Annette's Acre

Stitching, knitting, reading, life…whatever catches my eye

Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

February 15th, 2015 by Annette

2015 Reading Challenge

Another one off the list:

14.  A Nonfiction book

Slow start, but a great finish.  Wonderful stories from many Whedonverse alums and insights into an unbelievably creative mind.

Next targets:

25: A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t

I horrified several friends this week by admitting I’ve never read this classic story.  While I don’t remember it technically being assigned in my high school days, it probably should have been:

32: A trilogy

Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series is one of my favorites and I love all things Egyptian, so this trilogy seems like a no-brainer for me to read.


February 6th, 2015 by Annette

Taking a Breath…

The last two weeks have been rather crazy and I don’t see that stopping at least until sometime in April. So, while I’ve been spending a lot of work hours, I have managed to do a tiny bit of reading and even put in a stitch or two 🙂

Reading Challenge:

29.  A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit

Ben Aaronovitch’s latest entry in the Peter Grant series is Foxglove Summer and it’s set in the English countryside.  Loved it!


Hotel lighting and late work hours doesn’t leave a lot of productive stitching time.  But I can manage something relatively simple now and then.



This is a “blackwork” design by Bird Brain Designs done in blue.  The design is printed on on iron-on sheet and then ironed on the background fabric.  No tracing!  Perle cotton and a sharp needle is all you need to stitch away.  Very little brain power required.  Perfect for my travel project 😉

January 21st, 2015 by Annette

WIP Wednesday

I spent the weekend away with a few friends and found time to make more progress on Part 1 of the Lizzie Kate Things Unseen Sampler.  The final installment arrived in the mail while I was gone so now I know what I’m working toward 🙂

Things Unseen


As for the Reading Challenge, I finished off Raging Heat (not counting it as I started it last year) and started my book for #29 – A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit

I adore this series and excited to read Peter Grant’s latest adventure 🙂

January 9th, 2015 by Annette

Reading Challenge – Update!

Knocked off two items so far:

The Doorbell Rang was first published in 1965 (meeting #30 on the list).

Naked in Death by JD Robb – this satisfies #10 – A mystery or thriller

I read the first dozen or so books in the this series several years ago so it was nice to revisit Roarke and Eve when they first met 😉  I listened to the audiobook and the narrator does an excellent job with the various accents and voices.  Amazon currently has the audiobooks of the first few books for $1.99, so now would be a good time to add them to the library!

In Progress:

#12 – A book of short stories:

This is my choice:

Several familiar authors and a few new ones to try.  I’ve listened to the first two stories so far.  I’ll probably alternate the stories with other full length books.

Tomorrow is my first Turkey Trot update and I’ve worked on two (!) projects so far!  Woot!

January 3rd, 2015 by Annette

2015 Reading Challenge

To kick off the 2015 Reading Challenge, I’m starting with:

The Doorbell Rang was first published in 1965 (meeting #30 on the list).  I’ll be listening to the audiobook version (thank you, Audible!).  I love Nero Wolfe and this was one of my favorite episodes from the short-lived A&E series.

I’m still in the midst of Raging Heat on my Kindle and once I finish that I’ll figure out the next book for the challenge… though picking up Joss’s biography again would satisfy #49 😉

January 1st, 2015 by Annette

2015 – The Year Ahead

As a point of reference, here are just a few of the happenings from 2014:

  • Laid off (again)
  • Kitchen remodeled (yay!)
  • Hosted a get-together in AZ for a dozen friends
  • Landed permanent job as a consultant in July (requires weekly travel)
  • New car (VW Tiguan – cherry red!)
  • Phoenix Comicon and Fan Fest volunteer (awesome)

You are now caught up.   As you can imagine my “creating” time (stitching, quilting and knitting) was a bit more limited.  I did manage to finish off a few of each type of projects and I’m sure I’ll show them off in the coming months.

This year, I’m hoping for a little more consistency?  balance? predictability?  I’m not sure.  I do know that it would be lovely to have a year a little less stressful and full of change.  My schedule is busy, but not unmanageable.

That being said, the blog is part of my mitigation strategy.  A little planning, a little more focus and hopefully a lot less stress and an increase in positive results.

Here’s what is in store for the year:

2015 Reading Challenge – not that I need more reasons to read, but something fun to provide post fodder 😉

The WIP List – I will be updating the WIP List as I may have started a few things last year 😉  I’ll also be adding in quilting and knitting projects.

FMSPhotoADay – I’ve added my Instagram feed (azannette414) on the left which will show the photos based on the daily prompts provided.

I appreciate all that have found me again after my year+ break.  I wish you all a wondrous 2015!

September 7th, 2013 by Annette


If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. – Oscar Wilde

In the last four months, I’ve been driving myself to work most days.  Rather than listen to the radio every day, I’ve been making good use of my Audible membership and revisiting some favorite books.

I like listening to books I’ve already read and enjoyed rather than try to pay attention to a new story.  My attention tends to wander a bit when I listen and this way it’s less likely to miss important parts of the story.

I’m currently listening to The Dresden Files, one of my all time favorite book series.  It is definitely my #1 favorite audiobook series.  It’s read by James Marsters, more commonly known as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I’m on Book #7 – Dead Beat.  Single best ending of any book in the series…

I’m also reading The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.  It’s an international version of Stephanie Plum… snappy dialog, laugh-out-loud moments and a fast-paced plot make it a quick, fun read.  So far. 🙂

Slowly but surely making my way thru Game of Thrones.  The books have been on the radar for years but they didn’t float to the top of the pile until after getting completely sucked in by the HBO Series.  I’m torn between wanting to catch up and read past the series so I kinda know what’s going to happen, or just letting it unfold and read it afterward.  Not sure my heart can take another Red Wedding….but if I knew it was going to happen, it would have lessened the impact.  Or maybe not.

My to-read pile is towering and varied.  Some things never change 🙂


August 22nd, 2011 by Annette

Three Days…

In the last three days…. (Saturday, Sunday and Monday):

– I bought a little bit of new stash

New Stash!

l-r: Sept/Oct JCS, Blackbird Designs Casting a Spell, Blue Ribbon Designs Moonlit Midnight, Ink Circles Four Seasons Mandalas. front: Bent Creek Got Newt?



– I finished off two Pine Mountain Pillows (caught up!)

– I finished the latest Harry Dresden novel, Ghost Story (What a ride…)

And all before noon today 🙂  I love vacation!


August 15th, 2011 by Annette

Top 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novels – per NPR voters

Stolen gleefully from Measi 🙂

According to NPR’s summer reader survey, these are the top 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels.

I was one of the 60,000 voters and I’m pleased to say a number of my picks made the final list!

Bold = ones I’ve completed
Italics = ones I’ve attempted/partially finished
** = ones I do plan to read in the future  (my own addition)

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien** (I know, I know….)

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams ** (yeah, another classic I’ve missed)

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert (I read the first, probably won’t read beyond that one, though)

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin** (I’ve read the first paragraph of the first book, but figured italics would be exaggerating my progress.  It’s on the Kindle,)

6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan (Thru book…7, I think.)

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore  (My first graphic novel!)

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss (Need to reread the first before I dive into the second.  LOVE this series!)

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick

22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King** (I have the first one….)

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

25. The Stand, by Stephen King

26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne

38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys

39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny (I’ve read most of these…)

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings

42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson

44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke

50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson

59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold**  (Have the first couple..)

60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett

61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind (Read most of this series – all but the last two?)

63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke (OMG.  I *hated* this but I did finish it!!)

65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks

68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore

74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson

76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey (Read the first two, have all the others)

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin

79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury (My favorite Bradbury!)

80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire (OMG, another *hated* it, but finished)

81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson** (On the “to read” list)

82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks

84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart

85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson

86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher (Read the first three, have the rest)

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe

88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley

93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge

94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson

96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony (I’ve read the first six, my kids have both read beyond that.  I quit reading Mr. Anthony when he wrote that he didn’t have time for fans.  This was in an Author’s Note on his Incarnations of Immortality series…. I guess I have no time for you, Mr. Anthony.)

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

Obviously, I’m more of a fantasy reader than Sci-Fi.  A few of my other pics didn’t make the list (Black Jewels!!  Dresden Files!!) but other than the two entries that I struggled through (64, 80) not a bad list.

Though I still need to get some reading done….

July 3rd, 2011 by Annette

Goals – July 2011

Fred and Joe are out on assignment this month, so I’ll have to do the goals update myself.

They listed five for me last month:

  1. Finish/Mail Mirabilia RR – Yes 🙂
  2. Greek Mandala – 10 hours – I got a few hours in (based on the progress pic) but not the full 10
  3. Start/Finish January Pine Mountain Kit – No*
  4. Spring Queen – 10 hours – Uhhh… no.
  5. Finish one book on Currently Reading Shelf – Yes!  I finished Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole.

* Evidence:

The fabric is a bit stiff, thus the slow progress.

I did pull out an older WIP and put in a few stitches.  I added the tree on the left and started the fourth house.  This is Liberty Lane by Country Cottage Needleworks

For July, I’m keeping it simple.

  • Finish Mirabilia RR and mail (started on Saturday)
  • Finish Chatelaine Exchange piece
  • Start/Finish July Pine Mountain pillow
  • Finish Moon Over Soho and River Marked

Happy Fourth of July to all my US friends!