Our Week in Books #7 & #8

More reading, less buying, and a bit of decluttering. Quite a successful fortnight.

No reviews though. But I’m working on that for next week (hopefully).

Our Week in Books in Numbers
Year progress: 58/365 = 15.9%
Read 52: 9/52 = 17.3%
Picture books: 18+?/52 = ??%
Short reads: 18/52 = 34.6%

Books reviewed: none

Books read (excl picture books):
Asperger’s Syndrome and Anxiety
Daisy and the Trouble with Giants (read aloud)
My Headteacher is a Vampire Rat (read aloud)
Violet and the Pearl of the Orient
Shades of London: The Shadow Cabinet
Ruby the Red Fairy (read aloud)
Amber the Orange Fairy (read aloud)
Saffron the Yellow Fairy (read aloud)
Fern the Green Fairy (read aloud)
Sky the Blue Fairy (read aloud)
Izzy the Indigo Fairy (read aloud)
Heather the Violet Fairy (read aloud)
Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones

Books added to shelves:
The First Slodge – Jeanne Willis & Jenni Desmond (review book from Little Tiger Press)
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle (birthday present for MG)
Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery (birthday present for MG)
The Once and Future King – T H White (99p Kindle on 15 Feb)
The Shadow Cabinet – Maureen Johnson (£2.99 Kindle on 15 Feb)
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit – Judith Kerr (99p Kindle on 25 Feb)
Cumulative: 66

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 16

Books removed from shelves: 68
Cumulative: 102

A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Eight

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It’s eight years since my eldest child was born.

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Eight years getting to know a wonderful person.

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We have our ups and downs. We’re so alike we wind each other up; we’re so different we misunderstand each other.

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I wouldn’t have her any other way.

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Thank-you for making me a mother, Mighty Girl. I love you more than words.

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Our Week In Books #5 & #6

Oops, what a very long list of books I appear to have acquired in the last two and a bit weeks… I suppose using the excuse that some are for MG’s birthday isn’t quite good enough? And The Book People flash sale? And that WHSmith 3 for 2 plus £5 off £15 spend voucher works together making bargainous book buying? And 99p Kindle books are just too easy to collect? Oh, okay, I really need to not buy anything more until I’ve read lots.

Still no reviews. That’s 12 reviews behind where I want to be. Half term next week so nothing will happen then. So I’ll be 16 reviews behind before I even start probably. Oh bother. Must write reviews. Must write reviews…

I am not requesting any review books until I have reviewed, which is painful because I’ve been sent three catalogues I’ve been allowed to request from but it’s not fair so I’m not going to. Yet.

I have got back to reading regularly again though, which is good.

Our Week in Books in Numbers
Year progress: 44/365 = 12.1%
Read 52: 5/52 = 9.6%
Picture books: 18+?/52 = ??%
Short reads: 12/52 = 23.1%

Books reviewed: none

Books read (excl picture books):
Baby Aliens Got My Teacher! (read aloud)
Daisy and the Trouble with Life (read aloud)
The Dreamsnatcher
Daisy and the Trouble with Zoos (read aloud)
Perry Angel’s Suitcase
Heart of Dread: Frozen (NetGalley)
Murder Most Unladylike
Arsenic for Tea

Books added to shelves:
The Complete First Edition Brothers Grimm – translated Jack Zipes (bought from Amazon)
Perry Angel’s Suitcase – Glenda Millard (bought from Mostly Books)
Phoenix – SF Said (bought from Mostly Books)
Sardines of Love – Zurine Aguirre (review book from Child’s Play)
Her Idea – Rilla (competition prize from Flying Eye Books)
Ever After High: The Unfairest of Them All – Shannon Hale (bought from Amazon)
Ever After High: Once Upon A Time – Shannon Hale (bought from Amazon)
Murder Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens (bought from Amazon)
Asperger’s Syndrome and Anxiety – Alis Rowe (bought from Amazon)
Arsenic for Tea – Robin Stevens (bought from Mostly Books)
Princess Daisy and the Dragon and the Nincompoop Knights – Steven Lenton (bought from Mostly Books)
Violet and the Pearl of the Orient – Harriet Whitehorn & Becka Moor (bought from The Book People)
Lego Play Book x2 (bought from The Book People)
Lego Standing Small / Minifigures Sticker Book x2 (bought from The Book People)
Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer – Derek Landy (bought from The Book People)
The Spy Who Loved School Dinners – Pamela Butchart & Thomas Flintham (bought from WH Smith 3 for 2)
Magic Ink – Steve Cole  (bought from WH Smith 3 for 2)
The Scandalous Sisterhood – Julie Berry  (bought from WH Smith 3 for 2)
The Fields of Grief – Giles Blunt (bought from WH Smith)
Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil – Derek Landy (bought from WH Smith 3 for 2)
Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked – Derek Landy (bought from WH Smith 3 for 2)
Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men – Derek Landy (bought from WH Smith 3 for 2)
Temple Run Annual 2015 (bought from Poundland)
The Beastly Pirates – John Kelly (review book from Bloomsbury)
One Hundred Proposals – Holly Martin (99p Kindle on 4th Jan)
The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf – Nick Bryan (99p Kindle on 9th Jan)
Slated – Teri Terry (99p Kindle on 17th Jan)
The Warble – Victoria Simcox (Free Kindle on 30th Jan)
The Bone Season – Samantha Shannon (99p Kindle on 6th Feb)
Cumulative: 60

Library books borrowed: 5
Cumulative: 16

5yo's choice from the Library Bus today #libraryhaul #mobilelibrary

A photo posted by Anne-Marie (@childledchaos) on

7yo's #libraryhaul from mobile library last week

A photo posted by Anne-Marie (@childledchaos) on

Books removed from shelves: um… lost track. Maybe 8?
Cumulative: 34

A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #4

Things I haven’t done this year:
Post ‘our week in books’ every Wednesday as planned
Write book reviews
Read much
Write blog posts other than ‘our week in books’
Update book spreadsheet
Send additional supporting info after assessment last Friday
Finished design and written reviews for book review blog

Things I have done this year:
Been very anxious
Played Temple Run 2 on phone obsessively
Made a net gain of one book when I should be culling
Visited library to return 18 books, borrowed 11 (minus children)
Had autism assessment day (follow-up with results in 4-6 weeks)

Our Week in Books in Numbers
Year progress: 29/365 = 7.9%
Read 52: 1/52 = 1.9%
Picture books: 17+?/52 = ??%
Short reads: 8/52 = 15.4%

Books reviewed: none

Books read (excl picture books):
Layla Queen of Hearts – Glenda Millard

Books added to shelves:
The Snow Merchant – Sam Gayton & Chris Riddell (bought from WHSmith 3for2)
Skulduggery Pleasant 4: Dark Days – Derek Landy (bought from WHSmith 3for2)
Daisy and the Trouble with Giants – Kes Gray & Garry Parsons (bought from WHSmith 3for2)
Cumulative: 27 (£46.19)

Library books borrowed: 11
Cumulative: 11

#libraryhaul 1/2

A photo posted by Anne-Marie (@childledchaos) on

#libraryhaul 2/2

A photo posted by Anne-Marie (@childledchaos) on

Books removed from shelves: none
Cumulative: 26

A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #3 2015

I promised myself I’d review two books a week this year, but have reviewed the grand total of zero so far. Which makes me 7 reviews behind where I wanted to be already. Sigh.

I also promised myself I wouldn’t acquire quite as many books, but have 24 already. On the bright side I’ve actually taken 26 to charity, so net gain is negative. Not as negative as it ought to be though.

It’s been another busy week, and quite stressful. Onwards and upwards…

Our Week in Books in Numbers
Year progress: 25/365 = 6.8%
Read 52: 1/52 = 1.9%
Picture books: 17/52 = 32.7%
Short reads: 7/52 = 13.5%

Books reviewed: none

Books read (excl picture books):
Mortimer Keene: Attack of the Slime – Tim Healey & Chris Mould (read aloud)
Mortimer Keene: Ghosts on the Loose – Tim Healey & Chris Mould (read aloud)
Mortimer Keene: Alien Abduction – Tim Healey & Chris Mould (read aloud)
Mortimer Keene: Dino Danger – Tim Healey & Chris Mould (read aloud)
Daisy and the Trouble with Life – Kes Grey & Garry Parsons (read aloud)

Books added to shelves:
Double Daisy – Kes Grey & Garry Parsons (bought from Mostly Books)
My Headteacher is a Vampire Rat – Pamela Butchart & Thomas Flintham (bought from Mostly Books)
The Philosophy Book – DK (bought from The Book People)
I Can Read French collection – 10 books (bought from The Book People)
George’s Marvellous Medicine – Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake (2nd hand from charity shop)
The Giant Under The Snow – John Gordon (2nd hand from charity shop)
3x Rainbow Fish stories (2nd hand from charity shop)
Cumulative: 24 (£32.21)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: 26
Cumulative: 26

A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #2 2015

It’s been a bit of a rubbish week with kids ill and off school, and I’m now ill so just backdating this before I forget the details.

Our Week in Books in Numbers
Year progress: 14/365 = 3.8%
Read 52: 0/52 = 0.0%
Picture books: 11/52 = 21.2%
Short reads: 2/52 = 3.8%

Books reviewed: none

Books read (excl picture books):
The Naming of Tishkin Silk – Glenda Millard

Books added to shelves:
Please Mr Panda – Steve Antony (review book from Hachette)
The Tale of Two Beasts – Fiona Roberton (review book from Hachette)
Mortimer Keene: Dino Danger – Tim Healey & Chris Mould (review book from Hachette)
Cumulative: 6 (£1)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: 42 ready to go – not counting until they’re gone ;-)
Cumulative: none

A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #1 2015

I used to do ‘Our Week in Books’ posts on a Saturday (or Sunday), but I’m moving to Wednesdays to fit in with the year and because I usually have more time to blog on weekdays than on weekends.

The first week of 2015 is almost complete, and I think I shall spend the rest of the year much like I did last year, asking “How did it go so quickly?!” Although maybe this year I’ll be more mindful and not have the year rush by so fast.

With my youngest child now five-and-a-half, although we still read lots of picture books, she’s now interested in listening to chapter books over several nights so we’re starting there. The almost-eight year old has also decided to listen to the longer books, and input into which ones are read, so after two years of her avoiding story time because she can read herself, I’m getting to read to both girls again. Which is lovely.

This does mean that we might not read picture books every day, so I’m not committing to 300 picture books this year, but we’ll see how we go! Jax at Making it Up is running the 300 picture books challenge for 2015.

Therefore I’ve slightly altered the format of my week updates, and my Goodreads challenge of 156 books this year is split into 52 books for me (over 150 pages, longer than an hour to read, including read alouds if they are longer); 52 picture books (I’m sure we’ll do lots more); and 52 short reads (either read aloud or to myself). So although 156 looks less than my usual 352 challenge, the books are longer.

I’m also not putting every book received onto Goodreads, but onto my spreadsheet for personal tracking, but will add review books because I need extra reminders to get them written ;-)

Again my aim for the year is to make a net gain of zero books. I have about 25 ready to go to charity, and will make a big picture book cull this year (cry!) because we do not have the space or means to store all these books. Gaining around 400 books each year is not sustainable long term. Much as I’d like a big house with a library, it’s never going to happen, and life is too short to keep hold of things that aren’t used. (More crying!) Being a hoarder at heart, this isn’t going to be easy, but I will try very hard.

Lots of boring ramble there, of no interest to anyone but me really but there we go ;-)

Our Week in Books in Numbers
Year progress: 7/365 = 1.9%
Read 52: 0/52 = 0.0%
Picture books: 3/52 = 5.7%
Short reads: 1/52 = 1.9%

Books reviewed: none

Books read (excl picture books):
Baby Aliens Got My Teacher – Pamela Butchart (read aloud)

Books added to shelves:
The Naming of Tishkin Silk – Glenda Millard (review book from Phoenix Yard)
Layla Queen of Hearts – Glenda Millard (review book from Phoenix Yard)
My So-Called Life – Joanne Nadin (bought from Poundland)
Cumulative: 3 (£1)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: none
Cumulative: none

A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #52, #52 & 2014 Review

A few days late, but here’s the last Week in Books 2014, with some summaries.

My plan for 2014 was to have a net gain of zero books by removing as many books from shelves as I gained. The actual net gain was 403. Oops. An effort definitely needed for 2015 as we’ve made a net gain of over 800 books in the last two years, which is a bit ridiculous.

This year I included books I bought as gifts in my ‘books added to shelves’ list, but also in my ‘books removed from shelves’ total. This was to keep track of all book spending, including books given away. I spent over £1000 on books, which is higher than my annual salary. So also not sustainable. Aims for 2015 is less books, and a huge cull. This will be hard.

Books are my addiction. I don’t smoke and rarely go out, but I really really don’t have the finances.

I achieved both book challenges, although I haven’t hosted #300PBs for months so really should do a final wrap-up. I won’t be doing it this year, because more and more chapter books are entering into our reading. I will still read and review lots of picture books, but not committing to 300!

I read 82 books for myself this year, but I discounted ones under approx 150 pages, or that took under an hour to read, but still exceeded the 52 reads plan with 55 books. Woohoo :-)

I’ve decided not to register every book I get on Goodreads in future, just the ones I read. I keep a spreadsheet list anyhow, and put them in a weekly post, so it’s unnecessary work that could be spent actually writing reviews.

So, that’s 2014, more or less.

Books added to shelves:
Once Upon a Time – Marina Warner (review from NetGalley)
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – Jen Campbell (bought from The Book People)
More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – Jen Campbell (bought from The Book People)
Night’s Child – Maureen Jennings (bought from The Book People)
Under the Dragon’s Tail – Maureen Jennings (bought from The Book People)
Except the Dying – Maureen Jennings (bought from The Book People)
The Scandalous Lady Wright – M C Beaton (bought from The Book People)
His Lordship’s Pleasure – M C Beaton (bought from The Book People)
Her Grace’s Passion – M C Beaton (bought from The Book People)
What If? – Randall Munroe (bought from The Book People)
Geek Girl – Holly Smale (bought from The Book People)
Varjak Paw – S F Said (bought from The Book People)
Wreck This Journal Everywhere – Keri Smith (bought from The Book People)
Lullaby – Amanda Hocking (bought from Poundland)
Daisy and the Trouble with Kittens – Kes Gray & Garry Parsons (bought from Mostly Books)
Stormy Night – Salina Yoon (review book from Bloomsbury)
Little Red Riding Hood – Daniel Egneus (competition prize from Harper360)
Manolo Blahnik and The Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker – Camilla Morton & Manolo Blanik (competition prize from Harper360)
Christian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty – Camilla Morton & Christian Lacroix (competition prize from Harper360)
Diggers – Terry Pratchett (Christmas present for MG)
Usborne Sticker Dressing King Arthur (Christmas present for DG)
Usborne’s Write and Draw Your Own Comics – Louie Stowell etc (Christmas Present for MG)
The Rather Small Turnip – Laurence Anholt & Arthur Robins (Christmas present for DG)
Bad Faerie and the Grotto of the Goblins – Sue Cowley (Free Kindle)
Journey to the River Sea – Eva Ibbotson (99p Kindle)
Thinking about It Only Makes It Worse – David Mitchell (99p Kindle)
Humans A-Z – Matt Haig (99p Kindle)
The Birds Began to Sing – Simon Dillon (Free Kindle)
Dr Gribbles and the Beast of Blackthorn Lodge – Simon Dillon (Free Kindle)
Cumulative: 633 (£1014.82) (£4072.76)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 46

Books removed from shelves: 6
Cumulative: 173
57 eBooks. Net bookshelf gain 2014 cumulative = 403

Read 52 books finished in last 2.5 weeks: The Matchbox Mysteries; Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops; More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops; The Snow Jewel; Geek Girl; Humans: An A-Z; Daisy and the Trouble with Kittens

Year progress: 365/365 = 100.0%
300 Picture Book progress: 387/300 = 129.0%
Read 52 progress: 82/52 = 157.7% (55/52 = 105.8%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Christmas and Depression

I wasn’t sure whether to write this, it being Christmas, but I think I need to get the words out if I can.

I am depressed.

It’s not a sadness, or grief. It’s a physical weight tied around my body. It’s an inability to drag myself up, to wash, to dress, to care.

Except I must do these things. I must put on the mask and interact. I must feed and clothe and wash my family.

I’m not alone, but I feel alone. I’m not left to do these household tasks, but I feel I ought to. I’m not being lazy when I stare into space, but I feel I am being.

I can hug a daughter, and I feel my heart physically ache and want to burst with love, but I also feel so distantly removed from that.

I do have feelings. I do have thoughts. But they’re trapped and being eaten away.

I laugh, I play, I talk, I hug. But I’m also not there. The hours slip through my fingers like water. I blink and the morning has passed; I blink again and it’s night.

Sleep is elusive, but then it grips and doesn’t let go, and I am unaware of the household awake around me.

I wake. I stare at the ceiling. I stare at my phone. Words drift through me and I almost wonder how to catch them.

I try. Another day. I try again.

Too Many Books, Too Little Time…

The first statement is obviously untrue, there is no such thing as too many books. But I am struggling with the second, although technically this also can be changed. But at the moment, my average of one book a week (sometimes none, sometimes many) suits my life.

Which means looking at this picture of unread books, and adding in the ones I forgot to collect together, and all the ones I want to reread, and doubling physical books with Kindle books means I have about six years worth of books I want to read NOW.

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So I’ve been staring at this picture (it’s less intimidating than looking at the actual books) and mentally culling several. After all, if I’m not going to get round to reading them in the next six years, I may as well not keep them, right?

I’m finding this a lot harder than it should be… “But what if I suddenly decide I want to read that one and I don’t have it any more?!”