Friday, December 31, 2010

Books Read in 2010

Another year has come and gone and my mind is 80 books richer--that's 11 more than in 2009. Here is a list of the books I finished in 2010. 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? Lamb, by Christopher MooreStardust, by Neil Gaiman, and The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, not to mention my rereads of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis, and The Giver, by Lois Lowry.

1. Lamb, by Christopher Moore
2. Evil Under the Sun, by Agatha Christie (audio)
3. Dinner for Two, by Mike Gayle (audio)
4. LOST: Endangered Species, by Cathy Hapka
5. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
6. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar, by Robert Alexander
7. Thumbelina, by Hans Christian Andersen
8. Memories of the Future, Volume 1, by Wil Wheaton
9. My Forbidden Face—Growing Up Under the Taliban: A Young Woman's Story, by Latifa (audio)

10. The Horse and His Boy, by C. S. Lewis (audio)
11. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
12. Knock Down, by Dick Francis (audio)
13. Perfume, by Patrick Süskind
14. The Daughters of Cain, by Colin Dexter (audio)
15. Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
16. The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory
17. A Night to Remember, by Walter Lord
18. Prince Caspian, by C. S. Lewis (audio)
19. Finger Lickin' Fifteen, by Janet Evanovich

20. The Magician's Assistant, by Ann Patchett
21. Written by Herself: Volume 2: Women's Memoirs From Britain, Africa, Asia and the United States, by Jill Ker Conway
22. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
23. Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer

24. Notes from a Small Island, by Bill Bryson
25. Dead Even, by Brad Meltzer (audio)
26. Twenty Grand: Great American Short Stories, edited by Ernestine Taggard
27. Lily White, by Susan Isaacs (audio)
28. Shattered, by Dick Francis (audio)
29. Granny Dan, by Danielle Steel

30. A Daughter's a Daughter and Other Novels, by Mary Westmacott (a/k/a Agatha Christie)
31. What You Leave Behind, by Diane Carey
32. The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson
33. A Fortunate Life, by A. B. Facey (audio)
34. The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown
35. As Time Goes By, by Bob Larbey (audio)

36. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
37. Sarah's Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay
38. The Secret Passage, by Nina Bawden
39. The Lost Continent, by Bill Bryson
40. The Giver, by Lois Lowry (audio)
41. In Sunlight, in a Beautiful Garden, by Kathleen Cambor
42. Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier (audio)
43. The Lost Legends of New Jersey, by Frederick Reiken
44. Pearls Sells Out, by Stephan Pastis

45. Something Under the Bed Is Drooling, by Bill Watterson
46. Death on the Nile, by Agatha Christie
47. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C. S. Lewis (audio)
48. Petite Anglaise, by Catherine Sanderson
49. Breaking Dawn, by Stephenie Meyer
50. Summerland, by Michael Chabon
51. The Silver Chair, by C. S. Lewis (audio)
52. Dial Emmy for Murder, by Eileen Davidson
53. Talk, Talk, by T. C. Boyle (audio)

54. The Girl With No Shadow, by Joanne Harris
55. The Good Samaritan Strikes Again, by Patrick F. McManus
56. Life's A Beach, by Claire Cook (audio)
57. Coal Run, by Tawni O'Dell
58. How Nancy Drew Saved My Life, by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
59. The Vendetta Defense, by Lisa Scottoline (audio)
60. The Last Battle, by C. S. Lewis (audio)
61. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, by Jean-Dominique Bauby

62. Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, by Michael J. Fox
63. The Hundred Secret Senses, by Amy Tan (audio)
64. Marrying Mozart, by Stephanie Cowell
65. The Boy Next Door, by Meggin Cabot
66. The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, by Roald Dahl
67. Mutant Message Down Under, by Marlo Morgan
68. Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen (reread)

69. Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, by Lorna Landvik
70. Lake Wobegon Days, by Garrison Keillor (audio)
71. LOST: Signs of Life, by Frank Thompson
72. Son of a Witch, by Gregory Maguire

73. We Are In A Book!, by Mo Willems
74. Can I Play Too?, by Mo Willems
75. There Is A Bird On Your Head, by Mo Willems
76. Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt (audio)
77. At Home In Mitford, by Jan Karon

78. The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, by Christopher Moore
79. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
80. Stories by O. Henry

December Stats

Wild Releases: 6
Catches: 1
Wild Find: 1

2010 Stats:
Wild Releases: 226
RABCKs: 44
Catches: 36
Wild Finds: 3
Bookrays: 3

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wild Release #1063

I just got back from a delicious dinner with friends at Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse in Greensburg. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is fun, and the hibachi chefs are highly entertaining. I was inspired to leave Kaye Morgan's "Killer Sudoku" behind in the lobby in the free City Paper rack. Please find a new home soon! Domo arigato.

Wild Find #5!

I found a very familiar-looking book today at the Goodwill store in Greensburg: "So You Want to Be a Wizard," by Diane Duane. I released it in Level Green a little over 11 months ago, but it seems to have the instincts of a homing pigeon. It wouldn't answer me when I asked where it had been and how it came to be there; I'll just have to use my imagination. I left it there on the shelf, awaiting its next adventure.

RABCK #296

I had two copies of "Bel Canto" on my shelf, so I was pleased to send one to spoiledrotten in New Jersey so she can read it for her book club. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wild Release #1062

"Anne of Green Gables," by L. M. Montgomery, is looking for a new home. If you can offer her one, she is sitting on a light pole in the Lincoln Place Subway parking lot.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wild Release #1061, a/k/a Catch #152!

I released Audrey Nifenegger's "The Time Traveler's Wife" around 8 p.m. on a bench outside of T.G.I. Friday's in Greensburg, where I was celebrating my birthday with some friends and family. I came home to find that it was already caught before I had a chance to make release notes! What a perfect gift! The AnonymousFinder writes, "Just picked up the book at TGIF's in Greensburg - I'm anxious to read it. I never heard of this site before; sounds like fun."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wild Release #1060

Don't be fooled by the cute angel on the cover of this book—this is definitely NOT meant for children! Since kids don't usually pump gas, I felt pretty safe leaving Christopher Moore's "The Stupidest Angel" on top of a gas pump at the Sunoco on West Pittsburgh and Vannear in Greensburg. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wild Release #1059

I had good luck with my first release at Bella Luna Restaurant in Monroeville, so I thought I'd try a repeat. I left "Mrs. Mike," by Benedict & Nancy Freedman, on the bench outside the restaurant during peak dinner hours. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my luck holds out.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Wild Release #1058

It is important to fuel up before running a race, so be sure to stop by the GetGo in Greensburg where you just may find "The Race," by Richard North Patterson, on top of one of the gas pumps.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Stats

Wild Releases: 14
Catches: 1

Wild Releases: 220
RABCKs: 43
Catches: 35
Wild Finds: 2
Bookrays: 3

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wild Release #1057

My car was filthy with leaves and grass and other bits of Mother Nature, so I went to DeGennaro's Car Wash in South Greensburg at lunch to make use of their giant vacuums. Nine minutes and $2.25 later, I was on my way with a (relatively) clean interior and without Judith Guest's "Ordinary People," which I left leaning against the vacuum unit.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Catch #151!

"The Princess Bride" has been rescued! An AnonymousFinder writes they were "Very excited to find this book! I love the movie, but I have never read the book." I'm very excited about the catch—enjoy!

Wild Releases #1047 - #1056

Today was the annual Holiday Parade in Downtown Greensburg--a fabulous opportunity to release lots of books. While Sister No. 4 and her family watched the parade, I was able to release ten books with the help of Sister No. 6: "Under the Mistletoe," by Mary Balogh; "The Dog Who Saved Christmas and Other True Animal Tales," by Allan Zullo; "The House Without A Christmas Tree," by Gail Rock; "Christmas Around The World," by Emily Kelley; "Politically Correct Holiday Stories," by James Finn Garner; "Truth or Dare," by R. L. Stine; "The Princess Bride," by William Goldman; "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" by C. S. Lewis; "Arthur's Christmas," by Marc Brown; and "Deadly Promise," by Mignon F. Ballard. Even though it was a mite chilly, once my mission was complete, we stuck around and enjoyed the rest of the parade.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Wild Release #1046

Today was the Annual Food Bank Benefit Breakfast at Slacker's Backyard Café in Level Green. Mom, Sister No. 6, and I enjoyed a delicious breakfast (mine was eggs, bacon, and French toast) in a constantly full restaurant. It was so good to see all these people giving so others who need help can be helped. On our way out, I left an audiobook version of Lois Lowry's "The Giver" on the windowsill outside.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Wild Release #1045

Shopping at Aldi's in Greensburg this evening? Look for "A Lesson In Murder," by Augustus Cileone, in one of the shopping carts outside on the sidewalk.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Wild Release #1044

"Alias," by Amy J. Fetzer, is waiting for a lucky finder inside the vestibule of Subway on Route 119 in South Greensburg.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October Stats

Wild Releases: 34
Catches: 4
Bookrays: 1

Wild Releases: 206
RABCKs: 43
Catches: 34
Wild Finds: 2
Bookrays: 3

Wild Releases #1035 – #1043

The Humane Society of Westmoreland County hosted its annual Whisker Walk today at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg. Sister No. 6, Cat No. 1, and I enjoyed a brisk walk around the upper lake before the festivities officially started so I could release a few themed books along the walking path. I hung a few from branches (my first attempt at this, definitely not my last), left some on benches, water fountains, and in the split of a tree, including: "The Fashion Hound Murders," by Elaine Viets; "The Berenstain Bear Scouts in Giant Bat Cave," by Stan Berenstain; "Skeleton Man," by Joseph Bruchac; "The Man In The Woods," by Rosemary Wells; "The Dead Girlfriend," by R.L. Stine; "A Pedigree to Die For," by Laurien Berenson; "Sick Puppy," by Carl Hiaasen; "Orange As Marmalade," by Fran Stewart; and "Cat Crimes II," by Martin Harry Greenberg.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wild Release #1034

I met Sister No. 6 and a friend for drinks and dinner at The Sunset Cafe in Greensburg, and left "The Soul Hunter," by Melanie Wells, behind on a ledge outside their main door. Find "The Soul Hunter" before it finds you.

Wild Release #1033

I figured it was time to buy some Halloween candy just in case we get little costumed creatures at our door tomorrow night, so I headed to the Hempfield Giant Eagle to lay in some supplies. While there, I left John Updike's "The Witches of Eastwick" in a free information rack hanging on the bulletin board in the vestibule. Trick or treat!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wild Release #1032

Halloween will soon be here, so I'm releasing scary books to get people in a ghoulish mood. Today's release was "The Third Horror," by R.L. Stine, which I left on the windowsill of Stage Right! School for the Performing Arts in downtown Greensburg. Haunted hunting!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wild Release #1031

Sister No. 6 and I met a friend and her sons for lunch today at McDonald's on Route 119 in South Greensburg. When we meet for lunch, we try to pick a place with a playground so the boys can burn off some energy and the grownups can chat. I managed to leave "The Dark Secret," by R.L. Stine, on top of the straw dispenser on the counter behind our booth. Within minutes, it was gone, though I didn't see who took it. I hope that doesn't remain a secret for long.

Catch #150!

Two years, seven months, and 21 days later, "The Kill" has been caught, shattering my old record of length between a wild release and a catch! An AnonymousFinder from New York reports: "I was given book to read by a family member. Now everyone in the house has read and it is time to release it again. We enjoyed reading this book."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wild Release #1030

I took a roundabout way home from work today via Hempfield Park off Route 66 and left "The Starfollowers of Coramonde," by Brian Daley, on a bench outside the athletic center around 4:40 p.m.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bookray #4

I was the last reader on teggers' bookray for "Marrying Mozart," by Stephanie Cowell, so I decided to continue its travels with a bookray of my own. The Weber sisters are on their way to visit megami-no-ushi in Canada. Enjoy your stay!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wild Release #1029

There is an evil moon hanging over Shop 'n Save on East Pittsburgh Street in Greensburg this evening. Well, truthfully, "The Evil Moon," by R.L. Stine, is hanging over a bench in Shop 'n Save's vestibule. Are you brave enough to harvest it?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wild Release #1028

Since we don't have an ark in Greensburg (that I know of, anyway), I released "The Noah Confessions," by Barbara Hall, at the next best place: Red Lobster. You'll find it on one of the adirondack chairs on the sidewalk, unless someone in the parade of people walking two by two through the front doors finds it first.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wild Release #1027

Even though I released Harlan Coben's "Gone for Good" at the Hempfield Giant Eagle's GetGo gas station today, I truly hope it is not gone for good. I'd really like to hear from it again. Write home soon!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

WIld Release #1026

I was really pleased with this themed release today. I left "Comfort Me with Apples," by Ruth Reichl, amongst the lovely baskets of apples outside the Oakford Park Fruit Market in Jeannette on this beautiful autumn day!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wild Release #1025

My last release on a brick column of the Palace Theatre's courtyard fence was successful, so I thought I'd try again today with Mel Odom's "Omega Blue." Here's hoping my luck holds!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Catch #149

An unexpected catch today: "The Soul of A New Machine," which I released at the Mensa convention in Pittsburgh one year, three months, and one day ago, was checked in by an AnonymousFinder in Switzerland! The AF writes: "I got this book at the Maycys store in Pittsburgh City, the USA. I till have to read it."

Wild Release #1024

Mom and I visited the Vatican Splendors exhibit at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh this afternoon. It was extremely crowded—too crowded, really, to fully appreciate what we were seeing. The number of people wasn't the only disappointing thing about the exhibit. I was also annoyed that a good number of the splendors were just replicas. Who wants to pay to see replicas? I wanted to see the real thing. The only piece in the exhibit that you were allowed to touch was a bronze cast of Pope John Paul II's right hand. You could put your own hand in the impression made by his hand, but I'm not sure what the purpose of that was. Just to compare your hand to his? It would have been far more personal, effective, and meaningful if they would have let you grasp the part of the cast that looked like his hand, so you could feel like you were holding his hand. By far, the best part of the exhibit came at the end where they were showing the splendors of several local churches, including a collection of reliquaries (pieces of saints' remains), vestments, crosiers, chalices, monstrances, statues, and paintings. It was an exhausting day. I barely had the energy to remember to release "Broken Angels," by Richard Morgan, on a windowsill outside the History Center on our way back to the car.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Catch #148!

My luck wasn't just good, it was great! "Good Luck" was found by new member litha_26, whos says, "Found at Peach plaza skate park at 4:30 read it by 7:15. Will be put back out into the wild tomorrow. This is such a great idea."

Wild Release #1023

On our way home from Fort Ligonier Days, Sister No. 6 forced me to stop at Pier 1 so she could covet all their merchandise. She could not, however, force me to go in with her. Instead, while I sat in the car waiting, I found a book to release on the windowsill of the store: "A Crown of Lights," by Phil Rickman.

Wild Releases #1013 - #1022

I have been to Fort Ligonier Days—a three-day festival commemorating the anniversary of the October 12, 1758, battle between British and French forces during the French and Indian War—many times over the years, but I had never been there for the Saturday morning parade before today. Sister No. 6 and I were up bright and early to beat the crowds and to catch the shuttle bus from the high school to the downtown area. There were plenty of people lining Main Street on each side, with all kinds of chairs set up, five and six deep in some places. Since everyone else had their attention focused on the parade route, it made it that much easier for me to pepper the area with BookCrossing books! In all, I released ten books: "Garfield Rolls On," by Jim Davis; "How Nancy Drew Saved My Life," by Lauren Baratz-Logsted; "Church Folk," by Michele Andrea Bowen; "Children of the Arbat," by Anatoli Rybakov; "Q-Squared," by Peter David; "The Berenstain Bear Scouts Meet Bigpaw," by Jan & Stan Berenstein; "Don't Stop," by Maureen Holohan; "Dipped, Stripped and Dead," by Elise Hyatt; "I, Freddy," by Dietlof Reiche; and "Mystery at Clareton Manor," by Kathleen Newberg.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Wild Release #1012

I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with "Good Luck," by E-jin Kang, when I bought it at the Carnegie Library Summer Reading Extravaganza kickoff party in Oakland earlier this year, but today, I had a brainstorm. I was headed to Twin Lakes to enjoy my lunch, but detoured to the new skate park off of Georges Station Road. The local skateboarding community raised thousands of dollars to build it and they did a great job. There are cool ramps and pipes and tubes and other skateboardy stuff, with plenty of parking, restrooms, a water fountain, and a great view. I ended up leaving the book on top of the water fountain, where I'm sure it will entice someone to take it home.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Catch #147!

An AnonymousFinder from Monroeville, Pa., was quick to find "Fast Women." Thanks for checking in, and enjoy the book!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Wild Release #1011

If you slow down a bit and look, you may find Jennifer Crusie's "Fast Women" on the bench outside Bella Luna Trattoria in Murrysville. Buon appetito!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Wild Release #1010

Happy October! I left my 1010th Wild Release, "October Sky," by Homer Hickam, on a bench at 101 North Main St., Greensburg, Pa., on this 10/1 of 10/10. How's that for themed numberplay?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

September Stats

Wild Releases: 10

Wild Releases: 172
RABCKs: 43
Catches: 30
Wild Finds: 2
Bookrays: 2

Wild Release #1009

There were still 90 minutes or so of daylight left when I left John Sandford's "Dark of the Moon" on top of a gas pump at GetGo in Greensburg. Don't wait for moonrise to go get it!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wild Releases #1004 - #1008

Today is the last day of the annual used book sale at Westmoreland Mall that benefits the YWCA of Westmoreland County, so I was sure to get there and support the cause (and my book-buying habit). My motivation was not purely selfish—I donated five books (whose titles are too embarrassing to mention) to the sale. If you're truly curious, you can see them here, here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wild Release #1003

"The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," by C.S. Lewis,  is my favorite Narnia book of the seven in the series. I probably have read this one 1003 times, so that makes this wild release a themed one, wouldn't you say? ;) If you are near the Eastgate Plaza Chick-fil-A sometime today, you just may find this on a ledge outside the front door.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wild Release #1002

The trouble with some of my friends—and me, I admit—is that being on time for things is just not that vital. I don't really mind, mostly because I hope that gives me some allowance when I'm at fault (which I am, far too often). Today, I was meeting a friend at Bob Evans Restaurant in Irwin, and I didn't mind that she was a little time-challenged because that gave me the opportunity to leave "The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Friends," by Stan & Jan Berenstain, on a bench outside the front door.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wild Release #1001 & RABCKs #292 - #295

I stopped by the post office today to ship out a few RABCKs and found it the perfect opportunity for a nice themed release, as well. I left "The Shipping News," by Annie Proulx, a "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die" book on top of the FedEx box on the sidewalk outside the post office to commemorate my 1001st wild release on BookCrossing.

As for the RABCKs themselves, Elizabeth Berg's "We Are All Welcome Here" is on its way to babydoll857 in the UK—the winner of my Inspire my 1000th Wild Release RABCK.

Three audiobooks—"As Time Goes By," by Bob Larbey, "Playing with Boys," by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, and "Shattered," by Dick Francis—are on their way to the winner of the July/August 2010 edition of the International AUDIOBOOK Sweepstakes RABCK. Enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wild Release #1000

My 1000th Wild Release! I spent weeks wondering what it would be, what fabulous theme I could plan; I even asked other BookCrossers to inspire me with ideas. In the end, I chose Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," which I left on a ledge outside The Chocolate Shoppe in Greensburg today, which just happens to be Roald Dahl Day. On to 2000!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Stats

Wild Releases: 23
Catches: 4

Wild Releases: 162
RABCKs: 39
Catches: 30
Wild Finds: 2
Bookrays: 2

Monday, August 30, 2010

New label!

I had a boxful of romances to register and I was tired of the labels I had been using, so I made some new ones! Warning: they may use more than their fair share of ink. You can download them here, and find links to other user-created labels in this thread on the BookCrossing forums.

Wild Release #999

Visitors to Cracker Barrel in New Stanton may be lucky enough to go home with more than a full belly and a few souvenirs if they find "The Road to Oz," by L. Frank Baum, on a rocking chair on the porch.