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!