For the past few weeks, I spent many evenings typing up a reading list for this website. It was a lot of data entry and linking. I started tracking what I read back in the summer of 2003. I don’t know why I started tracking but I’m glad I did. Going through this list has been a joyful version of “this is your life” - in books!
Every title was a glimpse back at a specific point in my life. For some titles, I not only remembered the book but I could recall where I read it and how I felt. Over 15 years of tracking is a lot of memories to fall into.
Doing this project showed me how reading changes with our stages of life. In college, my books were heavy on assigned texts and romance novels - you know, to lighten things up. Post college, I expanded my non-fiction reading since I no longer had to read books for class. Then there were the book club reads, hobby binge sprees, and the “hey, this must be popular for a reason” picks. Then there was the move to pregnancy and parenting books - with a lot of YA to take a break from all the adulting.
I am always curious about what books other people are reading. If you're the same, head on over to my reading list page. Books are listed in reverse chronological order.
Since I began tracking, I've read 961 books totaling 300,419 pages. I might need to get myself a cupcake when I hit 1,000.
If you ever need to find an icon for something, I highly recommend The Noun Project. I just spent 30 minutes finding some great things to put in a slide deck.
Here are the rest of the things I looked up this week:
In a team meeting today, we realized we need to start talking summer projects. I am so not ready for that. It seems like just yesterday we had our Christmas tree up... but no, it's nearly May.
Our public library started offering a weekly email of new titles. I am simply unable to not sign up for such a list. Hence, the burst of new books on my TBR list.
You can see my complete TBR list on Pinterest.
On Friday, we ate lunch inside a restaurant for this first time in months. We thought the risk of eating inside was low because the restaurant had ceiling fans going, the doors open, very few people, and the tables were over 10 feet apart. It was both a scary and enjoyable experience. I miss restaurants. I miss going out. I miss seeing people. At the same time, I also do relish being near other people right now.
We had the kiddo with us and she surprised us by acting like a dream. She didn't make a mess, fuss, or try to run away. Then, we realized that this was all new to her. The last time we were able to eat inside is probably before her memory kicks in. She was looking around taking everything in. She loved waving at the restaurant staff and announcing "Bus!" each time one drove by. She even ate her first french fry.
I can't wait until we can start letting her explore the world again. At her age, she knows no different, but I want her to realize that there is so much more to see and do. Fingers crossed we are nearing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Several times a week I think, "Oh! I should look that up later!" and then I never do. Then I get frustrated that I can't remember what I wanted to find. Then I forget all about it and it happens all over again. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this.
Anyway, here is what I did remember to look up this week.
It's hard to focus on projects when we have the first set of fully vaccinated grandparents in bound. My in laws show up tomorrow and I simply cannot wait to see how our kiddo reacts to them being here in person and not on a computer screen. I fully expect to cry tears of joy.
Here are all the things I'm trying to focus on at the moment.
A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
I sped read through The Hunger Games series when it first came out but I have mixed feelings about reading this prequel. This book focuses on Coriolanus Snow who was, without a doubt, a villain in the first books. I'm conflicted about reading a novel that will likely make me empathize with someone who later condoned and even promoted the death of children. But, I'm the type of reader who has to complete a series once I start it. It'll be interesting to see what I think of this book in the end.
On Friday, I was lucky enough to receive my first COVID vaccine shot. My dose was given at a FEMA mass vaccination site in Maryland. It was a highly efficient operation. Only 20 minutes elapsed from the moment I arrived until the moment I left - that included the 15-minutes "let's make sure you don't have an awful allergic reaction" timeout. The entire tent complex was abuzz with organized activity and you could just sense the joy under people's masks.
What has stuck with my most about the whole systematic operation is the people. During my visit, I interacted with 10 individuals - some for only a few seconds. All of them are strangers to me and all of them will remain strangers to me. But each of these people has had a profound impact on my life. They made it possible for me to receive this vaccine. Without their hard work, I would not be rubbing this sore spot on my arm.
This vaccination site is a living reminder of the amount of unnamed individuals throughout the world who have gotten us to this point. All the scientists. All the nurses, doctors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. All the contact tracers. All the people actually putting shots in other people's arms. All the people doing what I can only imagine is a mountain of paperwork and administrative activity (someone has to design, print, and distribute all those COVID vaccination cards).
So... many... people.
Thank you. Thank you each and every one of you.
In college, I had a roommate who kept a small paperback dictionary on her bookcase. Whenever she looked up a word, she would put a dot next to it. I think about her every time I look up a word, because I thought her method was just so cool. It was visual representation of learning in action.
Here's a sample of what I looked up this week.