December 30th, 2008



It's traditional and expected to look back on the year that has just passed and reflect over what has happened, what has changed and what one has accomplished. 2008 felt kind of like a placeholder year to me; a year where we kept the status quo: no real major event took place, a year that felt sort of business as usual, for better or for worse. It doesn't feel, upon reflection, that anything really really bad or really really good happened to me or to my family, which seems like an acceptable way to get through 365 days, actually.

In 2008, I read a record-smashing 139 books, an average of 11.5 books a month. This number is astounding to me, but I suspect February's indulgence of re-reading best beloveds is what probably tipped it over the edge. In the years since I started keeping track, I have increased my yearly total from 104 to 110 to 113 to 118 and now this. I suspect I've peaked, but we'll see.

Best books of 2008 (in no particular order and including no re-reads)
  • The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas
  • The Used World by Haven Kimmel
  • East by Edith Pattou
  • The House of Niccolo books by Dorothy Dunnett
  • The Temeraire books by Naomi Novak
  • Searoad by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier
Once again, I won't bother listing the best films of 2008, because I saw so few. Highlights, however, included: Kung-fu Panda, Wall-E and Juno.

Family & personal highlights of 2008
  • Managing not to burn out completely during the Spring of Stress at work
  • Work trip to Boston in April that included time with Lizardmom, and a visit at Soliden with BP & Christina, plus getting to meet Chuck in person!
  • Hosting the AWC Independence Day BBQ in our backyard with 80 guests
  • Family reunion with Anders' cousins
  • Summer vacation to Paris and Germany, including EuroDisney and a visit with John & Simone, plus a day at Tropical Islands
  • Nice long visit from Lizardmom in September
Best musical discoveries of 2008
  • Corrinne May
  • Tara McLean
  • Bic Runga
  • Girlyman
  • Jonatha Brooke
  • Katie Herzig
  • The Weepies
  • Kings of Convenience
  • Eisley
  • The Shins
Some manageable goals for 2009
  • 30 minutes of walking a day
  • Get the family to the States
  • Renovate the kid's department
  • Try to work SAW into the business trip to Boston
  • Current Music
    Jonatha Brooke—Little Bird
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