2019 Book Summary

A la Jessamyn

2019 stats

Total number of books read: 67

average read per month: 5.6 books
average read per week: 1.3 books
number read in worst month: 1 (February)
number read in best month: 11 (June)

percentage by male authors: 37% (25 books)
percentage by female authors: 63% (42 books)

fiction as percentage of total: 91% (61 books)
crime fiction as percentage of fiction total: 79% (48 of 61 books)
non-fiction as percentage of total: 9% (6 books)

percentage of total liked: 70% (47 books)
percentage of total so-so: 27% (18 books)
percentage of total disliked: 3% (2 books)

Notes:

This year I read the books in Peter Lovesey’s Inspector Diamond series (set mainly in and around Bath, England), most of which I enjoyed, some of which were just OK; reading his series raised my “percentage of books by male authors” quite a bit. I continued reading the Thea Kozak series by Maine writer Kate Flora, after a break of several years. And I started reading both Christi Daugherty’s new Harper McClain series set in Savannah, GA, and Cara Hunter’s new DI Adam Fawley series, both of which I really liked.

My favourite books of the year were The Summer Book (1972) by Tove Jansson, stories about a grandmother’s summer with her 6-year-old granddaughter on an isolated Finnish island; Fifty Days of Solitude (1994) by Doris Grumbach, a lovely meditation on spending a couple winter months alone in Sargentville, Maine; Alice’s Island (2019) by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, a novel about loss, betrayal, redemption, hope, and community set on a fictitious island off Cape Cod; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah (2013) about novel about race, gender, class, and identity in America and, to a lesser extent, in Nigeria; and The Scholar (2019) by Dervla McTiernan, an Irish police procedural with a dash of suspense. Milkman: A Novel (2018) by Anna Burns, set in Ireland during the Troubles, was hard to get into but I ended up loving it, particularly for the diction and feel of the language.

Biggest disappointments: Nothing hugely disappointing this year but the non-fiction Three Women (2019) by Lisa Taddeo, about the sexual desires, disappointments, traumas, risks, sacrifices, etc. of three American women was not nearly as good as it could have been; Magpie Murders (2017) by Anthony Horowitz was a bit of a let down in the second half of the book (I was looking for a lavishly cozy crime story but got a cozy that morphed into a slightly postmodern novel); and both the short story collection Mouthful of Birds (2019) by Samantha Schweblin and the debut psychological novel Looker (2019) by Laura Sims were not nearly as satisfying as the hype. Monday Night (1938), the gritty novel by Kay Boyle recommended by Doris Grumbach, was no fun at all.

Full book list.

number of books read in 2019: 67
number of books read in 2018: 63
number of books read in 2017: 52
number of books read in 2016: 71
number of books read in 2015: 54
number of books read in 2014: 52
number of books read in 2013: 47
number of books read in 2012: 50
number of books read in 2011: 55
number of books read in 2010: 34
number of books read in 2009: 74
number of books read in 2008:
number of books read in 2007:
number of books read in 2006:
number of books read in 2005: 37
number of books read in 2004: 46
number of books read in 2003: 40
number of books read in 2002: 30+ (3 months forgot to count)

2018 Book Summary

A la Jessamyn

number of books read in 2018: 63
number of books read in 2017: 52
number of books read in 2016: 71
number of books read in 2015: 54
number of books read in 2014: 52
number of books read in 2013: 47
number of books read in 2012: 50
number of books read in 2011: 55
number of books read in 2010: 34
number of books read in 2009: 74
number of books read in 2008:
number of books read in 2007:
number of books read in 2006:
number of books read in 2005: 37
number of books read in 2004: 46
number of books read in 2003: 40
number of books read in 2002: 30+ (3 months forgot to count)

2018 stats

average read per month: 5.25 books
average read per week: 1.2 books
number read in worst month: 1 (February)
number read in best month: 8 (June, August)

percentage by male authors: 14% (9 books)
percentage by female authors: 86% (54 books)

fiction as percentage of total: 92% (58 books)
crime fiction as percentage of fiction total: 85% (49 of 58 books)
non-fiction as percentage of total: 8% ( books)

percentage of total liked: 57% (36 books)
percentage of total so-so: 37% (23 books)
percentage of total disliked: 6% (4 books)

Notes:

Many more “so-so” books this year than usual, and ten or so were Ngaio Marsh books; I read 31 of her 32 Inspector Alleyn series this year — one book left for 2019! I like her writing, characters, many of her plots, but the books set in the theatre for the most part didn’t appeal to me as much as the others. I particularly liked Death in a White Tie (1938, 7th), Death of a Peer (1940, 10th), Scales of Justice (1955, 18th) and Clutch of Constables (1969, 25th).

My favourite books of the year were Fair and Tender Ladies (1988) by Lee Smith, which I didn’t expect to really enjoy but it’s written so well; A Thousand Acres (1992) by Jane Smiley; and Peculiar Ground (2018) by Lucy Hughes-Hallett, a sumptuous, ‘densely patterned’ historical saga that’s not my usual type at all. I’ve also really enjoyed reading almost all of Marsh’s series this year, even the ones I didn’t like as much.

Biggest disappointments: Two of the five non-fiction titles, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (2016) by J.D. Vance, quite a let-down after Fair & Tender Ladies, which was so much better about a similar topic, and Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants (2013) by Robin Wall Kimmerer, which everyone else in my bookgroup loved (her writing felt forced to me). And also the novel Tangerine (2018) by Christine Mangan, which was media hyped, seemed interesting in summary, and started off well but then became both predictable in plot and unfathomable in character (Donna Tartt’s The Secret History was so much better).

Full book list.

2017 Book Summary

A la Jessamyn

number of books read in 2017: 52
number of books read in 2016: 71
number of books read in 2015: 54
number of books read in 2014: 52
number of books read in 2013: 47
number of books read in 2012: 50
number of books read in 2011: 55
number of books read in 2010: 34
number of books read in 2009: 74
number of books read in 2008:
number of books read in 2007:
number of books read in 2006:
number of books read in 2005: 37
number of books read in 2004: 46
number of books read in 2003: 40
number of books read in 2002: 30+ (3 months forgot to count)

2017 stats

average read per month: 4.3 books
average read per week: 1 book
number read in worst month: 2 (October)
number read in best month: 7 (January)

percentage by male authors: 40% (21 books)
percentage by female authors: 60% (31 books)

fiction as percentage of total: 88% (46 books)
crime fiction as percentage of fiction total: 57% (26 of 46 books)
non-fiction as percentage of total: 12% (6 books)

percentage of total liked: 58% (30 books)
percentage of total so-so: 13% (7 books)
percentage of total disliked: 29% (15 books)

Notes:

I have time and inclination to read more but have trouble finding books I want to read.

My favourite books of the year were A Gentleman in Moscow (2016) by Amor Towles, The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers (2012/2016), short stories by Fouad Laroui, The Voyage (1999) by Philip Caputo, and the Elena Ferrante 4-book Neapolitan novels. The only book I didn’t finish — just could not get into it — was Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. I read almost as many novels that were not crime fiction this year as I did crime fiction, which is unusual. Full book list.

2016 Book Summary

A la Jessamyn

number of books read in 2016: 71
number of books read in 2015: 54
number of books read in 2014: 52
number of books read in 2013: 47
number of books read in 2012: 50
number of books read in 2011: 55
number of books read in 2010: 34
number of books read in 2009: 74
number of books read in 2008:
number of books read in 2007:
number of books read in 2006:
number of books read in 2005: 37
number of books read in 2004: 46
number of books read in 2003: 40
number of books read in 2002: 30+ (3 months forgot to count)

2016 stats

average read per month: 6 books
average read per week: 1.4 books
number read in worst month: 3 (June, Dec.)
number read in best month: 10 (January), and 9 in Feb. and August.

percentage by male authors: 37% (26 books)
percentage by female authors: 63% (45 books)

fiction as percentage of total: 90% (64 books)
crime fiction as percentage of fiction total: 69% (44 of 64 books)
non-fiction as percentage of total: 10% (7 books)

percentage of total liked: 66% (47 books)
percentage of total so-so: 25% (18 books)
percentage of total disliked: 9% (6 books)

Notes:

My favourite books of the year were Life After Life (2014) by Kate Atkinson, The Bostonians (1886) by Henry James, A Girl in Winter (1946) by Philip Larkin, Little Black Lies (2015) by Sharon Bolton, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America (2015) by Colin Woodard (not an easy read but worth it), The Sympathizer (2015) by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Cloud Atlas (2004) by David Mitchell, and Killer Look (2016) by Linda Fairstein. Full book list.

2015 Book Summary

A la Jessamyn

number of books read in 2015: 54
number of books read in 2014: 52
number of books read in 2013: 47
number of books read in 2012: 50
number of books read in 2011: 55
number of books read in 2010: 34
number of books read in 2009: 74
number of books read in 2008:
number of books read in 2007:
number of books read in 2006:
number of books read in 2005: 37
number of books read in 2004: 46
number of books read in 2003: 40
number of books read in 2002: 30+ (3 months forgot to count)

2015 stats

average read per month: 4.5 books
average read per week: 1 book
number read in worst month: 2 (April, June, Oct., Nov., Dec.)
number read in best month: 10 (August), and 9 in July, 8 in March

percentage by male authors: 48% (26)
percentage by female authors: 52% (28)

fiction as percentage of total: 85% (46 books)
crime fiction as percentage of fiction total: 63% (29 of 46 books)
non-fiction as percentage of total: 15% (8 books)

percentage of total liked: 52% (28 books)
percentage of total so-so: 33% (18 books)
percentage of total disliked: 15% (8 books)

Notes:

As always, the limiting factor in my reading this year was not being able to find anything I wanted to read.

I started reading two crime fiction series, the Joe Gunther series by Archer Mayor, set in Vermont, and the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie King, both of which came with high recommendations from friends. After reading quite a few in each series, liking some and not liking others, my interest in them just petered out; the Joe Gunther series became boring, and the Russell/Holmes series became annoying.

My favourite books of the year were That Distant Land by Wendell Berry (short stories), All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. In general, I didn’t love much of what I read. Hoping for better in 2016! Full book list.

New Year’s Meme 2015

(Idea from Notes of an Anesthesioboist .)

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’ve never done before? Became an orphan, when my mother died almost a month ago.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t make them. I’m not that resolved.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

4. Did anyone close to you die? My mother and my uncle.

5. What countries did you visit? Just this one … Jekyll Island GA three times, Savannah GA, Beaufort SC, Myrtle Beach SC, Murrells Inlet, SC, Boothbay Harbor ME, Kennebunk, ME, Portsmouth NH, Richmond VA, Baltimore and Annapolis, MD, Darien, CT, NYC, Boston and Salem, MA, Bath ME, Longwood Gardens in PA.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? Maybe a French bulldog.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? None. I have very few dates etched in memory.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Reading a eulogy at my mother’s funeral. Also getting outside at least a few days each week to walk, hike, snowshoe, bird, ramble, garden.

9. What was your biggest failure? Always, a failure to love more, to be compassionate, to be fully aware and appreciative of what I am receiving.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing I can recall.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Vacations.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Journalists around the world in dangerous locations.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My government’s. Most legislators’. NFL and college football players’ and the commissioner’s.

14. Where did most of your money go? Housing, health insurance, retirement savings, vacations.

15. What did you get really excited about? Trips to Jekyll.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014? Sadly, probably “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. The one I liked best was The Pink & Nate Ruess duet “Just Give Me A Reason.”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you…
-happier or sadder? sadder, I think
-thinner or fatter? a bit fatter
-richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Loving. Letting go. Lightening up. Meditation. The usual.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Fretting. Acting out of fear. The usual.

20. How did you spend Christmas? At home with spouse, opening gifts, reading, watching “Fanny and Alexander,” and eating take-out Indian food.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014? Of course. Almost any time I look through the camera lens, I fall in love.

22. What was your favorite TV program? Beachfront Bargain Hunt on HGTV.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I can’t think of anyone I hate.

24. What was the best book you read? The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq. Also the Regeneration series by Pat Barker, set during the first World War, in England.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? None. Didn’t listen to much new music this year.

26. What did you want and get? Clean scans for spouse. Time at Jekyll.

27. What did you want and not get? Friends’ bulldogs to live rather than die. World peace. Again.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? “Boyhood.”

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old are you? Hung out at home, early 50s.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Perhaps living closer to the the ocean.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? One basic casual outfit for winter, another one for summer, with confusion in fall and spring.

32. What kept you sane? Time alone. Time outside. The camera. The garden. Exercise. Friends. Faith.

33. What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I still like Pema Chödrön a lot. The Property Brothers (HGTV) are pretty cute.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? US: gun control reform (please), drone killing, health care reform (more, please). Globally: Scapegoating, witch hunts, and all other forms of mimetic violence. Children being forced to war. The rise of anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish sentiment and action in Europe.

35. Whom did you miss? My dog Gretchen. My dad. Friends who go south in the winter.

36. Who was the best new person you met? Maybe Ruth. Enjoyed getting to know Ann, Alison, Mary Anne, Edie and Steven, and Karen better this year, too. Enjoyed spending time with Marie, Robbyn, Brigit, Jack, and Jim after about 10 years or more of not seeing any of them.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014. “In the end what you don’t surrender, /Well, the world just strips away.” — Bruce Springsteen, Human Touch

38. Quote a song poem lyric that sums up your year:

You have your eye on a small /elusive detail, pursuing its music, when a terrible truth / strikes and your heart cries out, being carried off.

— Eamon Grennan

2014 Book Summary

A la Jessamyn

number of books read in 2014: 52
number of books read in 2013: 47
number of books read in 2012: 50
number of books read in 2011: 55
number of books read in 2010: 34
number of books read in 2009: 74
number of books read in 2008:
number of books read in 2007:
number of books read in 2006:
number of books read in 2005: 37
number of books read in 2004: 46
number of books read in 2003: 40
number of books read in 2002: 30+ (3 months forgot to count)

2014 stats

average read per month: 4.25 books
average read per week: 1 book
number read in worst month: 2 (March and Sept)
number read in best month: 9 (July)

percentage by male authors: 48% (25)
percentage by female authors: 52% (27)

fiction as percentage of total: 90% ( books)
crime fiction as percentage of fiction total: 66% ( of books)
non-fiction as percentage of total: 10% ( books)

percentage of total liked: 64% (33 books)
percentage of total so-so: 25% (13 books)
percentage of total disliked: 11% (6 books)

Notes:

The limiting factor in my reading again this year was availability of books I wanted to read. I feel like I spent a lot of time not reading much of anything, waiting for books to come into the library.

As usual, most of my non-fiction reading is online these days, in the form of essays and articles.

My favourite books of the year were The Map and the Territory (2013) by Michel Houellebecq, The Goldfinch (2013) by Donna Tartt, the Regeneration series by Pat Barker, and The Caller (2009) by Karin Fossum.  I read more non-crime-fiction fiction this year than in most years, thanks to being in three fiction bookgroups.

Proust Questionnaire updated

I think the last time I thought about this was in 2009; five years later, both parents and my dog having died in the meantime, seems a good place to update.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Still: walking on the beach at Jekyll Island, and photographing outdoors. Also: Expecting nothing other than that the rug will be pulled out.

2. What is your greatest fear?
Pretty much the same as five years ago: Violent death for me, my dog, other loved ones. Having the choice of killing someone else or being killed.  Rape. Dental work.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Desire for pleasure and aversion to pain. These lead to most violent actions.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Contempt. Flattery. Manipulation. Sureness of one’s rightness. Inability to move beyond the past. Victimhood.

5. Which living person do you most admire?
No one in particular comes to mind. Someone with balance, grace, who listens fully and without expectation. Someone without preconceptions even about that with which they are most familiar. Someone with clarity of heart and mind.

6. What is your greatest extravagance?
The same as five years ago: Not having to work for money.

7. What is your current state of mind?
Calm, open.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Still: Being busy, efficient, productive.

9. On what occasion do you lie?
To spare feelings, to avoid consequences.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Still: My stomach, since I was a child.

11. Which living person do you most despise?
Still: No one. There are behaviours and attitudes I wish were extinct: anything deriving from groupthink and mob behaviour, animal cruelty and neglect, the urge to revenge, appropriated grief, manufactured drama.

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Knows how to fix things. Resourceful. Resilient.  Makes me laugh. Lacks bitterness. Gentle.

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Listens well. Makes me laugh. Gentle. Affectionate.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I complain too much, using various words and phrases.

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
The natural world, ocean, beach, sun, sky. …”Start seeing everything as God, / But keep it a secret.” – Hafiz

16. When and where were you happiest?
One instance: With two friends (c. 2005) having dinner and talking, so simpatico, one long evening in Maine.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?
The talent to put people at their ease, to ease suffering and anxiety.

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be more loving. I would be able to fly. I would be able to understand all animal languages, including human ones. I would be able to narrow selections down to “one thing” instead of a handful (not).

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
This: “To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.” — Brenda Ueland

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Still: I hope this won’t happen, but if it does, maybe a grain of sand.

21. Where would you most like to live?
Near the beach and ocean. In a small house that’s just big enough.

22. What is your most treasured possession?
Health, true friends.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
To witness an animal harmed. To see one’s own violence (rivalry, mimesis, envy, hatred, desire) in someone else without recognising it.

24. What is your favorite occupation?
Looking and recording.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?
Curiosity.

26. What do you most value in your friends?
Casual affection, not easily offended or hurt, forgiveness, attentiveness, benign and steadfast interest in others, few complaints, silliness. Wholeheartedness. Insight.

27. Who are your favorite writers?
Mostly poets. “When I speak of poetry I am not thinking of it as a genre. Poetry is an awareness of the world, a particular way of relating to reality.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

28. Who is your hero of fiction?
Maybe (anti-hero) Greg House from the TV show House MD. Or maybe his friend James Wilson.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I don’t know much about historical figures. Probably a writer or poet, maybe Virginia Woolf.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?
Heroes don’t appeal to me.

31. What are your favorite names?
Sallie, Lucy, Zoe, Gemma, Pippa.

32. What is it that you most dislike?
Driving in snow and ice. Talking on the phone. Finding hidden meat in restaurant fish or vegetable dishes.

33. What is your greatest regret?
Not buying spouse’s parents’ condo on Jekyll Island when we could have.

34. How would you like to die?
Still: Painlessly, happily, with a feeling of peace and well-being. Or: “I’d rather die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.”

35. What is your motto?
“I began to understand
how a poem can happen: you have your eye on a small
elusive detail, pursuing its music, when a terrible truth
strikes and your heart cries out, being carried off.” — from “Detail,” by Eamon Grennan

New Year’s Meme

(Idea from Notes of an Anesthesioboist .)

I last did this on 1 Jan 2010, then forgot all about it. I’m a little late this year.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’ve never done before? Finished a bathroom renovation. I’d never had anyone else renovate anything in a house; this renovation started in Oct 2011 and ended in February 2012. Also, designed and planted my first permaculture garden. And met someone in person (Shelley and Gerard) whom I’d only known through Facebook!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t make them. I just do what I want when I want.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Our favourite vet died in January 2012. Bella bulldog (Shelley’s dog) died suddenly in July 2012, which was shocking to me.

5. What countries did you visit? Just this one… Jekyll Island GA, Boothbay Harbor ME, Ogunquit ME, Baltimore MD, Boston, NYC, Bath ME, Manchester VT, etc.  I would rather not use the carbon that it takes to fly.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012? Actually, 2012 was pretty great: lots of entertaining and time with friends; lots of walking, snowshoeing and exploring; took several interesting classes; went on a number of fun trips. It was a good year.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 29 July, when Bella died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? A good balance of rest and exercise, inside and outside, solitary and social, planned and spontaneous, traveling and home.

9. What was your biggest failure? Always, a failure to love more, to be compassionate, to be fully aware and appreciative of what I am receiving.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Some upper back pain for several months.

11. What was the best thing you bought? I like my Razr Maxx droid phone quite a bit.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Journalists around the world in dangerous locations.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My government’s.

14. Where did most of your money go? Housing/renovation, health insurance/care, retirement savings.

15. What did you get really excited about? Trip to Jekyll.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012? None.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you…

-happier or sadder? happier, I think
-thinner or fatter? same
-richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Loving. Letting go. Lightening up. Meditation. The usual.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Fretting. Acting out of fear. The usual.

20. How did you spend Christmas? At home with spouse and dog,  eating take-out Indian food. The usual!

21. Did you fall in love in 2012? Of course. Almost any time I look through the camera lens, I fall in love.

22. What was your favorite TV program? None … we have almost no channels and rarely watch TV. We have been watching Frasier on dvd but that’s been in 2013.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I can’t think of anyone I hate.

24. What was the best book you read? When We Were the Kennedys, a memoir by Monica Wood, was very good. And the 4 books (so far) in the turn-of-the-20th-century Vienna crime novel series by Frank Tallis were excellent.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? None. Didn’t listen to new music this year.

26. What did you want and get? A dog caretaker who would stay at our house while we’re away and ease Gretty’s stress.

27. What did you want and not get? World peace. Again.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? None, really. A Late Quartet was nice, but rescreenings of Something’s Gotta Give and My Architect were my favourites.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old are you? Hung out at home, early 50s.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I can’t think of anything. Perhaps more time at the ocean.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012? One basic uniform for winter, one for summer. Fall and spring are slightly problematic.

32. What kept you sane? Time alone. Time outside. The camera. The garden. Meditation. Exercise. Fiction. Friends. Stable marriage.

33. What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I still like Pema Chödrön a lot. And Rene Girard.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? US: gun control reform (please), drone killing, health care reform (more, please). Globally: Scapegoating, witch hunts, and all other forms of mimetic violence. Torture as legal punishment. Oil/resource wars.

35. Whom did you miss? My friends from my former community. My dad. Rachael and Charlie. The ocean.

36. Who was the best new person you met? Many … I met Caroline and Jim, Candis, Liz, Ann, Natalie, Mary Lou and Larry, and others between 2009 and 2011, but really got to know them all better in 2012.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012. Nothing stays the same.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

A new Moon leads me to
Woods of dreams, and I follow.
A new world waits for me;
My dream, my way…

I know that if I have Heaven
There is nothing to desire.
Rain and river, a world of wonder,
May be Paradise to me.”

— Enya, “China Roses