Sunday, January 24, 2016

Wear 364: Fourteen Cats in Hats

It's most way through January already! Pair-of-shoes Fourteen always seem out of a Dr Suess book to me so where better to wear them than on a post that goes through my book challenge achievements (or lack of) for last year. Most of you will want to skip straight through to the pictures—sometimes I think I blog just so I will remember things later. That is definitely the case here! Before I start: these shoes were bought for me by Mr Earwig, sight unseen. His taste is not bad for a man who gravitates towards track suit pants.

Avanti Ciera 2015 Let Me Count the Ways Reading Challenge

Goal: Multi-Diamond—10,000+ Pages

January: 1887 pages
February: 2491 pages
March: 2436 pages
April: 3197 pages
May: 3973 pages
June: 1951 pages
July: 3235 pages
August: 4503 pages
September: 4027 pages October: 2549 pages November: 3533 pages December: 3376 pages
Total Year: 33185

This task: Achieved. The above was a meticulous and labour intensive manual calculation each month. According to Goodreads the figure is 33515. Eh! Pretty close.

10000 Pages

Book'd Out's Eclectic Book Challenge 2015

I did better than I usually do on this challenge, but with no reviews done and a number of not completed books, I didn't even pop over to show my face at Book' Out when tally-time came round. Shame!

Retellings (of fairytale, legends or myth): Two Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie (referencing the 1001 Arabian Nights)—Still Reading

A book set in a country starting with the letter S (eg. Sweden, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Slovakia): Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum - Switzerland ★★★★

PI Crime (fiction featuring a private investigator): The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith ★★★★

A novel published before you were born: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë—Still Reading

Contemporary romance: Good Girl Gone Bad by Karin Tabke ★★

Fiction for foodies (fiction featuring food/food related business) The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry—Still Reading

Microhistory (Non Fiction) Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett—Finished Since the New Year ★★★★★

Science Fiction set in space: The Martian by Andy Weir ★★★★★

Sports (Fiction or Non fiction) The Meaning of Sport by Simon Barnes (eek, sport *cough, cough*)—Still Reading

Featuring diversity: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older ★★★

Epistolary Fiction (fiction written in the format of letters/emails/diary entries) The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland ★★★★

Middle Grade/YA Adventure: Fairytales For Wilde Girls by Allyse Near ★★★★★

7 Books
12 Books


Started at: 53 Books
Updated to: 65 Books
Re-Updated to: 69 Books
Re-Re-Updated to: 75 Books
Re-Re-Updated at the end of October to: 100 Books (Why not?)

Read: 89 Books

Well! Commuting certainly helped this year. I was ahead of the game every step of the way until I upped the ante to 100. Have to say I am fairly proud even though I didn't get there in the end. And all years from here will be a challenge to maintain.

89 Books
100 Books

Bookmark to Blog 2015 Monthly Key Word Challenge

Really liked this challenge for the surprising reads you ended up with.

Jan: Girl - The Tattooed Girl by Joyce Carol Oates ★★★
Feb: Lie - The Lie by Chad Kultgen★★★
Mar: Kind - Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent ★★★★
Apr: Dream - Dreamland by Kevin Baker—Still Reading
May: Thief - The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland ★★★★
June: My - My Notorious Life by Kate Manning—Still Reading
July: Sun - The Battle of the Sun by Jeanette Winterson ★★★★
August: Glass - Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas ★★★★★
September: Life - Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng—Still Reading
October: Ghost - Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann ★★★★
November: Little - Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie—Still Reading
December: Cold - Cold Shoulder by Lynda La Plante—Still Reading

7 Books
12 Books

My Own Alphabet Challenge with no Time Line

Abducted; TR Regan ★★★★
(The) Beach House; James Patterson ★★
(The) Cat Who Could Read Backwards; Lilian Jackson Braun ★★★★
Dolores Claiborne; Stephen King ★★★★
Emma; Jane Austen ★★★★
Fairytales for Wilde Girls; Allyse Near ★★★★★
Galapagos; Kurt Vonnegut ★★★★
(The) Help; Kathryn Stockett ★★★★★
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

8 Books
26 Books

Tournament of Books 2015

In which I read all the books that have been chosen for last year's ToB

(And by 'read', this time, I mean started two, bought or acquired a few more. This runs through until March '16)

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Adam by Ariel Schrag
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Wittgenstein Jr by Lars Iyer
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall by Will Chancellor
—Currently Reading Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
—Currently Reading Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
An Untamed State by Roxanne Gay
Redeployment by Phil Klay
Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

16 Books

My Readers Block: Colour Coded Challenge

This was fun but I started late and finished badly. Discovered a couple of amazing books though!
"Blue" or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc) in the title/on the cover. Half Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older ★★★
"Red" or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc) in the title/on the cover. Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews ★★★★★
"Yellow" or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.)in the title/on the cover. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

"Green" or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc) in the title/on the cover. Olive Ketteridge by Elizabeth Strout

"Brown" or any shade of Brown (Tan, Chocolate, Beige, etc)in the title/on the cover. Jackie Brown by Elmore Leonard

"Black" or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc) in the title/on the cover. Black Dog by Stephen Booth

"White" or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc)in the title/on the cover. Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
—Finished since the New Year ★★★★

Any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Pink, Magneta, etc.). Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson

A word that implies color (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Paisley, Stripe, etc.). Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

9 Books

And. lastly, the one I always say I am not doing (because something always annoys me about it). The Goodreads Seasonal Challenge—Fall (or, like we say as name rather than action, Autumn)

September 1st to November 30th

5.10: Creat Your Own World

Read a book of your choice: Surrender by Tawny Taylor ★★★

10.4 Ten-Four Day

Read a book that has at least 104 five star ratings: Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (on 20th September, 2015, it has 60677) ★★★

15.10 NaNoWriMo!

Read a book by an author featured on the NaNoWriMo Pep Talk page:Divergent by Veronica Roth ★★★★★
Veronica Roth - 2014 Pep Talk Author

30.6 Donna Jo's Task: Me, Myself and I

Option 1: Read a book whose author has ME imbedded in their name: Lucifer's Tears by JaMEs Thompson ★★★★

Option 3: Read a fiction book that is written at least 50% from the perspective of 'I': The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz ★★★★

As I always seem to do on this challenge, I mis-read, mis-interpreted and mis-posted and ended up with a grand total of 30 points out of a possible 1070. I'm not even making a bar graph for that.

Stay tuned for a post about 2016's Book Challenges coming soon. I know. You are so excited! This year I am starting the challenges at the beginning of the year instead of holding out for some unknown reason until they are impossible to finish. We'll see how that goes. Happy reading.

The Outfit
Dress: Op-shopped
Jumper: Op-shopped
Necklace: Gifted
Shoes: Irregular Choice,Hawk Eye, Gifted

Photographer de Jour: V——

  Getting linky today with:

Patti (Looking Rad!) at Not Dead Yet Style

Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb

Lauren at The Style Elixir

Cherie (and her amazing Red Boots) at Style Nudge

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Day 363: Thirteen Crazy Favourites

Pair-of-shoes-I-own number thirteen, seen here, are one of my all time favourites!

This dress from Modcloth is a favourite too. Totally inappropriately I try and wear it everywhere: dinner, movies, weddings, to the shops.

My absence from the world of blogging for the last quarter of last year was half to do with craziness and half with laziness. Here is some of the craziness. I had told you that I was planning a special trip for Mr Earwig's milestone birthday celebrations.

This is what happened. I'll try and make it sweet and short. It came in two stages: The Reveal (whereby his long anxious wait to see what he would be doing was slowly ended) and The Real Thing (whereby what he waited for for so long, went by in a jiffy).

The day before his birthday he received a Facebook message from a friend telling him he was going, in a week's time, to Geneva, but in order to find out what happens when he gets there he had to check the dogs.

On Lolli's collar a message told him he would collect a Swiss Rail Pass at the airport. But for the next clue he needed to text another friend, in French, to ask for the details.

That friend revealed he was staying in a chalet in St Niklaus for three nights. And told him to go to The Cuckoo—a (technically Bavarian) restaurant in the hills near us—take a photo and send it to the next person.

The Reveal
Top: The fun commences; Lollii holds a clue; The Cuckoo
Middle: Martinis in the morning; Matching tattoos; The Synchrotron
Bottom: Swiss chocolates; The Middle East; Ferraris

You're getting the picture? He had to run about town all day doing things in order to find out his itinerary. I think there was a part of him that hated me. He isn't a fan of not knowing where he is going. Or of driving in traffic. Eh! I had kept this a mostly-secret for so long I thought I deserved to pass on the torture. And all the fabulous people who helped with messages and cakes and texts and letters had a great time watching the day evolve.

The Cuckoo got him a cable car ride to the Matterhorn and the instructions to have a Martini.

Hard to get at eleven am, in the suburbs. Hard, but not impossible. The martini got him a trip to James Bond Mountain and 007 World (Schilthorn from On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Blofeld, white fluffy cats, you know the one?). Then he had to go to the South African consulate.

Dubious link? Hey, it wasn't easy. Goes like this: South African consulate-diplomatic immunity-diplomats-Geneva. See? While there he had to enact the 'diplomatic immunity' line from Lethal Weapon Twenty Three. And take video footage to a friend in Camberwell.

Cake, coffee and a very bad acting performance later he knew he was staying in Geneva. He now had to do something really cheesy: get a matching tattoo with the love of his life. Me.

The Real Thing
Top: Our chalet in St Niklaus; On top of Schilthorn; Actually, he does look like Blofeld!
Middle: Our alley in geneva; Soooo much chocolate!; Sofitel Abu Dhabi
Bottom: View from our room; Water World; Ferrari World

No needles. These are iron-ons. Or soak-ons. But cheesy enough to get him a Fondue. And a trip to the Australian Synchrotron—which surprisingly you can't wander around at random so we just loitered out the front until he got instructions to purchase chocolate.

The grand sum of no arguments, a sugar-coma and a nap later he was aware of the chocolate feast awaiting him at afternoon tea in Geneva, and was dressing for dinner at KanZaman, a Lebanese restaurant just out of the CBD. It wasn't exactly the right country, more the right region, but at dinner he got to open a letter he had been sent a couple of days before (all part of the intrigue and multiple communication options). It told him we were heading to the Middle East—Abu Dhabi to be exact.

He was told to drive a Ferrari. At a pin-ball parlour. That is the closest I could get on a budget. Photo evidence of that sent him to the fountains at the Crown Casino.

Exhausted, or just fed up, he received one last text which told him to go, at Midnight—now officially his birthday—to 85 Collins St, Melbourne to see what the whole point of the holiday would be. He knows that address. A week and bit later, during 'The Real Thing' the address would be Bahnhofstrasse 11, Zermatt. I don't want to say outright what he got for his birthday but if you take into account his love for all things chronometrical and look up those two address' you might work it out.

It was a long way to go in a very short and mad time, but each day he zones out from listening to me while looking at it, each near miss he takes me on while he watches it catch light through the windscreen when he should really be watching the road, I think maybe he believes his new favourite thing was worth all the craziness.

The Outfit
Dress: Chi Chi via Modcloth
Belt: Came with a pair of jeans from Primark
Earrings and Ring: a junk jewellery store somewhere
Shoes: Can't Touch This by Irregular Choice

Photographer de Jour: Moi

    Linking the love this fine day with:

The Authentically Beautiful Patti at Not Dead Yet Style

The Charmingly Chic Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb

A Magnificent Coat at Rachel the Hat

Elfin Boots to Die for at A Pocketful of Polka Dots