Sunday, February 3, 2013

Jan 2013 and Books of 2012

Well, it's been a month since my arm surgery. Things are going well, and my life is about 90% back to normal. There are a bunch of random things that I still can't do, and whether or not I will ever be able to do them again is debatable (the debate is actually between my optimistic surgeon and my pessimistic surgeon). The most important of these things is driving -- I don't have the strength to change gears or the dexterity to turn the wheel. (Luckily I love the bus system here in Springfieldee, so this doesn't affect my day-to-day life all that much.) I also can't lift anything that weighs more than 2 pounds, put on eyeliner, use the can opener, or click the computer mouse with my right hand, among other small and not-too-important tasks.

January was a busy month. I started with some new students. I started working at a school that an American friend opened. (It's so refreshing to see an English school run as an honest business, and it's exciting to be a part of it!) I did A LOT of one-handed translation (REGRET).

Oh, and we moved into a new apartment. I'll miss the beautiful old apartment, but not the price of it! I also enjoy the location of the new place, which is much closer to civilization (there are TWO horti frutis within walking distance!). And I think the best part is that my street name is only ONE WORD. Imagine that, a one-word street name in Brazil! This is priceless for a foreigner who has to negotiate all the logistics of a move because her husfriend works during business hours.

But things are finally unpacked and settling down; hence, this blog post!

Do you remember last year when great friend Bianca and I made a goal to read 100 books each in 2012? Well, 2012 came and went. I did pretty well. I didn't get to 100, but I read a total of 34 books. Almost one a week... not bad with a full-time job. I also only counted the books I finished. (Do the hundreds of pages of dense Portuguese that I read for translation work count?)

Instead of my long descriptions from last year, I'm just going to give you a list in order more or less from best to worst of the books I read. Yes, I combined fiction and non-fiction. Here they are. Feel free to add your two cents:

The Tiger's Wife -- Tea Obreht. Yes, the best book I read last year.
War Brides -- Helen Bryan
The Lotus Eaters -- Tatjana Soli
Watership Down -- Richard Adams
The Gift of Fear -- Gavin J. Becker
Fall of Giants -- Ken Follet
Whatever -- Miche Houellebecq
I Love You and I'm Leaving -- Tracy McMillan
A Place Called Freedom -- Ken Follet
The Paris Wife -- Paula McLain
Everything that Rises Must Converge -- Flannery O'Connor
The Little Known -- Janice Daugharty
Foe -- JM Coetzee
The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemmingway
Someone Will Be with You Shortly -- Lisa Kogan
The Soldier's Wife -- Margaret Leroy
World Without End -- Ken Follet
The Five Love Languages -- Gary Chapman
Dangerous Instincts -- Mary Ellen O'Toole
What You Can Change...and What You Can't -- Martin E. Seligman
A Dangerous Fortune -- Ken Follet
Sushi for Beginners -- Marian Keyes
Your Money: The Missing Manual -- J.D. Roth 
Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me? (And Other Concerns) -- Mindy Kaling
Wife 22 -- Melanie Gideon
Last Chance Saloon -- Marian Keyes
Party Animal -- Marian Keyes
A Gate at the Stairs -- Lorrie Moore
The Marriage Plot -- Jeffrey Eugenides
The Sense of an Ending -- Julian Barnes (I read an excellent editorial describing authors like Barnes, Eugenides, and Franzen as male chick lit equivalents, but now I can't find it. Here's an interview about the editorial.)
Mental Traps: The Overthinker's Guide to a Happier Life -- Andre Kukla
My Horizontal Life -- Chelsea Handler
Jailbird -- Heather Huffman
Olive Kitteridge --Elizabeth Strout. (Ya know, I apparently read this because I got to the end of it on my Kindle, and I even highlighted some nice quotes, but I honestly do not remember it! Sorry, Ms. Strout.)

A lot of those were from Amazon's free or promotionally-priced material, which can be hit or miss.

The next post will probably be about Carnaval in Rio, because that's where my friend Kristin and I are going! Wish me luck!


  1. You might have permanent disability? Wow-wee that was some number you did on your wrist!

    Are you teaching classes or still one-on-one? I miss having co-worker, but I don't ever see us needing to hire another teacher. Our town is sooo tiny.

    1. Yeah, let's see what ends up being permanent! The optimistic doctor's guess is permanent weakness (so no lifting heavy things) but temporary inflexibility.
      I'm teaching groups at my friend's school, 2 small groups at the local university (privately, I'm not a professor there or anything) and a few one-on-one classes at home.

  2. It sounds like your going to need physical therapy. its that something your doctor is planning on having you schedule?

    Hope your wrist gets better :)!

  3. Are you left handed (I hope)? I hope you will be totally recovered soon!

  4. How did you feel about the following books that I want to read:
    The Paris Wife -- Paula McLain
    Wife 22
    Sushi for Beginners

    ? :)

  5. This is strange: we read many of the same books. Thanks for reading my "The Little Known." In good company. Author Janice Daugharty


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