Monday, January 11, 2016

Book List 2015

Once again I could just link you to my Year in Books on Goodreads, but that would just be too easy.  It does take a bit of the surprise out of it for me, because they've already told me how many books I read - not counting all those kids books I read repeatedly when Jason was here visiting.

This year Goodreads even told me how many pages I read.  Do you think they were copying me from last year?  I did list all my pages and listening time in last year's book list.  I will have to redo it, though because they didn't differentiate between books I read and books I listened to.  So, I may already know how many books I read, but I don't yet know how many pages and hours.  Shall we see?

Also, once again I'll link to any reviews I did.  I wonder if I did a better job rating and reviewing this year?  I meant to.

  1. 84 Ribbons (Ballet Trilogy #1) - Paddy Eger
  2. The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life - Bruce H. Wilkinson
  3. Hidden - Catherine McKenzie
  4. Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good (Mitford Years #10) - Jan Karon (audio)
  5. The Summer Guest - Justin Cronin
  6. Wild Rover No More: Being the Last Recorded Account of the Life & Times of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack #12) - L.A. Meyer (audio)
  7. Forgiven (Firstborn #2) - Karen Kingsbury
1493 pages | 28 hours and 10 minutes

  1. Life Drawing - Robin Black
  2. The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) - Lois Lowry (audio)
  3. Gathering Blue (The Giver Quartet #2) - Lois Lowry (audio)
  4. Found (Firstborn #3) - Karen Kingsbury
  5. Messenger (The Giver Quartet #3) - by Lois Lowry ( (audio)
615 pages | 13 hours 56 minutes

  1. Son (The Giver Quartet #4) - Lois Lowry (audio)
  2. Living a Life That Matters: from Nazi Nightmare to American Dream - Ben Lesser, (audio)
  3. The Moon Sisters - Therese Walsh
288 pages | 16 hours 54 minutes

  1. Sycamore Row - John Grisham (audio)
20 hours 50 minutes

  1. Seeker - Arwen Elys Dayton
  2. When God Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life - Squire Rushnell (audio)
  3. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler (audio)
448 pages | 12 hours 51 minutes

  1. While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - Carolyn Maull McKinstry, (audio)
7 hours 58 minutes

  1. The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple #1) - Agatha Christie (audio)
  2. Eeny Meeny (Helen Grace #1)- M.J. Arlidge
  3. Death Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes #1)- Andy Lane (audio)
  4. The Thread: God's Appointments with History - Ronald, L. Dart
  5. Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard - Laura Bates
  6. The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy - Mark Logue and Peter Conradi (audio)
1029 pages | 22 hours 23 minutes

  1. Confessions of a Prayer Slacker - Diane Moody
  2. Smoke - Catherine McKenzie
  3. Eight Twenty Eight: When Love Didn't Give Up - Larissa Murphy and Ian Murphy (audio)
  4. God's Favorite Place on Earth - Frank Viola
  5. Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity #2) - Elizabeth Wein (audio)
744 pages | 19 hours 1 minute

  1. The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1)- Stephen King
  2. Divided We Fall - Trent Reedy (audio)
  3. The Good Neighbor - A.J. Banner
430 pages | 10 hours 42 minutes

  1. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Cheryl Strayed (audio)
  2. The Dog That Saved Stewart Coolidge - Jim Kraus
  3. The Martian - Andy Weir
721 pages | 13 hours 6 minutes

  1. Come Rain or Come Shine (Mitford Years #11) - Jan Karon (audio)
  2. The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2) - Stephen King
  3. Obsession in Death (In Death #40) - J.D. Robb (audio)
399 pages | 21 hours 55 minutes

  1. Devoted in Death (In Death #41) - J.D. Robb (audio) 12h 16m
  2. Frozen: The Junior Novelization - Sarah Nathan (audio) 2h 18m
  3. Evening Prayers for Every Day of the Year - Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
366 pages | 14 hours 34 minutes

  • Total books - 43 (compare to 49 in 2014)
  • Total pages - 6533 (compare to 9931 pages in 2014)
  • Total time - 200 hours  (compare to 151 hours in 2014)
Source for page numbers - Goodreads and/or Amazon | Source for audio book lengths - Audible

I did a slightly better job of writing at least a short review of the books I read.  Out of the 43 books I read, I wrote a review for 17 of them.  I always have a hard time knowing what to say beyond stating whether I liked it or not.  I should at least start doing that.  Oftentimes I have every intention of writing something, but then I've moved on to the next book, and I never get back to it. 

How many books did you read in 2015?  I'd love to hear some suggestions for my 2016 reading list.

*if you happen to click any of the book covers and buy  from Amazon, they say they'll pay me a small percentage.  Every little bit helps, and I thank you for your support!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Three Important Things to Consider Before Throwing a DIY Wedding

If this is the first time you visited my blog, you may not know that I married my lovely husband Jeffrey almost 30 years ago. In those days, many couples planned their wedding days on their own with the help and support of their family and friends. In today's modern world, it sometimes seems impossible to host a wedding and a reception without a professional wedding planner. After announcing your engagement, you should consider a few things when deciding whether to go it alone or work with a planner.

How Much Help Do You Have?

The DIY option is great for those who have a lot of help and support. You might have your mother, future mother-in-law, cousins, sisters and best friends ready to assist you every step of the way. If you want a smaller ceremony and don't have a lot of family or friends, you might look at whether the venue you selected can help. For example, the Chevy Chase Golf Club has wedding planners who can help you pick a location at the country club, find caterers and decide on decorations. Similar venues may offer help as well.

What Does Your Guest List Look Like?

Hosting a DIY wedding and reception is generally best when you want a more casual affair with just a handful of guests. Make sure you decide up front on how many people you want to invite. If you find that the list keeps growing and spiraling out of control, it's time to get some professional help. A wedding planner can assist you with finding invitations, addressing and mailing those invitations, working out a menu with your caterers and ensuring that you have enough seating on hand for all your guests.

How Much Money Can You Spend?

Whether you plan your big day on your own or with the help of a professional often depends on the budget you have in mind. Wedding planners can charge an hourly rate or charge one set fee based on the amount of work and help you need. If you find yourself pinching every penny to save money and bring your wedding in under your budget, you may not have enough left over to afford professional help. Working with a planner, however, may be exactly what you need to stick to your budget. Wedding

Consider all these options when deciding whether to work with a planner or have a DIY wedding.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Surprising Book Facts

I'm working on my 2015 Book List, and I came across this image on Facebook.  I'm not sure where this information came from or even if it's true - but if it is, it is very surprising to me.  Or at least very hard to believe or understand.  There are so many books available - books on every conceivable subject full of stories about everything under the sun.  You'd think everyone would be able to find something of interest.

But, apparently, they aren't even looking.

Just sad.

Things You Can Do To Prevent Mold

Mold within a home isn't just unsightly, it's dangerous. Certain types of mold can pose serious health risks and lead to respiratory distress which can prove fatal to the very young, the very old, and those with compromised immune systems. It's important to know what steps you can take to prevent mold from forming within your home.
  1. Dry wet areas immediately.
    Mold requires moisture to grow. If you find an area in your home that is wet due to a leak, dry it as quickly as possible. Look for areas that are frequently wet and do what you can to identify and solve the problem. Doorways, improperly sealed windows, basements, and other areas where outside moisture may seep in or a leaky pipe may cause problems should be watched carefully to ensure mold isn't forming out of sight.
  2. Ensure your home is properly ventilated.
    Proper air flow will ensure that moisture dries quickly. Areas with high amounts of moisture, such as a laundry room, bathroom, or kitchen should have a good air flow through them to ensure nothing molds. Dishes tucked away at the bottom of the sink, laundry buried at the bottom of the pile, and other oft-overlooked culprits of mold are usually the things people forget about.
  3. Use mold resistant products.
    Mold-resistant drywall and sheetrock is available for purchase. If you're renovating your home, consider using a type of material that will resist mold growth and help keep your home safe from an insidious threat that you may not even know is there until it's too late.
  4. Direct moisture away from the home.
    Ensure your gutters are in proper working order, and make sure the ground around your home doesn't slope down towards the foundation. If water is frequently entering your home from outside, it could be because your home's drainage is compromised. Speak with a landscaper to fix the issue and keep your home dry.
If you already have mold in your home, you should contact a professional company right away to remove it. There are a number of companies that offer mold remediation DC. Employing the services of any one of these companies can make the difference in your quality of living. However, doing what you can to prevent mold from forming in the first place is important.