Happy Dancing with a Pen

I’d originally planned to post this in January, but I got busy. No time like the present to catch up with things.

Rather than set a numerical goal, or genre goal, or page total goal for 2013, I sat down and thought about what all I enjoy doing in life and started making lists. See, one of the things I like to do is make lists, written out by hand. Lists of chores, errands, phone calls to make, tasks, fun things, don’t want to do things, and—well—all things; and then I love, love, LOVE taking my pen and scratching through an item when it’s accomplished. I find it immensely satisfying to scratch through something. Seriously. It’s joyous. It’s freeing. It’s happy dancing with a pen.

Since I’m always adding to my lists, there’s always a moment of joy and freedom; and my pen happy dances constantly! The best part is that not everything has a deadline, so what’s left on this list at the end of the year just rolls over to next year, and the next year, and it never ends. Well, it will some day, but I won’t care what’s left at that point. 😉

Anyhow, I opted to go back to what makes me happy (and it is all about me, isn’t it?), and I made up lists early in January. I’ve accomplished several big tasks on my main house list and am working my way through another task. Yeah me.

My book list is working well. My original list started with five non-fiction titles, and five fictional titles. Then I decided to do the Brad Thor Ultimate Reader Experience and that added 12 books to my list (13 when his newest book is out and affordable for me). Then I added a minimum of six books from James Rollins (three stand alones and three from his SIGMA Force series). I keep adding books to it, scratching off books when done (also scratching off the rejects). What a kick! I’m actually very happy with my reading this year, and my pen is happy dancing all over the house.

Here’s my “read some day” list as it presently stands:

Non-Fiction: (all owned on Kindle)
35 miles From Shore by Emilio Corsetti III
Devil at my Heels by Louis Zamperini
Decision at Sea by Craig L Symonds
Fixing Freddie by Paula Munier
Kittyhawk Pilot by James Edwards
Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley
A Mighty Fortress by Chuck Alling (read)
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (K – set aside)
The Reagan Diaries by Ronald Reagan (set aside)

Fiction: (all owned on Kindle)
Amazonia by James Rollins
Enemy Among Us by Randy Reardon
No Mercy by John Gilstrap
Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (rejected)
At All Costs by John Gilstrap
The Charm School by Nelson DeMille
Fire Along the Sky by Sara Donati
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
Sandstorm by James Rollins (read)
Muffin Man by Brad Whittington (K)
All the Brad Thor books (see below)
Judge Dee (hopefully 3, see below)
The Lions Game by Nelson DeMille (read)
Triple Play by Elizabeth Gunn (read)
Above Suspicion by Helen MacInnes (read)
Assignment in Brittany by Helen MacInnes (read)

The Collected by Brett Battles
The Last Man by Vince Flynn

Possible additions: Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (on hold at library)
The Sojourn by Andrew Krevek

Brad Thor books in order: (own all on Kindle)
January’s Book: The Lions Of Lucerne (read)
February’s Book: Path Of The Assassin (read)
March’s Book: State Of The Union (read)
April’s Book: Blowback (read)
May’s Book: Takedown (read)
June’s Book: The First Commandment (read)

July’s Book: The Last Patriot
August’s Book: The Apostle
September’s Book: Foreign Influence
October’s Book: The Athena Project
November’s Book: Full Black
December’s Book: Black List

Judge Dee (3 or more):
The Chinese Gold Murders
Judge Dee at Work (read in 2013)
The Lacquer Screen (read in 2012)
The Chinese Lake Murders
The Monkey and the Tiger
The Haunted Monastery (read in 2012)
The Chinese Bell Murders
Necklace and Calabash
The Red Pavilion (read in 2012)
The Emperor’s Pearl (read in 2012)
Poets and Murder (read in 2012)
The Chinese Maze Murders (read in 2012)

The Phantom of the Temple
The Chinese Nail Murders
The Willow Pattern
Murder in Canton
Poisoned Bride and Other Judge Dee Mysteries

SIGMA Force series by James Rollins (at least one): (own all on Kindle)
1. Sandstorm (2004)
2. Map of Bones (2005)
3. Black Order (2006)
4. The Judas Strain (2007)
5. The Last Oracle (2008)
6. The Doomsday Key (2009)
7. The Devil Colony (2011)
8. Bloodline (2012)

9. The Eye of God (Scheduled for publication: Summer, 2013)

Rejects and set asides:

  • Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure by Suzanne Anderson—Confusing as we moved from the past to the present, and it was obvious that the ending was going to be incredibly sad, beyond my limits sad.
  • Pinheads and Patriots by Bill O’Reilly—No longer timely
  • From Notting Hill with Love…Actually by Aku McNamara—Boring
  • Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill and Lisa McDubbin—cloyingly soppy
  • Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie—I am still done with Agatha. I used to adore her books. In fact, I read them all, but I still remember hating SLEEPING MURDER and tossing the Ladies Home Journal across the room at the end. I tried to get into this story, but found the characters annoying, the plot transparent by chapter 2, and the thing was boring.
  • And Furthermore by Judi Dench—I set this aside in order to read a library book, and I may or may not return to it.
  • Dying Saved My Life by Kevin Sorbo—Had to stop reading as it was depressing and causing me to have anxiety issues.
  • American Sniper: the Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle (K)—too depressing at this point
  • The Reagan Diaries by Ronald Reagan
  • Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand—(set aside at the 1/3 point) Hillenbrand is an excellent author — well, okay, I’m basing that on the one book of her’s that I’ve read – Unbroken – but I do think she can spin a tale. However, I totally love the movie that is based on this book and so the book, for me, bogged down in what I found to be useless and mundane details. The movie had such a good pace, and the book was so slow and it became boring and a chore to read. After spending 4 weeks and reaching only page 184 out of 523 pages (that’s around 6 pages a day!), I gave it up. I should have given it up earlier, but I kept thinking it had to get better. Oh well.

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