Monthly Archives: January 2011

the books of 2010

5 star books:

1.) I Lost My Love in Baghdad I guess I liked this book because it is a romantic war story, and I like love stories.

2.) Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea This is an awesome book, probably the book of the year for me.

3.) Sacred Hunger

4.) Zeitoun (Vintage)
This one was a real page-turner. I highly recommend it to anybody.

5.) Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood I wasn’t a big fan of the sequel, but this book was a great read. It’s a cartoon, so it’s readable in a few hours.

4.5 star books:

1.) The Year of the Flood One of Margaret Atwood’s better books, in my opinion – well worth a read.

2.) Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home If you enjoyed Alive, it’s worth reading Nando Parrado’s description of surviving in the Andes.

3.) A Fine Fleece: Knitting with Handspun Yarns I haven’t knit anything from this book yet, but there are a number of appealing patterns, and it’s enjoyable to browse through.

4.) Minus 148 Degrees: The First Winter Ascent of Mount McKinley If you enjoyed Into Thin Air, you’ll probably like this.

5.) Infidel This is far from a polished work of literature, but in my opinion, it’s a must-read.

6.) Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China A fantastic book if you’re even remotely interested in China, Chinese history, or communism.

7.) Shogun A page-turner.

8.) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery

9.) Cutting for Stone (Vintage) Completely implausible, but a good read nonetheless.

4 star books:
Guernica, Asta in the Wings, The Heretic’s Daughter, Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, The Weight of Heaven, The Wings of the Sphinx, Star of the Sea, Swallows of Kabul, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, The Northern Clemency, Under The Dome, The Secret of Everything, A Gate at the Stairs, Your Best Birth, Mockingjay, Child 44, Seabiscuit.

Worst books of the year:
Messy Thrilling Life
Don’t Cry: Stories


Welcome, new year. For the first time in a very long time, the entire family was together, this time including Jonathan, our newest member. The night was very laid back, partially because Maeve had a 6 AM flight, but we had a very nice dinner and drinks together. We stayed home. Unfortunately, the cold I picked up in CA is still progressing, but I guess that’s just part of the Christmas season.

It’s been a very good year. It was Jonathan and my first full year of marriage together, and things are still going great for us. Bliss is the word that springs to mind. Work still sucks on the whole, but you can’t have everything, right?

I didn’t exactly ace my resolutions. It’s a bit painful to review the failures, but nevertheless, here we go:

1.) Run 30 miles per month — I did this Jan – October. In November, spending two weeks out of the country didn’t help, and I ran only 27. December, I left things to the last minute, got a bit sick, and ran only 23.5. Overall, I’m not too disappointed. I know I ran quite a few times because of this resolution, so I think it was worthwhile.

2.) Do at least 5 pushups at least 10 times a month – Fail. I gave up on this about halfway through the year – a pity, because I think it’s a good resolution.

3.) Eat non-pizza fast food no more than twice a month – probably Pass. Certainly, I didn’t eat non-pizza fast food more than 3 times a month, and I actually ate a lot less pizza this year.

4.) Run a half marathon – Pass.

5.) Finish Inishmor, the Aran sweater I was working on – Pass

6.) Finish the Spanish course I was working on – Fail, but I am proud of the Japanese I learned via Pimsleur before our trip to Japan. Next year, I will give Spanish another go, as I enjoy it, I think it’s useful, and it really passes the time during my commute.

7.) Lose 12 pounds – fail, fail, fail. I always fail my weight loss resolutions. On the plus side, I didn’t gain any weight, and I may have lost a pound or two, or at least I had before Christmas.

I guess I need to think about what I want to try and do next, I mean this, year.