Tag Archives: goodreads

Farewell, 2014! From the learning geek

New Year's Anticipation with Snoopy

2015 Anticipation with Snoopy!

And… in by midnight.

This year had its ups and downs but I want to take a moment to highlight the good things. Basically this was a year filled with learning.


This year I read ALL THE THINGS.

I read 31 books this year. I was going to scale back, but sometimes when I’m in a groove I can accomplish some cool things without much added effort, so I just went with it. I’ve tracked what I read on my Goodreads page. Feel free to connect with me there.

I also wrote a novel! I am pleased with the story but it definitely needs lots of revision. You can view my story synopsis here on my Medium page.

I can’t wait to reveal my 2015 plans which you’ll see in my next post. Until then, Happy New Year!

My 2014 Goodreads Challenge Results + “Good Enough” Book Review

Well, guess who blew her 2014 Goodreads reading challenge out of the water and by the beginning of August?

2014 Goodreads Challenge completed

2014 Goodreads Challenge completed.

This lady right here. I upped my book challenge from 12 to 15 books because I finished book 12 back in July.

By happenstance the majority of books I read this year are by authors who are women and writers of color, which I think is quite good considering I enjoy and thus gravitate toward mainstream YA fiction. I grew up consuming this genre, which I love, but am painfully aware of how it is not all that diverse.

I delved more into YA and kid lit this year to recapture the early reader experience of experiencing another’s point of view for the first time. More accurately the first of many times, but that’s another blog post. I now have a better understanding of what inspired my obsession with reading at a young age. I would like to continue reading more in this genre for the rest of Summer.

Book Review: Good Enough

Good EnoughGood Enough by Paula Yoo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun read with an added bonus of the protagonist’s perspective being that of a young WOC! This novel focuses on Patti, written with flaws and a good sense of humor, as she recounts the stress-filled college application experience during her senior year of high school.

This is an absolutely American story which happens to be from the lens of a first-generation American with immigrant parents. She juggles the near-impossible expectations of her parents, her Korean-American community, and societal ladder of her small New England town, while sharing Korean comfort food recipes and top ten lists of amusing ways she deals with making sense of her world.

What I liked most about this novel is that I easily related to the Patti’s experience as I remembered my own days of university interview and application experiences.

While I recognize that her home life story is an experience common to many, I can also see how it would reinforce a certain first-generation American, particularly Asian-American trope. The one about having parents so singularly focused on instilling superior educational and extracurricular achievements to make their kids competitively qualified for a top American university, that they come off as one-dimensional and interchangeable– I’m talking about parents who are devastated that their student got a B+ on one test (not a final exam) and are legitimately worried it will bring shame on their entire family when others find out. 

I look forward to reading more from Ms. Yoo.

View all my reviews

NaBloPoMo completed! Up next are…

Liz Lemon gives herself a high five. Sends it to us.

Liz Lemon sends a high-five to you, writer! Nice work!

Well now I’ve gone and done it. I’ve completed 30 days straight of daily blogging for National Blog Posting Month.

It came at the expense of writing a novel this year for NaNoWriMo, but it’s best for my health that I didn’t seriously attempt to do both. I did start out doing both, but chose to continue only with this one after day three because it’s a lot less time-consuming to blog daily than it is to write a novel. Ask me how I know.

Why did I do this challenge? I’d heard about it for the past few years and I hadn’t tried it before. So, why not? I wanted to see if it would be difficult to do. Like most creative challenges this basically came down to a test of will power to sit down and write.

Three things I look forward to doing now that NaBloPoMo is wrapped:

  • Keeping up with a couple of web series of note
  • Finishing up my last two books for the 2013 Goodreads challenge to read 27 books this year. I have ~200 pages to go in my penultimate book.
  • Checking out the NaBloPoMosphere and reading what others have written in November.

I’d like to say thank you to all who have read and then “liked”, left a comment, or subscribed to my blog this month. It was a bit of a process getting into daily writing but should I scale back in December– and I probably will– I should have a more little time to check out your blogs and perhaps say hi.

Now it’s time to get some rest. December is going to be a busy month!

Pumpkin this, pumpkin that

This is my 100th post on my wordpress blog!

This weekend I visited Trader Joe’s for the first time in months and saw pumpkins EVERYWHERE. Some of you may know I didn’t grow up eating pumpkins or foods containing pumpkin due to a family member being allergic to them. Before my visit was through I picked up some Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte mix.

Coincidentally I happened upon a blog post today featuring a guy who attempted to try all of the TJ’s pumpkin-infused products in a day with mixed results. The author’s got an accurate description of the latte mix. Made per the canister directions the cup has a layer of pumpkin-spiced sludge floating on top of the beverage and at the bottom which is weird. Is that supposed to be the trick or the treat?

I was planning to use that latte mix to help me through my next super challenge, but I can’t say it’s something I’ll look forward to consuming in cup form. Perhaps the mix will be better enjoyed mixed into pancake batter or cookie dough. Next weekend the NaNoWriMo kick-off should serve to cap off my decision of whether to go for novel attempt #9 or try out NaBloPoMo instead.

Goodreads Challenge update

If you look to the right side of this page you’ll see just how close that Goodreads challenge 2012 bar is to completion. I’ve read 24/25 books and it’s only October. I hope I can find the time to squeeze in one more book by the end of this year.

The most recent milestone was the title “Starting with Why” by Simon Sinek for which I will post a mini-review soon. To view other mini-reviews in the meantime click to connect with me on Goodreads. Victory is close.

And here’s to the next 100 blog entries!

Memories and scone-making

This weekend has been a pleasant one. I was able create some new memories with my family at my local themepark and consume more homemade scones than anyone probably should in a day. The chocolate I picked up from the LA Chocolate Salon a couple of weeks ago is now a distant memory.

Speaking of memories, in college I really wanted to study robotics but I ended up on a different academic path and subsequently a career path quite different from that.  I’m excited to note that today I’ll be starting my first AI course. There are 145,000 students enrolled in this course and I’ve added over 150 classmates on Google+. If you’re taking that course too and wish to connect for class discussions, add me on Google+, drop me a line saying we’re classmates and I’ll put you in my AI class circle.

I hope things don’t get too crazy in November due to that and NaNoWriMo. I took last year off, but I am planning to dive in headfirst to write a novel with no plot planned out beforehand. Historically this has been no problem but it has never coincided with a class that suggests I brush up on my linear algebra(?!) and programming ability(?!). I’ve taken both of those subjects in my past student life but that was a long time ago. I’ve since filled my head with many other things, some of them even practical in everyday life.

Next month I’m realistically predicting that my Goodreads Challenge progress will come to a dead halt. I still have my goal to read 36 books by the end of 2011. I am behind in terms of evenly-paced reading, but with a few books in my queue ready to crack open I should be caught up by the end of the month and ahead of pace by November.

To connect for NaNoWriMo, sign in at the site and add my author profile to your buddy list. Happy writing, reading, studying, or whatever you have planned for Fall!

Social reading update + sites of the week

I joined Goodreads a few months ago to keep track of my reviews, other books I’ve read or wanted to read, and to keep tabs on what my peeps are reading. For months after I signed up I’ve only had one book listed. I received weekly e-mails saying (paraphrased), “*So-and-so* has read/added 3 books this week and you’ve added nothing of literary value.” Well, that may have been true but it wasn’t very fun to belong to a site that told me that I’m the least well-read out of my buddies week after week. So over the holiday I deleted my one book and unsubscribed from their stupid e-mail list I logged in and added some things I’ve read throughout the last year. There’s some actual content on my page now including a few reviews so hooray for that. My updated site can be found at goodreads.com/madelinewright.

If 2010 was the year of working on my fitness, 2011 is the year of writing. I do plan to stick with the not so random feats of fitness and work in some 10K, variable distance triathlons and other fun. Now I’ll be more inclined to write about them. To make room for that I’ve moved my monthly desktop wallpaper feature to my tumblog because that platform is better to showcase images and other short posts, IMO. But the downside is that Tumblr has had a lot of downtime lately, which is why I’m staying put on WP for my other content.

This week I came across a few links of note.

1) 2011 Blue Print from Suze Orman A month-by-month Financial Planning Guide to improve finances this year.

2) FoodPress The WordPress destination for food blogs. Lots of time was spent here as soon as I clicked on it so I thought this one was worth passing along.

3) //dailypost.wordpress.com/ The site that kicked off my 2011 goal to post something every week. It’s not too late to join if you’re so inclined.

That’s all for now. Try not to get hit by any dead birds falling from the sky. Especially if you’re in the southern US or Sweden.

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