Around the World in 12 Books Reading Challenge

I am joining the Around the World in 12 Books Reading Challenge for 2015.  I am participating as a Wayfarer Challenge Participant.  According to the challenge and the level I am participating, I have to read 4 books from different countries in 2015.  Luckily, I have a few books in mind already and made a list:

  1. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, set in Nigeria
  2. The Return of the Native, by Thomas Hardy, set in England
  3. The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, set in China
  4. The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, set in Russia

Wayfarer-2015-300x132

– The Wayfarer doesn’t like to plan; he/she likes to journey as the need takes them, deciding where to go on a whim or inspiration or simply how they’re feeling
– Read a minimum of 4 books over the course of the year
– Books can be set in any country, but they must all be different countries
– You do not need to decide on your choice of books ahead of time. You can select books as you go
– No re-reads
– Any genre is okay (including non-fiction) BUT books MUST be set in a specific country or region with a noticeable attention to the location or environment; some genre books won’t be much use for this challenge

around the world 2015

Hosted by Shannon at Giraffe Days

After completing each book, I’ll post a review on this blog.  This will definitely challenge me to read more internationally!

 

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A Very Geeky Christmas

I trust that everyone had a very Merry Christmas, but did you have a very geeky Christmas? It certainly was for us. We felt like children and couldn’t wait to open the gifts we got each other! Books and games were exchanged between us. I got Cam the final book of The Magicians trilogy—The Magican’s Land. Once he finishes it, I’m sure he’ll be encouraging me to start the book series. He got me a huge tome by Martin Meredith—The Fate of Africa. I’m sure it will take me all year to read it. He also got me a beautiful jigsaw puzzle of Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda. We spent most of the night of Christmas Eve attempting to put it together.

Christmas Day was packed full of visiting our families and playing games. At Cam’s family, board games are always a big hit. At my family’s home, we’re usually entertaining my 2 ½ year old nephew. We’re Aunt Happy and Ran-Ran. He has a little trouble with “T” and “C.” The gifts to and from the families were also bit hits. Twilight Struggle and Call of Duty for Cam, and a fitbit for me. All the geeky gifts make a geeky Christmas, right?

Our Christmas was more than just a geeky Christmas. It was the start of making new traditions, with each other and our families. While board games continue to be a tradition for his family, he learned to appreciate an evening of putting together a gorgeous (and difficult) jigsaw puzzle. I grew up always working on one with my mother and now it’s something that Cam and I can do together. We just have to be a little more careful about it with three curious cats.

Additionally, this Christmas was about the things we knew we would do for each other. I worked a part time job in retail during the holiday shopping season in addition to my day job. It did become a little stressful for me, but Cam relieved a lot of that stress by helping out more around the house. He also cooked the best Christmas Eve dinner that I could ask for and wrapped most of my presents for me. Maybe that could be a new tradition every year! I kid. He did everything he could to make sure the holiday season wasn’t stressful for me.

Christmas shouldn’t be stressful. I realize it is for a lot of people. I witnessed it while working retail during the shopping season. There are so many expectations to make the holidays perfect, I think. At first, I thought we would start a lot of new traditions, like making delicious desserts together, or even a gingerbread house. Perhaps in the process of working so much, I didn’t have time to stress out about making our first Christmas living together too perfect. The end result was that our Christmas was better than I could have thought and we didn’t have to spend a ton of money to make it special.

We did dream about next Christmas when we have a bigger place. A Cthulhu Christmas tree? A steampunk Christmas tree? And my nephew will definitely be old enough to learn to play board games.

How was your Christmas? Not too stressful, I hope. Do you have any traditions you’d like to share? Did you start any news ones too?

The First Post

Here it is—the first post. So, this is awkward. I’m about to embark on sharing my thoughts, opinions, and experiences with you. In doing so, I hope that it is entertaining and enjoyable enough that you will keep coming back here to read more and share your own experiences. That is why I decided to start this blog.

So, who is the geek couple, you wonder? Just me, Tab, and Cam (occasionally). We both embrace our inner geek in different ways. Some of those interests overlap, like video and board games. But a lot of them don’t. While Cam is playing Magic the Gathering or Dungeons and Dragons, I’d rather curl up on the couch with a book. While we enjoy our own hobbies independently, this blog is about the exploration of our different shades of geek.

What exactly does that word really mean anyway? Geek. As Cam and I sit in our living room, he’s playing Dead Space 3 with a friend. We just finished a couple of episodes of Star Trek: Next Gen. As I look around the living room, I scan the shelves lined with B zombie movies, Mystery Science Theatre, and Xbox games. There is a Portal turret hanging from my Christmas tree. Books fill shelves in 3 rooms. I wonder, is this what I mean by embracing the inner geek?

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary online, it is defined as such:

geek

noun \ˈgēk\

: a person who is socially awkward and unpopular : a usually intelligent person who does not fit in with other people

: a person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity

The Oxford dictionary also includes carnival people who perform wild or disgusting acts. That’s probably from its Germanic and Dutch origins meaning fool or wild and mad. It is also a verb—to geek out. To get excited or enthusiast about a particular subject.

I don’t particularly see myself as socially awkward or unpopular. I do get very excited about particular topics. I don’t think I know a lot about those topics, but I get curious about them and try to learn as much as possible. I enjoy being outdoors—stargazing, hiking, camping. I was lucky enough to spend a great portion of my twenties traveling and living abroad. Also, technology is not an interest of mine. Does it make me not geeky if I only have a vague understanding of my computer? Does that make me less of a geek than Cam, who works in IT? I tend to think that we all “geek” out about something, whether it is baseball statistics, yoga, or whatever gets your neurons shooting.

What does geek mean to you? I invite you to comment and share your opinion. Do you consider yourself a geek?