haven’t been doing, and anyway, for the first few weeks of the month, I’m busy with more important writing goals.

But I do like looking back on past years, and what I’ve accomplished. In that vein, I thought I’d sum up 2014 with books I read. Unfortunately, I didn’t start keeping track at the beginning of the year, so I’m sure there are a few books missing from my list.

I am an eclectic reader. I like many genres, and I try to read classics that I missed, as well as new books. I try to keep up with what’s going on in middle-grade and YA fiction, since that’s what I write, but I try to read adult books too.

Here, in no particular order, and for no particular reason, are my 2014 reads, as my own way to sum up the year. I can’t say I could pick a favorite. It was a good year for reading–I didn’t meet a book I didn’t like this year:

  • STRANGE SWEET SONG by Adi RuleStrange Sweet Song
  • SIRENSĀ  by Janet Fox
  • KAFKA ON THE SHORE by Haruki Murakami
  • LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH by Jennifer Holm
  • SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo
  • BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson
  • COUNTING BY SEVENS by Holly Goldberg Sloan
  • NAVIGATING EARLY by Clare Vanderpool
  • THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield
  • CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein
  • ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell
  • DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor
  • ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman
  • JEWEL OF THE THAMES by Angela Misri
  • THE OTHER WAY AROUND by Sashi Kaufman
  • RADIO GIRL by Carol Brendler
  • KISSING SHAKESPEARE by Pam Mingle
  • A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN by Betty Smith
  • THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexandre DumasALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman cover
  • RHYME SCHEMER by Kari Ann Holt
  • DIRTBIKES, DRONES, AND OTHER WAYS TO FLY by Conrad Wesselhoeft
  • THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tart
  • GOBLIN SECRETS by William Alexander
  • GRAVE IMAGES by Jenny Goebel
  • THE RUNAWAY KING by Jennifer Nielsen
  • THE FLAME THROWERS by Rachel Kushner
  • THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton
  • VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD by Lauren Sabel
  • FUTURE FLASH by Kita Murdock
  • GLANCING THROUGH THE GLIMMER by Pat McDermott
  • FINN FINNEGAN by Darby Karchut
  • GIDEON’S SPEAR by Darby Karchut
  • THE SUN KING by Nancy Mitford

Now on to 2015, another year of reading, reaching, writing, and living with cats. Happy New Year, everybody!