Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Books End of Year Review

This year, I was finally able to start reading for enjoyment again.  Baby D has been a fairly demanding baby, and I hadn't had much time before to do much of anything.  This year, I read 22 books (including the chapter read alouds to Miss Dainty.)  (At least, that's what I kept track of, there might be more.)

My favorite read aloud with Miss Dainty was:  James Herriot's Treasury for Children.  This was such a great and heartwarming read.  The stories were wonderful and the illustrations were beautiful.  Miss Dainty really enjoyed each and every story.

My favorite Christian nonfiction/Bible study type book was:  The Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordeiro.  Absolutely my favorite by far.  I did not do the SOAP journal the entire year like I had wanted, but when I did, I learned so much, and really felt a transformation in my quiet time.  My goal is to SOAP journal again through all of 2011.

My favorite nonfiction book was:  Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.  It was such an incredible and thought provoking book.

I didn't have a favorite fiction book.  I didn't read too many since my reading time was limited, but I did read a few books/authors that were recommended to me.  However, I was left disappointed. =(

I joined a few reading challenges for 2011, so I'm looking forward to getting started.  =)

2010 Knitting - End of Year Review

I just learned to knit in January 2010.  I have absolutely fallen in love with it!  It's my favorite thing to do now.  I mostly did small projects to learn on.  I can't wait to tackle some harder and bigger patterns.  Here it is the last day of the year, and I'm wondering if I can fit in one more project today...
Here are my stats for this year:

Total Projects knit: 25
 # of projects specifically for myself: 1

*Last one is crochet, but I needed one more pic to make my collage even.  Didn't include washcloths... =)

Finished Knitted Objects:
Scarves: 3
Mittens/Fingerless: 6 pair
Tops: 1 (simple baby top)
Washcloths: 2
Bibs: 1
Slippers: 1 pair

Techniques/Stitches accomplished:
  1. cast on
  2. bind off 
  3. garter/knit stitch
  4. purl stitch
  5. stockinette stitch
  6. rib stitch
  7. adding skein
  8. simple cables
  9. seed stitch
  10. waffle stitch
  11. whip stitch (blech.)
  12. picot edge
  13. gussets
  14. eyelets
  15. Ktbl
  16. Kfb
  17. K2Tog
  18. M1
  19. SSK
  20. knit on straight needles
  21. knit in round on DPNs
  22. knit in round on circulars
  23. add stitches in middle of row using single cast-on
  24. pick up stitches
  25. fix a dropped stitch (and a whole dropped section!)
  26. rip back and was able to put project back on needles
  27. tried continental style (but didn't use it in projects.) 
  28. magic loop knitting
  29. fair isle (first try)
Other stuff accomplished:

   30.  knit Christmas gifts
   31.  taught Miss Dainty to do knit stitch
   32.  knit in public

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fair Isle: First Try

So, I posted earlier about trying out the Magic Loop method yesterday.  Well, I decided to try another technique today.  (Mr. Hubs is on leave right now, so we're pretty much being bums...  We have plenty of time on our hands right now.)

I thought about trying to do some color work, since I haven't really tried yet.  I tried intarsia first with a simple wrist warmer pattern from the Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook.  But...  I got frustrated.  After restarting the little thing, oh, about three times, I decided to quit.  I browsed more patterns trying to find something else to start (not color work,) and decided I really wanted to try again.  I would not give up!  heh.  I decided to try fair isle instead, since it seemed easier, and chose a different picture chart.

And it was easier, I guess.  Annoying a bit, but easier.  However, I must have pulled the floating yarn strands in the back too tight, because the wrist warmer puckered a little bit.  It came out super small.  It was supposed to be for me, but it ended up fitting Miss Dainty.  So, at least she was happy. 

I'm happy, too.  That I at least tried fair isle, even if I didn't love it.  Hopefully, I'll get the intarsia thing more easily next time.  =)

Magic Loop Knitting

Back in October, I came across a 50% off coupon for Michaels and decided to buy the $69.99 Boye circular needle set for $35 to see if I liked the whole interchangeable needle idea.  A friend of mine had let me use her Knit Picks set for a few minutes, and I figured I'd try the cheaper brand before deciding if I wanted to spend the extra money on that set (which was really, really nice.)   I tried the circulars on a few projects and used them for straight knitting and knitting in the round.  I liked them enough, the only thing that bothered me was that if I didn't watch the screws connecting the needle tips to the cable, they could come undone.  Once I got into the habit of checking it though, it didn't bother me.

A few days ago, I had another 50% off coupon for Michaels, and debated getting another circular set because I had read somewhere that you can knit in the round using 2 circular needles.  I thought that would be a good way to save money on needles, since this set contained needles from size 2-15, with 20", 24", 29", and 36" cables.  I practically wouldn't need to buy any more needles!  Since I didn't mind using the first set, I really considered it and went ahead and bought the second set.

Yesterday, I ran across a discussion in the Ravelry forums about Magic Loop knitting, and decided I wanted to give it a try before I opened the second circular set.  It was the perfect time to try it, because I had a baby hat I've been wanting to make for someone which called for size 10.5 DPNS, which I didn't have, but my circular needles would still be too long to knit the little hat with.  This is the video I used, but of course there are a ton of them:

So, I connected the 36" and 29" cables from the first interchangeable needle set, and attempted the magic loop.  At first, I was fumbling with the cables the whole time, and I felt like my knitting was so inconsistent, but eventually I got used to it.  The only issue I had was getting the stitches from the cable back onto the needles.  The stitches were stubborn and didn't want to go back on.  Perhaps my knitting was running tight.  I also couldn't figure out how to effectively use a stitch marker to mark my rounds, but the tail let me know when I was starting another round. However, it was nice to only have to deal with 2 needles versus 4, and the fact that Baby D couldn't come up when I wasn't looking and run off with a DPN leaving dropped stitches was a really big bonus.
In the end, I was really pleased with the baby hat, and the magic loop method.  I will definitely be using it instead of DPNs.  Which is awesome, because that saves a lot of money not having to buy all those DPNs, and on the other hand pretty much removes that limit of only knitting things that I have certain size needles for!  I'm so excited to try the method on more projects. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter Storm

We got about a foot of snow yesterday.  So, of course we had to take the girls out.  I had fun for about 10 minutes... then I was ready to go inside.  =)   I'm not much of a snow person, however, I did get to try out my mittens!  They were awesome!
Like my dorky pose?  haha

The mittens kept my hands warm.  I was very impressed with the yarn.  I think I'm going to make the kids some mittens out of it now.  Their mittens didn't keep their hands very warm, but I had only used worsted weight yarn, not bulky or anything.  =/  Now I know.

Mr Hubs and the kids enjoyed the snow much more than I did.  Mr Hubs even broke out his zombie costume for a few post apocalyptic-ish zombie photos... lol Here's a pic of the hubby.  They all had a blast.  I had fun taking the pictures.  =)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas & Santa's Big Scramble

Christmas Eve, Mr Hubs had duty. =/ The girls and I went to church in the afternoon for our first ever candle light service. It was beautiful! After coming home and eating dinner, we made cookies for Santa. Miss Dainty chose the chocolate chip mint cookies from The Joy of Vegan Baking. They were pretty good. I wish I could have taken more pictures of them helping with the baking, but it was hard enough keeping them from eating the non-tasty ingredients, and spilling flour all over the place. They had a blast though.

On Christmas morning, my grandparents drove in.  This actually was a bit of a surprise, because up until the day before, I thought they weren't coming down due to our impending bad weather.  But they decided to drive down and at least stay for a few hours to see the girls open their presents.

When Mr Hubs finally made it home from work, we started on brunch: soy chorizo and potato breakfast burritos.  They were awesome!  I absolutely adored watching my grandma help my girls roll out tortillas.  I remember her helping me when I was younger.  It was so incredibly sweet.  I love it when they get to spend quality time with my grandparents.
After breakfast, we opened presents.  There were plenty of priceless moments, but two will stay in my mind forever.  The first was the look on my grandma's face when she opened the rose scented rosary from (and blessed at) the Vatican in Rome.  (We only recently re-found it after moving back here a year and a half ago!) Her expression was priceless, and the moment was incredible for me.  And second was when Miss Dainty opened her skateboard.  Her eyes lit up when she recognized what it was, and she screamed, "It's a SKATEBOARD!!!  SANTA GOT ME WHAT I ASKED FOR!!!  IT'S A SKATEBOARD!!!"  Now there is an interesting story behind it, too.
Miss Dainty hadn't asked for anything in particular for Christmas throughout the entire Christmas season.  We choose not to have cable and the like, so she never sees all the millions of commercials telling her what she has to have to be the coolest kid on the street.  So, we were just going to get a few fun things and leave it at that, especially since a few family members had sent gifts to them.

Three days before Christmas, Miss Dainty decided to write a very last minute letter to Santa.  She wrote:  "Dear Santa, For Christmas I'd like a skateboard and a Kung Fu Panda set with a red belt and a sword.  And for my sister, can you bring her a new baby doll and a baby bed?"

Immediately, I panicked, only because the things she thoughtfully asked for her sister, I knew her sister was already getting from my grandparents.  What are the chances of that?  How would Miss Dainty feel on Christmas morning, if Santa had brought Baby D what she had asked for her, but not what she had asked for herself?  Oh dear.  What a problem!

And I had figured, up until this point, that Miss Dainty had come to the conclusion that Santa was just for fun.  She had been asking tons of questions about whether or not Santa was real, and how he traveled all over the world in one night, etc. etc.  At one point while running into a "Santa" at a store who would pose for pictures with the kids, she told me, "Mom, I don't think that was Santa.  I think that was just a regular guy."  And then a few minutes later, she said, "Man!  I should have asked him if the reindeer really fly!"  Needless to say, I really didn't know what to say.

So, there I was "mailing" Miss Dainty's letter on the way to the store, wondering what were we going to do?  While at the store, I quickly looked for either of her wishes, and found neither.  I texted Mr Hubs who was at the Nex on base and asked him to look.  He called later and said he had no luck finding the items there either.

After the girls and I got home that afternoon, I started preparing Miss Dainty for the chance that maybe her letter had gotten there too late, or perhaps Santa got her something different.  Mr Hubs called again on his way home from work and said he would stop by Toys R Us and hopefully find something.  They had no Kung Fu Panda products.  (I guess that's the only bad thing when your kids don't watch commercials, they don't even know what's "popular.")  I thought about asking him to stop by a karate school to see if he could buy a uniform, although that would be quite a bit more expensive than a toy costume of some sort.  He later called and said he had found the skateboard!  So, we went with that instead.  We definitely lucked out!  I'm still surprised we were able to find one of her wishes on such late notice.

But when she opened that present (we saved it for the very last,) and had such a great reaction, it made the last minute scramble so completely worth it.

The girls loved everything they got though, and really all of their presents were so awesome: useful, family oriented, and/or creative.  Thanks to everyone who sent them presents, they were really great! 

Later, we all went to a good friend's house for a potluck dinner.  (I was bummed I forgot to take pictures.)  It was nice to hang out and chat while all of the kids played together.  And then, (thanks to Mr Hubs fixing my laptop's webcam... he's my HERO!!)  we were able to skype with family in Texas!!  It was so awesome!  It was such a great Christmas for us: quality family and friend time, and priceless moments.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Garden of Lights

Last night we took the girls to a surprise.  It took a bit of driving, and on the way Miss Dainty kept asking where we were going and what the surprise was.  Of course we kept telling her, "We're not telling you, it's a surprise!" 

Meanwhile, Baby D just sat in her carseat staring out the window because, really, what could a 2 year old do except just wait and see what it was we were doing.

Then Miss Dainty started asking questions like, "Are we going to get out of the car soon?  I'm kind of getting tired of being in here."

To which we answered, "No, we have to stay in the car."  She was a bit disappointed.

After a while, as we were getting closer to our destination, Mr Hubs asked Miss Dainty, "Are you pumped up?"  She asked what that meant, and I told her it meant if she was excited.

She said, "Well, I can't really say I'm pumped up, because I'm not that excited about staying in the car.  I don't know what's so exciting about staying in the car the whole time. So, no I'm not pumped up."

Oh, I couldn't stop laughing.  Ever the practical one.  We eventually did pull up to the surprise:  Garden of Lights at Norfolk Botanical Garden.  At first we had to wait in line for a while, and Miss Dainty was not impressed with the lights they had set up around the entry line.  But after seeing the more detailed scenes she indeed got "pumped up." 

My favorite scenes were the underwater scene (so cool to drive through,) the pink woodland scene (so adorable,) and a small section that looked like rain falling (couldn't capture on camera, but it was really neat.)  In the end, the girls loved it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tantrums... and knitting

I used to fight Miss Dainty's tantrums.  I did.  I tried everything.  Then for a short time, about the time when I was 7-9 months pregnant with Baby D, I quit fighting them.  There was really nothing I could do, honestly.  And so I would let Miss Dainty (who was about 3 1/2 then,) feel her emotions, uncontrollable or not, deal with them, and when she had calmed down enough we would talk it through.  She survived.  I survived.

So, tell me, why did I go back to fighting them?  I remember after we had just returned to the States, she went through a long tantrum phase.  And I didn't know what to do.  Mr. Hubs was still in Sicily and I had a 6 month old baby and an every single night tantrum throwing 4 year old.  I tried every single thing that had been given in advice to me.  Every single thing.  I was exhausted.  I was frustrated.  I cried.

After we moved into our current home, she would still throw them, just not as often.  The nights she did were insane.  Mr. Hubs would go to work exhausted in the morning after no rest.  We would all be so tired from fighting the tantrums.  Nothing would calm her down.  She would listen to no one.  It would be hours before she stopped.  We prayed every single time she threw one that it would be the last.  She phased out of it, though, thankfully.  Well, for the most part.  Every once in a while she still throws them.

Like tonight.  Oh, boy did Mr. Hubs miss a fun night tonight!  Two hours.  sigh....

Two.  Hours.  After.  Bedtime.

But guess what I did? 

I didn't fight it.  I didn't know what was causing the emotional outburst.  It could have been because I was busy all day cleaning and doing a ton of extra laundry (it's bedding day.)  Or it could be because Mr. Hubs had duty today.  Or perhaps because our schedule is out of whack due to holiday stuff.  Who knows.  I figured if she had some crazy emotions right then, then she had a right to feel them.  I also decided I wasn't going to let her behavior steal my relaxing time.  So, I picked up my current project, and I started to knit.  I knitted through the screams.  I knitted through the stomped feet.  I knitted through everything.  I would try to talk to her when I thought she was calming down, and if she wouldn't listen, I told her I'd wait.  And I did, and thanks to focusing on every single stitch, I was able to do so patiently.

She eventually calmed down and we talked it through.  She apologized and accepted her punishment (she is losing a LOT of stuff tomorrow.)  We cuddled for a few minutes and then she went to bed. 

Look how much I got done on my second mitten (when I picked it up, I was only a few rows into the first brown section:)
I honestly don't know why I didn't think of this before!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Celebrating Christmas

We have pretty much been celebrating Christmas since December 1st.  As soon as I erased November from the eraser board calendar, Miss Dainty knew.  Every prayer is now ended with Miss Dainty's "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" followed by the question, "So how old is Jesus now?"  She makes me smile.

Today, we attended our homeschool group's Christmas party.  Miss Dainty had a ton of fun.  She played games, decorated cookies, made some ornaments, and listened to the guitar students play some Christmas carols.  It was great, and she loved spending time with friends.
After dinner, the girls wanted to finish decorating the Christmas tree.  I was trying to wait until Mr. Hubs gets back, but Miss Dainty has been waiting patiently all week, and he had said we could go ahead and finish it without him.  So, we did.  They clumped the ornaments together at the bottom in some places, and some of the ornaments weren't even hung.  Baby D just sort of shoved them in there and they kept falling off, and it took me a while to figure out why!  And of course, half of the candy canes did not make it up to the tree.  But the girls' expressions were priceless and their joy was contagious. 
I have no idea why they decided to keep their jackets on.  My kids are such goobers.  =)  We have also been reading our favorite Christmas book a lot lately:  The First Christmas by Carol Heyer.  The illustrations are gorgeous, and the writing is wonderful.  Such a great book.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas so far!  We are keeping ours very simple this year, and I am truly enjoying it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

On Nature and How I've Missed It

With all the reading challenges, you can probably tell I've missed reading.  Baby D has been a fairly demanding baby, and only recently has she become a little more independent and self entertaining.  I almost don't know what to do with the stretches of free time during the day as she and her sister play.  ("And you want another one?!" I can hear Mr. Hubs saying in his usual dramatic way...)

One evening last month, Mr. Hubs stayed with the kids while I ran to the library.  I had intended on only picking up a knitting book, but of course I got distracted by the rows and rows of inviting titles and covers, which led to many books being opened.  I think, that after being with my family, being in a library aisle, with books to both my sides, is my favorite place to be.  I happened across the book Bird Songs of the Mesozoic by David Hopes.

The title caught my attention first, quickly followed by the cover art.  I love birds.  I love watching them, feeding them, listening to them.  It's fun and relaxing.  Miss Dainty's learned a lot by studying them, too, so that doesn't hurt.   When I realized it was more of a memoir or collection of essays, I almost put it back on the shelf.  I don't particularly enjoy memoir type books.  The few I've read seemed to drone on and on, with no specific plot, and that bothers me to no end.  I need a conflict, and I need a resolution.  But the last part of the title:  A Day Hiker's Guide to the Nearby Wild convinced me to at least give it a try.

When I read that, I instantly thought back to our time in Florida.  Mr. Hubs and I used to hike a lot back then.  Even after having Miss Dainty, we managed to be outdoors more often than not.  We would just put her in the backpack carrier and be on our happy way, enjoying the forests that we thought looked more like jungles at times, with friends who equally enjoyed the outdoors.  The Jacksonville area was awesome when it came to outdoorsy type activities.  They had numerous parks and forests that beckoned hikers, bikers, campers, photographers, and birdwatchers.  I loved it.  I've missed it.

**In the top left pic, I was pregnant, but we hadn't found out yet.  In the picture to its right, I was 7 months along and did a 4 mile hike.  =)

I've missed being out in nature, and looking at those pictures from Florida makes that feeling sink in even more.  I've tried here in Virginia, but it seems in our area (at the parks I've visited at least,) the trails are an after thought.  The boat ramps and playgrounds seem most important, and even Frisbee golf takes precedent over the trails at our nearest park.  I have to distract my kids away from the playgrounds for them to even notice nature, and even then, Miss Dainty constantly asks if it's time to go play yet.  I miss just being in nature. 

So, back to the book, I started it that night, and indeed it's been a slow read for me.  I have enjoyed some parts of his writing, especially where he speaks of his interaction with nature in his every day comings and goings.  I share in his appreciation for nature, yet we appreciate it for different reasons.  I'm not sure he really knows why he appreciates it, just that he does.  For me, spending time in nature observing creation, its beauty and intricacies, helps me connect to the Creator.  It's like spending time at a museum and observing a favorite painter's work.  You get to know the artist through his creation, and I feel that way about God and nature.

It reminds me of this passage in the Bible:
Romans 1:19-20 NIV  "since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."

On the other hand, the author alludes to a struggle with this concept, and I'm not even sure he meant to.  He first says on page 28 while hiking, "I stop in the road and ask myself, 'What are you afraid of?' Of staying forever the way I am.  Of dying alone and friendless.  Of fighting with God so much that he turns away from me."  I found this an interesting peek into the author's innermost thoughts and struggles.  But then he goes on to say, "None of those things is here.  None of them is coming at me out of the shadows of the forest."  And that is where he was wrong.  His struggle with God would be coming out of the forest, simply due to God's presence in His work, and the author's struggle to acknowledge it.

Later, on page 66, he expresses a struggle with the idea of evolution.  Talking about the evolution of the dragonfly from a larvae type creature, he writes, "What I want to know is, how were they summoned into shining air?  How did it cross their unimaginable little minds even to commence such a journey?  Yes, I know how it's supposed to work, but all the time there has been since the beginning of time should not be enough to turn the one thing into the other."  Exactly, Mr. Hopes.

The book is not meant to be spiritual in the least.  It's a collection of essays on how "nature finds you wherever you are."  But honestly, where there is nature, there is God, naturally.  I am only about halfway done with the book, and I will probably finish it in hopes of more insights and epiphanies on the author's part concerning nature and God.  I'm curious to see if they are in there.  If what is on the cusp of his understanding will click, if what is on the tip of his tongue will be professed.

The book has served as a gentle reminder of how much I missed being outdoors, though.  Sure, I notice things while I'm out and about.  I always do.  The changing color of the leaves, a flock of birds singing as we get home, an interesting bug to point out to the girls, a lizard or turtle sunbathing.  But I miss being immersed in it, in His creation.  Of course, God is always with us, but I enjoy that visual and physical presence found in nature.

Luckily for me, after realizing this, I remembered our Girl Scout troop would be doing a hike, but couldn't recall the exact day (although I knew it was to happen soon.)  When I checked my notes, would you believe it was the very next day?  Good thing I was prompted to check, or we would have missed out on it.  Instead, we went, and enjoyed it.  Miss Dainty ran off on the trails with the girls, while I (with Baby D on my back,) enjoyed, with a renewed appreciation, the scenery, the fresh air, the crunch of the leaves, the sun's warmth (a last farewell before the cold hit.)  And I reveled in it and so did Miss Dainty, and that made me happy. 
Even if I end up not finishing the book, it has served a purpose for me: a reminder of something I love and miss dearly.  Of something I've always wanted to share with my children, and yet haven't been as much as I had intended.  Living in Sicily got us into the habit of not going out with the single purpose of enjoying nature, there was nowhere nearby to go to do so, but now that we are back in the States, I want to change that.  I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

2011 Off the Shelf Challenge

Off The Shelf!

This is the last 2011 challenge I'm joining. The point of this one is to read books that are sitting on your shelf. I have a ton of those, and I keep adding on to them (finding that local used book store hasn't helped at all.) At first I was thinking about doing the Trying level (15 books) but after stacking up 15 books of mine, it was quite daunting to look at. (I am, after all, just getting back into reading.)

So, I'm starting out at the Tempted level (5 books.) Hopefully, though, I will manage to get even more off of my shelf.  If I do, I will continue to add them.

Actual list of books completed:
  1. Matched by Allie Condie.  (on my shelf since Nov. '10)  Finished 1/3/11.  Zomg.  Get it off my shelf and out of my house! haha
  2. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (on my shelf since Sept. '10)  Finished 1/15/11
  3. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks (on  my shelf since June '10)  Finished 1/17/11
  4. 1984 by George Orwell. (on my shelf since '00)  Finished 2/9/11 
  5. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. (on my shelf since June '10)  Finished 2/16/11.
    ***Reached original goal of 5 books off the shelf! ***
  6. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  (on my shelf since Sept. '10)  Finished 2/27/11.
  7. A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. (on my shelf since Nov. '10.)  Finished 3/11/11. 
  8. An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers.  (on my shelf since Nov. '10) Finished 3/16/11. 
  9. As Sure as the Dawn by Francine Rivers.  (on my shelf since Nov. '10) Finished 3/29/11. 
  10. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  (on my shelf since Sept '10.)  Finished 3/31/11. 
  11. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. (on my shelf since Nov. '10) Finished 4/5/11. 
  12. By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  (on my shelf since Sept. '10.) Finished 5/25/11.

Earlier list of the 5 books I've chosen (I finished all of them, so the list is removed.)
Then if I get to them:
10.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
11.  Red-Tails in Love by Marie Winn
12.  Atonement by Ian McEwan

Check out the Off the Shelf Challenge over at BA Reading Challenges!

*last updated 4/5/11 
I might actually get my list up to 15!

2011 Dystopia Reading Challenge

I will be participating in the 2011 Dystopia Challenge!  When I used to read a ton, I loved this genre, so I'm really looking forward to getting back into it.  I'm starting at the Asocial level (1-5 books,) though, because of all the other challenges I'm doing to get back into reading.  

Dystopia Challenge

The books I've read for this challenge:
  1. Matched by Ally Condie -  Finished 1/3/11.  Meh.  2 out of 5.  I wasn't impressed.
  2. ______ by ______.  1/19-27.  4 out of 5.
  3. 1984 by George Orwell. 2/9/11.  5 stars! 
  4. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. 6/5/11.  4 stars. 
  5. The Giver by Lois Lowry.  6/23/11.  3 stars.
    ******** Reached original goal of 5 dystopia books!

 Books to read:
1984 by George Orwell (this has been on my shelf for ages!)
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I am Legend by Richard Matheson

Care to join?  Check out the challenge at BA Reading Challenges!