Saturday, December 31, 2011

Books Read in 2011

Another year has come and gone and my mind is 51 books richer--that's 29 fewer than in 2010, which is almost entirely due to my discovery of and obsession with David Tennant and Doctor Who. My reading in 2011 was rather destination based: I read a number of books only because I was travelling somewhere where I wanted to release them, and I wanted to read them first. It was a good way to get them off Mt. TBR, but it often felt like I was assigned to read them rather than wanted to read them at that particular point.

Here is a list of the books I finished in 2011. 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. (K) indicates they were read on my Kindle Fire, which I unexpectedly love. My favorite reads this year? The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, by Louise MurphyAlice Bliss, by Laura HarringtonThe Hunger Games, by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire, by Suzanne CollinsMockingjay, by Suzanne CollinsAirman, by Eoin Colfer; and my reread of Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen.

2. Unpleasant Ways to Die, by Evan Fleisher
3. Just A Geek, by Wil Wheaton
4. Getting Rid of Bradley, by Jennifer Crusie
5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot (audio)
6. Strega Nona Meets Her Match, by Tomie dePaola

7. Boy: Tales of Childhood, by Roald Dahl
8. Swapping Lives, by Jane Green
9. The Swallows of Kabul, by Yasmina Khadra
10. The Inside Ring, by Mike Lawson

11. Everyone Is Entitled to My Opinion, by David Brinkley
12. Murder In The Supreme Court, by Margaret Truman
13. Weight, by Jeanette Winterson (audio)
14. 101 Things You Didn't Know About Einstein: Sex, Science, and the Secrets of the Universe, by Cynthia Phillips, Ph.D., & Shana Priwer
15. Waiting-for-Spring Stories, by Bethany Roberts
16. Sizzling Sixteen, by Janet Evanovich

17. Murder at Ford's Theatre, by Margaret Truman
18. The Land of Narnia, by Brian Sibley
19. In the Company of a Courtesan, by Sarah Dunant (audio)
20. Murder on the Lusitania, by Conrad Allen

21. Skeleton Hiccups, by Margery Cuyler
22. Dream When You're Feeling Blue, by Elizabeth Berg
23. The Wright 3, by Blue Balliett
24. Austenland, by Shannon Hale
25. A Dirty Job, by Christopher Moore (audio)
26. I'm A Stranger Here Myself, by Bill Bryson
27. The Venetian Betrayal, by Steve Berry

28. Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
29. No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy (audio)
30. The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, by Louise Murphy

31. Inés of My Soul, by Isabel Allende (audio)
32. A Reporter's Life, by Walter Cronkite (audio)

33. Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger
34. Alice Bliss, by Laura Harrington

35. The Johnstown Flood, by David McCullough (audio)
36. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

37. Dance of Death, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (audio)
38. Hallowe'en Party, by Agatha Christie
39. Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman
40. Rosemary's Baby, by Ira Levin

41. The Case of the Glamorous Ghost, by Erle Stanley Gardner
42. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
43. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins (K)
44. Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen (reread) (K)
45. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith
46. Smokin' Seventeen, by Janet Evanovich (K)
47. Airman, by Eoin Colfer (K)

48. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins (K)
49. Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson
50. Plugged, by Eoin Colfer (K)
51. Explosive Eighteen, by Janet Evanovich (K)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wild Releases #1160 & #1161

CAKE put on a fantastic show last night at the Riviera Theatre, even though the fans were *really* bad at identifying what kind of tree was being given away. I swear that added a half hour onto the show, so we got home pretty late. Unfortunately, we had to get up obscenely early for a full day of seeing Chicago by bus. The weather was dreary again, and since it was Sunday, some of the buildings we were supposed to be able to get into were closed, but overall it was a good day. I left Elizabeth Berg's "Dream When You're Feeling Blue" on a blue seat on the 151 Sheridan bus around 8 a.m., and Blue Balliett's "The Wright 3" on a wall outside the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Robie House around 11 a.m.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wild Release #1159

I'm visiting friends in Chicagoland this weekend and we have a full schedule of sightseeing and CAKE worshipping planned, even though the weather is rather chilly, rainy, and yes—windy. We just got back from a tour of Wrigley Field, where we got to go up in the press box and down in the dugout. We were even witnesses to a wedding proposal on the big scoreboard! (He said yes, but we're not sure he really wanted to.) After our tour, we walked to El Burrito Mexicano for some delicious takeout (excellent guacamole!), and I left Gary Larson's "The Far Side Observer" on top of a newspaper box on the sidewalk outside.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Catch #185!

The mystery of where "Summer Garden Murder" is now has been solved. An AnonymousFinder writes: "I love the concept of  "Catching a Wild Book". It was a good story. I had not read any of this series before."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wild Release #1158

I smuggled John Bellair's "The Hand of the Necromancer" into the Greensburg-Hempfield Area Library book sale because the front cover scared me too much to leave it in my car any longer. I left it on the table with the children's books and bought a nice big bag of books that don't scare me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Catch #184!

"Abe Lincoln's Hat" has been found (again) by 6of8, who picked it up at the convention, but somehow missed journalling it. It sounds like it is ready for a big adventure now!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Wild Release #1157

I found myself at Lowe's in Greensburg this evening, so I took the opportunity to leave "Evening," by Susan Minot, on an inviting lawn chair in the garden section while I was there.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Catch #183!

It's been a little over eighteen months since I released "The Resident Witch," so I was very happy to receive a journal alert from an AnonymousFinder today. "It's a difficult read.. it took me awhile," they report. I'm glad it was read, no matter how long it took!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Wild Release #1156

If Greensburg were home to an Outback Steakhouse restaurant, it would have been the perfect place to leave "Mutant Message Down Under," by Marlo Morgan. Unfortunately, we are limited to steakhouses that hail from Texas, so I had to make do, leaving the book on a window ledge in the vestibule of LongHorn Steakhouse.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Catches #179 – #182!

Convention catches continue to trickle in! Today, "George Washington and the General's Dog" and "101 Things You Didn't Know About Einstein" were journalled by FutureCat; "Under the Duvet" was journalled by melydia; and "Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles" was journalled by azuki.

Wild Releases #1154 & #1155

I was kind to my car today and took it for an oil change at Jiffy Lube (I had a coupon, and they are jiffy). Before I hit the road, I left "Miss Julia Hits the Road," by Ann B. Ross, on a table in the waiting room.

Later, Sister No. 6 forced me to go annual and perennial shopping with her at Laurel Nursery in Latrobe, so I took the opportunity to leave "Summer Garden Murder," by Ann Ripley, tucked in a trellis display.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

April Stats

Wild Releases: 49
Catches: 21
Wild Finds: 19

Wild Releases: 90
Catches: 26
Wild Finds: 19

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wild Release #1153

It's the day the media has been waiting for breathlessly since the boy who will be King was born: the Royal Wedding of Prince William (the pilot) and Catherine Middleton (his new wife). In hono(u)r of today's festivities, I left Anita Shreve's "The Pilot's Wife" on the window ledge at King's.

Catch #178!

"The Great American Road Trip" was the first book to leave my hands at the BookCrossing Convention, liberated by the first BookCrosser I met in real life: discoverylover. Little did I know then that she and Skyring were planning a great American road trip of their own, travelling from coast to coast before heading home to New Zealand and Australia, respectively. I should do that myself someday!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wild Release #1152

What better place to find a western than Texas Roadhouse? I left Larry McMurtry's "Sin Killer" in the free newspaper rack in the waiting room around 5 p.m.

Catch #177!

It's funny to get journal alerts for my books from people I actually know now. Having spent a day at Arlington National Cemetery with bronwyna, I was pleased to see that she caught and enjoyed "Suite Francaise" and is showing it around Australia.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Catch #176!

authorauthor picked up "The War of the Worlds Murder" at the BC Convention and she's already read and reviewed it! I'm always glad to see books that were given to me by other BookCrossers reach new readers.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wild Release #1151

It's been awhile since I released a book at the Westmoreland County Courthouse, so I remedied that this afternoon. I left "The Trials of Rumpole," by John Mortimer, on a lamp post flanking the old entrance to the Courthouse around 3 p.m.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Catches #173 – #175!

Three more convention catches were journalled today: "Rebecca" was chosen from the Wrap-It-Up book buffet by nancynova; MaryZee chose "Getting Rid of Bradley" for one of her OBCZs; and KateKintail found it impossible to resist "LOST: Signs of Life." Enjoy!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Catches #171 & #172!

Home, sweet home, made even sweeter with two journal alerts waiting in my e-mail inbox. The first for Gregory Maguire's "The Next Queen of Heaven," which JudySlump612 picked up from a book buffet in the last hours of the convention, and the second for "Wonderdog," picked up by an AnonymousFinder several hours after I left it on a fire hydrant this morning.

Wild Releases #1149 & #1150

That's it. That's all she wrote. My first BookCrossing convention is done. At breakfast this morning, we were encouraged to find a book about animals and release it in memoriam of Irish BCer Killimengri, who lost her life in a house fire earlier this year. I chose "Wonderdog," by Inman Majors, and set off for a farewell tour of Crystal City. It's a lovely and rather quiet place on a Sunday morning, boasting lots of green space and benches and picnic tables (many peppered with BC books from an early-morning release walk). I found my perfect spot for Wonderdog just outside the CEA building—a fire hydrant.

Before heading for home, I had some more sightseeing to do. I took the Metro to Arlington National Cemetery and was pleased to meet tobysrus, rahar109, and bronwyna in line for the official tour. It was a beautiful, sunny day—so welcome after yesterday's rain—and tourists (for the most part, well behaved and respectful) were out in full force. The most popular site seemed to be John F. Kennedy's grave, followed closely by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. My favorite part was Robert E. Lee's house—I would live there in a heartbeat. What a gorgeous piece of land overlooking Washington, D.C. It's very easy to imagine how it looked before the Civil War. I will definitely return to Arlington someday and pay proper respects to the men and women who are buried there.

I took the long way around (and through) Washington, D.C., on my way home thanks to assuming I should just follow the opposite of my directions there (note to self: get directions both there AND back next time). I sat in a bit of traffic, but I saw part of the world I haven't seen before, so it all balanced out. Once I got on familiar roads, I stopped at a scenic overlook on I-270 North and left "A Far Country," by Daniel Mason, on a brick wall with a lovely view of rural Maryland.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Catches #160 – #170!

Mixed in with ten convention catches from the book buffet is an honest-to-goodness catch (#167) from my adventures this afternoon! New member jaymzrstee says: "Found this book on a lamp post where my sister-in-law mentioned what bookcrossing was to me, so I snagged it. Looking forward to reading this and figuring out a clever place to continue its legacy! :D Such a neat idea!" *happydance*

The book buffet catches were: "Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln"; "Just A Few Words, Mr. Lincoln"; "First Family"; "Pop Goes the Weasel"; "The Inside Ring"; "The Run"; "Alex Cross's Trial"; "Murder at the Watergate"; "Murder at the Pentagon"; and "Murder Inside the Beltway."

Wild Releases #1145 – #1148

The evening festivities are far from over, but I am done for. On my way into dinner, I added four more books to the book buffet: "Lost: Signs of Life," by Frank Thompson; "Unpleasant Ways to Die," by Elan Fleisher; "In the Company of the Courtesan," by Sarah Dunant; and "Getting Rid of Bradley," by Jennifer Crusie. There's no such thing as too many books, right?

Wild Releases #1141 – #1144

The theme of this year's convention was "Choose Your Own Adventure," so I picked up some books from the Local Interest book buffet, grabbed my umbrella for the delightful rainy weather, jumped on the Metro, and jumped off in D.C. 

My first stop was Ford's Theatre. Ford's Theatre and I have a love-hate relationship. I have tried to go there several times on my previous trips to D.C., but it has been closed for renovations of some sort or another every time. I did manage to get inside once, but it was literally seven minutes before it closed for the day, so I still longed to take a proper tour. Once again, I was denied. This time, Ford's Theatre was closed for a performance, and when it would be open for tours again, I'd be about the 2000th person in line behind busloads of teenagers who were already queued. *sigh* Maybe next time.

Disappointed once again, I headed back to the Metro station, dropping off David Baldacci's "The Camel Club" on a window ledge outside the main door of Madame Tussaud's, which was on the way. Next on my agenda was lunch at the National Museum of the American Indian, where a plethora of BookCrossers were scheduled to meet. On my way there, I passed the Library of Congress Madison Building, where I left "Murder at the Library of Congress," by Margaret Truman, in the catalog of events box shortly before Noon. When I arrived at the museum, I was lucky to meet Ri, azuki, and Ixion outside so we found our way to the café and enjoyed a delicious meal.

After lunch, I headed to the Library of Congress Jefferson Building. I passed the U.S. Botanic Garden on my way there, and managed to leave "Forty Signs of Rain," by Kim Stanley Robinson, on one of its outside benches. I wasn't the only BookCrosser who made use of D.C.'s benches: As I made my way to the Library of Congress, I passed a number of benches that were adorned with books in Ballycumber release bags. Not to be outdone, I left Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" on a lamp post outside the Jefferson Building before heading inside. And what an inside! It is breathtaking with all its marble and mosaics and stained glass and air and light, even on a dreary rainy day. I wandered around a bit and then sat on one of the benches lining the walls just taking it all in.

My last stop of the day was the U.S. Capitol Building—a new adventure for me—which is directly across the street from the Library of Congress. There is an underground tunnel connecting the buildings so the members of Congress don't have to expose themselves to D.C.'s weather or traffic, but I decided to take the long way around. The Capitol Building tour was fascinating and so well organized and orchestrated. I wish we had been allowed to linger as long as we liked in the rotunda. There is so much to see and so much history to absorb, I could have spent hours there.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Catches #158 & #159!

My first convention catches! "The Princess Bride" was picked up from the Wrap-It-Up book buffet (books were gift-wrapped with just the first line written or typed on the outside; I wrapped this one in wedding paper) by mdm139, and "The Swallows of Kabul" was chosen from the BookCrossers Only buffet (for books that should be read and enjoyed by another BookCrosser before being launched into the wild) by MaryZee. Time for bed!

Wild Releases #1108 – #1140

I'm at my first BookCrossing Anniversary Convention! I drove down to Arlington, Va. (lovely traffic, by the way), stopping at Sheetz in Breezewood, Pa., to fill up on gas and release "Midnight for Charlie Bone," by Jenny Nimmo, on top of the gas pump. When I arrived at the hotel, I checked into my room, grabbed a big box of books to add to the plethora of book buffets, and headed down to join the fun.

The welcome reception was already in full swing. There were people everywhere playing games, browsing the buffets, shopping in the convention "store," and having a great time. The very first BookCrosser I met in real life was discoverylover from New Zealand, who helped me find the right buffets for my themed books. Of course, I couldn't help but browse the buffets while I was adding more to them—I had to make room for my books by taking some off the buffet for myself, after all! In total, I added 32 books to the buffet.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wild Release #1107

Niece No. 1's childhood has slipped away. She turns 22 today and I remember her baby- and toddlerhood so vividly, it seems impossible that that much time has passed. That probably says more about how old *I* am than how old she is. ;) To commemorate her birthday, I left Annie Dillard's "An American Childhood" on a bench outside the Walgreens in Greensburg.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Wild Release #1106

I got roped into watching Nephews No. 2 & 3 while their parents were otherwise occupied. After a marathon session of Monopoly, we headed to Eat 'n Park in Bridgeville, Pa., to recharge our batteries. I left "A Smart Girl's Guide to Sticky Situations: How to Tackle Tricky, Icky Problems and Tough Times," by the American Girl Library, on a brick wall by the door. Luckily, I didn't encounter any tricky, icky problems or tough times with the boys. I might even consider entertaining them again.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Wild Release #1105

My first release of the month is Robert Daley's "The Innocents Within," which I left on top of the USA Today newspaper box on the sidewalk at King's Restaurant on Route 119 South in Greensburg. Will I get a first catch?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Stats

Wild Releases: 12
Catches: 3

Wild Releases: 41
Catches: 5

Wild Release #1104

"Olivia," by V.C. Andrews, is looking for a new home, so I released it in the Homes magazine rack in the lobby of First Commonwealth Bank on East Pittsburgh Street in Greensburg.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Catch #157!

"The Eternal Enemy" has found a new friend in new member raveanly, who says it is "next on my list to read :)". Enjoy!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wild Release #1103

It seems we have been waiting for spring for a really long time! The prognosticating groundhog in Punxsutawney said we were in for an early spring, but he was wrong. While we wait, why not head to the bandstand on the Diamond in Ligonier, Pa., where "Waiting for Spring Stories," by Bethany Roberts, is waiting for you?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wild Release #1102

Another St. Patrick's Day called for another release of Frank McCourt's "'Tis." After spending the day in Ligonier, Pa., selling daffodils for the American Cancer Society, I stopped by Celtic Culture on East Main Street and left this Irishman's memoir on the stoop outside the front window. Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Catch #156!

"Weddings Are Murder" has found a new reader six weeks after being released at IKEA in Pittsburgh. "I didn't love the book," writes the AnonymousFinder, "but I do love this concept!"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wild Release #1101

After lunching at Arby's earlier today, Mom and I had dinner with the boy next door, Bob Evans. I left Meg Cabot's "The Boy Next Door" on the bench outside the front door around 6:30 p.m.

Wild Release #1100

Just to be clear, leaving Christopher Pike's "The Eternal Enemy" at Arby's in Greensburg was not meant to be a themed release! I left it on the brick ledge outside the door around 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Catch #155!

I got a great journal entry from new member Sparklepooh12, who found "Watership Down" in Indiana, Pa., shortly after I released it back in September 2009: "My friend Shannon and I found this book while in Greensburg, PA for a weekend when our best friend got married. We took the travel opportunity to explore the local sights and after discovering that we were lucky enough to find ourselves in Jimmy Stewart's hometown and before leaving on Sunday, September 20th 2009, we visited the Jimmy Stewart museum. Upon viewing the Harvey statue outside the museum, we were very surprised to find this book. When we read the inside cover and learned about, it was very exciting and we considered it a small adventure. What a neat chance to share a reading experience together and with others while including the book in our own travels back to Kentucky." Sparklepooh12 had much more to say, so be sure to click the book image to read it all.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Friday, March 04, 2011

Wild Release #1095

I wonder if Kahless were here, would he help deliver us from the tyranny of high gas prices as he freed Klingon from the tyrant Molor with a bat’leth? In the hopes that he would be reincarnated, I left "Kahless," by Michael Jan Friedman, on top of one of the gas pumps at Sheetz in Greensburg. $3.49 a gallon!!! I remember my father being upset about the price going up to 60¢ a gallon. Who knew those would be the days?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Wild Release #1094

If your migration pattern passes by Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, be sure to look for William Lishman's "Father Goose," which I set free around 2:40 p.m., on the ledge of the information board in the parking lot at the upper lake.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Wild Release #1093

Another day, another dinner out, another book release. I left "Seabiscuit," by Laura Hillenbrand, on one of the Adirondack chairs on the sidewalk of Red Lobster in Greensburg, before heading inside to indulge on a different kind of biscuit—those of the yummy Cheddar Bay variety.

Monday, February 28, 2011

February Stats

Wild Releases: 14

Wild Releases: 29
Catches: 2