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Top 10 Books Of 2006

I’ve been feeling exceptionally booky lately, what with the conclusion of the 52 Book Project 2006 and getting my read on for 2007. What better way to delve deeper into this booky mood than to explore my ten favorite reads of last year?

(10) Guilty Pleasures was my first exposure to Laurell K. Hamilton and I was hooked from page one. I only wish the entire series had maintained the quality of the first several books.

(09) Anyone But You was one of the last of Jennifer Crusie’s books that I had to read. I finally found my copy on eBay- before this new edition was released- and I devoured it in an afternoon. Crusie refers to this book as “Fred’s Book,” due to the dog being as primary of a character as the hero and heroine. Loved it. In order to avoid duplicate authors on the list, I’ll throw Don’t Look Down, co-written by Bob Mayer, and The Cinderella Deal on here as well.

(08) Match Me If You Can was a great book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, another favorite author. She rarely disappoints and she has me eager for the next book in her Chicago Stars series.

(07) The Vinyl Cafe Unplugged by Stuart McLean snuck up on me. I picked it up at Wal-Mart on a lunch hour where I found myself with extra time and no reading material. I half-heartedly read the first short story and then set it down for quite some time. I read the second story a few weeks later and was giggling to myself on a bench in the mall. The third story had me full-scale laughing out loud in public without even thinking about how I must look. The stories range from toilet-training a cat to home-repairs, demolition-style and they’re absolutely hilarious. The author has a weekly radio show and now I just have to remember to tune in when it’s on!

(06) I had been waiting for Phantom by Terry Goodkind to come out for a year. The previous book in the series had left off on a cliff-hanger and I was reminded of why I don’t normally read a series until it’s completely written and published. I read this book quickly and, what do you know, another cliff-hanger. Here’s to hoping the next one comes out soon.

(05) Size 12 Is Not Fat was my first time reading Meg Cabot’s adult fiction and it was a lot of fun. Not a difficult read, by any means, and one that can be read in an hour or two of quality reading time, but one I’ll go back to time and again. It was light, cute, and funny. I just started the sequel, Size 14 Is Not Fat Either and I’m hopeful that it is just as good. How can you not love books with titles like these two?

(04) Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon was yet another foray into a new author and I wasn’t disappointed. My good friend Heather has been handing me paranormal books for the last year and she never lets me down. The covers and titles are deceiving- they aren’t your cheesy vampire/werewolf book.

(03) Sleeping With The Fishes made the list above any other Mary Janice Davidson book for two reasons. One being that it stands alone so I didn’t have to pick the best of a series and second because the book cover is fabulous. How did I miss so many great authors before this year? I’m seeing Mary Janice Davidson’s name all over the place now and am gobbling up her stories.

(02) Before I had even finished reading Little Earthquakes, I had to go out and buy a second copy to hand to my then-pregnant friend. I really really liked this book. I haven’t experienced motherhood yet, but this book felt to me like a more accurate portrayal than your average new-mom novel. It didn’t make it look easy or as natural as other books make it out to be. I appreciated that.

(01) Anita Shreve jumped onto my radar when I read The Last Time They Met a few years ago. This year’s experience with her was with a book called Sea Glass. As with the other books of hers that I’ve read, this one leaves you a bit stunned at the end. A good read, but one that requires your full attention.

Of course immediatly after I finished this list I thought of other books I read this year like My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, but if I didn’t limit it to ten, this list would go on through all 88 titles of 2006.

So far this year, I’m eight days in and three books completed and I can already tell it will be a tough choice to round it out to a favorite ten.

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10 Feel Good Songs

These are the songs that I listen to when I’m happy, when I want to bounce around and sing out loud. Fun songs. Feel good songs.

(10) Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz (Didn’t see that one coming, did ya?)
(09) I Just Wanna Live – Good Charlotte (Fake punk band? So what- it’s a great song.)
(08) Sincerely Yours – Goodness (I like a lot of bands/groups with Good in the title.)
(07) 99 Luftballoons – Nena (Is it possible to NOT like this song?)
(06) Shoop – Salt ‘n’ Pepa (Especially when Ellen DeGeneres does it.)
(05) Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham! (It’s Wham!, what’s not to love?)
(04) I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic! At The Disco (Newest on my feel good list.)
(03) Love Shack – B-52’s (Nothing extra to say, but god forbid I break the parenthesis pattern.)
(02) Song For The Dumped – Ben Folds Five (So much anger- you gotta love it.)
(01) Can’t Hold Us Down – Christina Aguilera (That’s right boys, can’t hold us down.)

I heart 80’s music. The Top 10 list idea shamelessly stolen from here.

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Top 10 Things I Found Amusing Today

(10) The woman walking around Surrey dressed in full traditional Indian (from India, not native) garb from head to toe- er- ankle, because on her feet were a pair of bright turquoise Old Navy flip-flops.

(09) The crazy stinky lady at Burger King who was convinced that the cashier had not given her back her correct change of $1.55. Even I could see she had the right amount of change.

(08) That ten minutes after I posted a plea for help with some coding over at Blog Advance, I figured it out myself. That always happens.

(07) An emo kitty cartoon that I found while blog surfing (using Blog Advance, of course). I actually found it several days ago, but every time I see it, it makes me laugh. Ask Meghann.

(06) Comments left on my MySpace account. I love my friends.

(05) That this is turning into a very plug-y post and I didn’t really intend that. I just wanted to post SOMETHING.

(04) My new phone’s ring tone. I haven’t even downloaded anything cool yet, but having my phone ring with techno music amuses me greatly.

(03) Old pictures of me in highschool. Like this one:

(02) The poster Derek made for fundraising for my Breast Cancer Walk. It says, “Save The Boobies.”

(01) That I’m trying to write a post about things that amuse me while I’m really cranky.

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Top Ten Favorite Childhood Toys

I haven’t done a top ten list in a while, so here goes. Toys that I miss playing with from when I was a kid.

(10) Popples. Do you remember those stuffed, brightly colored things? My sister used to turn them into their balls and throw them at each other.

(09) Lite Brights. I loved that thing even though I could never make anything cool without looking at a design.

(08) My Little Ponies. My best friend and I cooked up elaborate stories for our ponies. They lived like humans did in our world. They had love affairs and lived in fancy houses. We had crazy imaginations.

(07) Trolls. Do you remember these particular dolls? The all plastic ones with the tufts of bright hair?

(06) Breyer Horses. I was a big collector and I even went to (geek alert) Breyer Horse Shows. Consequently, I have several horses you couldn’t get anywhere else and are probably worth a decent amount of money. Too bad I took them out of all their boxes. They’re still probably worth something. They’re packed up and in storage now.

(05) Chinese jump rope. I seem to be the only one I know who remembers this particular game so here’s what Wikipedia has to say.

The game is played with a rope (or, more frequently, a string of rubber bands) that has been tied into a circle. Two of the participants face each other, with their feet together, and position the rope around their ankles so that is it taut. The third player then stands between the two sides of the rope and must accomplish a specific series of moves without making an error or pausing.

(04) Glo-Worms. Hard and plastic and difficult to cuddle, but I couldn’t sleep without it.

(03) Lincoln Logs. There wasn’t much to do with them besides stack and stack some more, but I couldn’t get enough of them. I made amazingly tall houses.

(02) Slinkies. And why wouldn’t they EVER go down the stairs the way they were supposed to? They never did, but they were sure fun to toss around and fiddle with. That is, until they became tangled up. Those things were a bitch to straighten out.

(01) Barbies. Of course. Again, my best friend and I were SO into our Barbie stories. Or, I should say, story. We had one storyline and it just kept going and going and going… Embarassingly enough, we actually kept playing with them until we were thirteen or so. Now I’d still like to collect the Marilyn Barbies should I ever manage to find some that aren’t obscenely expensive.

What were your favorite toys growing up?

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Top 10 Favorite Searches To My Blog

Because really, people search for some weird shit.

(10) Fucking at school party
Naughty, naughty.

(09) Witness protection dance party
Do these occur often? How do I get an invite?

(08) Message behind Shania twains song Ka-ching
This is from my post about how much I hate this song found here. There’s a message? Other than than how to make a lousy song that rhymes well?

(07) I hate obnoxious know-it-alls
Me, too.

(06) How to make a llama dance
I would think that putting on some good dance music would suffice. No? Well, hell, just because my friends call me llama, doesn’t mean I know how to make a real one dance.

(05) Boobies uncovered
Keep on moving. You won’t find those here.

(04) Beer bellied guys free pics
Why in the world would you want those pictures?

(03) Ooh banane it ooh banane it come on give me a uh lyrics
I don’t have much to add here except, huh?

(02) shy man with a girl in her bubble bath picture
Uhm. Okay.

(01) The small creature was going to take me doggy style
I seriously don’t even want to know.

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Top Ten Guilty Pleasures

Here are the original five that Toni tagged me for, plus five more to make it interesting.

(10) Buying Books. This wouldn’t be a guilty pleasure so much if I had actually had money to burn, but I don’t. I just can’t help it; buying a book calms me, even if I know I won’t have time to read it for months to come.

(09) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. So, so bad for me, but so, so good. I used to buy boxes of the stuff (meant for cooking), but it never quite made it to the oven… whoops!

(08) Fast Food. Again, so bad for me! It’s just very convenient and, embarassing to admit, sometimes tastes better than anything else that I might want. Hence the reason I’m chubby.

(07) Pop Music. I like to say that I have no musical taste because I’ll listen to just about anything. I love my pop music. Give me some Britney and some Christina and I’ll bop around the living room anyway.

(06) Cadbury Eggs. Is anybody else noticing an overwhelming presence of food on this list? I think that’s a problem. I love Cadbury eggs and when they go “out of season,” I get so bummed! Derek buys them for me to surprise me and I just light up. I’m easy to please.

(05) Harlequin Romance. While I love single title romances more, I do like to indulge in those categories every once in a while. I wish they were more.. accepted I think is the word I’m looking for here, so it wouldn’t have to be a guilty pleasure.

(04) Bookmarks. I call these a guilty pleasure because most bookmarks are a waste of money. I lose them and almost always end up using an old receipt or slip of paper anyway, but some of them are just so much fun. All decorated, with beads hanging off the end and fun quotes. I just can’t help myself.

(03) Lists. Have you noticed? I love to make lists. I make them when I clean house, I make them of books I’ve read, of books I own, of things I need to do. I love them. I blame it on my obsessive-compulsive personality. The same part of me that makes me organize my closet by color and sleeve length despite the rest of my house being a pig sty.

(02) Neopets. What can I say? I love feeding my little uni and playing games and buying her things with my Neopoints. It’s also a great time-waster.

(01) American Idol. I hate that I still watch this show. It’s getting so old and yet, like a car wreck, I can’t turn away. I’m one of the few that isn’t even a big fan of the bad auditions, either. I like listening to the good singers belt out their songs and I get all nervous that my favorite is going to be voted. I know. Pathetic.

So those are my ten guilty pleasures. Am I going to get made fun of now?