Monday, January 4, 2016

It's Monday! Happy New Year! This Year's Goals And Challenges

It's Monday!  Happy 2016 readers!

Somehow, we have landed into 2016, with 2015 only lasting about 12 minutes.  I think time has literally flown.

I don't even want to talk about how 2015 went reading-wise.  I only read 93 books, not 100 as I had hoped.  25 of those books were re-reads, and most of the new books I read were only likeable at best, with only a few of those books being totally awesome.  I mostly listened to audiobooks because I was too busy to sit down and actually read, and I didn't have any time to keep up with any of my challenges, or even write simple reviews. Yeesh!

But, it's a new year, and as always, I'm feeling rather optimistic.  I have new goals, and life is calming down a bit, so I hope I can keep up with everything.

Here are this year's goals:

1) Give This Blog A Makeover
The more I learn about website design, the more I want to re-arrange things a little.  You're probably already seeing some changes now.  It's a work in progress, but I hope to be done by the end of February.

2) Read 90-100 Books
I set it as 100 on Goodreads, but I'm not planning on being hard on myself.  If I make it to 90, I'll be happy.

3) Complete 1 Challenge
I'm only going to do two challenges this year: one I've made up, and one that one of my book groups set out.  Both seem fairly easy, at least on the surface, so I hope to be able to complete at least one of them.

Well, there ya go!  So here are the books I'm currently reading to help achieve my goals:

Synopsis: In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation.

In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of fin-de-siècle Vienna, the book becomes a pawn in the struggle against the city’s rising anti-Semitism. In inquisition-era Venice, a Catholic priest saves it from burning. In Barcelona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text sees his family destroyed by the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah’s extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed. Hanna’s investigation unexpectedly plunges her into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics. Her experiences will test her belief in herself and the man she has come to love.

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author.

An Excerpt: If you are ever in Brooklyn, that borough of superb sunsets and magnificent vistas of husband-propelled baby-carriages, it is to be hoped you may chance upon a quiet by-street where there is a very remarkable bookshop. This bookshop, which does business under the unusual name "Parnassus at Home," is housed in one of the comfortable old brown-stone dwellings which have been the joy of several generations of plumbers and cockroaches. The owner of the business has been at pains to remodel the house to make it a more suitable shrine for his trade, which deals entirely in second-hand volumes. There is no second-hand bookshop in the world more worthy of respect. It was about six o'clock of a cold November evening, with gusts of rain splattering upon the pavement, when a young man proceeded uncertainly along Gissing Street, stopping now and then to look at shop windows as though doubtful of his way. At the warm and shining face of a French rotisserie he halted to compare the number enamelled on the transom with a memorandum in his hand. Then he pushed on for a few minutes, at last reaching the address he sought. Over the entrance his eye was caught by the sign: PARNASSUS AT HOMER. AND H. MIFFLINBOOKLOVERS WELCOME!THIS SHOP IS HAUNTED.....

Happy New Year Everyone!


  1. Good luck with your goals! I also want to read 100 books this year.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thanks! I figure that 100 books is pretty reasonable and not too insane :)