Thursday, December 31, 2009

Books Read in 2009

Another year has come and gone and my mind is 69 books richer--that's 4 fewer than in 2008. Here is a list of the books I finished in 2009. 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? The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield, A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles DickensThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, and Something Rotten, by Jasper Fforde

1. The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield
2. Playing with Boys, by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
3. The Homecoming, by Ray Bradbury
4. Size 12 Is Not Fat, by Meg Cabot
5. A Painted House, by John Grisham
6. 50 Great Short Stories, edited by Milton Crane
7. The Ugly Duckling, by Iris Johansen
8. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant  

9. Weiner Dog Art: A Far Side Collection, by Gary Larson
10. Decaffeinated Corpse, by Cleo Coyle
11. Mirror Mirror: A Novel, by Gregory Maguire
12. How to Make an American Quilt, by Whitney Otto  

13. The Enormous Crocodile, by Roald Dahl
14. Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination, by Helen Fielding
15. Curious George Goes Camping, by Margret & H.A. Rey  

16. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
17. Full Tilt, by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes
18. Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr
19. The Lost World, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
20. Gods in Alabama, by Joshilyn Jackson
21. The Ghost, by Robert Harris
22. Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie  

23. Godmother, by Carolyn Turgeon
24. Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown
25. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Samuel L. Clemens
26. The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink
27. Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
28. Nickety-Nackety Noo-Noo-Noo, by Joy Cowley
29. Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse
30. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak (reread)  

31. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
32. Size 14 Is Not Fat Either, by Meg Cabot
33. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (audio)
34. The Rocksburg Railroad Murders, by K. C. Constantine
35. Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson
36. They Came to Baghdad, by Agatha Christie
37. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
38. Indigo, by Alice Hoffman

39. Coastliners, by Joanne Harris
40. Unnatural Selections, by Gary Larson
41. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson
42. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
43. Big Boned, by Meg Cabot
44. Speaking with the Angel, edited by Nick Hornby  

45. Something Rotten, by Jasper Fforde
46. Q and A, by Vikas Swarup
47. Agnes Nixon's All My Children: Book I: Tara & Philip, by Rosemarie Santini
48. Agnes Nixon's All My Children: Book II: Erica, by Rosemarie Santini
49. Agnes Nixon's All My Children: Book III: The Lovers, by Rosemarie Santini
50. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

51. The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger
52. The Lives of Dax, edited by Marco Palmieri
53. Courting Trouble, by Lisa Scottoline (audio)  

54. Emma, by Jane Austen
55. A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson
56. Queen Victoria and Her Amusements, read by Geoffrey Palmer (audio)
57. Partners in Crime, by Agatha Christie
58. The Supernaturalist, by Eoin Colfer
59. On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan

60. The Widow of the South, by Robert Hicks (audio)
61. The Magician's Nephew, by C. S. Lewis (audio)
62. The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells
63. New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer
64. French Pressed, by Cleo Coyle
65. Mary, by Janis Cooke Newman  

66. Me and Mr. Darcy, by Alexandra Potter
67. The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories, by O. Henry
68. Red Sky in the Morning, by Margaret Dickinson (audio)
69. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis (audio)

December Stats

Wild Releases: 18
Catches: 2

Year-End Stats:
Wild Releases: 334
RABCKs: 131
Catches: 54
OBCZ Finds: 1
Bookrays: 1
Wild Finds: 1

2009 Catch Rate: 16.17%

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wild Release #837

I have been waiting all month to release this book, and I nearly waited too long! You can find Anita Shreve's "A Wedding In December" on the bench outside the front door of MB Modern Bride on Urania Avenue in Greensburg.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wild Release #836

Subway's Buffalo Chicken sub was calling to me at lunch today; I think there's something addictive in the hot sauce that I am unable to resist. I also seem unable to resist releasing books all over town, so, as usual, I gave in. I left "Silver Bells," by Fern Michaels, et al., on a ledge inside the set of doors on my way out after devouring my Buffalo Chicken sub.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wild Releases #833 - #835

Sister No. 6 insisted I accompany her on her post-holiday shopping quest for bargains galore. Our first stop was at Toys R Us in Greensburg, where she was in search of specific half-price wrapping paper, and I was in search of a nice ledge for a book release. I found what I wanted, leaving "Mama, Do You Love Me," by Barbara M. Joosse, on the ledge outside the front doors; sadly, Sister No. 6 did not find what she wanted.

Our next stop was IKEA in Robinson Township, where she was in search of nonspecific household items, and I was in search of a suitable place for a book release. I found what I wanted, leaving "The Fall-Down Artist," by Thomas Lipinski, on a bed display after exiting the marketplace; Sister No. 6 seemed pleased with her purchases.

All this shopping whet our appetites, so we lunched at Mad Mex. It was our first time there; the food was good and plentiful, and I found an appropriate spot for a book release. I left "Fourth Horseman," by Margot Dalton, leaning next to a horse figure that was carved out of a metal railing lining the sidewalk outside.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wild Release #832

'Tis the season for giving gifts, and what better gift than a book? I left "The Saturday Evening Post Christmas Book," by Starkey Flythe, Jr., on a nice wide ledge outside the front doors of Burton's Total Pet in Greensburg's Eastgate Plaza. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wild Release #831

I took a walk to the bank this afternoon, but that wasn't the only place I made a deposit. I deposited "Murder Most Holy," by Mike Manno, on the stairs of Trinity United Church of Christ in Greensburg.

RABCKs #250 - #252

Back in September, I was the lucky winner of an International Audiobook Sweepstake RABCK hosted by Smurphie. As the lucky winner, it was my responsibility to host the next round. The winner has been drawn and three audiobooks are on their way to (shhhh! don't tell!): "Red Sky in the Morning," by Margaret Dickinson; "Queen Victoria and Her Amusements," read by Geoffrey Palmer; and "The Widow of the South,"; by Robert Hicks. Congratulations and enjoy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wild Releases #830

The Westmoreland County Courthouse is the place to attend to one's legal affairs, so it seemed an appropriate place to leave Judith Slawson's book of the same name. I left "Legal Affairs" on one of the planters on the sidewalk facing Main Street.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wild Releases #828 & #829

Mom and I went to see Niece No. 4's and Niece No. 5's holiday band concert this evening. On the way, I left Anne Tyler's "The Accidental Tourist" on top of a gas pump at Sheetz in Irwin; once we got to South Allegheny High School in Liberty Borough, I left James Ramsey Ullman's "Banner in the Sky" (one of my favorite reads as a child) outside the auditorium doors.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wild Release #827

There is a lovely little store called The Chocolate Shoppe that opened recently on Pennsylvania Avenue in Greensburg, so I left a housewarming gift for them on the stoop: "Fudge-Laced Felonies," by Cynthia Hickey. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Catch #116!

"Frankenstein" has been found! New member carriemetz reports: "My friend found the book at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, PA on October 25th. She hasn't had time to read it or register so she passed it on to me." Thank you, carriemetz and carriemetz's friend, and welcome to BookCrossing!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wild Release #826

If you're lunching at Arby's in Greensburg today, as I did, keep an eye out for "Masquerade," by Liz Osborne, which I left on a window ledge outside the doors.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wild Release #825

Sister No. 6 wanted to go to an open house at Shadowwood Gardens near Twin Lakes today and, of course, she wanted company--and a chauffeur. When we arrived, we found out the open house was the previous weekend and most of their stock was at a show at Westmoreland Mall! That didn't stop me from leaving "The Light Years," by Elizabeth Jane Howard, on some paving stones in the parking lot for another misinformed customer to find.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wild Release #824

Every four years around this time, it's time for the dreaded driver's license photo. Today, I bit the bullet and went during lunch. I didn't have to wait long, and luckily the photos are digital these days so you can look at them immediately and ask them to take another. My hair insisted on doing this flippy thing and for some reason my face fills the entire frame rather than a nice head and shoulders shot, but it's done. It's tucked away in the deep recesses of my wallet and I hopefully won't have to look at it very often. I did take the opportunity to leave Stephanie Bond's "In Deep Voodoo" in the literature rack just inside the door of the driver license center before I left, so at least one good thing came of the day! ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Catch #115!

"Here on Earth" has been caught rather quickly here on Earth! "So far great fun. And really like the idea of sharing," says new member UcBunny. Thanks for the journal entry and welcome to BookCrossing!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Wild Release #823

I had a dinner meeting this evening at The Boulevard in Greensburg, so I left Ken Follett's "Whiteout" on a bench in the entrance in anticipation of tomorrow's snowstorm!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

RABCKs #244 - #249

Mom's book club is meeting this morning for their holiday get-together. The members were supposed to bring a book or two with them to swap, and since I have a lot of books these days, I offered to pick some out for Mom to take with her. The books I selected are: "The Devil in the White City," by Erik Larson; "The Birth House," by Ami McKay; "The Falls," by Karen Harper; "Paper-Thin Alibi," by Mary Ellen Hughes; "The Perfectly True Tales of a Perfect Size 12," by Robin Gold; and "The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary & Sewing Circle," by Lois Battle. I hope they are enjoyed!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Wild Release #822

The skinny fries at Steak 'n Shake were calling to me today, so I followed their siren song at lunchtime. On my way in, I left "Here on Earth," by Alice Hoffman, on top of the garbage can outside the entrance doors. It (and a plateful of skinny fries) was gone when I left.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Wild Release #821

SNOW!!! It's the first snowfall of the season so I left "Snow-Walker," by Catherine Fisher, on the information board in the parking lot of the upper lake of Twin Lakes in Greensburg. Perhaps one of Twin Lakes' "snow-walkers" will find it and take it home with them.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Wild Release #820

Birthday and Christmas shopping are usually the only way to get me to step foot in a mall. 'Tis the season for Christmas shopping, so I trudged off to Westmoreland Mall in Greensburg. On my way in to Sears, I left "T-backs, T-shirts, Coat, and Suit," by E.L. Konigsburg, on the store directory near the juniors' department on the first floor.

Monday, November 30, 2009

November Stats

Wild Releases: 34
Catches: 10

Wild Releases: 316
RABCKs: 122
Catches: 52
OBCZ Finds: 1
Bookrays: 1
Wild Finds: 1

Wild Release #819

I found another new release spot today at the Dollar Tree in Hempfield Plaza. There is a lovely deep ledge to the left of the entrance. That's where you may find Barbara Taylor Bradford's "Dangerous to Know."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wild Release #818 & Catch #114!

I met some friends for lunch at Hoss's Family Steak & Sea on Route 119 in Greensburg—the perfect opportunity for my first release there. I left "On Chesil Beach," by Ian McEwan, on the ledge outside the entrance door when I arrived, and it was gone by the time we left. It seems to have been picked up rather quickly by new member blondecharm2717, who reports: "I just discovered this book at Hoss's Steak and Seahouse and I can't wait to read it." I hope you enjoy the book—and BookCrossing—blondecharm2717!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wild Release #817

It's no mystery why "The Silver Spoon Mystery," by Dorothy Sterling, was left with the plastic spoons at the Hempfield Square Giant Eagle. It was my feeble attempt at a semi-themed release. I'll do better next time. ;)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Catch #113!

Louis L'Amour's "Last of the Breed" is on a new adventure, thanks to an AnonymousFinder. "Caught the book sometime ago on October 3rd at Twin Lakes County Park," he writes. "Finished reading it the first week of November, released it at the head of the Roaring Run Watershed Rails-to-Trails located at Apollo, PA @ November 23rd." Now that's something to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wild Release #816

If you stop at Aldi Foods in Greensburg to pick up some things for Thanksgiving dinner (as I did) you may find Sidney Sheldon's "Nothing Lasts Forever" on the windowsill in the vestibule. Hurry! It may not last forever.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wild Release #815

Before I could hit the open road today (OK, I was really on my lunch hour), I needed to fill up my gas tank, so I headed to Giant Eagle's GetGo in Greensburg and left "The Bad Girl's Guide to the Open Road," by Cameron Tuttle, on top of the gas pump.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wild Release #814

Sister No. 6 and I spent the day in search of a red Snuggie for her Angel Tree gift (a local nursing home puts patients' Christmas wishes on paper angel ornaments that are hung on a tree where she works; you pick an angel off the tree, shop for the gift, and return it to work to be delivered to the nursing home patients for Christmas). There were Snuggies, Snuggies everywhere, but not a red one to spare. We struck out at CVS in Greensburg, too, but I did leave a book behind on a window ledge outside the door: "Beneath A Blood Red Moon," by Shannon Drake.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Catch #112!

"The Polar Express" has pulled into the next station! New member mrsbrumby39 reports: "While walking back up Main Street after we where in the Annual Greensburg Parade we found the book on the Skate Shop ledge. We think it is a neat idea and we are going to read the book later tonight or tomorrow." Thanks for the journal entry, mrsbrumby39, and welcome to BookCrossing!

Wild Releases #804 - #813

Today was the annual Holiday Parade in Downtown Greensburg--a fabulous opportunity to release lots of books. I got a great parking space and was able to release ten books: "The Pumpkin Pie Prize," by Acton Figueora; "The Polar Express," by Chris Van Allsburg; "The Christmas Thief," by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark; "Return of Santa Paws," by Nicholas Edwards; "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," by C.S. Lewis; "There Goes Santa Claus," by Nancy Mehl; "Gifts from the Heart," by Better Homes and Gardens; "Crafts to Celebrate the Season," by Mary Engelbreit; "A Map of the World," by Jane Hamilton; and "Christmas Angels," by Phyllis Méras and Julianna Turkevich. Thankfully, it wasn't as cold as last year, so once my mission was complete, I stuck around and enjoyed the parade.

Friday, November 20, 2009

WIld Release #803

Chicken and cow are not the only animals you may find at the Hempfield Pointe Wendy's today. Look on the ledge outside the door next to the drive-thru windows and you may spy "The Case of the Ill-Gotten Goat," by Claudia Bishop.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wild Release #802

I had a meeting at the Courtyard by Marriott, Greensburg, this evening and was thrilled to find a bookshelf in the cozy lounge area for their guests. I slipped "The Devil Wears Prada," by Lauren Weisberger, on one of the shelves before I slipped out the door.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wild Release #801

Sister No. 6 and I met in Irwin to do some shopping. I got myself a new pair of shoes at the Payless ShoeSource and left Elaine Viets' "High Heels Are Murder" on a ledge outside the front door.

Catch #111!

"Little Miss Sunshine and the Wicked Witch," which I released at Twin Lakes duing the Humane Society's Whisker Walk a few weeks ago, has written home. New member mediumarmadillo says: "I guess I caught this shortly after it was released, b/c we were surprised by the dogs in costume, then I was excited b/c not only did I catch the book, but it was a Little Miss title - score! While it didn't take me 3 weeks to read it, it took me 3 weeks to remember to make a journal entry!" Better late than never, mediumarmadillo! Thank you and welcome to BookCrossing!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Catch #110!

How's this for a weird it's-a-small-world coincidence? "Boy Crazy" was caught and journalled by an AnonymousFinder who writes: "I found this book at the Greensburg Post Office. I immediately recognized this book because I designed the logo on the cover in the mid 1980s. I autographed it ad plan to set it free today. This is a fun concept and glad to be a part of it. Keep up the good work." Crazy, huh?

Wild Releases #799 & #800

I spied a pumpkin on the stoop of Doe's East Coast Dogs on West Otterman Street in Greensburg yesterday, but when I went there later to release "I Spy A Pumpkin," by Jean Marzollo, it had disappeared. Thankfully, on my way out of town for lunch today, I saw it was back in place on the stoop, so I was able to complete my themed release.

Lunch was had at Chipotle in the new Lincoln Place shopping plaza, where I am enamored of the vegetarian bowl as well as the numerous wide ledges perfect for releasing books. I left "The Source of Magic," by Piers Anthony, on the ledge outside the front door for my 800th wild release on!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Catch #109!

Two catches in one day! "Veronica the Show-off" was journalled by new member CMcdonald77, and will soon be travelling again: "I found the book at a Greensburg Arby's fast food restaurant.  I have always been fond of books.  Veronica the Show-off is a great choice as a travelling book.  I will release it 11/16/09 and allow it to continue on its journey. I will leave it in Irwin Panera Bread restaurant." Thanks, CMcdonald77, and welcome to BookCrossing!

Catch #108!

I was so pleased to get the journal alert in my e-mail saying "Tuscan Termination" has been caught! New member readsalotruthie says, "I haven't yet read the book.  i will give another review after I do." I'm looking forward to it, readsalotruthie. Welcome to BookCrossing!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wild Release #798

If pizza is on your menu this evening, head to Pizza Hut on Route 30 in Greensburg where you just might find "Pizza Pat," by Rita Golden Gelman, on a bench outside the front door.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

WIld Release #797 & RABCK #243

On my way in to mail Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" as a reciprocal wishlist RABCK to SeeLifeMarvels in Florida (she was kind enough to wishlist RABCK me "The Other Boleyn Girl"), I nonchalantly dropped the Pen Pals book "Boy Crazy," by Sharon Dennis Wyeth, on a tall table in the lobby of the post office.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Catch #107!

"Another Amy" has checked in after a month out on her own. New member soundpreacher says it was "Not too bad. Seriously below my usual age range, but a pretty good book." Thanks for journalling and joining, soundpreacher, and welcome to BookCrossing!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wild Release #796

I often wish I had discovered BookCrossing before I went on vacation to Italy in 2006; alas, it was March 2007 before I came across the site on the PostSecret blog. If I *had* known about BookCrossing—and had this particular book in my possession at the time—I would have left "Tuscan Termination," by Margaret Moore, in one of the many hill towns in Tuscany that we visited. Since that was not possible, I left it at a local Italian restaurant, instead: Pasqualino's in Murrysville, Pa. If you happen to be there enjoying the fabulous food, look at the ledge inside the front door for a free appetizer for your mind.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wild Release #795

I bought "Sesame Street Storyland" new years ago to entertain my young nieces and nephews while we camped over Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Now that they are teen-agers, they are no longer amused, so it was time to release it for someone else to appreciate. I left it on a bench outside The Toy Box in Ligonier, Pa., on the day after the 40th anniversary of the premiere of Sesame Street on PBS.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wild Release #794

Luckily for me, I am never up early enough in the morning to indulge myself at the bakery in Panera Bread. Instead, I spend dozens of lunch hours there, when the lure of creamy tomato soup is greater than that of a chocolate pastry. Today, I left "Baker's Fatal Dozen," by Lisa Harris, in the suggestion card rack between the front doors. Bon appetit!