Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Time Travel Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Last reading challenge of the year and not much time to spare! I just completed the Time Travel Reading Challenge and really enjoyed it.

I came across this challenge, hosted by Alyce and thought it would be really interesting. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is one of my favorite books and I wanted to read more time travel books. I read three books for the challenge:
  1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  2. The Cross Time Engineer by Leo Frankowski
  3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
 I really enjoyed all three books, but Outlander was my favorite. I have already read the second book in the series and will continue to read the remaining books in the series.

2010 451 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

I cut it close on the last book I was reading for the year, but I have completed the 451 Reading Challenge.  :)  I really enjoyed this challenge, and waited until the end of the year so that I could read A Christmas Carol at Christmastime. I will definitely be looking to see if this challenge will be continued on next year, and even if not, I will continue to read books from the list.

Based on the weekly feature, 451 Fridays, on Elizabeth's blog, which is in turn based on the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, where a group of people are trying to keep the ideas found in books alive. Instead of saving the books, they each 'become' a book - memorizing it and passing it down generations. For the challenge, a list of 451 amazing books has been put together to choose from. I' had chosen the Flame level and read 6 books from the list:
  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  2. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  4. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  5. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  6. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Sunday, December 26, 2010

8k Training

After sporadically working out through the fall, I decided to do another structured running program since the C25K program worked out so well for me. This past Monday, I started Hal Higdon's 8k Novice program. I was really hoping to have Chicago's Shamrock Shuffle be my graduation from the program, but it's scheduled the day after one of my really good friend's wedding this spring, so that's not really going to happen! So, still going ahead with the training, I'm hoping to find a local 8k this spring to run.

I just completed my first week and so far, it's going well. Each day of running was only two miles, and while I was capable of running further, I think it's a good starting point, since I haven't been too consistent lately with running. The other test will be when I start Week 3 of the training and am no longer on vacation. I find that getting in six days of working out a week is not too hard when I don't have to fit in in with a full day of work and two hours of commuting! So far, I am really enjoying the training and like that it incorporates other cardio and strength training, and hoping I can keep up with it!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Back Home

I'm back from my last business trip of the year and hopefully, I'll be home for the next 5 weeks or so. This last trip was back to Korea and I have to admit, it did make me pretty apprehensive hearing about North Korea shooting at South Korea a week before my departure! It was definitely a topic of conversation with my family over the Thanksgiving holiday. My trip went on as scheduled, however, I didn't find it so sensationalized there as it was here at home. Granted, this very well could be because I don't know Korean and can't listen or read their news, but in speaking to the people there, and in the newscasts I saw in English, it seemed that they have concerns about it, but they've been dealing with this for many years now.

Overall, my trip was good. We stayed at a new hotel, which was really nice and had a gym, so I was glad to get in several workouts there during my stay. As a bonus, the one day I had off, it was sunny and in the low 60s, so I took a long walk and enjoyed the nice weather. Then, I proceeded to come home to a snowstorm with frigid temperatures back home in Michigan. I definitely didn't mind it so much; I was glad to be home and thankful I traveled back before the storm instead of being delayed in it. So, now on to getting everything ready for Christmas and finishing my shopping this week!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jane Austen Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

 Down to the last month of 2010 and I just completed my next reading challenge, the Jane Austen Reading Challenge. I am so glad that I joined this challenge! I have gone over thirty years without reading a Jane Austen book, and now I will definitely be planning on reading the rest of her books.

The books I read included:
  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  2. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  3. Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange
  4. Austenland by Shannon Hale
I would have a real hard time choosing my favorite between the Jane Austen novels; I really enjoyed reading both of them. I just love how it's 200 years later, and the stories are timeless and still enjoyed by so many readers. I also enjoyed both of the Jane Austen-related books. The first was Mr. Darcy's Diary, which is Mr. Darcy's view on the romance and then follows up into the marriage of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. The other was Austenland, which is set modern-day. Jane is rather obsessed with finding her own Mr. Darcy and goes on a Jane Austen-era vacation in England.