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Hello challengers!

February 18, 2012

Wow! So, this blog still gets a ton of traffic even though I slowed down on blogging after my reading challenge and took a sabbatical after Isaac was born.

That’s awesome. I’m so happy that more people are embracing this reading challenge. It really is one of the best reading challenges ever — branching out and forcing myself to read books from around the world has forever changed how I look for books. It also opened up my eyes to how many amazing books never get translated into English — and I am hoping that as technology advances and books (especially on e-readers) become even more ¬†accessible that we can get our hands on books that the Western culture might have missed out on!

If you want to know what I read in 2011, well, check out my Goodreads challenge profile. I read 50 books in 2011. I didn’t have any criteria. I just read! I read a lot of non-fiction last year. And a lot of fiction that I was pretty impressed with.

While 50 books is really quite sad next to the 90-something I finished in 2010, I will say: Two kids is far more draining than one. Like by a million. And I did do far more writing in 2011! I didn’t even touch some of my writing projects while I was on my Around the World quest. But I will say, with EXCITEMENT: I finished the rough draft of a pretty big writing project last December. It’s not great…yet. But it’s finished. And I’m really, really, really, really, happy. When I was doing this Around the World challenge, I didn’t have TIME to write (except for the blog, of course).

If you are looking for my 2011 suggestions, well, I shall oblige.

My favorite “MUST READS” of 2011: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.

And, well, since the last picture you got, Isaac was a few weeks old, here is a recent picture of my little family:




New Review

August 7, 2011

Hello dear book challengers:

I’ve got a new book review up on the Shelbi blog. It’s for a new book by Portland author Deborah Reed called Carry Yourself Back to Me.¬†

Worth checking out:

Also, a few people have asked how the 2011 challenge is going.

Well, before today I had only spent $11.56 — but I went to an author event at one of my favorite book stores and I always really like to purchase books at those things. So, my $28.50 purchase + $11.56 = $40.06.

I have $9.93 left to spend on books in 2011. Hmmmm. Good thing I have a birthday coming up…








Book for Japan

April 22, 2011

Just reviewed a book I read a few years ago that would work for Japan on someone’s reading journey around the world.

Check it out here!

Interesting stuff!

April 17, 2011

Couldn’t resist posting a link to this story — especially since I read Mortenson and Krakuaer last year.

“Three Cups of Tea”: Served with a grain of salt? — story on CNN today.

My review of Three Cups of Tea is here.

If what Krakauer alleges is true (and I’m inclined to believe him over Mortenson — even if the latter had me fooled too), then my review will seem kinda silly.

Thought I’d share!

It isn’t much right now, but…

April 5, 2011

I started a different blog!

I realized that it didn’t feel right to blog about my family, my kitchen fiascos, my fun crafting projects, and all those miscellaneous things I feel the need to write about on any given day on this book blog. This blog serves a very specific purpose: Books. And my reading challenge.

People are still drawn to this blog for that reason. Most people find this site by googling “Around the World in 80 Books Challenge” and I’m sure that’s because there are a lot of people out there interested in the challenge for themselves! Since the challenge is over and I’ve been bad about blogging about my 2011 reads, I thought it was time to expand.

I ended up over on blogspot — and if you want to follow me over there occasionally, I’d love to have you!

There’s only one post at the moment and it isn’t very exciting. Give me a few weeks and there might be some worthwhile content:


Just Because

April 1, 2011

It was opening day of baseball yesterday. Yes, the Giants lost. But let’s just all remember that it’s a long season.

I’ve finished a few more books! I’ll blog about them soon. Seems like finding time to write with a newborn and a toddler is a little bit more challenging than I first expected. But hey, I did manage to find time to dress us all in Giants gear and get a picture — so, really, you know where my priorities lie.


Meet Isaac

March 13, 2011

So, I had a baby!

Isaac Ross joined our family on Thursday March 10th.

I had a 42 hour labor with Elliott — pushed for nearly 4 and a half hours — and it took me weeks to recover. When I went in on Wednesday night, I was pretty certain that history was repeating itself. I am thankful it did not — from start to finish I labored for about eleven hours. And I only pushed for 13 minutes. Yeah. I know. I wasn’t expecting that either. (It still might take me weeks to recover; but somehow all these postpartum healing pains are worth it when you’ve got an awesome little baby to hold.)

Isaac weighed 7lbs and 1oz at birth. 20 inches long. And he’s pretty great.

But I haven’t picked up a book since then. I did take my Kindle to the hospital in an act of optimism, but yeah…there wasn’t any time to read.

I’ll check in as I can.