Wednesday, December 28, 2022

My Year in Books

 Although there are still a few days left in 2022, it's time to look back at what I've read this year. I set a fairly modest (for me) reading goal: 150 books. As of Monday, 12/26/22 (which is when I'm writing this post), I've read 187 books. (The link is to my Goodreads challenge.) I'll probably add another book or two before midnight on New Year's Eve. That's well over 45,000 pages. How do I read so much? I read a lot on my phone using my Kindle and Hoopla apps, I multitask and read (within limits), and I try to prioritize reading over games, TV, or other entertainment. I'm also a quick reader; I can easily finish a cozy mystery in a day or two. When I discover a series I really like, I chain-read it as fast as I can download the books.

Below is my breakdown by genre:

Science Fiction: 7

Fantasy: 32

Mystery: 108 (many of the cozy mysteries I read have fantasy elements, but I count them as mysteries)

Other Fiction: 8

Non-Fiction: 32

Here are some of my recommended books for the year:

Asian American Histories of the United States

A Sorrow Named Joy

The Library: A Fragile History

A Spindle Splintered

Plagues Upon the Earth

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

Meet Me in Another Life

For series, I particularly enjoyed Maria Grace's Jane Austen's Dragons and Gloria Oliver's Daiyu Wu Mysteries.

For 2023, I'll probably set a reading goal of 175 books. I'll continue to challenge myself to read at least one Diversity Book (written by someone of a different race, religion, or sexual orientation from me) each month. I recently joined a local book club, which is already challenging me to read books outside my usual genres. Hopefully I can also knock a few more books off my to-read lists.

What books did you read in 2022 that you would recommend? Feel free to list them in the comments.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Holiday Trees

 One of our family holiday traditions is seeing the decorated Christmas trees at the Museum of Science and Industry. If you're not familiar with them, each tree is decorated with motifs from a different country. (MSI also has displays honoring other holidays.) We went on Sunday, and my husband gave me permission to share some of his pictures of ornaments. (He's running a contest on his personal Facebook page to see who can correctly identify the most countries pictured here, so I'm not going to identify them in this post. (If I remember, I'll come back later to comment.)

No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope you have a good one! I'll be back next week to summarize my reading for 2022.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Sale on Smashwords!

 Draft2Digital acquired Smashwords earlier this year, but they just recently made it possible for their authors to distribute their books to that site. If you're familiar with Smashwords, you may know that they also hold sales twice a year around the solstices. From tomorrow (December 15th) through January 1, 2023, my books will be available for free on Smashwords. (Please note that ebooks are available on Smashwords only in the EPUB format.) You can find a list of my titles on Smashwords through my author page. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

IWSG: Holiday Writing

Here we are at December's post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Learn more about them on their website and Facebook group.

Our hosts this month are Joylene Nowell ButlerChemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine.

Our question for this month asks how the holidays affect our writing. Specifically, It's holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

The holidays are festive, but it takes a lot of work to make them that way. For example, my husband and I have a tradition of sending treats to our friends every year. We've made over twenty different types of cookies, fudge, and other treats already and plan to send them out this week. I made the dough for some of my cookies ahead of time and froze it until I was ready to bake them, but there's still a lot of work involved, such as choosing recipes, shopping for ingredients, doing lots of dishes, and packing everything for shipment. Plus, there's also decorating the house, buying and wrapping gifts, extra social gatherings and traditional family activities, and preparing holiday meals. Although I will be using up some of my remaining vacation time to get these things done, I have less time to write during the holidays. (For example, between my company holiday party Saturday evening and doing lots of cooking and baking on Saturday and Sunday, I didn't have much writing time this last weekend.) Fortunately, I'm not facing any submission deadlines for short stories, so I can focus on the first draft of Bubble Tea and a Body for now. If I do end up with some free time after the holidays, hopefully I can finish revising Restaurants and Revenge.

No matter how you spend your holidays, I hope they're happy for you! We'll see the IWSG again in 2023.



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