Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Books Read in 2008

Another year has come and gone and my mind is 73 books richer--that's 10 more than in 2007. Here is a list of the books I finished in 2008. You can follow the links to their journal entries on BookCrossing; those books without a link were either borrowed, or are in my permanent collection for the moment. My favorite reads this year? Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, and The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger.

1. The Giant's House: A Romance, by Elizabeth McCracken
2. The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea, by Sebastian Junger
3. Lean Mean Thirteen, by Janet Evanovich
4. Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne
5. The Wedding, by Dorothy West
6. What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, by Pearl Cleage
7. Warriors Don't Cry, by Melba Pattillo Beals
8. The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography, by Sidney Poitier
9. Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World, by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman

10. Getting Over Jack Wagner, by Elise Juska
11. And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie (reread)
12. In Search Of The Far Side, by Gary Larson
13. The Right Stuff, by Tom Wolfe
14. Come Closer, by Sara Gran
15. Motor Mouth, by Janet Evanovich
16. Star Wars, by George Lucas
17. Love Story, by Erich Segal

18. Forecast, by Jane Tara
19. Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen
20. Five Quarters of the Orange, by Joanne Harris
21. Night, by Elie Wiesel
22. James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
23. Murder Most Frothy, by Cleo Coyle

24. Kill Me, by Stephen White
25. The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, by Melissa Bank (reread)
26. The Wish List, by Eoin Colfer
27. Gentlemen & Players, by Joanne Harris
28. William Shakespeare's Henry V, by Kenneth Branagh
29. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, by Michael Chabon

30. Invasion of Privacy, by Perri O'Shaughnessy
31. The Laughing Dragon, by Kenneth Mahood
32. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
33. Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell
34. Murder Is Easy, by Agatha Christie

35. The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise
36. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin, Jr., and Eric Carle
37. Firestorm, by Iris Johansen
38. Curious George and the Puppies, by Margret & H.A. Rey
39. The Witches, by Roald Dahl
40. The Millionaires, by Brad Meltzer (audio)
41. Thirteen Moons, by Charles Frazier
42. Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home, by Nando Parrado
43. LOST: Secret Identity, by Cathy Hapka
44. Bad Twin, by Gary Troup
45. Ella Minnow Pea, by Mark Dunn
46. Pearls Before Swine: Lions and Tigers and Crocs, Oh My! by Stephan Pastis

47. I Am The Messenger, by Markus Zusak
48. Mum's the Word, by Kate Collins
49. Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan
50. The Art of Uncontrolled Flight, by Kim Ponders
51. Then & Now Corolla Walking Tour and Guide, by Molly Harrison
52. Lost in a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde
53. All I Need Is You, by Johanna Lindsey
54. Mog the Forgetful Cat, by Judith Kerr

55. The Crass Menagerie: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury, by Stephan Pastis
56. The Dead Zone, by Stephen King
57. Fearless Fourteen, by Janet Evanovich
58. Atonement, by Ian McEwan
59. Practical Demonkeeping, by Christopher Moore
60. The Jane Austen Book Club, by Karen Joy Fowler

61. The Magic Finger, by Roald Dahl
62. The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
63. Cujo, by Stephen King

64. The Well of Lost Plots, by Jasper Fforde
65. The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
66. Half-Moon Investigations, by Eoin Colfer

67. In The Woods, by Tana French
68. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
69. The Third Secret, by Steve Berry
70. The Birth of Venus, by Sarah Dunant

71. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
72. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See
73. Wreck the Halls, by Sarah Graves

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wild Release #503

In search of gasoline and lunch today, I made my way to Sheetz at the Five Points intersection in Greensburg. I filled up my tank for $1.68 a gallon (so cheap!) and left "Jedi Search," by Kevin Anderson, on top of the gas pump before I went in the store for a cheese and veggie sub. Delicious.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wild Release #502

Today's post-holiday release was themed for both the time of year and the subject matter of the book. I left Sarah Graves' "Wreck the Halls" on a perfectly-sized-for-a-book ledge outside Bortz Hardware on South Pennsylvania Avenue in Greensburg.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wild Release #501

It seems like such a long time since I have been to Blockbuster, trading in a movie and leaving a book behind. Today, rather than leave one inside, I left one outside on top of the garbage can on the sidewalk outside the entrance. I sincerely hope that someone picks up "Half-Moon Investigations," by Eion Colfer, and takes it home before someone else decides to pick it up and put it *in* the garbage can.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wild Release #500

What better way to reach the milestone of my 500th wild release than with Dav Pilkey's "The Adventures of Captain Underpants"? Sisters Nos. 1, 3, and 6, Niece No. 2, Nephew No. 1 and I lunched at Panera Bread where Niece No. 1 was working her last Saturday there. I left Captain Underpants on a table on the sidewalk outside the front door on our way in, and last I saw him, he was still there.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wild Release #499

It's Christmas Eve and two dozen relatives will be at my house soon so I stocked up on Diet Mt. Dew at the Hempfield Square Giant Eagle. I left Tracy Chevalier's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" on top of the pile of weekly sales flyers in the entrance on my way in. Perhaps it will make a nice Christmas gift for someone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wild Releases #497 & #498

I had to stop at the bank on my way home from work today, so I chose a new branch of First Commonwealth to visit. I don't think I have been inside the building behind the Shop 'n Save on East Pittsburgh Street since the Shop 'n Save was Davis Supermarkets, the bank was Southwest, and Jimmy Carter was the Commander-in-Chief, so I decided to rectify that today. It still has some wonderful 1970s decor, even today, but it didn't look all that familiar to me. I guess we used the drive-thru windows more than the actual teller windows inside. On my way out, I left "Technical Hitch," by Jane Sigaloff, in the free literature rack in the vestibule.

My second release of the evening was "River, Cross My Heart," by Breena Clarke, on a bench outside The Olive Garden on Route 30 in Greensburg, where I enjoyed a delicious dinner of Bruschetta, Zuppa Toscano, and Fettucini Alfredo, with Mom and Sister No. 6. The book was gone from the bench by the time we left. I hope whoever found it enjoys it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wild Release #496

Niece No. 2 was singing with the Westmoreland Symphony at The Palace Theatre this evening, as part of their "Home for the Holidays" show. What better time to release "Jingle All The Way," by Fern Michaels, et al., than during intermission? I left this holiday-themed book on a red velvet chair next to the Christmas tree on the landing between the balcony and main floor.

Wild Release #495

I can't believe I was out of bed, showered, dressed, and out the door so early on a Saturday. Since it is the last weekend before Christmas, I really needed to finish my shopping today. But one can't shop without sustenance, so I breakfasted at McDonald's across from Westmoreland Mall. On my way out the door, I left "Three Billy Goats Gruff and Other Read-Aloud Stories," by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, on a ledge inside the side doors around 10:45 a.m.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Catch #62!

"Glasses for D.W." has a new home with new member kimmurt5. "Very surprised when the book was found," says kimmurt5. "Did not know bookcrossing existed." It does, and we are glad you found us. Welcome!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wild Release #494

Chick-fil-a in Eastgate Plaza was pretty busy at lunchtime today, which hopefully bodes well for "Glasses for D.W.," by Marc Brown, which I left on the ledge outside the front door around 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wild Release #493

I made a decent-sized dent in the Christmas shopping this evening at Westmoreland Mall. I left with many, many bags full of gifts, but lighter by one book--A. A. Milne's "When We Were Very Young." I left it on the island of gumball and candy machines near Sears when I went in, and it was gone by the time I left.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wild Release #492

It has been a long time since I particpated in a Special Sunset Mission, but having just finished reading Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," the timing was perfect for SSM 121608 celebrating Jane Austen's birthday. The mission was to leave the book in a place that evokes history, and for me, that was my former place of employment when I was a teen-ager--the former Davis Supermarkets on East Pittsburgh Street in Greensburg (now a Shop 'n Save). Back then, we who worked there were the same as Jane's characters in "Pride and Prejudice," looking for love, good matches, and great fortunes. With that in mind, I left the book on the ATM outside the store.

This week's challenge, set by kaitlinI, follows:

SSM 121608: Jane Austen
When: Tuesday, December 16, 2008
How: This is Jane's birthday! She was born December 16, 1775. Release a Jane Austen novel, or a book about her or about her novels in a place that evokes history to you. Examples: A place of learning history- a museum, a school or university, a library. A place that has a history in your life, somewhere that you remember from your childhood.

Wild Release #491

Gene Deweese's "Dinotopia: Firestorm" is waiting at the Wendy's in the Hempfield Pointe plaza near Home Depot. It is in a zippered plastic bag on the brick window ledge outside the door nearest the drive-thru windows.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wild Releases #489 & #490

More shopping today, this time in North Huntingdon/Irwin (Where does one end and one begin? I don't think anyone knows), where my last stop was the Giant Eagle. I left B. B. Hiller's "The Next Karate Kid" on a bench on the sidewalk outside the doors, and A. A. Milne's "Now We Are Six" on the seat of a kiddie cart inside.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wild Releases #487 & #488

With only 11 days to go before our Christmas Eve festivities, I needed to get seriously started on my shopping today. One of my stops was Big Lots! in the Greengate Centre North plaza and although I didn't buy anything there, I did leave Kenneth Mahood's "The Laughing Dragon" behind on the bench on the sidewalk outside the entrance. My shopping travels also took me to Mount Pleasant; I stopped at Arby's in the Summit Ridge plaza for lunch and left "Pictures of Hollis Woods," by Patricia Reilly Giff, on the window ledge in the vestibule.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wild Release #486

Dinner was my responsibility tonight, so that meant PIZZA! When I went to pick it up from The Red Brick Restaurant and Lounge in West Point, I left "Date With A Dead Doctor," by Toni Brill, on the brick ledge outside the door to the dining room.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wild Release #485

Today at Arby's, I hope I made an offer that can't be refused. I left Mario Puzo's "The Godfather" in a plastic bag to protect it from the cold, cold rain, on the brick window ledge outside the side door. It better not be sleeping with the fishes.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Wild Release #484

My second attempt to release a book at First Commonwealth Bank on Main Street was a success. The ATM in the lobby has a nice wide shelf that easily accommodated Elizabeth George's "A Great Deliverance." I hope it delivers a journal entry soon.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Wild Release #483

Sister No. 6 and I drove to Monroeville today to do a little holiday shopping. One of our stops was PaperMart in Jonnet Plaza, and I took the opportunity to leave Bebe Moore Campbell's "Brothers and Sisters" on the bench outside El Campesino Mexican Restaurant. By the time we left PaperMart, the book was already gone. Write home pronto!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wild Release #482

Today I took a gamble on a new release zone by leaving "McNally's Gamble," by Lawrence Sanders, on a bench outside Chili's in Greengate Centre. Here's hoping my gamble pays off soon!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wild Release #481

Rather than drive to the post office to drop off some mail, I walked to the post office box outside Greensburg News on West Otterman Street. I was going to buy some instant lottery tickets there, but their machine was out of order, so I left empty-handed. On my way back up the hill, I propped "Up Jumped the Devil," by Blair S. Walker, on ledge outside the window of Baldy's Pizza that has all the pizza boxes stacked in it. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Wild Release #480

I stopped at the East Pittsburgh Street Shop 'n Save on my way home from work and left "Cell: A Novel," by Stephen King, on the wood railing outside the front door as my first release of the month.