Monday, January 2, 2017

Monday Musings: Happy 2017!

first sunset of 2017
The first sunset of 2017 from the North Shore of Oahu.

My week: We had a nice, quiet New Year's Eve at home, which included Thai takeout and flipping back and forth between all the NYE programs on TV. One unique thing about Hawaii is that people go absolutely crazy with fireworks here on New Year's Eve -- and I mean huge, professional-grade 4th-of-July style fireworks. We were thrilled to discover our new house offers a phenomenal view of the fireworks in almost every direction, and we even climbed out on the roof to watch the stunning show as people all across the island set off fireworks at midnight. Then we started the new year off right by sleeping in crazy late and spending the afternoon at the beach.

Reading: I finished "Vassa in the Night," a young adult fantasy novel I had to read for the adult book club at work, which I'll be co-facilitating. I didn't choose the book and I wasn't all that thrilled to be reading a YA novel that literally everyone who's read it has described as over-the-top weird. It's a re-telling of the Russian fairytale Vasilisa the Beautiful and some of the wackiness comes directly from the original source, but there were also a lot of totally random, bizarre story elements (a lawyer who happens to be a talking pangolin, a man who leaves his family to be turned into a German shepherd), which were totally irrelevant and never explained -- and had nothing to do with the original work. The writing was decent, but I think the book suffered especially from a total lack of worldbuilding. It could be described as magical realism, but we never get to delve into that magical society. If YA is your thing you might want to read it, but it definitely wasn't my favorite.

Now it's ARCs galore for me. I'm partway through "The River at Night" by Erica Ferencik, a thriller about a girls' weekend to the remote Maine wilderness gone horribly wrong. It comes out January 10, along with my next read, "The Second Mrs. Hockaday," a novel set during Civil War and inspired by a true story. I love that cover!

Also reading: the fortune on my Jones Soda cap, which said, "Your life will be happy and peaceful." Couldn't ask for a better prediction on New Year's Eve!

Setting: my Goodreads reading goal for 2017. I read 86 books in 2016, but I'm pretty sure I won't be able to repeat that, so I went with a goal of 70.

Knitting: I'm finishing up a little surprise to send as a thank-you to my Broke and Bookish Secret Santa, and then I'll start a baby hat for our first niece, who's due this month.

Watching: We watched the last episodes of both "Stranger Things" and "Westworld" this week and now we get to pick a new show to watch! I'm thinking it's time to watch last season's "Homeland."

Monday Musings: Mele Kalikimaka
The Best Books I Read in 2016
I Judge Books By Their Covers: "I"ll Give You the Sun"
2016: My Bookish Year in Review
20 Intriguing January 2017 Book Releases

Looking forward to: Watching the first episode of the return of "Sherlock" as well as finally starting "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life."

I'm linking up with Kathryn of Book Date for It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


  1. I stuck with my comfortable Goodreads goal of 100. With all the children's books I read, I should be able to easily do that.

    Happy New Year!

  2. I've been eyeing Homeland, since the end of each episode shows up when I tune into The Affair each Sunday. But to start at the beginning...that is the plan.

    I'm curious about The Second Mrs. Hockaday.

    Enjoy! Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

  3. The Second Mrs. Hockaday looks good.

    ENJOY your first week of reading in 2017!!

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

  4. Great start to the new year! I like your fortune from the Jones soda.

  5. Hope you enjoy A Year in the Life. I really liked it but now that I've had some more time to think on it, it wasn't all I wanted. I guess 4 episodes weren't enough for me to catch up with some of the other side characters. I'm glad there weren't many idiots in my neighborhood putting off fireworks on their own New Year's Eve. It usually happens, but then it was raining so I'm sure that helped. Booker T is terrified of loud noises so he actually got to enjoy New Year's.


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