Friday, January 2, 2015

My 2014 Book Year in Review

I have always used reading as escapism, and I become an unusually voracious reader during times of great stress, particularly when the stress is caused by a physical ailment.  I didn't realize as 2014 began that it would be a year of great stress and illness and that I would use books as escapism to a greater degree than I ever have in my entire life. 

I began 2014 reading In the End, the second volume in Tracey Ward's Quarantined dystopian series.  I quickly followed by reading Zombie Attack! Rise of the Horde by Devan Sagliani and then Erased by Jennifer Rush.

My next task was forcing myself to continue reading the Nancy Drew Digest books.  I had taken a long break to read the dystopian novels that I just mentioned in addition to a good many others that I read at the end of 2013.  I had been sidetracked from the Nancy Drew Digests for at least two months.  I resumed my reading of the books with #92 The Ghost of Craven Cove on approximately January 19.

I became sick around January 28 or January 29.  I didn't realize immediately how sick I was.  I gradually figured it out over the next week as I made some very unusual errors, including leaving an electric skillet on and the deletion of a not-yet-published blog post on February 1.  Ugh.  I had to quickly rewrite the deleted post from memory, and I know parts didn't get rewritten.  Fortunately, I was able to recreate it pretty well.

I got worse and had to miss work on February 4.  I made it to work on February 5 and later realized that had been a bad idea.  I was relieved when school was closed on February 6 and 7 due to snow, giving me a four-day weekend.  I was not well.  I was somewhat better the next week, and my illness lingered for around a month.

Meanwhile, I read and read Nancy Drew books.  I finished #175 in the Nancy Drew Digest series on March 22.  I observed that even though I was over my illness that I was quite rundown and not well.  So I kept reading.

I acquired two pieces of advertising memorabilia in March, one new and one old.


Also in March, I first learned about the Valerie Drew stories.

I read through the entire Nancy Drew Girl detective series, finishing on May 10.  After I finished the Girl Detective series, I read the Nancy Drew Diaries books.  I then read Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull and played the Nancy Drew game, The Shattered Medallion.

I began the Three Investigators series around May 20 and finished around July 16 or 17.  Meanwhile, I wasn't feeling that great in June and July with a bunch of symptoms that could have been anything.  I didn't realize it until much later, but I was in rather bad shape.  The Three Investigators helped me during that time.  I decided to catalog my collection in July, and you wouldn't believe how fast I went. I was miserable.  I felt bad and stressed out because of how awful I felt, and I didn't know what was wrong with me.

I read the Three Investigators Crimebusters books from around July 17 to August 4 and followed up with the German Three Investigators books from August 5 through September 20.  During this time I was quite ill and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  I received medication, and as my body adjusted, I went through six weeks of feeling worse with bad reactions.

I only mention this because it has had a profound effect on me and should explain some remarks I have made.  I mentioned in July that I had "motivational issues that I need to overcome."  That is one of the symptoms.  This is also why I have been terse when answering questions and why I have skipped some details when listing books online.  I have managed to do everything I normally do, but I have had to figure out how to do things in an easier, quicker fashion.  I expect myself to perform my duties at or as near as possible to 100% regardless of any hardship. 

I got over the bad reactions but then cold and flu season began.  I began to catch one virus after another beginning in the middle of September.  I also had dental work that didn't go well resulting in intense pain that lasted for an entire month.  Bad toothaches are awful.  So I had to keep reading and reading.  I also ate lots of chocolate ice cream.  Reading and ice cream go great together.

After I finished the German Three Investigators books, I read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey and Tearing Down the Wall by Tracey Ward.  I read the follow-up book to the Parallel Trilogy by Christine Kersey.  I played the Nancy Drew game, Labyrinth of Lies.

I read the entire Rick Brant series from early October through December 11.  I immediately followed up with the six books in the Brains Benton series and the six Power Boys books.  I felt worse in December, a cumulative effect of having caught around 10 viruses since early September.  Must...keep...reading.

On December 31, I received a higher dose of medication.  2015 begins with my body starting the adjustment process to the new dosage, and I will probably resume catching viruses once school starts back in a few days.  Meanwhile, I started reading Ken Holt #1 on December 30 and will hopefully read through the Ken Holt series during the next month unless I get sidetracked onto something else.  I have read the Ken Holt books before, and I want to see how Ken Holt compares to Rick Brant.

The beginning of 2015 will be like 2014 for me.  This is good for all of you, since my reading pace will not slow anytime soon.  For the next couple of weeks, I plan to schedule some posts closer together so that I can reduce the number of posts in the queue.  My reading has been so rapid that I have many posts already written.

I read at least 262 books in 2014.  I might have read one or two more.


TimK said...

Hi Jennifer,

I am terribly sorry to hear about your illness. I hope you will improve with time.

I've enjoyed reading your posts this year, but I certainly had no idea that you were going through all this junk behind the scenes!

Wishing you a much improved 2015.

Best regards,

sequesterednooks said...

Jennifer, I hope that this year will be better and you feel well soon. Being sick can be especially hard when you're a teacher.

Your reading progress this year has been astounding! It's funny-the times when I'm stressed or depressed are when I end up reading the least, and am more likely to watch TV or be on the Internet.


Amanda said...

I'm sad to see you are doing so poorly. I hope you get better soon!

Your reading accomplishments this year have been amazing! I can't wait to see what you read this year.

Jennifer White said...

I appreciate your kind comments. I do think I am on the mend, although I have a ways to go.

I'm off to a smashing start with my 2015 reading. I'm counting Ken Holt #1 as a 2015 read, even though I read part of it in 2014. I have already finished it and Ken Holt #2. I am approaching halfway through #3.

I have this major desire to read more books that I haven't read before, so I expect to go through Ken Holt fast to get to more books I haven't read before, like the Troy Nesbit books and the Cherry Ames series.

Homeschool Mom said...

Jennifer, wishing you a healthy year. I know about how miserable dental pain can make us! I hope that is behind you as well. You have made the best of a difficult year and blessed us all with these wonderful posts!