Monday, January 24, 2011

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

This is the sequel to The Maze Runner, that I read as an ARC a while back. So, there will be some spoilers if you have not yet read The Maze Runner.

Anyway, in this book, all the Gladers, as they call themselves are in the dorms where their rescuers have taken them. Our main character, Thomas, and the rest, wake up the next day to find out that it was all a trick, another test. They must still pass tests by WICKED in order to stay alive. They find out they have been infected with the virus, and that WICKED can cure them if they pass the test. The group of girls in another maze have also been set loose to try and get to the cure. They are told these tests will be worse than what they experienced in the maze. And it is crazy. They get out into the world where as they had been told, sun flares have really changed the Earth. There are violent lightning storms in a desert that are deadly. There are people with the virus that will kill as they go crazy, or just to protect their own supplies. Thomas and his group meet up with some of them, and agree to take them to the cure. Now, the group before they left also found tattoos on them that said things like "leader" or in Thomas's case, to be killed by Group B. Teresa, Thomas's friend that he can talk telepathically with, her tatto says "betrayer". And she soon lives up to that, or so we think. Thomas continues to have memories/dreams of all this going on before, and that he had a part in setting it all up.

We leave off with another huge cliffhanger, and so I don't know if this is going to be a trilogy or a series, but I really need to know what happens next. So a good read, if a bit disjoined and back and forth at times, you just don't really know where all this stands, and who is good, and who is bad. Is WICKED good, as Teresa keeps trying to get across?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I am Number Four - Official Trailer [HD]

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Once again I must admit that the cover of this book, the original cover anyway, caught my attention. And I figured, oh, I'll read it later. Then, I saw a movie preview for it, and though, yeah, I'd better read this at some time. But still, didn't pick it up. Then a few months ago, I read some Twitter buzz that this is published by James Frey, the guy of A Million Little Pieces and dealing with Oprah fame, and that there was some controversy with his publishing policies. And again, another reason to read, but still, didn't check it out at the store yet. Well, one of my best friends, Kim, who is my movie and reading buddy, told me she had read it, and really liked it. So, having the Nook checked out, I decided to go ahead and read it. And, you know what, it was really good.

It is about a race of aliens from the planet Lorien who have sent 9 subjects to Earth to wait for the day they can go back and repopulate their planet. Their planet was conquered by a race called the Modagorians (although whenever I say it in my head the d and g get mixed up), who are still looking to find and kill these last survivors on Earth. The 9 children must be killed in order. If the Modagorians find #8, but all the others are still alive, whatever they try to do to hurt #8 will go back and hurt the alien who tried to hurt them. These children have been spread all over Earth with a guardian, an elder Lorien who is not as important. These children will develop legacies, or powers, that can be used to go back and defeat the Modagorians. Anyway, our main character's name is, well the name he chooses when they go to a new town because Number 3 has died, his name is John Smith. His father/guardian is named Henri. And yes, pronounce it with a French accent, because supposedly the Lorien accent sounds similar to a French one.

John has had to move constantly. He has to be careful because he is stronger and faster than humans, and letting any news of this get out could lead to the enemy finding him and killing him. They move to Paradise, Ohio, and here, John falls in love and finds a good friend. He wants to stay, even though things happen that lead to him possibly being found. He begins to develop his legacies, and yes, soon, they are found due to an unfortunate newspaper blog article showing video of him doing something impossible. The book ends with I think Number 6 showing up to help in this fight. We also learn that there may have been a reason they went to Paradise, Ohio, other than just picking it by random. And one of my favorite characters in the book, John's dog, Bernie Kosar, is more than what you think.

Now, there has to be a sequel, it left off that way. And there is a movie coming out soon, so you should go see the movie, but not till after you read the book of course.

And my last thought, the author's name is Pittacus Lore. And supposedly this is the name of one of the aliens. So it would be interesting to know if this is the real author's name, or who the real author is, now that there is this controversy that I heard on Twitter. You can go to the website about the book to read more. And I'll try to post a video of the I Am Number Four Official Trailer as soon as I figure out how to do that! :-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Now, it's been awhile since I read Hush, Hush, the first book in this series. Part of the reason it has been so long is because I read that as an ARC, and then when this came out, I was busy reading for other things, like the Gateway Award. But finally, still with my borrowed Nook, I decided to go ahead and read Crescendo.

I was afraid at first that I was going to have to give a not so great review as the one I gave for Hush Hush. But, soon, I was sucked into the book, to the point where all I could think about was getting back to read and find out what happened next. In fact, I hate that I didn't have time for a 15 minute break at work last night, because I was thinking about the book all night. So, as soon as I got home, I went to bed, but I stayed up reading until I finished it. Now, don't read on if you haven't read Hush Hush, because there will be some spoilers here.

Where we left off, Patch had saved Nora from being sacrificed so a fallen angel could become human. Patch was a fallen angel, but in doing so, he was given a chance to be a guardian angel again, and they assigned him to Nora. In this book, we are led back to Nora's father's death, and how does it connect to what is happening to her right now. You see, Nora comes from a line of Nephilim, which are the human hosts for the fallen angels to use every year for two weeks. All of a sudden, Nora's enemy, Marcie, has become a major part in her life. And for some reason, Patch starts pulling away, and hanging around Marcie. Her best friend Vee has started dating Patch's best friend Rixon, which leads to some awkwardness, as now that Nora has broken up with Patch, Vee is around him all the time. A friend/enemy/neighbor from the past moves back to town, a boy named Scott. His mother and Nora's mother are best friends. It seems Scott got into some trouble back where they had moved. Nora finds that Scott has a scar showing he is a Nephilim. She begins hanging out with him, for many reasons, because her mom wants her to at first, then because she thinks Scott may know something about who or what happened to her father.

I do have to say, the book was good, because I didn't catch on to who the actual bad guy was in this book until right before he made his move. I like when a book keeps me guessing like that. The only bad thing, well, it left off on a big cliffhanger, and now I'm waiting for the next book in the series! I want to try to wait until series are all out sometimes, like I read the whole Moral Instruments series book at one time. And I'm waiting to read the Clockwork Angel pre-series to that until the rest of those books are out. But in this case, I am glad I read it, it was a very good sequel. I also think that angels are the new vampires/werewolves for romances.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

I have wanted to read this book for a long time. When I was allowed to re-check out the Nook from work I decided to go ahead and read it. Now, first off, I have to mention that for the longest time this was on the staff rec display as a recommendation from Joanne that was described as a story about "a mother's love for her son.". And just from reading the jacket of this book, I knew that wasn't true. But no one else agreed, so it stayed up. I thought I'd read it and see if maybe this was a part of the story that didn't show up from the jacket. I mean, I didn't even know this was a type of book that person at the store would read. And, I was right. This book was in no way anything like that. I sure hope no customers bought it with that impression, they would have been sorely disappointed.

And, on with the actual review. This was a really good sci fi book. It's set in the future after there has been a huge war, almost a civil war in the country over Pro-Live versus Pro-Choice people. At the time, scientists have figured out how to use every part of the body in transplants. And so, to settle the war, they give both sides an option. The option is this, from the time of conception until 13 years of age, life is sacred, you cannot harm the children. But, any time from the age of 13-17 a child may be unwound. Which means all of their body parts are taken and given to someone who needs them. Parents can do this with children who are troublemakers. (I think 13 is a bad age to do this, as I teach that age, and know many parents that would be at their wit's end! :-)) Children who are orphans, but are decided that they do not have anything special to give back to the public can be unwound. And sometimes, children may be born and be tithed, knowing their whole lives that when they turn 13 they will be unwound.

Our 3 main characters are Connor, a troubled youth, Risa, a ward of the state, and Levi, a tithe. Connor decides to run, he doesn't feel it is fair his parents have decided to unwind him, and they don't even tell him. He only knows because he found the paperwork in his father's desk. Risa doesn't fight back, but on her way to the Harvest camp, her bus is in an accident, thanks to Connor's trying to escape, and so she runs. Levi is also on his way to the Harvest camp after his tithing party, and Connor tries to take him hostage in his escape attempt. They end up traveling a small way together, before Levi, who as a tithe, is not scared to be unwound, he knows it is his destiny, turns them in. At the time he turns them in, he calls his pastor, who tells him he should run, it is not okay to go be unwound. And at that point Levi wishes he'd listened to Connor and Risa, but is now finding his way on his own.

In this society, you can just drop a newborn baby off on someone's doorstep, and if no one catches you doing it, that family must take that baby and raise it till 13. It is called being storked. Many other kids who are supposed to be unwound are introduced as well as Connor, Risa, and Levi go on their travels. We even meet some people who have had transplants from unwound children. And we find out that because of how the unwinding is done, these parts may still remember their old lives.

The creepiest part of the book I must say, is when we get to experience the unwinding through one of the character's point of view. He is awake until the very end, as they take his legs, his organs, all the way up to his eyes, etc. It still creeps me out to think about what it was like as I read it.

This was an intense, frightening book in many ways. But a very good read. I recommend it to all sci fi readers who like the futuristic worlds, or even adult sci fi readers.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros

I have to say, this is one of the first chick lit books I have read in a long time that I was dog earing the pages that had things I wanted to talk about when I blogged. The first one I'd literally laughed out loud over and over as I was reading it. I don't think I've ever read a book by Teresa Medeiros before. I seem to only remember her books in the romance section. And believe it or not, I usually don't read those books, preferring my chick lit from the straight fiction section at our store. I am now intrigued enough to read more of her books.

I decided to read this book because it was told in mostly all tweets, you know, like on the social network Twitter. And I was hooked right away.

This is the story of an author who had a bestselling, critically acclaimed first novel, and it trying, but stuck on her 2nd novel. So her agent suggests getting on Twitter like many authors are these days. (Authors on Twitter are my favorite people to follow!) When she first joins, she is immediately tweeted by an English professor on sabbatical. It's fun reading as they get to know each other and flirt (I must find the "tweeting" name for flirting) through Twitter. I understand the flirting part, did a bit of that myself in the past, not that it turned out well for me, but still, it was fun at the time.

Anyway, I didn't see the twist towards the end coming. So I will say you won't be able to expect what is coming, but it is a good twist. And now, onto the things I had to bookmark.

First, as I myself follow Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie, I love that one of her tweets was about her. Right after that, she learns about hashtags, and they do one on How2Lose Followers. And I love that they point out insulting any president as being a way to lose followers, as I've unfollowed certain celebs that I didn't want to hear their political rhetoric anymore. I also love that the main character is a fan of Sean Astin, who is one of my childhood crushes!! Even after his turn as a hobbit.

In chapter 5 she is on the treadmill and talks about how she prefers to walk outside, which is also me. I love to walk outside, I could walk all day outside if I had the time. She thinks Heathcliff is a misogynistic asshole, as do I. She talks about Edward Cullen and being Team Jacob. (I'm Team Switzerland myself.) She talks about Stephen King's It, one of my favorite books ever, also the one that made me scared of clowns. She's a Spike woman as opposed to Angel, me too. I LOVED all the Buffy the Vampire Slayer bits. Like her cat is named Buffy the Mouse Slayer. Later on she talks about a New Kids on the Block lunchbox. I love NKOTB.

Later on in the book she starts thinking in Tweets. I do that too. The problem is that by the time I can then get to my twitter, I forget the really creative things I had to say.

So that's just a bit of the things in the book that I enjoyed, but the whole thing was good and I highly recommend it.

Last thought. I'm debating, a lot of bloggers rate the books. 4 out of 5 stars, etc. I have so much trouble rating. I have to really hate something to give it a 1, and usually if I hate something that much I won't finish reading it. So, I end up with lots of 3's and 4's. So, I might start rating, but we'll see.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge 1: XVI by Julia Karr

I read this book as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge being sponsored by Kristi over at The Story Siren. I've really gotten into the YA books lately. In fact, it's almost keeping me from reading books by my favorite authors Stephen King and Dean Koontz. But anyway, on with the book review.

XVI, or the Roman numeral for 16 is set in a futuristic world. After we have settled on the Moon and Mars, and we have a government that keeps us from having wars. The 16 is for the age when a girl gets a tattoo, the roman numerals, that tell all men she is 16 and able to have sex. And they call it "sex-teen" in that it is the age when girls WANT to have sex supposedly, and all the ads make girls think that will be cool. There is an organization that virgins can get chosen for, and it is hope for girls who are in the lower tiers, or really the lower class girls. Our main character is Nina. She doesn't buy into all that sex-teen stuff. In fact, she doesn't want to have sex or become available for this program. Especially after seeing some perverted videos her mother's boyfriend left at the house. This is a world, similar to in the movie Minority Report, where as you walk past stores, you are constantly getting an audio of sales and such directed at you. There is a constant program, unless you listen to music, or are talking to a friend. Until girls are 16, they also have a GPS inserted under their skin.

The story starts out as Nina is going to visit her grandparents and some old friends in Chicago. (Which, as some may know, I love Chicago! The novel I have gotten the farthest with writing myself is actually set in Chicago.) There is a stop in this constant noise by some rebels, or NonCons as they are called. Then she sees a homeless boy getting beat up by some 'Letes, or athletes. Turns out this boy isn't homeless, his name is Sal, and his parents were friends with Nina's parents. Nina's father is dead, and at the beginning of the story, her mother Ginnie is killed. This leads to Nina and her younger sister going to live with their grandparents. Ginnie told Nina in her dying moments to keep her younger sister away from her boyfriend, Ed, who Nina believes to be her sister's father. Moving to the city, back to where Nina had lived until 4 years ago, she is now embroiled in a mystery, as one other thing her mother said to her, was that her father was still alive, and Nina should find him.

There was a lot of suspense in this book. Once I picked it up, I constantly wanted to keep reading it to see what was going to happen next. I don't know that I believe we could ever go back to a society where women were treated like sex slaves, or that 16 year old girls were treated that way. I just don't see that. But it is a different story line for a futuristic world, and I think that it left off that there could be a sequel. I hope there is anyway, I want to know what happens next.

This was the 1st in my 2011 Debut Author Challenge list of 12. And I'm really glad I chose to do this. I may even go back to read some of the other books that I didn't choose after I get my first 12 done.

Now, if I could only get my borrowed Nook to work one more day before I have to take it back to work tonight. I really wanted to read Unwind by Neal Shusterman tonight, especially since I have a snow day tomorrow. Oh well. I'm reading another really good book right now that I can't wait to blog about either.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Suite Scarlett & Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson

Maureen Johnson's books were not ones that caught my eye at the bookstore, I have to admit. But I began following her on Twitter because I recognized her name as an author, and quite often I get on Twitter just to see what she has been tweeting.

I thought the storyline of Suite Scarlett was interesting sounding. Every child in the family gets the responsibility of one of the suites on their 15th birthday. Scarlett, who is #3 out of 4 children is given the Empire Suite. And just her luck, there is a resident, supposedly permanent, named Mrs. Amberson, who has just moved in. Now, this isn't a big, fancy hotel. It is a little hotel, with lots of NY history.

Scarlett's family is very colorful. Her older brother is an actor, very good at physical acting, stage falls, etc. Her older sister dates a rich guy. And her younger sister is a cancer survivor, and a bit of a brat. It's summer, and while all Scarlett's friends have gone elsewhere, as most New Yorkers do in the summer, she's stuck in town helping at the family hotel. She gets hired by Mrs. Amberson to be her assistant. First to help her write a book, then they decide to get involved in her brother Spencer's production of Hamlet as it starts having issues. Scarlett has a first romance with a boy in Spencer's cast named Eric. This story had a lot of subtle humor. There were several instances where I laughed out loud at lines that came from the same person I follow on Twitter. I could definitely see her influence in these parts of the book.

Then I moved on to the sequel, Scarlett Fever. In this book, Mrs. Amberson has moved out, but Scarlett is still working for her. Scarlett's friends are back in town now that school is starting, and she must try to get over Eric, who told her he wasn't sure what he would want once school started. Mrs. Amberson has decided to be come a talent agent, starting by representing Scarlett's brother Spencer. After many failed commercial auditions, she gets him a job on the hit NY crime show, where he does the unthinkable, and his character kills a beloved NY police officer character. Mrs. Amberson has also picked up a new young talent called Chelsea, and in order to get her, she volunteers Scarlett to spy on Chelsea's older brother Max, since they will be going to the same school. This book was even better than the first, in my opinion anyway, and I say that because I found myself laughing out loud even more. The way it left off though, I'm really hoping that there is going to be a third book in this series. In fact I intend to tweet this very question to Maureen Johnson soon.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting.

This week is the 3rd in the series that I just finished the 2nd one a week or so ago. The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy will end this summer in July. My blog on Linger should be up for you to check out. But where we left off the first one, Shiver, with Sam now being human for good, we have left off Linger not knowing if he will survive this, as well as Grace now being able to shift, but hopefully not be a wolf for good. The end of Linger left you really hanging, so we are definitely eagerly awaiting the release of Forever. I'm so glad that I read this for the 2011-2012 Gateway Award nominee list. I'm very grateful to have been exposed to this series, this author, and to be able to now recommend it both at the store I work at, as well as with the students I work with every day, and hopefully will work with one day soon as a school librarian myself.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Forest of Hands and Teeth/The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

I've been wanting to read these books since the first one came out and I saw the cover of it. Not to mention the title. Doesn't "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" just really intrigue you? It did me. And I put it off, lots of other things to read, no money to buy, etc. But two things prompted me to pick them up this past week and jump in. First, after reading Carrie Ryan's short story in Zombes Vs. Unicorns, I knew I would enjoy her writing. Second, I got to check out the Nook again for 2 weeks, and my goal is to read as many books during this time as I can. In the 4 days I've had it, I've finished 2 and a half books. The half book I'd already started reading before I checked the Nook out, and so finished it with the Nook.

As I posted in my New Year's Resolution blog post, if I read a series all back to back, I am going to blog about both at the same time. So that is my plan with these two books. Now, I will first alert you to the fact that by talking about both, there will be some spoilers. Sorry about that.

1. The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

This is a zombie story. The forest is full of what the town calls the Unconsecrated, or what we would call zombies. Our main character is Mary. Mary's father has disappeared recently, and her mother goes to the fence that surrounds the town each day to see if her husband will return. She refuses to believe that he has become one of the Unconsecrated. Mary's brother Jed is one of the crew that goes out to make sure the fences are safe. When he is gone on one of the trips, Mary lingers with a friend, Harry, instead of getting back to her mother at the fence. Without Mary there to keep her back, Mary's mother goes to the fence, and is bitten. People who are infected get a choice, they may be killed by the Sisters, the women who lead the village, or they may wait until they change, and then be thrown out with the other Unconsecrated. Many choose the latter, in order to be with loved ones. It is assumed that Mary's mother might have seen her father out in the forest, and so she chooses to be sent out after she changes. After this happens, and her mother changes, her brother Jed arrives back in the village. He is not pleased with Mary for letting this happen to their mother, and kicks her out, leaving Mary to have to join the sisterhood. Mary had hoped that Harry would have spoken for her, so they could be married, but he does not. In reality, Mary had actually hoped Harry's brother would speak for her, but he does not either.

All Mary's life her mother had told her about the ocean. No one in the village has seen it, and she is told by most that there is no such thing. Mary longs to get to the ocean that her mother told her about. While Mary is in the sisterhood, the sisters keep the arrival of an outsider quiet. This is because as far as the village knows, there is no one outside their village still alive. When this outsider turns into one of the faster Unconsecrated, the village is thrown into chaos, and Mary, and Harry, and his brother and Mary's best friend, all escape down one path. On their journey, they come to another village, and not only lose friends, but Mary does find her way to the ocean at the end. And that is where the first book leaves off.

2. The Dead-Tossed Waves

In this book, we meet Gabrielle, or Gabry. She is Mary's daughter. They live in the lighthouse near the town of Vista near the Ocean. Mary's job is to go out at each tide and decapitate any Mudo, what the town calls them instead of the Unconsecrated name given by Mary's village. They are washed up, there are zombies under the water, we learn they can be in hibernation when it snows, just laying there waiting for a human to pass through. We also learn that there is something called a Breaker, the fast zombies. What happens is that whenever there are not many Mudos around, and one person gets infected, they become the fast Breaker, and infect a lot of people and are almost impossible to kill. This is why humans will probably never be rid of this zombie problem ever. Gabry must deal with leaving the safety of the life Mary has built for her when she learns that Mary is not really her mother. Then the boy that Gabry is in love with is infected. But fortunately, or not, he becomes immune, he carries the infection, but doesn't ever change. They must leave or the Recruiters will capture him and use him as bait or basically to help them with the Mudo since he is not attacked by them.

Anyway, to make a long review short, these books were good. The first I enjoyed a bit more than the second, and I am eager to read the third which is coming out in March. From I read of the summary, it will continue Gabry's story from another person in her past.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

I almost forgot to blog about this one! I checked out the Nook from the bookstore again, and since I get to keep it for 2 weeks, I'm going to try to burn through as many YA books that I know I don't need to buy, but want to read as quick as I can. And first on the list was the sequel to Shiver that I read for the Gateway nominees a few months ago. Shiver was about a girl named Grace. When Grace was a little girl, she was dragged to the forest by wolves, and almost died, except for the intervention of what she thinks of as "her" wolf. Her wolf is a werewolf named Sam. In this series, the werewolves change because of the cold. In the summer they turn back to humans. After a while though, they stop making the change in the summer. And live out the rest of their lives as wolves. Grace and Sam meet when Sam is human. And they fall in love, and at the end of Shiver, they figure out a "cure" for Sam. So we start off Linger with Sam getting used to being human all the time. But we also meet some new wolves, one of which becomes kind of a main character, and his name is Cole. Cole is a former child rock star. He became a werewolf because he wanted to leave his life where all he did was drugs and try to find a way to feel different after he made some mistakes. However, Cole can't seem to stay a wolf. So he ends up back at Beck's house, where Sam ends up having to start living when Grace's parents catch him one night in Grace's room. Grace is sick. And eventually all of these things come to a head, and the fact that Cole's father was a science genius, helps them to figure out what might be a new "cure" for the problem that Grace is now facing.

I really enjoy this series. Although, this book did get a little hard to read at times because it went from one character's viewpoint to another constantly. I often had to flip back a page to remember what viewpoint I was reading from. I don't really remember the first book like that, but it's been a while since I read it. But I do recommend it, and am happy the finish to the series will be this summer.

Welcome 2011!

I see everyone else seems to be doing a New Year's resolution/goals blog, so I'll do one as well. I usually only do either book reviews or waiting on Wednesday blogs, but this will be out of the ordinary. First, I want to set some goals for the blog itself. I hope to make it more known by not only posting my updates on Facebook for my friends, but also posting them to Twitter. I also signed up to a challenge for next year: The 2011 Debut Author Challenge.

Next, I couldn't decide if I should list how many books I read only by what I actually blogged about, which is: 104. According to my notebook where I write every book that I read, even re-reads, the number is only 2 or 3 more, and actually 2 of those are ones I started, am still picking up and reading at times, but haven't finished. Weird. I must have counted wrong somewhere. So I think I will set my goal for how many books to read this year to 110. That's only 5 or 6 more than this year, so a reasonable goal. However, since I have a feeling I won't be signing up to read for any of the book awards through the state this year, it might be hard to get that many books in. Or not. We'll see.

I plan to blog in just one entry about series if I am able to read them right in a row, like I did with the Mortal Instruments series, or I am getting ready to do with the Carrie Ryan zombie series right now.

I also intend to take a creative writing class this summer, and get back to work on my chick lit novel I started a few years ago during NaNoWriMo. I'd love to get it finished this year. Since there's a good chance there won't be any need for summer school librarians this year with the state budget, I may have to set up a schedule for myself for writing.

One last reading goal, this year, if a book is just too hard for me to get into, and I don't have to read it for any reason, I will not make myself finish it. I will put it away in a pile and get rid of it. I will not waste any more time on books that I do not enjoy.

Other personal, non-reading goals include getting that final 5 pounds off so I can reach goal and hopefully become a WW lifetime member by the end of 2011. I need to make sure I get out and walk at the gym during the cold months at least twice a week, and then once the weather gets nice, I need to get back to 20 miles a week as soon as I can. With my new online teaching job, I hope to soon be able to start getting some credit cards paid off and get my life in a more financially stable place.

So, those are my main goals/resolutions. I'd add that I want to get a library job this year, but I think that's a pie in the sky dream for me at this point. Not to say I won't still apply and interview whenever possible, but I won't make something a goal that is so far out of my control anymore. I've always liked double numbers, like 11, probably because my birthday is October 22. So I'm hoping my love of double numbers will mean that 2011 is going to be a good year for me.