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~I created a group on Goodreads for us if anyone is interested in joining.

I have a hard time remembering to update here but I always remember to update on GR when I get a stack from the library. I hardly ever record summer "fluff" books I've read(Kindle downloads)since they're pretty much all the same. Couple meets, clue some complication, couple falls in love despite complication, complication resolved, couple lives happily ever after. Just different settings/names/details. Ha!

Anyway, I read 81 books in 2014. I think my goal was 100. I'll aim for 100 again this year.~
 

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I'm editing my goal by just a few...rather than 40, I'm going to say I'll read 36. I think three books a month is more realistic and doable. I have completed my first book, "The Christmas Cookie Club," already. It was OK...maybe a 5.5 out of 10.
 

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First ones of the year:

Gerald Durrell. Menagerie Manor. A favorite author, always fun.
Terry Pratchett. Soul Music. Audiobook. Not a favorite in the series, but I hadn't listened to it in a long time.
Sy Montgomery. Birdology. An interesting book on six kinds of birds - chicken, cassowary, hummingbird, hawk, pigeon, crow. Nice nature writing. Won't set the world on fire, but a very enjoyable read.

I've decided to try to read through a lot of my physical book library to cull it and not have to move so many later in the year. Birdology is a probably a keeper; the Durrell, maybe. I enjoyed it, but like some of his other better. With a few exceptions, I haven't read his things for decades, so it's nice to be able to revisit some of them again.
 

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Completed my next two books, one - Waiting For Eli: A Father's Journey From Fear to Faith - last night, and the other - Eli's Reach - this morning.
 

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I am on my second book Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children. It was picked as the January read for another book club I am in. My first book was The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen. I was picking a first in a series book for January being the first month of the year. The Surgeon is the first book of the Rizzoli & Isles series. I liked it except I thought it odd that Isles was not in the book.
I'm enjoying Miss Peregine's Home For Peculiar Children. Very interesting!
 

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I finished one fiction book and two non-fiction books.

For fiction I finished To Helen Back: a River Road Mystery

This was the first in a cozy mystery story featuring Helen Evans. Helen is an older lady, a widowed grandmother. In a refreshing change from "sassy" heroines with "attitude" Helen comes off as a very nice, sympathetic person. Actually a lot of the book is about characters that are not Helen, but that is okay. I really felt like I got to know the people in the small town of River Road. The characterization is very well done. I felt like the characters had a lot of different dimensions. For example, the widow (of the murder victim) is not really a nice person, but yet the author still manages to bring out sympathy for her. It was also not to predictable. Just when I thought I had figured things it, it turns out it was not what I had thought.

There is a couple of church services and one of the characters is preacher, but I am not sure if I would label it Christian mystery or not. I had one bad experience with a Christian mystery. The main character came of as very self righteous and looked down on non-Christians and other Christians who were not Christian enough for her. She even tries to convert one of the characters in the story. This book is NOT like that. The religious references are done in a way that is natural to the story (for example the funeral). IMHO, I do not think most non-Christians would have an issue with it.

It is toward the end of the day, so I will talk about my non-fiction books tomorrow.
 

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Three more:
Terry Pratchett - Eric (audio)
Anthony Trollope - Kept in the Dark (audio)
Stephen Walker - Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima

I wasn't going to count Eric since it is quite short for a novel - it feels like cheating :) On the other hand, I do some long ones too. I've just started Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit, which will move than balance it out. It's 35.5 hours in audio. I like Trollope, but this was far from his best. I didn't really like it.

Shockwave - this is some of the best historical reading I've come across. The cover blurb called it "riveting" which I took with a grain of salt, but it was. At one point, when everyone was worried the plane would crash on takeoff it was so overloaded, I found myself thinking as I tore through it: "Will they make it? Will they make it? -- Of course they will. It happened. This is history, not fiction. - Yes, I know, but will they make it? will they make it?" It was an engrossing read.
 

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The audio book I listened to was called Appreciative Inquiry. It is about changing your work place, but it has things that can apply to your personal life as well. For the work part, it is mostly applicable to managers, especially higher level managers. You have to be in a position to make changes in your organization.

The main idea is to focus on what we (as individuals and groups) are good at, what we do right. How can we expand that? How can we build on this to be even better? This contrasts with the standard approach of focusing in what is wrong/broken and how we can fix it. The concept is that focusing always on our flaws (even if we are doing it to improve) results in low morale. It makes people think they are working in a messed up place that has a bunch of problems. Focusing on the positive gets people thinking that they work at good place.

I think the ideas have some merits. I will try to keep them in mind.

Having said that, I am starting on a new audio book called “Your Survival Instinct is Killing You.” Could I have picked a self-help book with a more negative title? I have listened to part 1 (out of 8) on this and I am with holding comments till I get a little further in.

I have also finished a book called “Attitude is Everything.” On the plus hand, it is pretty well written and generally an enjoyable book to read. On the other hand, I feel like the advice was a mixed bag, some good, some impractical and some I have heard before. I will share a few things in it I liked. I liked the concept of WOW which stands for watch our words. It says that the words we say are important, but most important are the words we say to ourselves.

Another one is the gratitude and forgiveness which he describes as “antidotes to a negative attitude.” That really is not a new thing, but it is good to be reminded. Forgiveness is about letting go of the bad and gratitude is about holding on to the good. I have heard that forgiveness is about us not the other person. It is about letting go of bitterness and negative feelings. It is for our benefit, not theirs that we forgive.
 

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still working on thrifty/not cheap book. and for spiritual book have started Everything you ever wanted to know about heaven. Any reading is more than I did last year. Will look into loaning audio books from the library.
 

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I had a thought about some of the longer running cozy mystery series. Many are set in small towns. To have 12 or 13 murders in a small town is a lot. The per capita rate would be much higher than the "dangerous" big cities.

Maybe some of the crimes happen in nearby towns?
 

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7. Show Dog: The Charmed Life and Trying Times of a Near Perfect Purebred by Josh Dean

I'd give it a three star. It was ok and I learned about a subject completely new to me, the world of dog shows. If you are really into dogs, you would probably enjoy it more than I did. Also it followed an Australian shepherd, a breed that didn't interest me as much as others might have.
 

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I finished "Wake Up, Catholics: Be A Spiritual Warrior" by Jesse Romero. A great booster shot to the arm of faith! AND, it's my 4th book of this month! I'm really on a roll!
 
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~Finished the first 5/100 books for the year. Sometimes 2 or 3 weeks go by without finishing a book and then I finish 5-8 in a weekend. I probably read too many at one time. I'm currently reading over 10 books, mostly non-fiction. :p Summer is my fiction time. I take 2 or 3 along on every camping weekend and often sit up late in the peace and quiet to fully immerse myself. :D ~
 

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I finished the first of the Hannah Swenson mysteries. I enjoyed it. Right now I am looking through the list of free books I have downloaded on my Kindle. I want to read one or two free books before I buy another one.

One I tried and did not care for. The main character in the book had just divorced her husband because he was boring and predictable. WTF? Am I actually supposed to like the this character. Also the main character does freelance work and goes on about how horrible and stifling it would be to be stuck in office job. Umm...I work in office and its not bad, I kind of like it.

So I am between books for fiction.

I have discovered that audio books are not for me. Through a rare combination of events, almost everyone was out of the office and I was unable to "read" one and a half audio books at work. But under a normal day, I get interrupted frequently and there is lots of back ground noise. I can make this work with a written book but not an audio book. On the plus hand, I did discover an audio book on our on-line learning center I thought was really good. I wound up getting it for my Kindle. I think the ideas are pretty good, but it is too early to tell for sure. The results of self improvement are not generally instantaneous. They have to be practiced for a while to know for sure. It was very different advice than what I generally see. It is more about doing less, slowing down, relaxing more. This reduces your stress level and helps with various mental and physical issues that are stress related. It just feels right for me right now.

Sometimes when I read self help books, I kind of think "I am not sure about this." Sometimes I think, "This feels right." I am not always right.
 

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How much of a try do you give a book?

I am feeling a little blah toward the latest fiction book I am reading. I can't point to anything wrong with it, I am just not really getting into it.

I am not sure if I should read a little more or just start another book.
 
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