Saturday, January 02, 2016

Sunday Post: Happy 2016!

The Sunday Post is hosted by the wonderful Kimba, the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, and gives us all a chance to recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. 

I hope your year has gotten off to a good start! Please pull up a chair and tell me what you have been up to. Did you do anything special to bring in the New Year? What are you reading at the moment? 

What I Am Reading: I currently am reading The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary. It came recommended by my friend and fellow blogger, Caspette of Narrative Causality. I am quite enjoying it so far! The Japanese setting and mythical aspects are what initially drew me to the story initially. I have not quite settled on my next book, although Chris Bohjalian's The Guest Room has been calling my name rather loudly these days.

What I Am Listening To: For years my brother-in-law made CD's for my husband and I featuring songs he thought we would like--he knows us well. He fell behind a number of years ago, and surprised us this Christmas with a stack of CD's of music over the past decade. I have not had a chance to listen to the CD's but plan to pop one in on my way to work on Monday.

What I Am Watching: My husband and I are continuing to re-watch the Doctor Who reboot, working toward getting caught up. We are in the second season now. It's been ages since we last watched a show together. Even Mouse is getting into it.

We have also seen the movie Inside Out three times this week.  And the Nightmare Before Christmas at least four times since then as well. Seriously. My 4 1/2 year old who has never shown an interest in watching movies on her own (I don't count Caillou's Holiday Movie) has asked to see them repeatedly since we first watched them. This is the girl who throws a fit whenever her dad or I ask her if she wants to see a movie or start one up, who gets bored easily during a movie, and never wants to re-watch a movie (except Caillou's Holiday Movie). So, this is a big deal in our house. 

Around the Blogosphere:

The end of the year surveys and top ten best of lists are among my favorites. Here are a few from some of the blogs I follow:

What's Going On Off the Blog: The Holidays are behind us, and it is time to return to some semblance of a normal routine. The last of my company will be leaving tomorrow morning as I head to work. We had a nice quiet New Year's Eve celebration; went to bed early, all so we could get up early for the Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day. To think the parade began 127 years as a local celebration and has now become a New Year's tradition across the U.S. It's quite different to experience in person than to watch it on television. The floats are pretty on screen, but in person . . . You can see the flowers and detail put into the floats so much more clearly. It takes about a year to make many of the floats in the parade--it's obvious a lot of work goes into them. We had a nice time at the parade, bundled up as warm as could be. We had decent seats in the bleachers. Although being short can be a curse even then. We were pretty much crammed in like sardines. Still, it was all worth it. Mouse did amazingly well given we arrived at the parade grounds at 5:45 a.m., with the parade coming our way just after 9 a.m.

My favorites of the floats (I'm going 
through a dragon phase; what can I say?)

We also decided to take advantage of our San Diego Zoo season passes which will expire soon and went to the San Diego Safari Park in Escondido. It's my favorite of the two San Diego Zoo parks because of how open it is for the animals and for all the work done to help the conservation effort. Mouse was most excited about seeing the gorillas this trip. We got in a lot of walking and had a great time. I may have overdone it taking giraffe photos (if you follow me on Facebook, you know what mean).

 Brushing a goat (not the one that tried to eat my sweater)

Giraffe

Today I my family and I are taking it easy. Sleeping in hopefully. Because I still have family in from out of town, I may not be able to get online much.

Challenge & Dare Update: I am already three books into my COYER challenge, although I have only posted the review of one of those books. The other two, the What's In a Name? and The TBR Triple Dog Dare just began this past Friday, and so I have not had much time to make progress on either one. 


This Past Week In Reading Mews:


Help me decide what book from my TBR collection I should read next:


My TBR List is a meme hosted by the awesome Michelle at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Sunday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and take a poll as to which you think I should read. I will read the winner that month, and my review will follow. While I will attempt to post my review that same month, I make no promises--it may go up the following month. 



Do you see a common thread in the books I am choosing this month? All seem to be rather intense ones from the sound of it. The book covers are linked to Goodreads if you want more information about each book.


What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan ~ Described as a psychological thriller about a mother in search for her missing  8-year-old son, this one promises to be heart-wrenching and impossible to put down.


One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis ~ One day, seemingly happy and successful Emily walks out of her home--and her life--to take on a completely new one. In this psychological thriller, the reader cannot help but want to keep reading to find out why.





The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly ~ This one has Jurassic Park written all over it.  But set in China. It sounds liked it could be exciting. And scary.




 © 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

52 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fantastic New Year's Day. I always watch the parade on TV. How cool to see it live.

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    1. Beth - It was fun. A great way to bring in the New Year. :-) The tickets were sort of Christmas presents since the family members originally planning to go had to cancel at the last minute. It worked out well for us. It was our first time seeing it in person.

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  2. What a fun time it sounds like you guys had, Wendy! I've always wanted to go to the Rose Parade. My husband would be horrified, I'm sure. He doesn't even like watching it! LOL

    Cute zoo pictures. By the way, I've already read What She Knew (as Burnt Paper Sky - British title). It's really good. Just saying. ;-)

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    1. Kay - My husband was a bit grumpy--having to get up early (he is not a morning person) and then the cold . . . He as well as the rest of us ended up having a good time though. Unless it's a Disney parade, he has no interest in parades.

      I took so many photos at the animal park. Too many. LOL

      I hope to read all three books, really, although it likely won't happen this month. I've heard such good things about What She Knew.



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  3. Happy New Year. It's my first time joining the Sunday Post, and I'm having so much fun checking out all these posts.
    I voted for 'What She Knew' in your TBR poll. That sounds like a thrilling and exciting read I would definitely want to read myself. ;)

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    1. Maureen - Thank you! I have participated in the Sunday Salon before-quite a while ago, but this is my first Sunday Post too. :-) Welcome!

      Thank you for voting! This is my first time participating in the TBR List meme and I'm excited to see how it works out. :-)

      Have a Happy New Year.

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  4. Happy New Year! I think the Rose Parade would be so cool to see, and I've always heard good things about the San Diego animal park. I hope to get there someday.

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    1. Greg - Thank you! Same to you. :-) This was our first time seeing the Rose Parade in person. It was quite an experience. I couldn't believe all the people who camp out along the parade route over night! It was crazy. People had cots lined up along the street, had brought in heaters or had little fires going in barbecues.

      I hope you are able to make it to the San Diego Safari Park someday. I really like the work they do there.

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  5. I would love to go to the Rose Bowl parade one year. We brought in the new year with our neighbors - we had a block party in the cul-de-sac. It's so much because it includes all ages.

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    1. Kathy - I hope you are able to make it the Rose Parade one year! I don't know that we will do it again, but I am glad we were able to go this once. Your block party sounds wonderful! I wish we had something like that here. My daughter would be in seventh heaven. :-)

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  6. sounds like you had a nice holiday season. i would love to see the parade in person someday! I bet it's magnificent.

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    1. Marie - It was nice. Now back to reality--for better or worse. The floats were beautiful in person. I understand there are many people who have made this their family tradition--to go and see the parade each New Year's. I don't see us doing that, but I'm glad we had a chance to go.

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  7. It looks like you had a great break! I love zoos of all kinds and the parade looks amazing. Yay for rewatching Doctor Who! It's one of my favorite shows though some of the David Tennant episodes are like emotional torture. Have a great week!

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    1. Katherine - It's been an eventful few days. :-) I agree with you about some of the David Tennant episodes--he's still my favorite doctor though. :-) I hope you have a great week too!

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  8. The Great Zoo for me! I may have to check that one out myself!

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    1. Shaunesay - The Great Zoo does sound good, doesn't it? I'm looking forward to reading that one.

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  9. That is such a great gift idea from your brother-in-law. I remember way, way back making mix tapes for friends....now I guess it is just playlists!

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    1. Melinda - He really puts a lot of thought and work into it. I love that he does it for us.

      I remember mix tapes too! So long ago and yet not.

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  10. I went with One Step Too Far. It sounded like a twisted New Year's resolution of becoming a new person. You are doing awesome with COYER!

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    1. Sarah - It does sound like that, doesn't it? I'm looking forward to reading it. And thank you for the words of encouragement! Have a great week!

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  11. The parade sounds very interesting. Happy New Year.

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    1. Mystica - It's really good so far. I am hoping to find time to read it a little later today! Happy New Year to you too!

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  12. First of all, I love the format of this post. I may steal it. :-)

    I had to laugh about your seeing the same movie repeatedly with the Mouse. I remember that phase so well! There was one week when my kids watched Shrek II every. single. day.

    Also, I added What She Knew and One Step Too Far to my wishlist.

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    1. Stephanie - Thank you! I wish I could say it was completely original, but I put together various elements from other similar blog posts I liked.

      I am hoping my daughter's new found interest in movies means she's more open to trying new ones--and going to the theater. She watched The Nightmare Before Christmas again this morning, by the way. My mom suggested she watch something else when she wanted to watch it again right away.

      I am looking forward to reading What She Knew and One Step Too Far too. :-)

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  13. I can't believe I forgot about the Rose Parade! And I live in Southern California! Jeesh! lol

    Btw, I had a hard time deciding which book to vote for. I finally decided on The Great Zoo of China because of Jurassic Park.

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    1. Vonnie - I don't watch the parade every year either, so don't feel bad. :-)

      I really like the Jurassic Park mention too. :-) I hope it's as good as it sounds!

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  14. Looks like you guys have been having a wonderful Holiday! I bet being at the parade is so much fun... much better than watching on tv :)

    Love the reading challenge by Michelle. I voted and am so curious which book you'll end up reading! Have a great week back at work. I'm so not ready for work!

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    1. Iliana - It was nice. :-) Watching the parade from home certainly has it's advantages, but there is nothing that compares to seeing it in person and being part of the excitement. :-)

      I thought it might be fun to participate in the TBR List meme. All three books I really want to read, and I can't wait to see which one gets the most votes. :-)

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  15. You've had a lot of fun events going on in your house....and I love the sound of your movie watching. My favorite thing.

    Besides books, of course. They run neck and neck for me, actually.

    I loved What She Knew...and also enjoyed A Step Too Far. Have a great week and month...And year!

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    1. Laurel-Rain - It's been a busy holiday season. I love watching movies too. Although maybe not the same movies over and over and over and over again. LOL But then, after awhile, I suppose, it's an excuse to read.

      I am glad to hear you loved What She Knew and enjoyed A Step Too Far. That bodes well for me. :-) I hope you have a great week and year too!

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  16. Sounds like you all had a wonderful holidays, Wendy! The Rose Parade sure sounds like loads of fun!!

    So it's back to our normal routine today. I just came back from bringing my daughters to school. I hope to get use to the "norm" routine quickly; it's been getting a bit off after all that holidays, hehe.

    Now I'm off to vote for your TBR stack list. Can't wait to hear what you'll be reading! :-)

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    1. Melody - It was nice. The parade was fun. The floats were gorgeous. It was a very interesting experience, and I'm glad we were able to go this year.

      I imagine Mouse will have trouble getting back into her usual routine too. Although, I'm wondering now if she'll be up for school tomorrow as she's not feeling well. I need to check her for a fever. I know I won't want to get up early tomorrow morning for work. :-(

      I look forward to seeing what I will be reading too. Haha!

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  17. I am looking forward to getting back to the normal routine. We had a quiet New Year's weekend, just barely made it for the countdown! Did not watch the parade, but what a beautiful float! Cole at 18 months is not interested in TV, but when he I am sure there will be repeats. I am afraid I still know all the lines for many animated movies! I am looking forward to What She Knew. Hope that is your choice. Thanks for the shout out on the year in review post. Happy New Year.

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    1. Nise' - A quiet New Year's weekend sounds nice too! At least with repeats, I can sneak in some reading time. :-) I hope you have a Happy New Year as well!

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  18. First I voted for What She Knew because I LOVED it. Hope it wins and you love it!! Second we love Inside Out in this house and watch it a lot since we got it for Christmas. My kids love Cailou. I do not! I loved that zoo when we visited. Looks like you had a great time. Have a great week!!

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    1. Grace - What She Knew seems to be quite popular! Definitely sounds like a must read. Your house has been bit by the Inside Out bug too, I see! I really like the movie, although that may change upon the fifteenth viewing or so. Caillou. Ugh. My daughter loves him. Like you, I fall into the does not camp.

      I hope you have a great week too!

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  19. I have yet to do my best of 2016- I usually wait until everyone else is done to do mine, since I am an avid procrastinator. If I remember right, I used to watch Barney movies nonstop as a kid (with the occasional Madeline film between) so I suppose there are worse movies for children to be obsessed with- I've heard Inside Out is actually pretty good. I would vote on your thriller choices, but that is the one genre I have abominable taste in, so I'll spare you my opinion. The only thriller I had luck with was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so...
    Love the dragon float!
    ~Litha Nelle

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    1. Litha Nelle - Procrastination has its purpose. :-)

      My daughter was watching an episode of Barney the other day. It was after my time, but I remember the kids I used to babysit being really into it. I told my husband I'd rather that than the Teletubbies, or whatever they are called. I love Inside Out--it's a great movie. Ask me what I think of it next year though when I've seen it a million times. LOL I liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo too. :-)

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  20. Wendy, what a terrific, all encompassing post to start off the new year. Thanks you for the shout-out and for all the links to other favorite books of 2015, I appreciate it.

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    1. Diane - Thank you! I am trying something new. We'll see if it sticks. :-)

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  21. What a great way to catch up over the holiday period.

    Having read and enjoyed a book by this author my vote goes to The Great Zoo of China.

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    1. Tracy - It was a very nice--and full--weekend. :-) Thank you for voting! I've been good and haven't peeked at the results yet. :-)

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  22. Happy New Year! I love end of year lists too. My TBR pile grows substantially this time of year.

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    1. A.M.B. - Thank you! Happy New Year to you as well. Yes, I think my wish list collects the most books all at once this time of year. :-)

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  23. Happy New Year! Good for you on being ahead on your challenge already! All three books are new to me so I hope you enjoy whichever one you end up choosing. The SD zoo is one place I hope to visit at some point. It has featured heavily in some books plus I have heard plenty about it. SD itself is a place I hope to visit.

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    1. Athira - Same to you! I don't know that I'm ahead exactly as it started mid-December, but it's good to know I have accomplished something. :-) Both the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park are fun to visit. If you ever get a chance, I hope you can go to either or both! I love San Diego.

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  24. For the first time in years Jason actually made it til midnight on New Years :) It was only because his Spartans had been playing, but still...
    Isn't it great when the little ones start to enjoy movies? Gage went through a (short) period where we watched movies start to finish. Now he doesn't have the patience but I know the day will return :) So cool that you were at the Rose Parade and what a trooper Mouse was!
    Thanks for including my blog on your list, my friend.

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    1. Stacy - Yay for Jason! I didn't even try this year. Although I did wake up briefly when the fireworks went off in our neighborhood.

      I almost miss the days of short attention spans because now she wants to watch the same movie over and over and gets upset when I tell her no.

      Yes, Mouse did great at the parade. She was restless towards the end, but luckily we were on the aisle and so she had a little room to move around. :-)

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  25. I voted for What She Knew. I love a good psychological thriller. :) Happy reading!

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    1. Brandee - Thank you for voting! I have a feeling that's the one that will win. :-)

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  26. I'll bet you're wishing Mouse had never decided to like movies about now! Two of my big kids and I watched Beauty and the Beast last night and my daughter and I can still sing almost all of the songs word for word thanks to the days of watching the movie again and again and again....

    What a great idea those CD's are! And how nice of your father-in-law to put them together for you!

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    1. Lisa - Mouse's movie watching isn't too bad yet, but it is on its way to becoming so. Haha I still know all the words from Little Mermaid, having watched that over and over with the kids I used to babysit.

      I'm always amazed at how my brother-in-law knows just what we'll like. I imagine it's because he has similar taste, but still. Which reminds me . . . I couldn't find the CD's this morning. I'll have to ask my husband what he did with them.

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