Aaaaand 2015’s in full swing

So much for my rumored post about my 2014 reading. As it will do, life has had its way with me, keeping me away by throwing annoyance after annoyance my way, rapid-fire. Screw you, life. Thanks for very little.

In lieu of a summary of much value, I did enjoy Donna Tartt’s long awaited (and long winded) The Goldfinch. It could have used some paring but I’ll give her a pass. Loved it, otherwise. Also, Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch was the sort of dark book I love so well. Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing impressed me with its originality. It wasn’t to everyone’s taste but I found it interesting how much she made me feel by her stylistic choice to pare down her words almost beyond sparingly.

2014 was extremely light on author meetings. In fact, I have only two to report: Colm Toibin and Sebastian Barry – by sheer chance, both Irish. This year promises to surpass that number in the first quarter alone, with upcoming visits by Irvine Welsh, Seth Grahame Smith and Nick Hornby on my calendar in January and February. So look out, literati. Watch me limp out of the gate like a true champion.

May and June’s mother/daughter trip to Ireland and Wales dominated the best of my experiences this year. Both captured my heart, for different reasons; each has been calling my name as long as I can remember. Turns out I have ancestry from both countries, plus in all my European travels I’ve never managed to make it to either. Neither disappointed. And because my daughter and I are so similar in personality and traveling style, the whole trip was a riot of foolishness and misguided adventure. We both decided the Irish are the most genuinely kind people on the face of the earth and Wales enjoys the most historic beauty per square mile. Not that Ireland’s any slouch, where beauty’s concerned.

I had my first book review published in the Chicago Tribune in 2014, signing on as a contracted writer. So, there is that, plus bits and bobs elsewhere.

It was a slow year, by some standards, but all was of high quality in the grand scheme of things. My reading was mostly stellar, and writing distinguished by previous standards. What do I expect in 2015? Well, hopefully more blogging about books, as I’ve been letting the reviews slip. More author interactions are anticipated, and as for writing, I’m looking to do more of my own, in the creative realm. Less examining of others, more putting myself out there to be examined. GULP.

Goals will be kept to a minimum; last year taught me life has a way of sneaking up behind you, and I’m tired of setting goals I can’t possibly reach. I should resolve to buy less books, to cut off my Buy It Now finger, if I can summon the necessary fortitude, and keep Half Price Books visits to under 1,000.

Disheartening is the descriptive I’d award  2014. Disheartening and humbling, so much I’m still walking on eggshells while I wait for things to heal. My sagging spirit is propped up with sticks. Hopefully it will become trained and blossom, if barely. The corner is still being turned; the good thing is I’m in motion.

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