musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

where's the sun?

As I publish this post, my countdown to spring stands at 53 days. That's nearly 1,272 more hours of shivers and gloom. I need me some sunshine! But since a trip to the tropics isn't in the cards this year, I did the (almost) next best thing and visited the Centennial Park Conservatory where just about everything is blooming and cheerful.

Gorgeous Amaryllis


Aloe Vera


Just a small part of the massive display of Cyclamen - beautiful!

These guys wanted sunbeams, too, but no luck. 

I felt much better after communing with the flowers for a while, even though the sun never did make an appearance. We're in for a long stretch of sunless days here in Toronto and I can feel myself growing more quiet and withdrawn by the hour. I may have to retrieve my SAD therapy lamp from the back of the closet and bask in some artificial rays. 

How do you beat the mid-winter blues?

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stillpoint is the blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington

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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Books of 2016

Welcome to my surprisingly fulsome sixth annual New Year's Book List! I read a lot in 2016, surpassing my original goal of 60 books in early summer when I upped my goal to 100. I blew past that in autumn and kept right on reading. Grand total: 134 books. I'm honestly not sure where I found the time… but I know I've enjoyed myself (and Sam has enjoyed the lap time).

Here's the breakdown of how I read: 85 library books (Overdrive e-books); 34 audiobooks (about half with an Audible subscription and the rest Overdrive Listens); 8 Kindle editions; 6 paperbacks; and 1 hardcover. Included in those totals are 5 advance reading copies – thank you, NetGalley!

As predicted, I listen to fewer audiobooks now that I'm not commuting to work every day. I was surprised by how quickly e-books on my iPad have taken over as my preferred way to read. The Toronto Public Library at my fingertips without ever leaving the house. I still seek out my favourites in hard copy for the keeper shelf, though.

And speaking of favourites, here are my five-star reads of 2016, listed alphabetically by author's last name:

The Corpse with the Garnet Face (Cait Morgan #7) by Cathy Ace
The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford (review)
Kaleidoscope (Joanne Kilbourne #13) by Gail Bowen
A Dark and Stormy Murder (Writer's Apprentice #1) by Julia Buckley
A Cast of Falcons (Birder Murder #3) by Steve Burrows (review)
The Chemistry of Death (Joe Tesla #3) by Rebecca Cantrell
Murder in Containment (New Scotland Yard #4) by Anne Cleeland (review)
We Wish You a Murderous Christmas (Year-Round Christmas #2) by Vicki Delany
Negative Image (Constable Molly Smith #4) by Vicki Delany
Unreasonable Doubt (Constable Molly Smith #8) by Vicki Delany
Fire in the Stars (Amanda Doucette #1) by Barbara Fradkin (review)
Do or Die (Inspector Green #1) by Barbara Fradkin
Reading up a Storm (Lighthouse Library #3) by Eva Gates (review)
On the Head of a Pin (Thaddeus Lewis #1) by Janet Kellough
The Murder of Mary Russel (Russell and Holmes #14) by Laurie R. King
The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett
The Queen's Accomplice (Maggie Hope #6) by Susan Elia MacNeal (review)
A Great Reckoning (Gamache #12) by Louise Penny
Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer Robson
Strange Things Done by Elle Wild (review)

Here's my complete 2016 reading list in order of reading with most recent pictured at the top. Click on any group for larger image.

I know I say this every year but please don't ask me to choose a favourite – it would be impossible to pick just one from so many wonderful stories – but do come find me at Goodreads where we can compare book lists. 

Currently reading: Shallow End (Stonechild and Rouleau #4) by Brenda Chapman (NetGalley ARC)

Next up: Letters from Paris by Juliet Blackwell

Impatiently awaited library holds: Buried in the Country (Cornish Mystery #4) by Carola Dunn, and The Echo of Twilight by Judith Kinghorn.

What are you looking forward to reading in 2017? Recommendations are always welcome because there's no such thing as too many books.

Happy New Year, all ... and happy reading!

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stillpoint is the blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington

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