Saturday, January 12, 2019

What I Read: December

I'm a little behind posting this! December was a great reading month. I read 8 books total: five of those were audiobooks and two were rereads. As always, click on the titles to read my Goodreads reviews.

The ABC Murders, by Agatha Christie. (Audiobook.) This was one of my favorite Christie's so far! It was so good. I didn't know how I'd feel about her books on audio, but I absolutely loved it.

Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist. (Audiobook, not pictured.) This book was okay. It didn't really feel applicable to my life right now! I've always heard of this author, so this is just the first of her books I decided to read, but maybe I should have picked something else.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. My first time reading this classic! It was surprisingly easy to read and very good. I only read that story in this volume, not all of the other stories.

After the Funeral, by Agatha Christie. (Audiobook.) Not the best of hers, but still enjoyable. I was pretty impressed with who the murderer ended up being, ha!

The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Finally, after three months, I finished rereading this series! I've been wanting to do that for years now, and it was quite a feat. This is my favorite of the trilogy. I'm not crazy about all the battles at first, but I love how everything is wrapped up. I do find it kind of frustrating that the hobbits don't have a simple homecoming, but at the same time I'm so proud of how they take charge, ha. Now that it's over, I have fond memories of the series...but I won't be rereading it again for a while.

Star Over Bethlehem, by Agatha Christie Mallowan. (Audiobook, not pictured.) Probably my least favorite Agatha Christie experience so far! It's just so different from her other works. I liked the Christmas stories best, but only a few of them, and I don't like poetry anyway.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. Reread this for the thousandth time...approximately. :) Magical as always!

The View from Saturday, by E.L. Konigsburg. (Audiobook.) I've owned this book forever and never read it, so finally I just decided to listen to the audiobook. I almost gave up at first because I wasn't really into it. But I'm glad I didn't because I ended up enjoying it. I loved the friendship between the kids and there were some funny moments too.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

My 2019 resolutions.

2018 was a good year! It wasn't super eventful, but it was my first full year of marriage to Kenny and that made it pretty special. :) 

I did okay with my goals for the year. As far as knitting goes, I didn't focus on making sweaters for myself, and I haven't yet knit something from my own sheep's fiber but I did spin enough so far for a project. I did knit lots of socks, and not just for myself! (I also made socks for my mom, grandma, sister-in-law, and unborn future nephew.) I finished 35 knitting projects: 11 gifts, 17 items to sell or commissioned to knit, and 7 for myself. 

As far as sewing goes, I did sew three pillow covers! And I sewed curtains for three of our five remaining windows...I bought curtains for the other two because it was much less expensive than buying the fabric to sew them. 

And my miscellaneous goals: I didn't save money because it was tight this year. I did improve my cooking skills, I think, or at least I learned how to cook a lot more things! And I did catch up on all of my Taproot magazines, including back issues. 

{I'll Have What She's Having, by Erin Carlson; The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Bronte; The Good People, by Hannah Kent; Raising Demons, by Shirley Jackson; The ABC Murders, by Agatha Christie; Becoming Mrs. Lewis, by Patti Callahan; and East of Eden, by John Steinbeck.}

I actually managed to accomplish all of my bookish goals for 2018! I wanted to read 50 books, and I ended up reading 70!! Discovering audiobooks in the last few years of the year definitely helped...I think I listened to about fifteen of them. I also wanted to get my list of books that I own but haven't read yet below 100, and that number is currently 86. The lowest it's been in years, though ideally I'd like it to be about 10 or so. I wanted to read five new-to-me classics. I read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, The Diary of a Young Girl, Out of Africa, East of Eden, and A Christmas Carol. I also wanted to reread five books, since I didn't do much rereading last year, and I reread 15 this year. And finally, I planned to read a big book. I finally tackled East of Eden, which is 601 pages long.

And now for my 2019 goals:


-Read at least 50 books. This one should be easy enough to accomplish!
-Get my own-but-unread books below 50. That number is at 86 right now, so I think that's doable.
-Read 3 big biographies. I collect memoirs and biographies by people that I'm interested in, but I rarely read them because they're so big and intimidating! This year though, hopefully.
-Focus on finishing series. There are lots of series, particularly middle grade ones, that I've read most of but haven't finished the last book or two. Some of them I'll actually need to reread the beginning of the series, so I've been putting them off. I'd like to finish the Percy Jackson series, the Penderwicks, Mary Poppins, etc.


-Knit at least two sweaters for myself. I have the yarn and patterns for three, but I'm trying to be realistic here!
-Spin more yarn.
-Try weaving again. A friend gave me a child's loom that I'd like to try. 
-Mend and generally take better care of my clothing. I hate mending! Right now I have multiple knitted socks that need darning, our summer bed blanket that needs patching, jeans that need mending, etc. I also want to de-pill my sweaters and polish up my leather items.
-Get back into garment sewing. I've really slacked on this in the last few years. I want to get back to the point where most of my clothes are handmade.
-Sort through my closet using the Slow Fashion October prompts. 
-Make a small quilt for my future nephew. My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their second child, a little boy, in April! I want to make a play quilt for him similar to the one I made my niece before she was born. 


-Save money. Always a goal!
-Journal more. 
-Clean out and reorganize the closets in our house and minimize our stuff. 
-Switch to more natural cleaners and products for our home.
-Continue exercising. I bought two Jessica Smith workout DVDs and have been trying to exercise 4 or 5 days a week ever since September. I've even gotten to the point where I sometimes enjoy it! I haven't really lost any weight but I have lost a few inches, and I feel better and stronger. So I want to keep it up!

What are your goals for the new year?