Monday, September 1, 2014

End of August 2014 Goals Update

Hello September! Time for a goal check-in. Not much to report on this month, just the mortgage and what I've been reading.

I was able to work a few extra hours this month and decided to put that toward the mortgage payment for September 1st. It's not money I normally have (or count on) so it won't be missed! My 2014 total is now $2600 - far more than I thought I'd have paid by this time in the year.

August was a superb month for reading. I read 9 books, so I've officially passed my goal of 50 for the year! My secret? Get poison ivy on your face, take off from work, and hole up in your house, reading all day ;)  
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - Anna is forced to spend her senior year of high school attending a boarding school in Paris, and she's not happy about it at first. But then she meets √Čtienne St. Clair and things start looking up. All in all, a well done romance. 
  • What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark - A cute middle grades book about three friends and the adventures they face after finding a rare zucchini crayon in a couch. An easy, entertaining read.
  • The True Blue Scouts and Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt - The scouts in this case are raccoons, and trouble is coming to their swamp. In the form of wild hogs and alligator wrestlers, haha. Enjoyable storytelling, but things seemed to fall in place a little too easily for my taste. 
  • Torn Away by Jennifer Brown - This is the story of Jersey, a teenager whose mother and sister are killed in a tornado, followed by her stepfather sended her to live with her father (who abandoned her at the age of 1) and his parents. I felt the first 3/4 of the book was heaping one awful thing after another on Jersey - a tough read.
  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - Lara Jean writes letters to all her crushes, then hides them in her hat box. All is well until someone finds the letters and mails them, followed by some awkward encounters, fake dating, and family bonding. The weirdness includes the ending. 
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart - The premise here is promising. No one takes Frankie seriously because she's a sophomore girl and she's also upset that she can't join the boys-only secret society at her boarding school - so she starts playing pranks. Unfortunately, it takes 200 some odd pages to get to the good part, and it's over far too quickly, rolling into a lackluster ending. 
  • 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff - Delightful. This street was mentioned in the book I'm currently reading, The Bone Clocks, which gave me a little thrill. 
  • The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry - A group of well read children and their journey to finding/creating a loving family. Lots of references to children's literature that I appreciated.
  • Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty - Second in a series, as you may have guessed. I reread the first one in anticipation of checking this out from the library and adored it all over again. I'm looking forward to reading the third one soon :) 

Lots of long titles this month, eh? How was your August?

18 comments:

  1. Great mortgage payments and great reading - what's not to like :)

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  2. I love the book reviews/recs! Thanks!

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    1. Wonderful! Most of the books I read come from blog recommendations so I enjoy them too :)

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  3. 50 books this year...that's amazing! I still haven't found a copy of 84, Charing Cross Road - not available on Kindle. Congrats on the mortgage payments too - great going!

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    1. Thanks Fiona! What a bummer about 84, Charing Cross Road . . it must be because it was published so long ago.

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  4. You're doing great Amanda! I'm not sure that I've read 5 books this year, let alone 50!

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    1. Thank you! Reading is my favorite so I always end up spending as much as possible on that, rather than other normal activities like cleaning ;)

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  5. You're doing well at your goals. Where/when do you do most of your reading? Evening? I have to switch the TV off and read more!

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    1. Thanks! I do most of my reading at home. In the evenings I can usually fit about 30 mins to an hour, and then 4-5 hours over the course of the weekend (more if the book is compelling or I'm feeling lazy). September through May, I watch about 45 minutes of TV a week - the new Modern Family & The Big Bang Theory episodes.

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  6. my goal set vs finished ratio might be better than I expect but I don't think so.

    good on ya for finishing so much!

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    1. I had some unexpected money (tax return and sold my wedding dress) earlier in the year that helped me meet my mortgage goal early.

      And thank you! :)

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  7. Congrats on the saving and the reading - two of my favourite things :) I've been re-reading the Game of Thrones series, which take so much longer to read than normal books!

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    1. Both favs of mine too :) I bet the Game of Thrones books do take a while!

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  8. Nice work - I see a theme of boarding schools in this months' reading! I just finished a great book, and now have to start on a Japanese book (in English) a colleague loaned me post holiday. I worry it'll be tough reading!

    You're going great on your annual goals, I must review mine, they've sort of fallen by the wayside of late!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! It's interesting to see how I seem to gravitate towards similar books for short periods (like all those end of the world books I was reading in April/May). Lots of teenage girls falling in love this month. I didn't even notice the boarding school connection until you pointed it out!

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    2. I must look up April/May, I like end of the world... I'm currently watching Transcendence.

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    3. I've heard about Transcendence, but haven't seen it yet. If you like end of the world books, you might like Life As We Knew It, Divergent, or The 5th Wave. They're the best dystopian novels I've read this year.

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