The books I read in 2010

31 12 2010

Last year, at the end of December, I did a blog post containing a list of all the books I had read during the course of the year. So when the New Year started, I decided ‘hey, why don’t I do it again’? It’s interesting to see which books have been taking up your time – plus, for someone like me, it serves as a motivator to read even more books the next year.

Last year, I read 57 books. This year, I also read 57 books. I probably could have read more since I was at home (job hunting) up until the beginning of July, yet there’s something about being at home that makes you lazy… and disheartened, I’ll add, when you spend half a year with no success in the whole job-finding-thing.

You’ll note that I managed to read the entire DARK TOWER series by Stephen King… hurray!! 😀 That’s because I was able to get my hands on the two books I was missing (the first being among them). It sure gave me something to occupy my time with during lunch at work…

So here you have it – the list of 57 books I’ve read this year. I might add that I read an additional 80 – 90 books at work (no fooling) for a project we were busy with. Some were short (about 32 pages), others longer (80 pages and upwards). Still, it’s not really worth adding to my list… although I do mention it now, before starting off my list, just so you know that I’ve read that heap, as well 😉

What did you read this year?


* Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King – Lisa Rogak

* The Post-Birthday World – Lionel Shriver

* The Witching Hour – Anne Rice

* Lasher – Anne Rice

* Taltos – Anne Rice

* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

* The Shop on Blossom Street – Debbie Macomber

* The Homeless Heiress – Anne Herries

* Angels and Demons – Dan Brown

* Deception Point – Dan Brown

* The Everything Wedding Etiquette Book (3rd Edition) – Holly Lefevre

* The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

* Icarus – Russell Andrews

* The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger – Stephen King

* The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three – Stephen King

* The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands – Stephen King

* Digital Fortress – Dan Brown

* Library of the Dead – Glenn Cooper

* Book of Souls – Glenn Cooper

* The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

* On Writing – Stephen King

* Sweet Heart – Chelsea Cain

* The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass – Stephen King

* The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla – Stephen King

* The Dark Tower VI: Song for Sussanah – Stephen King

* The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower – Stephen King

* Blockade Billy (+ Morality) – Stephen King

* Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex – Eoin Colfer

* A Sudden outburst of Cosmic duck – T. Blackford

* I shall wear Midnight – Terry Pratchett

* Full Dark, No Stars – Stephen King

* Twisted – Jeffery Deaver

* Evil at Heart – Chelsea Cain

* Sorry I Ruined your Orgy – Bradley Sands

* Holiday Romance – Charles Dickens

* Beauty and the Beast – Marie le Prince de Beaumont

* Some Christmas Stories – Charles Dickens

* A Double Barrelled Detective – Mark Twain

* The Dead Alive – Wilkie Collins

* Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll

* The Husband – Dean Koontz

* Hide and Seek – Wilkie Collins

* The Sign of the Four – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

* The Wee Free Men – Terry Pratchett

* A Hat Full of Sky – Terry Pratchett

* Wintersmith – Terry Pratchett

* The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

* English Fairy Tales – Joseph Jacobs

* Cell – Stephen King

* How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr. Seuss

* Heart Sick – Chelsea Cain

* 6 Afrikaans books for young readers (translations of Classics): Oliver Twist, Ontvoer! (Kidnapped!), Die Verhale van Sherlock Holmes (The Tales of Sherlock Holmes), Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, Skateiland (Treasure Island)


Dread (also known as ‘tagging’)

30 12 2010

I have made a fatal flaw, an error in judgement, a whatever-else-you-can-call-it, which will now consume my waking moments until I cannot take it anymore.

It is time…

…to create tags for ALL my blog posts!! :-O

I don’t know why I was stupid enough to not do it from the very beginning. If I include this entry, I have now tagged 35 of my blog posts (November + December 2010)… and there are 182 more to go.

The optimist is saying that at least that’s 16% of the entries that I don’t have to deal with, which is better than the full 100% of un-tagged-ness.

Gods, how I’d love to strangle Little Miss Optimism…

…yet it probably isn’t recommended to strangle a part of yourself, so I’ll just sit and stew about it for a while, then I’ll be fine.

What have you left long overdue that is proving to be a proverbial pain in the neck?

A few New Year LOLcats

30 12 2010

It’s the 30th of December. I’ve owned my cat for 11 months. I’m getting married in just over 4 months. There are only two more weeks of my internship left…

…and tomorrow is New Year’s Eve.

It was the best of times, it was the wo-… oh wait, scrap that part: it was mostly the best of times (though, instead of ‘the worst’, we had a few bad, sad, unhappy and disappointing times as well). Besides general things like worrying about money, sitting at home for more than half of the year (jobless), and suffering from excruciating headaches – not to mention having to go for surgery – there were many things to smile at and be greatful for. My older sister got married. I landed an internship with a wonderful company. I had three Christmas celebrations. And my younger sister did pretty well during her first year at university.

Although I will be doing a blog post or two tomorrow, I thought I’d use this opportunity to wish my readers all the best for the New Year. To quote myself from the entry I posted on the 24th: “May the New Year be filled with love, laughter, happiness, prosperity, and may you find peace and blessings filling up yours days.” I’ll be spending New Year’s Eve with my parentals-in-law (as well as an uncle and aunt on my Significant Other’s side) at Lagoon Beach Hotel (click HERE to check out the menu for the evening).

I’ll be looking forward to dessert… Hmm…

Here are a few LOLcats for you to enjoy 🙂 You wouldn’t expect any less from me, now would you?

And so we get presents :-D

27 12 2010

Happy day-after-Boxing-Day-which-is-a-public-holiday-since-Boxing-Day-fell-on-a-Sunday, everyone.

I hope you all had a wonderful time with your loved ones from the 24th to 26th (sorry for my absence from my blog for two days) – I just hope you’re still able to move after all the festive meals. All I know is that I don’t want to see food until New Years Eve…

…since we’re going to Lagoon Beach Hotel with my future parentals-in-law.

We spent Christmas Eve with my parentals. Want to see the pile of presents under the tree for seven people?

Pretty impressive, huh?

Are afternoon usually plays out as follows: arrive, talk to everyone, help with preparations in the kitchen, lay out everything on the table so it looks ‘attractive’ (it’s all about presentation with my dad), sit about a bit and watch the Garfield Xmas Special, eat, help clean up, hang about, then open gifts (and eventually bugger off ;-p )

For quite a few years now, my dad makes the most amazing finger foods – from cold cuts and chicken strips to ribs and mini frikadelle (meatballs). This year, however, he decided to try something new and ordered three platters, instead… platters with a selection of Chinese goodies! Spicy green beans, noodles, mini vegetable springrols, bite sized pieces of beef and chicken and ribs, triangle-shaped ‘pancakes’…

…and a whole platter full of sushi!!!

I’ve never eaten much sushi – I had a few pieces on my 21st and 22nd birthdays (this year I was at my parental home for dinner, hence no going out and ordering sushi) – thus it was quite a treat to be able to ‘indulge’, as it were. There was no raw fish in it, mind (mostly crab and avocado), but it was still tasty. My younger sister didn’t like it; she tried one piece, then spat it out because she thought the seaweed tasted funny.

In any case, let me not regale with the details of the meal – let me tell you about what was in store for yours truly under the tree. Talking about (and showing the) gifts is always fun.

From my parentals

My mum and dad bought me my own teapot, milk jug and sugar bowl complete with eight coffee/ tea cups. They also got me two sets of cutlery (which results in 8 teaspoons, 8 knives, 8 forks and 8 table spoons) and a big cookie/ sweetie jar in the form of a cupcake (aforementioned jar was filled with sweets). The joys of being part of a ‘we’: you usually get stuff for your kitchen/ home.

From Addy

Also from Addy

My younger sister, Addy, bought me a cute Spongebob t-shirt that read “Get yer nerd on”, as well as a set of teal-ish/ blue-ish earrings from Honey and two little signs with the words “Peace” and “Hope” on them respectively. The “Peace” one is now against our guest bathroom door, while “Hope” adorns my Significant Other’s ‘office’ (where my four bookcases are).

From my big sis

My older sister, Libby (let’s call her that, since people have mispronounced her name in the past), bought me the first two books of the Beauty Killer series by Chelsea Cain. I borrowed and read her copy of the second book, then bought myself the third book to read. Now I can finally read the first book! Since she owns the first two books, I bought her the third book for Christmas 🙂 She also got me a box of Occasions chocolates (luckily they only have 8 in).

Ironically, she got me the coffee flavoured ones… and I haven’t had a cup of coffee since 18 December 2009.

From my Significant Other

Since my Significant Other bought me a pearl necklace and pearl bracelet to go with my wedding dress, I told him not to get me anything else for Christmas… although, of course, as is evident from the photo above, he did. My first additional (or ‘actual’ gift, because he says that the pearls ‘don’t count’) gift was a cooling rack/ stand/ thingy for my laptop, which tends to overheat and shut off of its own accord for some inexplicable reason. And believe me, this is quite a nifty device – I cannot believe how cool my keys are! He also got me a gift card from Woolworth – so that ‘you can buy yourself some new clothes and nice things’.

Guess I’ll have to buy him something nice for his birthday instead of saying (as was my initial intention) that the Russell Hobbes coffee machine I bought was a conjoined Christmas-birthday gift (his birthday is on the 4th of January).

Mr Jack Daniels and his family (my Tennessee parentals, as it were) sent me something in the post… and I’m pretty curious to find out what it is. I’ve hounded my sister to watch the parental postbox for a slip of paper informing me that I need to go pick up a package at the post office. I just hope it arrives sometime this week (and that the Christmas cards I sent them have arrived, as well).

The greatest ‘present’ of them all is the fact that I got to spend time with both my sets of parentals (genetically and, soon, by marriage) and that we are all safe and happy, with love in our hearts and fond memories forever cherished.

So, did you get what you wanted for Christmas?

Christmas Eve (morning)

24 12 2010

It’s here – the day before Christmas, and tonight it’s time to spread a bit of festive cheer at my parental home.

Yesterday was my first leave day, which saw me going to the shops with my parentals to buy a last few things such as glazed fruit and chicken and what not for our Christmas meal. I ended up helping my younger sister to bake cookies – which is to be expected, what with our genes and all – and even had the ‘honour’ of packing all the gifts under the tree (though my older sister is only bring hers today).

My parentals' Christmas tree!

Baking Christmas cookies is a pretty fun activity, yet my younger sister, Addy – you remember Addy, right? – got a little bit ‘twisted’ when decorating the teddy bears. Not that we decorated all the cookies – we did some trees (I literally decorated them!), and sprinkled 100s & 1000s and chocolate vermicilli over others, but we didn’t put a lot of ‘effort’ into them. With the bears, though, we made them little eyes and mouths…

…and it turns out that they creeped/ freaked us out so much, we dubbed them paedo-bears (surely you must have heard of paedo-bear and seen some pics/ demotivationals around the internet… or are we just weirdos??)

If that isn't creepy, then I don't know what is...

Puts ‘Goldilocks and the three bears’ into a whole new perspective. [Daddy bear fed Goldilocks and made sure that she was comfortable, then sat by her bed and watched her sleep the whole night long.]

Anyway, being silly aside, I’m really looking forward to spending some time with my family. I’m sure the gift I bought my Significant Other will make him very happy (out of all the gifts under the tree, I think it’s the biggest box of them all), and apparently my father has something very special in store for us with the festive meal, so that’ll be ‘exciting’.

In case I don’t blog later tonight or by tomorrow afternoon, I’d like to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas 🙂 May the New Year be filled with love, laughter, happiness, prosperity, and may you find peace and blessings filling up yours days. xxx

T-minus 8 hours…

22 12 2010

…until I’m on leave and have a bit of ‘vacation’ time.

As if to celebrate along with me, the weather is actually nice and cool today – one might even go so far as to say it’s chilly. I hate warm weather. Walking out of the office (which is freezing, I have to wear a jersey daily) into unbearable heat (still 37 degrees Celsius at 5 PM) is enough to leave you feeling nauseous and super headache-y.

So here I am, sitting at my desk on a nice cool day – a day where the airconditioning, ironically, is not on and it’s extremely humid in here – wishing that I could be at home baking something right about now.

At least then I’d be productive, because I have absolutely nothing nada nil zilch zero to do today *sigh* That’s what you get for being efficient…

Yip, this is pretty much how I feel after the heaps of praise I get from my superiors 🙂

Finally, it’s time to not worry about getting my Significant Other out of bed in the morning. Time to lay about, reading to my heart’s content, no deadlines to meet (though I usually render them obsolete)… Time to see my two sets of parentals and siblings, to relax, to watch movies on the computer until I have rectangular eyes, to see what my cat is up to all day…

But most of all, it’s  time for this:

Not knowing what to do, and not really caring, either!! 😉

So have a lovely day, dear readers. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll post some pics of my parentals’ Christmas tree… or blog about Christmas traditions… or not post anything at all. I will be on vacation, after all.

Oh yeah...

Christmas sing-along with Garfield

21 12 2010

How many of you have seen the Garfield Xmas special?

I know I’ve been going on about Garfield and cartoons and getting into the spirit of the festive season (all of which can be rolled into one)… which is probably why, now that it is the 21st already – a few days shy of Christmas – the songs are starting to loop in my head.

I wish I could find the stop button… even fast forwarding would help.

Anyway, since Garfield is a firm favourite in our happy parental home (I’m sure it’s definitely something in our genes), here is a little number Jon and Garfield sing while on their way to the Arbuckle family home/ farm/ whatever. I can’t seem to help myself – the special came out in my birth year, after all (1987).

Garfield seems like bit of a Scrooge in this song, but he really does enjoy the whole spirit of Christmas thing. After all, he even goes as far as saying:

“All right, you guys, just permit me one sentimental moment here, will you? I have something to say. Christmas: it’s not the giving, it’s not the getting – it’s the Loving… There, I said it. Now get outta’ here.”

If you know the tune (and perhaps even the words by heart), sing along. And if you don’t… I’m sure you can find a video for it on YouTube.

Let the road trip begin!

Jon: I remember when my brother Doc Boy and I were little…

Garfield: Oh brother, here we go again…

[commence singing!!]

Jon: Dad would chop down the tree…

Garfield: Chores.

Jon: Mom would fix up a meal…

Garfield: Work.

Jon: Doc Boy would get in the way –

Garfield: Fighting – Big Fat hairy deal!!

[Odie: bark!]

Jon: Decorating the tree…

Garfield: Gardening.

Jon: Wiring all of the lights…

Garfield: Electrical contracting.

Jon: Wrapping boxes and writing out cards –

Garfield: Office work, out of sight.

[Odie: bark bark bark]

Jon: Then we’d take those presents aaand pile them under the tree – we’d barely get a wink of sleep, [Odie barks along] wondering what they could be!

Garfield: The special gifts of Christmas –

Jon: – Christmas –

Garfield: – that really make it great –

Jon: – it’s so great –

Garfield: – are the insomnia and the anxiety… kids get from having to wait!

Jon: Can’t wait ‘til Christmas… there’s so much to do

[Odie: ah-wooo!!]

Jon: Can’t wait ‘til Christmaaaas…..

Garfield: Wake me when it’s through.

[Odie: bark!]

[Singing stops. Jon parks the car, then says:]

Jon: Now behave yourself this Christmas, Garfield.

Garfield: Sure – I’ll wait in the car.

Happy Holidays, everyone ❤