My favorite books published in 2015 (#libfaves15)

List Fatigue can set in as early as November 30 with all the “best”  books, movies, music lists that start rolling in. At first I compulsively check out all the book lists, and then I check out after about List 11 — because many of the lists repeat the same books.

Commonality is fantastic, and gives us a memorable snapshot of the year. The Best Books lists are also great guides for shopping for books for Christmas gifts. But the real Top 10 lists I love? The ones from librarians. Instead of doing a “best of …” type list, many of us tweeted our favorites of the year. (Big distinction between “favorite” and “best.”) Using the hashtag #libfaves15, librarians counted down their top 10. No restrictions (other than asking that people choose books published in 2015). The result? Some of the top books you’ve seen on other lists, but also a lot of shout outs for science fiction, fantasy, mystery, historical romance and contemporary romance. Books that we love — and that we can’t wait to share with readers. (more…)

Why I missed my bus today

Every workday morning I play this crazy fun little game ,“What made me miss my bus today?” It’s loads of fun, with answers ranging from “I thought it more important to make sure my only child got to school in a safe, happy, and well-nourished manner, even though he’s in high school and can fend for himself” to “I can’t decide if v-neck t-shirts are as douchey for a female as a male.” There are a lot of specifics associated with this game, and all the variables keep my math skills sharp. You see, I keep a running total in my head of how long things are taking me during those crucial last 10 minutes before I leave the house. For instance, making myself a lunch that involves pasta and vegetables will take about 2 minutes and 13 seconds longer than making a turkey sandwich (because of the veggie chopping), yet 17 seconds less time than making an egg salad sandwich. (Note that turkey sandwich is the most time efficient, and so I never select that option.) Changing shoes can be a major time suck, adding as much as three minutes. No single task takes THAT much time, but add the indecisiveness and disorganization together and you’ve got a good wasted eight minutes.
 Knowing that I might miss a bus doesn’t mean that I’ll skip the tasks. Instead, I keep it all in my head. Then, as I approach the stop and watch as the bus pulls away, I think back to which exact task kept me from being punctual.
Today, it was this.

THREE SPACES! That’s right, this jackass is taking up three spaces in a crowded urban transit center parking lot. Stopping to take the photo cost me about 12 seconds; driving through the parking lot and realizing there were no spaces and that I needed to go somewhere else took six more minutes.