It’s the last day of the year, and most of the bloggers I follow have been posting annual recaps. I won’t be recapping my whole year, but I did decide to share some ways to celebrate, Harry Potter style. Below is a list of past Harry Potter-related posts and links I enjoyed throughout 2015 as well as ideas for throwing a Harry Potter themed New Year’s Eve party.
This is the last link-up, so be sure to share your HP-related posts before January 28th for your chance to be featured in next month’s discussion post!
This is it! The last month of the #ShelfLove No Book Buying Challenge! Those of us participating are discussing how we did.
For those of you who don’t remember, I chose not to purchase any books this year. Free books, of course, didn’t count. I made one exception, but other than using gift cards I received for Christmas and my Birthday, and getting books from the Boyfriend as a prescription against insanity, I didn’t buy a single book. Not spending my own money on books took some creativity on my part and generosity on the part of others, but I can at least say I was successful.
I also succeeded in reading at least 51 books that were already on my shelves…or in boxes…in a storage unit. Yeah, lots of books, itty bitty living space. There, my friends, is where I flailed. You see, despite not buying books with my own money, I still managed to bring a lot of books home with me this year. In fact, I have less space on my bookshelves than I did before the challenge started, and that’s after taking several boxes of books to the used bookstore to earn enough money to buy the Outlandish Companion, Vol. Two. I earned that book, darn it, so why isn’t there any space on my shelves?! Well, between the Boyfriend showing he loves me through books, a couple of subscription boxes I get, and all the giveaways I’ve won this year, I not only replaced the books I sold but ended up filling every last nook and cranny of my bookcase.
I have so many books and so little space for them that when the Boyfriend asked me what I wanted for my graduation present, I told him, “NO BOOKS!” I then checked myself for a fever because that is the first time in my life I’ve ever turned down the opportunity to get books. It turns out this challenge has been a sort of 12-Step program for me. So, I plan on participating again next year, but that’s for another post.
“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life. All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling – for the HP re-read.
- Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
- A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
- Greenglass House by Kate Milford
- A Christmas Carol by Rod Espinosa
- Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma, and Robert Wilson
- Show Your Shelves Some Love: 52 out of 51.
- Outdo Yourself: 89 out of 66.
Netgalley/Edelweiss: 15 out of 50. – I’ve given up on this challenge, but I’ll keep it listed here in case I get around to reading any more of my Netgalley ARCs.
- Twelve Books of Christmas: 5 out of 12
- COYER: 0 out of 10
- SF/F Bingo: I think it’s safe to count Bitch Planet as a Dystopia, which means I’ve only got one more book to read for this challenge! If I can finish Greenglass House before the end of the year, then I will have completed the entire board.
Total pages read: 585
Total # of books for the year: 90. I had a bit of an Outlander Christmas! The Boyfriend got me the special collector’s edition of Outlander Season One, and his Mom got me the two-volume soundtrack! I got his Mom the 1st book in the series and the coloring book 🙂 The Boyfriend also got me a personal embosser for my book collection, one of his Sister’s got me an Amazon gift card, and I got several other small gifts not related to books. I’m so close to finishing A Breath of Snow and Ashes, but now that I’m back home and working on an editing project to bring in some extra cash, I have no idea when I’ll get it finished. Hopefully before the end of the week. It’s so good that I’m probably going to jump straight into the next book, An Echo in the Bone.
What are you reading this week?
This was another great box from LitCube. While I’m looking forward to reading The Humbug Murders, I know I’ll never read the two-in-one Romance novel, so I included it in a Christmas gift to someone I thought might enjoy it. My favorite item so far is the shirt, which I wore on Christmas day. Now that I’m back home from visiting with the Boyfriend’s family, I plan on trying out the soap.
- “You’re A Mean One” Grinch Long-Sleeve T-Shirt
- Frosting Spatula
- “Book Nerd” Christmas Ornament
- “Lump of Coal” Peppermint Soap with a 20% Coupon Code
- Mini Candy Cane
- The Christmas Cottage and Ever After by Samantha Chase
- The Humbug Murders by L.J. Oliver
- QR Code for A Titan For Christmas by Aria Kane
January’s theme is “Perfect Penpals.” I’m interested to see just what will be in the box since every box now includes a wearable item and a snack in addition to other items and books. If you’re interested in trying out LitCube, there are five days left to order the box for January. Also, I got a discount code in my email that gives 10% off one box: NEWYEAR10 🙂 Happy New Year!
This year has been rough. Just about everyone I know has suffered from loss, illness, or injury, and I’m not even going to get into world events. I’m also not going to preach about how we should all reach out and help or do some other good Samaritan activity. Instead, just be there. Be a part of your community, your family, your relationships. While I have always believed that those of us who can give a little something more during this time of year (and the rest of the year too) should do so, I also know that for many of us, just showing up and being present is all we’ve got. While we’re at it, let’s be there for ourselves as well. The Holidays don’t need to be full of activity to be *perfect*. Do you have ten minutes? Take five of those minutes and call a friend or a family member and tell them you love them. Take the other five minutes to breathe.
“I walked inside Macy’s and faced the pathetic spectacle of a department store full of shoppers, none of whom were shopping for themselves. Without the instant gratification of a self-aimed purchase, everyone walked around in the tactical stupor of the financially obligated.” – Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn
I say all of this because while most people are talking about giving and doing and and and…they forget what the Holidays are about. I’ve been doing everything I can to avoid going anywhere this week. People are grumpy, and tempers are flaring in the stores, in the parking lots, and on the roads. Even store employees have attitudes, and it’s not hard to imagine why. I went to pick up the mail yesterday, and the mail woman was so shocked and happy when I wished her a Merry Christmas that I wondered how much time of her day is spent being largely ignored and unacknowledged unless someone wants something from her or something has gone wrong.
So, forget about trying to rush around to do all the extraneous stuff that we’re all “supposed” to do this time of year, at least for ten minutes. Just be there; for yourself, and for your loved ones. If you think you can’t take that time, then tell everyone you’re going to church, or temple, or, if you’re Buddhist like me, to meditate. No one can argue with you about participating in religious or spiritual activities, especially not during the Holidays. We are all connected and have been since the first of us walked the earth, and this time of year has been special for various reasons to most civilizations down through the ages. So take ten, or more if you can spare it, and remember.
“But Christmas he never forgot. It was the one remnant of his religion that never left him, for he sensed behind it a great, shimmering history that went back and back through the millennia to dark forests where fires blazed and pagans danced.” – The Witching Hour by Anne Rice