Posts tagged year in review

2009 in Review

2009 had more ups and downs than I knew what to do with, and that’s the truth.  I spent the end of 2008 through June of this year almost constantly on the move, and when I did settle down, it wasn’t in my  beloved California, but instead somewhere up in the Rocky Mountains, which… wasn’t entirely by choice, let’s leave it at that.

That being said, this has been a really good past six months for me—despite a few minor technological revolts and a couple of serious family trials since moving up here.  Suffice it to say that 2009 tore me to shreds and made confetti out of me—which hopefully means that 2010 will be celebration-worthy.

So, with a glass of sparkling cider raised to the new year, here’s a quick look back at 2009…

Really, this has been a very defining year for me.  This is the year that I took the initiative and learned how to bind books (a la the University of Youtube), which lead to a none-too-shabby Etsy shop (CinderLisaDesign) which has kept me afloat for most of my utterly jobless year.  I was already a devout crafter—I’ve been hooked on knitting and crochet since my freshman year of college—but as a writer, learning how to make books out of paper, fabric and string has been a profound experience for me.  My love for books in the printed format couldn’t help but spill over to my love for handsewn books.  I still have a lot to learn in the bookbinding arena, but even with my extreme lack of knowledge, I can say proudly that I am a bookbinder, and part of a slow revival of a dying art.  I’ve found the bookbinding community (yes, there is one) to be a fantastic group of people, also.  Like most crafters, they have been welcome and encouraging to even the most blunder of attempts to learn their arts.

Moving to Utah has been quite an eye-opener, also.  The town I live in is very small and very simple, and while it’s busy for a tiny town, it’s a far cry from Southern California.  And being a member of the LDS Church, I have to admit that I had a very clear idea in my head in what I might expect from “Utah Mormons”—of which the less said the better.  The members here have been fab people, though, and come through for me in a number of ways that I can’t even begin to list.

2009 was also the first year I hit my 50-books-in-a-year challenge—I even hit (and exceeded! Okay by one, but still!) a 52 books in 52 weeks challenge.  Considering that there were moments this year when I didn’t think I’d pass 3o books, that’s quite something.

This year my good friend Isabelle Santiago and I also started Tales From the Hollow Tree, a review blog for all things Young Adult fantasy, and while getting a post up every single week day just between the two of us has been a challenge at times, it’s also been a blast!  I’ve read a lot of great books, along with some less-great books, and learned a lot from our Thursday Myths & Legends 101 posts.

In more personal news, I can just say honestly that despite the insanity that’s circled around me this year (and I seem to draw it like a moth to the flame sometimes) I’ve been really happy this year.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s been a good year, but I’ve been happy in it, which is the most I could have asked for this year, I guess.

Honestly looking forward to 2010.  It has to be better than 2009, and I have high hopes, personally.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!

Have fun and be safe out there!

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Top Reads of 2008

All in all, 2008 wasn’t the most inspiring book-reading year I’ve ever had, busy though it was. These were (in no particular order) my favorite non-rereads, though, and I can’t recommend them highly enough:

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull

Best book in the Fablehaven series yet, with the worst title, and worst cover. But this series continues to completely satisfy every Children’s fantasy leanings I could have, without it reading too young, which is a huge bonus.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Okay, the woman is insane and I freely grant that. And the first ten chapters of this are still crap. But the rest of it was weirdly addictive, and not in the why-did-I-just-read-that way that Twilight is. If there was a sequel, I’d read it. (Oh let’s be honest here, if there was another Twilight book, I’d probably read that too.)

The Life Murder of Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty.

Fun, with a completely wonderfully neurotic main character, and a storyline that kept me guessing right up to the explanation, which is really how it always is. Moriarty is fantastic with handling different POV’s and manipulating the narrative by how accurate or trustworthy their accounts are, which I love.

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Possibly my favorite because I wasn’t expecting it to like it at all, and it turned out to be utterly fantastic. A fantastic homage entirely flipped on its head. I’m very much looking forward to reading the sequel.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Somehow I’d only read halfway through this book before, so this read through was very nice in that I was able to pick up on some things that I’d assumed from the films and gotten wrong. I will ever be a fan of Colonel Brandon, even if his and Marianne’s love is a little brushed together at the end.

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