Decadius Disseminatus

That’s Latin for “Ten Years of Blogging” (no, it’s really not, please don’t think that’s true, I totally made up the words of the sentiment. It’s not Latin for anything.)

But the gist is this: today, December 9, 2017, is the 10th anniversary of my life as a blogger. Ten YEARS I’ve been writing. On this very day an entire decade ago, I started out as a blogger. My friend Meg said, “You should write a blog” and so I did. Okay, there might have been more to it than that, I’m not that susceptible. I was going to repost my original blog, but, as it turns out, that site has shut down. Which means the first (just over) 500 blogs are lost forever. All that genius, gone in a wash of technology. (insert sad face smiley here)

I’d say it’s sad (see sad face smiley note), but I don’t know that it is (dammit! confused smiley). I don’t know if I need this to be permanent. The memories I’ll have either way but the granular details, I’m not sure we’re meant to carry those always. Maybe they are there just to color in the picture before it slowly leaches over time.

The point is, the stuff that matters we keep forever. but the rest of it, the stuff that seems so important in the moment? I don’t know that we’re supposed to keep it. I think part of life is letting go and moving forward. Hm, that is not a lesson I ever expected to learn through blogging, an exercise that by its very nature should show the opposite, but there you go.

This post, at the moment of publication is my 812th post. 812 times I’ve set out to tell you a story (at least here). My writing rate has slowed considerably. Five years ago, at the half decade mark, I wrote this post. In it, I told how it was my 1,000th post, 483 on this site and 517 on my first, now defunct site. If we include those 517 lost posts, then this is my 1,329th post.

(Remember my thing about numbers? This is a great place to demonstrate.)

I’ve technically written one thousand three hundred and twenty-nine posts (see? numbers are always more impressive if you write out the words.)

Over ten years, that is nearly 133 posts a year or a post every three days. Can you imagine? Every three days for a decade I wrote down my thoughts and published them on the internet for the world to read.

What was I thinking?

Just kidding, I like it. And I’m okay with it. I’m honored and touched and surprised that people actually do read it. People, that is, that are not my family or my friends. Since 219 people actually follow this blog and I’d guess less than 15 of them are the aforementioned friends and family, color me grateful and pleased.

What’s the point?

Well, there isn’t one, really. I just happened to stumble across my five year anniversary post only a couple weeks ago and it struck me, forcibly that I was dangerously close to this major anniversary. I knew then I had to take a moment and honor this date with a post, but as I thought about it in the days leading, I never found my story. Instead, today, without cleverness or guile, you get my thoughts. Just random scatters of notions sprinkled here for your enjoyment. Because I’m awesome like this, I’m going to link ten of my favorite posts.

Nope. Not favorite. Popular. I went to the site statistics and I found a list of all my posts ranked by number of views. So here we go, the Top 10 most popular posts on Livlife.

10.  Blog Crack

9. Buddy Coke

8. 35/35 (Kel, can you believe one of your birthday posts is in the TOP TEN? Of the 178 times that has been viewed, how many were you?…tell the truth!)

7. All About Me (Huh, that’s my intro page, which makes sense I suppose, but feels a bit like a cheat. But I did write it….)

6. Cheese and Macaroni

5. Christmas Letter

4. Magic Necklace

3. The Danger of Brushing Your Hair (in that post I am talking about something that happened 16,000 times and I spell out the words sixteen thousand and comment on how much more it seems. In 2011. Clearly I’ve believed this theory for quite some time).

2. Christian Kane Concert (this could well be MY favorite post I’ve ever written. Certainly it is to reread. I’m probably half of the page views (though I don’t think I count) and I’m both oddly pleased and disappointed it is number two)

1.  Purple Stripes – Never in a million years did I think this would be the most popular post on my site. Not sure what I thought WAS, but I wouldn’t have thought this, that’s for sure.

I’m adding one more: The Universe Wants Me to Listen to David Gray because I have always liked that post. And I think of it whenever a David Gray song comes on the radio or my iPhone. It’s number 33 overall which is still pretty high, so I’m including it as an honorable mention.

Ooops, make that two more. Wouldn’t Time Be Out To Charm You? This is another all time favorite of mine, the detailing of one of my life stories, a defining life story at that. I had to search for this one, only to find it is #73 on the list overall. But to me, this one would absolutely be top ten of my favorites, so I’m leaving it here as a second bonus.

What else can I say after ten years of being a blogger? Let’s see how long it lasts and where it goes, I guess. I certainly never thought I’d be writing a blog still after a decade.

Hm, how do you end these things? You’d think after doing this more than thirteen hundred times I’d have a foolproof system for getting out once the work is done (twss) but, unfortunately, I do not. Sometimes I’m pithy, sometimes it’s natural, sometimes I think I just stop typing.

This will be one of those times.

 

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November 2017 Books

So here’s the thing, this has been the year I’ve read the most books. And I think, maybe, perhaps, I got a little burned out. November hit and I could not muster the energy to read. I’d tell myself…tomorrow. But the next day would come and all I really wanted to do was watch tv.

I don’t ever feel like anyone should be forced to read; I wouldn’t do that to others so I couldn’t do it to myself. Therefore, I didn’t read my first book until Thanksgiving. No, I’m not kidding. And as a result, this is a short list.

November: (3 books)

  1. Renegades – Marissa Meyer^
  2. Shacking Up – Helena Hunting^
  3. Hooking Up – Helena Hunting^

And that’s it! Can you even believe it?

Renegades is a superhero fantasy novel. I enjoyed it, but it was a bit slow. I felt like I was waiting the whole book for it to get going. But apparently there’s another coming, so maybe all that setup will pay off.

Next was my first foray into Helena Hunting. Shacking Up will be forever known as the tarantula book. Like I had to put it down and stop reading because it freaked me out. I did eventually pick it up again, but I had to skip ahead to the end of the chapter because of the giant fucking spider. *shudder*

Hooking Up is the follow up to that book, which is only mildly irritating because they weren’t listed as a series, though they clearly are, and I started this one first. It was super highly rated, and it started out fantastic, but sort of fizzled thereafter. Neither would be books I’d recommend.

And November was complete. I finished the month with 222 books. One more month to go, then our yearly wrap. You know how much I enjoy that post!

See you in the new year!

October 2017 Books

Well it is rapidly sprinting toward Thanksgiving and my reading is at an all-time low. I decided to take a look at the year in review and see if I can spot anything that I might have missed, when I realized I never blogged my October books.

Here we go.

October: (14 books)

  1. Without Merit – Colleen Hoover^
  2. Until it Fades – KA Tucker^
  3. Hollywood Scandal – Louise Bay^
  4. More Than This – Jay McLean^
  5. Wild at Whiskey Creek – Julie Anne Long^
  6. Dirty Dancing at Devil’s Leap – Julie Anne Long^
  7. Fear Me – BB Reid^
  8. If There’s No Tomorrow – Jennifer L. Armentrout^
  9. Where I Belong – J. Daniels^
  10. The Beauty of Us – Kristen Proby^
  11. Dream of Me – Quinn Loftis^
  12. On A Tuesday – Whitney G.^
  13. Until Friday Night – Abbi Glines^
  14. Under the Lights – Abbi Glines^

And there you have it folks. So much I can say here. Obviously, at well over 200 books on the year, I’ve been reading like a fiend, but, largely, these have all been good reads. On the whole that is. Then October hit. I started with a beloved favorite, Colleen Hoover and her new book. I actually waited to read it so it wouldn’t blend in with all the fabulous books of September. But I didn’t like it. Oh, I mean, it was fine. Perfectly good book and all that, but there is good and there is ColleenHooverGood. This was not the latter. At least IMO. My mother, a convert at my insistence says it was exactly that, ColleenHooverGood. It is possible that this book fell victim to The Oversell. Obviously, all my own fault, I have such high expectations for her that, well, it’s almost like she is set up to fail. I’ll have to wander through the quagmire of my mind for a solution because I just can’t go around hating on CH, she’s just too awesome.

Things just went downhill from there. Okay, that’s not really fair. The Julie Anne Long books were very enjoyable. But really, that’s pretty much it. I had high hopes for Dream of Me, and to be fair, it was a cute idea, but the story went stupid and ends on a cliffhanger and then I find out it was supposed to be a series but this is the only book she’s written and it’s been three years since this came out. So odds are that she won’t write the next one. Kind of killed my book buzz, you know?

So yeah, October was a book bust. But even those lackluster numbers got me to 219 books on the year, headed for a fantastical total of  263 books on the year. Oh my.

 

Twenty Eight

Happy Birthday, Kelly Jo. No suspense here, this one’s for you. I started out with a grand plan to make you a video, I even got up early this morning to do it. I did several takes and finally got it right. Then as I stood up, I dropped the phone and somehow, in the picking it up, I deleted the freshly completed video. Which is how my celebration of your day started out with a giant Fuck You to the universe. Man, oh man, that made me crabby. I didn’t have time to re-record the video because I’d done more than one take to try and get it perfect.

Then I spent the entire day stewing over it, because I was annoyed my plan had failed. I had every intention of heading home tonight and doing it again, except that it is dark when I get home now and the lighting in my house is terrible and I knew it would look better in natural light.

Then it hit me. Kelly likes words. Specifically, she likes it when *I* write words for her (feels like there is more than one meaning to that sentence!) And in days gone by I used to write sonnets to our friendship or post montages of photos glorifying our BFF status and post them to my blog. I don’t use the blog much anymore, at least not for things like that.

But I could.

I did.

I am.

I’ve spent all day thinking of you. I was in a meeting this morning (that I was NOT late for, despite my tech snafu, thank you very much) at the University of MN and the woman was talking about the children’s picture book digital art collection and I thought of you and how you’d be able to use that for your art unit.

I thought about you in the parking ramp when the person in the next spot parked so close to me that I could not fit between our cars and that was the driver side. And I ended up climbing in the passenger seat and over the console and contorting my body to squeeze into my driver’s seat. And even though it pissed me off, as I drove away I thought how funny it was and wished you were there because we’d laugh about that craziness for YEARS to come.

I stopped at Subway and thought of you and how much you enjoy Subway and how much you enjoy eating out, and that time you called me on the phone to tell me that Subway started offering breakfast and it was awesome.

I drove past Peppers & Fries and thought fondly of our lunches there, with and without your children. Then I thought of all the other lunches we’ve had and how much you enjoy going out to lunch. More than anyone I know.

All day today, every little thing I do, my mind has found a way to relate it back to you. Given the two very different lives we lead, this should seem a difficult task. But it isn’t. I can connect almost anything to you. And the reason is that we’ve been friends for twenty-eight years. 28. Our friendship is old enough to vote, buy cigarettes, lose money at a casino, drink alcohol and rent a car.

The Civil War lasted four years. World War I lasted four years. World War II lasted six years. The Korean War lasted three years. The Great Depression lasted ten years.

Our friendship outlasted all of these major events….added together. We have been friends longer than it would have taken to fight in four major wars and survive the greatest economic hardship our country has endured. With a year to spare.

I’ve spoken many times on my blog about you and our friendship. I’ve listed those if you wish to reread my words about you.

25 Birthdays

35/35

Lent Letter

Brecken’s Ultrasound

The Wonder (I think this is my all-time favorite Kelly post)

Chicago Trip (Although this is a close contender, still makes me LOL, literally)

The Right Stuff

33

First Sleepover

One of these posts contains a different list of posts about Kelly (there are a LOT to choose from) and in that one I put four and mention specifically that I stop at four just for Kelly. In this one I stopped at nine. It killed me to do it, but I did. Only nine lovable posts about my BFF. Because she likes lists that don’t conform. It’s me who doesn’t.

But here’s the crux of the thing. I love you, Kelly Jo. I’ve been loving you forever since 1989 and fully plan on that being the case forever. It’s a remarkable thing to know someone that long. Outside of blood relatives, there is no one I’ve known longer, and I know it is the same for you.

When we met, we didn’t have boobs. We didn’t shave our legs, we’d never gotten our first periods. We’d never kissed a boy. Our lives were small and sweet and innocent, as a child’s should be. The size of the world has grown immeasurably since we met, but it is in keeping with our friendship. More succinctly, the older we get, the better friends we become.

I know this is your first birthday since losing your dad and I know how hard that has been, and still is, on you. I think of you every day hoping, praying, that today will be a better day than yesterday. Also, I think of him, his warmth and his laughter and how very, very, very much he loved you. He is responsible for us, he moved you from Woodbury to St. Paul, and if he hadn’t done that, in 1989, you and I would never have met, never become friends, and what an immense loss that would have been. Nearly as awful as losing your dad. I hope that brings you comfort. Of all the things he’s given you, and Heaven knows that is a lot of things, he helped give you my friendship. And I’m still here, always.

Sometimes, Kel, sometimes it is hard to write to you because there is literally nothing I don’t say to you. I love that about us, our openness, even on the rare occasions that we fight, we always communicate our every thought. So many times I’ve set pen to paper (okay, fine, fingers to keyboard, but whatever, pen to paper is more poetic, and alliterative) to talk about you, about friendship and about how incredible it is that we are still forever friends.

Or BFF. As you like to say.

You are never far from my thoughts, and today, well, you are my favorite thought.

Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy birthday.

39 happys. Really. Count them.

Love you always, BFF.

kel

P.S. even though I never specifically mention NKOTB, I do reference them in the post. And because it felt weird to write to you, on your birthday and NOT mention them, I felt compelled to at this postscript to point that out, thus sneaking in a mention of your favorite band. I’m clever like that. Happy Birthday #1 Fan!

Long Live Livlife

My friend Elena recently had someone reach out to her on Facebook. As most of you know, I don’t do FB. But this person, Katie, reached out to Elena asking for my contact info because they wanted to send a yearbook.

Um, what?

Elena asked me and I asked who this person was. You see, I don’t really remember high school. But Elena does. So I figured she would know who this was and if it was worth sending along my contact info. She said, “I think she went to HS with us.” Well that’s strange. If Elena doesn’t remember her, then who is this person? More importantly, how does this person know that Elena and I are friends?

So I gave Elena permission to pass along my contact info, but not my regular email, my junk email, the one I use to sign up for stuff, and, apparently, pass along to people I may or may not know from Elena’s FB page. Obviously, I was curious. Then, Elena emailed me, “there is more to this story.” GAH! Tell me. Tell me NOW. She said she’d tell me in person, fortunately, we were seeing each other last night.

We went to a concert and Elena slipped in just as the lights were dimming, so there was no time to talk. After the show, after hours of waiting, she gave me this.

Katie Whatsherface reached out to me on FB about a yearbook. Apparently, she learned that you had died and wanted to send a copy of the yearbook to your family.

WHATTHEEVERLOVINGWHAT?!?!?

I’m not dead.

I’m really not. This is not a ghostly memoir. I’m a real, live girl, who reads a lot of books.

Now, of course, I have so many questions, so.many.questions, and I am just waiting to see if Katie Whatsherface reaches out. She’s had my email for two days and I’ve heard jack, with a side of squat. I’m wondering if she’ll even bother now that Elena confirmed that I am, indeed, still among the living.

Also, if I were dead, why would my family want my high school yearbook. Which is especially weird because I have a high school yearbook. One from every year (which I plan to use to look up Katie Whatsherface tonight, I forgot last night after hearing the story.) Junior high as well. And one from sixth grade. All on my bookshelves. So if my family wants them they are free for the taking when they clear out my house.

So odd. So, so, SO odd.

But I am here to state, firmly, that despite the fact that I am not a member of the Facebook community, I am, as a matter of certainty, alive and kicking. (I even just did an air kick just to prove it.)

I am alive.

Long Live Livlife.

September 2017 Books

Ah, September, one of my favorite months of the year. Everything smells good outside in September, the smells of summer seamlessly blending into the smells of fall, which becomes its own scent. The weather is starting to change but it is still nice enough to enjoy reading outdoors in my swing. And tons of new and exciting books are released by the publishing industry.

Curiosity compelled me to go back and look at how many books I had read in the previous Septembers, since I’ve been recording. 2013, 19 books. 2014, 16 books. 2015, 13 books. 2016, 21 books.

Apparently I read a wholly respectable amount in September. Until this year. There was nothing respectable, but something irresistible in the air throughout the month. That’s the only explanation I have for this result.

September: (36 books)

  1. Good Girl – Lauren Layne^
  2. Love Story – Lauren Layne^
  3. Dating You/Hating You – Christina Lauren^
  4. After We Fall – Melanie Harlow^
  5. Ransom – Julie Garwood*
  6. A Kingdom of Dreams – Julie Garwood*
  7. Bully – Penelope Douglas^
  8. Whitney, My Love – Judith McNaught*
  9. Almost Heaven – Judith McNaught*
  10. Something Wonderful – Judith McNaught*
  11. The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell – Samantha James*
  12. Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer^
  13. The Problem with Forever – Jennifer L. Armentrout^
  14. Trust – Kylie Scott^
  15. Nowhere But Here – Katie McGarry^
  16. The Impossible Vastness of Us – Samantha Young^
  17. Perfect Chemistry – Simone Elkeles^
  18. Sweet Southern Trouble – Michele Summers^
  19. Wrong – Jana Aston^
  20. Hot as Puck – Lili Valente^
  21. Right – Jana Aston^
  22. Fling – Jana Aston^
  23. Times Square – Jana Aston^
  24. Not So New in Town – Michele Summers^
  25. Sweet Southern Bad Boy – Michele Summers^
  26. The Sea of Tranquility – Katja Millay^
  27. Punk 57 – Penelope Douglas^
  28. The Road that Leads to Us – Micalea Smeltzer^
  29. The Lies that Define Us – Micalea Smeltzer^
  30. The Game that Breaks Us – Micalea Smeltzer^
  31. Wish You Were Here – Renee Carlino^
  32. The Story of Us – Tara Sivec^
  33. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell^
  34. Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell^
  35. Ten Tiny Breaths – KA Tucker^
  36. One Tiny Lie – KA Tucker^

Whew! That’s a long list. And you want to know something…? A super good one. As I look over this list there were definitely a lot of okay books, but nothing truly awful. The Story of Us by Tara Sivec was mind-numbingly boring and predictable and I didn’t care for the story or the characters of Punk 57, but they weren’t bad.

I did do a fair amount of rereads this month, I decided to reread every book that I have given a five star rating to and see if it holds up. The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell is the only one that hasn’t, I dropped it from a five to a four. Still a good book, but not as perfect as I recall.

As for new books, some interesting stuff. Eleanor & Park was a book that caused a huge divisive issue of censorship when it came out. I finally got around to reading it and was surprised. It’s a good book, but not a great one, and I found nothing offensive about it. I abhor censorship anyway, but sometimes I’m at least able to stretch myself to understand the whys of it. Not in this case.

I also read Fangirl, which was interesting because I really did not like that book when I started reading it. There was something off-putting about it and I almost stopped, but I didn’t and at some point I really started to like it. That doesn’t happen often. It ended up being a really good story.

After We Fall by Melanie Harlow I just loved. LOVED. Great book. The Problem with Forever and Trust were also excellent reads. Wrong and Ten Tiny Breaths were likewise very good books.

Then, oh then, is Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. When I finished reading it I was floored. And sad. Floored because it is excellent; sad because I felt that I read the best book of the year in March (Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner) and then along comes this story. In any other year, if I hadn’t read Goodbye Days, there is not a doubt in my mind that this would be the best book of the year. Honestly, it was so good it could still be the best of the year. I kind of wish I hadn’t read it until 2018 so I didn’t have to make this heart wrenching choice.

THEN, somehow, I randomly pick up a book called The Sea of Tranquility. And HOLY GUACAMOLE, that could be the best book of the year! So now I have three solid entries and I read two of them in the same month, mere days apart?!?!

And then, AND THEN, Renee Carlino had a new book out. Wish You Were Here. I was seriously concerned it would be another contender. It wasn’t. It’s very very good, no doubt, but it doesn’t play at that level.

What is this world coming to? Just kidding. I’m thrilled, honestly that these books were so good. It’s better to have too many “best books” than none at all I suppose.

And we see how it all shakes out come January.

As far as totals, Ransom, a reread, was my 175th book of the year. I finished that and my goal in the first week of September. By the end of the month I had read 206 books. This is now the highest total ever (since I started recording), with 194 being the previous high. So, this is the first time I’ve read more than 200 books in a year. And somehow I accomplished it by the end of September. Three months to go and I am on pace to complete 275 books. I mean, wowza. Stay tuned!

 

August 2017 Books

So here’s the thing, August in Minnesota was bizarrely cold. August is usually blisteringly hot and humid and oppressive and while I don’t enjoy that weather, per se, I do enjoy it as someone who likes to read outside. LOVES to read outside. I can sit up half the night reading and it is warm and perfect for swinging away. However, this particular August, by the time the sun went down I was needing long pants, long sleeves, and my sweatshirt. And several nights I had to bring a blanket as well! Honestly, there was more than one night when I was shivering in my swing and wondering why I can’t be normal and just go inside? But knowing that fall is imminent and my days of outdoor reading are numbered for 2017, I wouldn’t give up.

That dogged determination led me to a stellar month of reading.

August: (32 books)

  1. Beauty and the Mustache – Penny Reid^
  2. Ninja at First Sight – Penny Reid^
  3. Happily Ever Ninja – Penny Reid^
  4. Dating-ish – Penny Reid^
  5. The Sure Thing – Marie Harte^
  6. Alex – Sawyer Bennett^
  7. Garrett – Sawyer Bennett^
  8. Zack – Sawyer Bennett^
  9. The Player – Claire Contreras^
  10. Ryker – Sawyer Bennett^
  11. Hawke – Sawyer Bennett^
  12. Wired – Julie Garwood^
  13. Off Base – Annabeth Albert^
  14. Barely Breathing – Pamela Clare^
  15. Find My Way Home – Michele Summers^
  16. Made for Us – Samantha Chase^
  17. Love Walks In – Samantha Chase^
  18. Always My Girl – Samantha Chase^
  19. This is Our Song – Samantha Chase^
  20. A Sky Full of Stars – Samantha Chase^
  21. Hot in Hellcat Canyon – Julie Anne Long^
  22. The Rule Book – Jennifer Blackwood^
  23. The Rule Maker – Jennifer Blackwood^
  24. Easy Nights – Kristen Proby^
  25. One More Kiss – Samantha Chase^
  26. Never Loved – Charlotte Stein^
  27. Never Better – Charlotte Stein^
  28. Breathless in Love – Bella Andre^
  29. Absinthe – Winter Renshaw^
  30. Country Nights – Winter Renshaw^
  31. Beard In Mind – Penny Reid^
  32. Some Kind of Hero – Suzanne Brockmann^

 

So that’s a bunch of books. And most of them were even pretty good. A couple of stinkers, notably Off Base, The Sure Thing, The Player, and, regrettably, Wired by one of my all time favorite authors, Julie Garwood. She hasn’t written a winner in so long it actually makes me want to cry when I think about it, so I try not to and keep hoping for the best.

Here are the standouts for the month. Dating-ish by Penny Reid, this is the penultimate book in her Knitting in the City series and, wow, is this by far my favorite. I’m surprised when books get so much better toward the end but this one did. I just adored it and it makes the whole series seem more worthwhile. I’m really looking forward to the finale (hopefully that sentiment won’t come back to bite me in the ass) due out early next year. I very much enjoyed Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long, I have always enjoyed her historicals, but was eager for her first foray into contemporary, so are many people I think as the library wait was long and I am still waiting for the next two, but this was great. I also really enjoyed The Rule Book by Jennifer Blackwood, which was a recommendation by Amazon (thanks Amazon!) and it was awesome. Great story. Most of the rest are very good, too, but just not outstanding.

Finally we end with the last book of the month. This is book 17 of Brockmann’s Troubleshooter series. I started reading these years ago, like she was on book 6 I think, and this was before I understood I don’t care for romantic suspense as a genre. So I stopped reading them. Then this one came out and I liked the synopsis and thought, “why not?” and read the thing. Well, READ is probably a bit strong. I really don’t like romantic suspense and found myself skipping all the suspense stuff in favor of the romance stuff. If you like that sort of thing, (MOM), then this might be a good series for you, Brockmann is a great writer and tells a well-crafted story, I just don’t care. All the B plots detract from the good stuff, in my opinion. So this is my reminder to myself to just…stop. Stop picking these up thinking “maybe this one will be different” because they never are.

And there you have it, my August books. When I finished this month I was at 170 books, five shy of my annual predicted total, so I feel good about my chances. I’m currently on pace to read 255 books this year. While I do not expect to keep up that pace, I will definitely beat my guess, so if you bet on me, then kudos, go buy a new book.