new year’s roundup

You’d think, since I wasn’t working on a new book, I would’ve had tons of time to read in 2010, right? Well, I kept plenty busy with a promotion at my day job, organizing two local craft show events and travelling a ton. I kept on making handmade journals and cards, and I also joined a collective and started blogging about my Pyrex addiction. I did still manage to read a respectable 41 books in 2010. Here are some highlights from the last year:

My favorite fiction of 2010*

  1. Siobhan Vivian, “Same Difference”
    I don’t usually read teen fiction, but I met Siobhan in Pittsburgh this summer, and she’s a totally lovely person. I read this book just before going to my 10-year high school reunion, and it made me so grateful for my BFFs back in school.
  2. William Gibson, “Virtual Light”
    Published in 1993, this book is the first in a series of books that includes one of my very favorite novels of Gibson’s — “Idoru.” Even though the internet barely was a blip on the cultural radar in 1993, this book is barely dated. I chalk that up to the fact that Gibson must be able to see the future.
  3. Elna Baker, “The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance”
    I read this book at the very beginning of 2010, but its charm has still stuck with me. (And I have to admit I didn’t read a ton of fiction this year.)

My favorite nonfiction of 2010*

  1. Jaron Lanier, “You Are Not A Gadget
    I just finished this book before Christmas, and I’ve been telling everyone I know about it. I don’t think I can do it justice in a three-sentence review. Please, just go get it from your local library or bookstore.
  2. Adrian Nicole Leblanc, “Random Family”
    Another book that I was telling everybody I knew about when I read it.  Read this and watch “The Wire” and you’ve got yourself an education.
  3. Ellen Ruppel Shell, “Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture”
    This book combines big-picture thinking with detailed historical examples—Walmart gets mentioned, sure, but they’re just a recent incarnation of an age-old American phenomenon. Even though it’s not about crafters per se, “Cheap” was totally relevant to discussions I’ve had about Etsy and craft pricing.

Favorite places I visited in 2010

  1. Montreal
    I’m in love with this city, and one of my goals for 2011 is to go back. I have no pictures of myself in Montreal — I only have pictures of the food I ate.
  2. Seattle
    I visited Seattle a few years ago and didn’t like it that much (too grungy, no pun intended), but this year I spent two days in Capitol Hill for the Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs and LOVED it.
  3. South Bend, IN
    Weird, I know, but spending a summer evening at the Pulaski field watching Yo La Tengo and Wilco was heavenly. Also, there’s AMAZING thrifting in north central Indiana**.

I’ve started off 2011 with good friends and good food, and I started digging into my 2010 finances for tax time and installed Quickbooks on my Mac. I get so into tax time. Every year, I wait anxiously for my W2 to arrive so I can file and get my refund as early as possible. This year I’ve finally got an accountant. Wahey!

All in all, 2010 was a pretty kickass year. I have no doubt that 2011 will be equally awesome (if not moreso). We’ve already set the date for the next Crafty Supermarket—May 7!—and there are a bunch of other craft events I want to go to as well. (San Francisco, Pittsburgh and DC, I am looking at you.) I’ll turn 29 this year, and with 30 edging ever nearer***, I started creating a list of 30 things to do before I turn 30. (I don’t know that I’ll make it public; it’s more for my personal recordkeeping and gratification.)

I would like to blog more often this year—this blog will likely shift from book reviews to more craft stuff, and lord knows there will be plenty of that this year. Craft on!

* These books weren’t necessarily published in 2010 — I just read them last year.
** I spent an inordinate amount of time in Indiana in 2010.
*** Holy crap.
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