Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year! 2016 Resolution Reviewed - All the Books I Read

Happy New Year, my dear friends and readers! I hope you had a good one! 
I've been spending my days doing not much of anything, and being offline. It's been fab. And this was my New Year's Eve party outfit.

  • Blouse - Spense, consignment; last worn here in September 2016 with sick pants
  • Skirt - Fairweather, c. 1999; last worn way back here in September 2008 when I wore it to my first Alice Cooper concert!
  • Shoes - Poetic Licence; last seen here while fully fringed in January 2016

L and I hosted a small (12 people) potluck dinner and evening at our place. Only the most awesome people were there! I wanted to be comfortable, but also glam.

And so I shopped my closet! This blouse is fairly new-to-me, but the skirt is over 16 years old. I had to give it a good steaming to get all the wrinkles out! The skirt is very swooshy, and it was fun to swing it around all night, and sprawl dramatically on furniture.
"I'm unimpressed. Exit cat, stage left."
I think I paid about $40 for this skirt back in 1999-ish, when I worked at Fairweather women's clothing store. Pretty sure there are some pictures (real photographs!) from back in the day of me in a few party outfits with this on. Too lazy to look, hee hee.
Swoosh factor 10!

The stuff:
I totally forgot about these shoes - and it shows, since I haven't worn them in a year! I did deep blue tights (to match the blouse), which keeps the "taco" shape of these from looking weird on the front of the foot.

Silver bling:
Missing: one little fascinator which was moved to keep it safe from Monsieur Vizzini.

  • Belt - Mimi Di N, thrifted
  • Leaf bracelet - vintage store
  • Bangle - local
  • Earrings - Lazy Susan's (first wear)
  • Lapis lazuli ring/Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes
  • Fascinator (not shown) - Heart's Content

A very Happy 2017 to all of you, from L and I!
May you always be fabulous.

Linking up to:

And a very big thank you to all of these awesome women for hosting these link-ups! I don't always participate, but I do always appreciate.


So, I do a "soft" resolution most years, just a small challenge to myself to make sure I have something to work towards. I have always loved reading, and since 2008, I've tracked all the books I've read (in a little hard copy journal, because I like writing things down), and for the past few years, I've tried to "meet or beat" my previous year's total. I count books of any length, so some are just barely novella-sized (around 100 pages), but some are 700+ pages, so I figure it all evens out.

Anyway, last year, I read 45 books. Wow! I'm impressed with myself. I have been trying to be more mindful about shutting off all the electronics (neither L nor I have cellphones/iPhones/tablets/iPads, etc.) and TV at 10:30pm and then going to bed and reading. It's paid off.

In case you care, here are all the books I read last year. Most of them are my choice; some are Book Club picks (BC), some are bathroom books (heh), but most are just me working through the books in stacks beside the bed. The numbers are my personal ratings out of 5.

  1. The Diamond Conspiracy - Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris (3/5)
  2. No One Belongs Here More Than You (short stories) - Miranda July (4/5)
  3. Furiously Happy - Jenny Lawson (3/5)
  4. The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham (3/5)
  5. Brothers in Arms - Lois McMaster Bujold (3/5) - I borrowed this whole series from a coworker this year
  6. The Dispossessed - Ursula K. LeGuin (2/5)
  7. Variable Star - Robert A. Heinlein & Spider Robinson (4/5)
  8. Revival - Stephen King (3/5)
  9. Borders of Infinity - Lois McMaster Bujold - (3/5)
  10. Frog Music - Emma Donoghue (3/5) - BC
  11. The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton (3/5) - BC
  12. Damned - Chuck Palahniuk (3/5)
  13. The Dark Side of the Earth - Alfred Bester (2/5)
  14. Memory - Lois McMaster Bujold (4/5)
  15. Doomed - Chuck Palahniuk (2/5)
  16. Wild Seed - Octavia E. Butler (4/5)
  17. Look to Windward - Iain M. Banks (4/5)
  18. The Slow Regard of Silent Things - Patrick Rothfuss (3/5)
  19. Komarr - Lois McMaster Bujold (4/5)
  20. Because of Love (poetry) - Robin Skelton (2/5) - he was one of my Creative Writing profs in university
  21. The Map of Time - Felix J. Palma (2/5)
  22. A Gift of Magic - Lois Duncan (2/5) - one of my favourite YA authors, who died this year, so I re-read all of her books that I own
  23. Killing Mr. Griffin - Lois Duncan (2/5)
  24. A Civil Campaign - Lois McMaster Bujold (3.5/5)
  25. Winterfair Gifts - Lois McMaster Bujold (4/5)
  26. Daughters of Eve - Lois Duncan (3/5)
  27. The Imperfectionists - Tom Rachman (3/5) - BC
  28. Thuvia, Maid of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs (3/5)
  29. Stranger With My Face - Lois Duncan (4/5)
  30. The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt (4/5) - BC
  31. The Twisted Window - Lois Duncan (2/5)
  32. The Computer Connection - Alfred Bester (3/5)
  33. The Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs (4/5)
  34. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (graphic novel) - Marjane Satrapi\
  35. The Crow Road - Iain Banks (5/5)
  36. Diplomatic Immunity - Lois McMaster Bujold (3/5)
  37. Black Hills - Dan Simmons (4/5)
  38. Spider Kiss - Harlan Ellison (1/5)
  39. The Gods of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs (2/5)
  40. The Algebraist - Iain M. Banks (3/5)
  41. All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerrr (3/5) - BC
  42. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman (3/5)
  43. The Golden Spruce - John Vallant (5/5)
  44. Working for the Devil - Lilith Saintcrow (3/5)
  45. Dead Man Rising - Lilith Saintcrow (3/5)

This year's goal - again, "meet or beat" that number. I can do it!

Do you make a resolution, even a "soft" one like I do?


  1. I've only read 3 of those on your year's reading list. There are a couple that you've read that I have but not have yet read. I managed 98 this year but still can't work out how I read much more when I worked!

    I love your NY outfit. Love a swooshy skirt! Did you wear a slip under it?

    I have a similar skirt bought recently in Keech but mine has a ruffle down the front - don't know when I'm going to wear it though...


    1. Wow, 98 books is stellar! I can't even imagine reading that many - 45 felt like a LOT. No, the skirt is lined so just the blue tights under it. You must figure out how to wear your skirt - it sounds divine!

  2. Happy New Year to you both, or should that be the three of you to include your crazy cat? Anyway you both looked very swish on NYE and as did your swishy skirt. Your book list is impressive. I read, but not to that extent and none on your list either. It's a great idea to have a list of what you've read, but goodness knows if I could find time to do yet another thing in my hectic life. You're probably just a busy as me Sheila, so I really have no excuse. No soft or hard resolutions for me, sorry!
    Anna x

    1. Happy New Year! Thanks, Anna! I'm busy, yes, but I make room in my life for the things I want. I let a lot slide. No worries on the resolutions - everyone is different (thank goodness!).

  3. Happy new year to you all, and that is one fabulous swooshy skirt. Bravo to you for all the reading, and I see you are an Iain Banks fan too. Thanks for linking up, xo


    1. Thanks, Patti! Happy New Year! I love Iain Banks - his SF stuff is pretty...dense, but I still like them. Hugs to you!

  4. You're a rigorous grader! I loved The Crow Road, so will seek out your other five-star pick, The Golden Spruce.

    I usually have amorphous ~ intentions~ for each New Year. Sustainable/ethical/fair trade shopping wherever possible is my most relevant one here. You are a very good influence in that respect!

    1. Yeah, I don't give out a lot of 5s or even 4s. The Golden Spruce is nothing like Crow Road, so I hope you enjoy it! That's a good goal for you - I always strive for that too!

  5. I love your new year's outfit! Swishy skirts are the best. Happy new year to you. A small dinner party sounds like a great way to welcome in the new year. I didn't expect to make it to midnight but fell asleep much earlier than expected, ha! It's been a busy Christmas time.

    Thank you for all of your support and encouragement and advice over the year Sheila - I look forward to learning more through your blog during the year and enjoying all of your outfits.

    1. Hugs to you, Mica! It was a lovely evening, and really the perfect way to cap the year. Aw, thank you, sweetheart - I treasure our blog friendship!

  6. All the best to you! Thank you for your book list and ratings.
    I plan to keep up with my walks and lose a few pounds...
    enjoy my grandchildren and help my Mom navigate her 90's.

    1. Thank you, and good for you, Leslie! Great goals to chip away at!

  7. Loving the swooshy skirt with bluebell top my dear! I was thinking of you all as I drifted off to sleep - at 9pm. Hard to believe, but true. xoCarolyn

    1. Thanks, darlin! 9pm?? We're going to have to re-celebrate NYE at Winesday!!

  8. Happy New Year to you both! Love your swooshy skirt! And you did really well with the books. I've no idea how many I've read, maybe I should start keeping records too ... xxx

    1. Happy New Year! Thank you so much, m'dear! Nah, don't track unless you want to - you do you!

  9. wish you a fabulous year!, and you look gorgeous in your party outfit!, luxurious and shiny, with a 10 swooshing factor! stunning! and even more fabulous shoes!!
    (I'm taking notes on some of these books, thanks for sharing!)

    1. Thank you so much, my dear! I hope you like the books - I have very eclectic tastes.

  10. Happy New Year Dear Sheila. You wear the long skirt with panache. And the fascinator! What can I say. You are the picture of sophistication. Thank you so much for sharing with Hat Attack!

  11. Gorgeous She ! that swooshy skirt is superb.
    After reading our list of books, I feel awful. Of the last three I purchased, I have only read one.

    1. Thanks, Lorena! I can't believe it's been so long since I wore it. Aw, don't feel bad - I make reading a priority for me.


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