Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January - The Longest Month Of The Year

Doesn't it seem like January just goes on and on?  Maybe that is why I managed to read 8 books this month, probably a personal record.  I haven't always kept track but as I get older I hate seeing a book and then wonder if I have read it before.  Most times I can tell from the brief on the back but sometimes I get a couple of chapters in before realizing I have already been there and done that.  Now I keep track of Authors and Titles on my phone in lists (I also keep my ongoing grocery list there, so handy).  In 2017 I read 27 books in total.  I think 2018 might be the year of reading.

8 Books Read this month:

Camilla Lackberg - The Lost Boy
Janet Evanovich - Wicked Charms
Louise Penny - Still Life
Louise Penny - The Long Way Home
Sue Grafton - X
PJ Parrish - A Thousand Bones
PJ Parrish - Paint It Black
Peter May - Entry Island


I have been looking for some new authors recently, and always try and pick up a few books by my favorite tried and true authors.  I mostly read fiction mysteries.  I love a good British mystery but recently discovered Camilla Lackberg, a Swedish author.  She writes very dark mysteries but I love them and am on the hunt for more as have only read 3 of them so far.  This month my new favorite author is Canadian Louise Penny.  She writes fabulous mysteries set in Quebec.  If you have never wanted to go to Quebec before reading her you will want to after, the food, the landscapes and the people!  They are very popular here and almost impossible to find on the second hand market.  I found one early January and this past weekend found three in one spot!

I was in the middle of Sue Grafton's X this month and heard the sad news of her passing due to cancer.  She was a great writer and will be missed.  I have one book left to read of hers, Y,  and she died partway through writing Z.  Her family will not hire ghost writers to complete that book, Sue was against that and they are abiding by her wishes.  Those two books are the first PJ Parrish books I have read, they were good so now will be on the hunt for more.  PJ Parrish is actually a psuedonym for writing sisters Kelly Nichols and Kristy Montee. They've written a lot of books so I can look forward to more good reading from them.

I also ready my first Peter May book, liked it and will look for more of those.  As for Janet Evanovich, I have always loved her books as they are fun and fluffy reading, no seriousness to be had, sometimes just what the Dr ordered.
Buddy's spine stripe (yes, he sleeps with us)

Yesterday we took our bi-monthly trip to Nanaimo to have Buddy groomed.  His dog sitter is also a full time groomer and she does such a great job we continue to go to her.  When we arrived his full sister from his litter 3 years ago was being groomed, so cute.  She is smaller than Buddy, he is much longer and leaner but still very cute and I immediately recognized her.  At age 3 we have discovered Buddy is what they call a blue poodle. One that is born black, often with a couple of white toes and a tuxedo chest of white hair.  At age 3 he suddenly developed a dark black stripe down his spine.  I was a little alarmed thinking it might be a medical condition but no, it is a type of poodle with all of his markings.  He also looks a little brown in sunlight and is slowly lightening up to more of a grey than black.  No matter his colours or stripes we love him to bits, but now we know why he is the colours he is.

We also stopped in at Pier One as I received a gift certificate there from one of the kids for Christmas.  I fell in love with and bought two of these bowls:
borrowed Pinterest photo
They have fish, seahorses, crabs, an octopus, starfish and coral.  Our life here is so connected to the Ocean, I see it almost daily and all the wildlife that go with it above and below the surface.  I might just have to buy a mug the next time we go as still have room on the gift card.

I start every day off at zero steps and do my best to do 10,000 steps a day.  Other than the one fibro flare day mid-month I have hit my target.  Last week I did 75,276 which was difficult since I didn't leave the house for two of those days and the weather was miserable most days.  The treadmill is my friend and our ancient Ipad (2nd generation) with Netflix is my walking companion on crappy days and Buddy and hubby are my walking companion on good weather days.  I can't wait for Spring when the rains leave and I can get all of my steps outside naturally.

I managed to stay on my new grocery budget this month - the budget set at $575 and I spent $574.61.  I stocked up at the last minute on cheap eggs - they normally don't go lower than $2.50 a dozen but one of the expensive stores had them as a loss leader for $2 a dozen so I spent the balance of the budget on those.  The cupboards are full although I will go to the grocery store later in the week to stock up on produce.

I am calling it a wrap for January, the longest month of the year - onwards to February!

30 comments:

  1. January flew by here, but it was filled with company and weird happenings.
    I am currently reading Still Life. I had never heard of her before but one of our bookclub members read 5 of her books while taking care of her elderly mother and suggested it,
    I love that you came under budget by 39 cents! I did not keep tabs on my budget this month since I only went shopping twice and those were not big trips. Once again I am shopping primarily from the freezer.

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    1. I love the characters in Louise Penny books, plus the food descriptions lol. My freezer is full and I need to defrost it as it got left partially open in December and frosted up a bit, but thankfully I never lost anything. I need to eat it down but also need to make jam as have lots of frozen blackberries in there.

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  2. I'll be glad when the weather warms up here too. Jan. was just too cold this year. Feb. will be more snow here as it's our heaviest snow month. I could use some sunlight about now. bleh. Good on you staying on target for the food budget.

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    1. I went into the store for those eggs knowing exactly how much was left :) We are good for eggs now until March.

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  3. Have you read the Robert Galbraith murder mystery books? Pseudonym of JK Rowling. Very different from Harry Potter in tone and subject matter. Meticulously plotted, compelling character development plus an introduction to London architecture and history.
    Sweet Buddy, love his little stripe.

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    1. I read Casual Vacancy which was her non-Harry Potter under her own name, didn't really like it but will try the Robert Galbraith ones :) I am always up for a good read with history and architecture

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  4. You're definitely an avid reader. Kudos to you! I'm mainly a non-fiction reader.

    I've promised myself to read the work of a canadian writer, Tanya Reimer (I feel privileged to have her among my blog followers), and so far, I've shamefully failed to do so.

    When you live in a warm country like mine, you want to be out most of the time; to be honest, reading is not exactly at the top of my agenda.

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    1. I definitely read more in winter than summer when we do have fabulous dry long summers here and we spend most of our time outdoors too :)

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  5. January has been a long month for me. Surgery and now healing up. I've been reading a lot and love having the time to do that.

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    1. If one must have surgery a crappy month like January is probably the time to do it. Although I am sure you never thought one surgery would lead to another :( I hope you heal quickly

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  6. Thank you for the book recommendations - it's always lovely to see what others are reading but like you I also got fed up of rereading the same novels so started a list too! And I LOVE that china from Pier Import. That kind of stuff is one of my big weaknesses but frankly I don't need any more - I need much less if the truth be told. I've been doing well on my 10,000 steps this week but I really don't want a treadmill in the house to be honest although when it is peeing down and dark outside it is definitely a positive. Oh and don't go spending that excess 39 cents all at once. Show some restraint won't you. Anna

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    1. I felt the same way about the treadmill. We have a 3 bedroom home, our bedroom, the office for the Company and a spare bedroom which also holds a fold out couch for company, a treadmill, an electronic drumset (hubby's) and a weight set (also hubby's). We should have bought a slightly bigger house but I am not moving again and this has increased nicely and will suit us into old age as is a bungalow. Now I use the treadmill more than hubby lol but saw it as a boat anchor previously. Hey, at my thrift store records are only 25 cents...I can easily spend that 39 cents :)

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  7. Hmmm... Thanks for the list! And I hate when the publishers do a reprint and change the cover design! I've bought a number of books only to begin reading and realize I've read them before. Jerry can read an entire book before he reaches the most crucial moment and realizes he's read it before.

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    1. I have been sucked into the different cover thing too. Hubby gets to that crucial point too, he tends to do that with movies too. Haha. I hate wasting all that reading time, try never to reread anything

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  8. I'm just looking for more light. Now the day light after five in evening

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    1. I am loving more light too, earlier and later. I can't wait for the long days of summer

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  9. I wish I could read, but it puts me in a coma. I almost instantly fall asleep. Interesting about Buddy's spine stripe. My Zoey has a zig zag pattern up her back that developed as she got older, but her color hasn't really changed. She'll be 4 in a few weeks.

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    1. I had no idea these stripes were a thing, was really quite alarmed but he is happy and healthy thankfully. Zoey turned into such a nice dog for you

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  10. Have you read any of Sandra Brown novels? Someone passed on 'Smoke Screen' to me the other day and I can't put it down.

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    1. I have read several. She is a great author

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  11. Have you read Barbara Kingsolver? She's one of my favourites.

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    1. I haven't actually but will look for her.

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  12. I thought January was extra long as well as very expensive. Didn't add anything to my snowflake box but that should change now as I have no more app'ts and no items I need to purchase. I discovered Louise Penny one time when I was driving to PEI and listening to a CBC program on the radio. They mentioned Penny and I made a note to read one of her books - well, of course I fell in love! I've also read all of Sue Grafton books - I will definitely miss her.

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    1. I've just found out Penny is slowing down on the writing as her hubby has dementia, she mentioned it in the end of one of her latest books. Sad.

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  13. Reading that many books in a month is a great achievement. I am more into non fiction now. Buddy is so cute! February startingwith a cold foot in toronto

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    1. I don't miss that cold, although we did get down to minus 3 overnight (don't judge me ;)) but there is no snow on the ground thankfully.

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  14. Since you like fiction mystery, I'd recommend a local writer (to me) Gail Bowen. She's written a number of books, and while I've never ready any, I understand they are a good read. My choice is historical fiction though I have read some Dick Francis (my mother's favorite author). She also liked Sue Grafton so perhaps you'd enjoy his books as well.

    I spent far too much on groceries this past month, but this last run was for basics only. Plus I'm leaving in less than 2 weeks - I'm sure the kids will make a dent in the freezer and cupboards while I'm gone.

    Have a great week! Well-done on the steps. I should take a leaf from your book on this but I'm just too lazy and besides, it's too cold and icy outdoors.

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    1. I've never read Gail Bowen but just added her to my list of authors to look for, thanks for the tip!

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  15. YOu really have been busy reading. I am trying to do more of that myself lately. :)

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    1. I can't stand watching TV anymore....books actually take me away which this time of year I need

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