2014 Book Challenge

I surpassed my goal of 25!!

1. The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes, by Cassandra Clare (453 pages) (January 8)
2. The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare (541 pages) (January 17)
3. The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare (476 pages) (January 21)
4. The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Prince, by Cassandra Clare (502 pages) (January 26)
5. The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (570 pages) (February 7)
6. The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare (424 pages) (February 13)
7. The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare (534 pages) (February 23)
8. Savage Girl, by Jean Zimmerman (404 pages) (March 11)
9. Red Rising, by Pierce Brown (382 pages) (March 23)
10. Divergent, by Veronica Roth (300 pages) (March 28)
11. Insurgent, by Veronica Roth (315 pages) (April 4)
12. Star Wars Darth Plagueis, by James Luceno (462 pages) (May 1)
13. Allegiant, by Veronica Roth (314 pages) (May 13)
14. The Cripple of Inishmaan, by Martin McDonagh (56 pages) (May 18)
15. Proxy, by Alex London (379 pages) (May 23)
16. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (211 pages) (May 29)
17. No Place Like Oz (Dorothy Must Die 0.5), by Danielle Paige (135 pages) (June 3)
18. Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige (319 pages) (June 12)
19. The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare (725 pages) (July 6)
20. Guardian, by Alex London (340 pages) (July 17)
21. The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness (561 pages) (August 3)
22. Tunnel Vision, by Keith Lowe (372 pages) (August 14)
23. Enchantress: A Novel of Rav Hisda’s Daughter, by Maggie Anton (368 pages) (September 18)
24. The Heaven’s Rise, by Christopher Rice (317 pages) (October 8)
25. Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton (429 pages) (November 5)
26. Horns, by Joe Hill (393 pages) (November 27)
27. Shades of London: Madness Underneath, by Maureen Johnson (290 pages) December 24


London Day 6 – Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Itinerary: Abbey Road, King’s Cross Platform 9 3/4, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Peter Pan statue, Harrods, The Old Vic stage door.

We had went to bed early to catch up on rest. Daniela and I were trying to keep the cold we developed under control. So we slept in a bit and by the time we were ready for breakfast, the hotel’s complementary buffet was closed. So we had a quick bite to eat near the hotel and bought some cold medicine along with cough drops at the one pharmacy we found.

Then we got the show on the road and went up north to Abbey Road. Just as suspected it was crowded with tourists taking photos as they crossed the street like the Beatles. The road is also a busy street with cars always passing and honking at the tourists. They especially honked at the tourists who didn’t keep walking but stopped to pose mid-walk. There is no traffic light at the intersection. It was madness.

If I lived and drove there, I’d avoid Abbey Road at all costs. I guess they must have to take that road or it’s just easier even if tourists block your way.

None of us would trust our cameras with strangers in this hectic situation so we took turns. I decided I wanted to be George Harrison and even wore all blue to match him in the photo. Stefan wanted to be Ringo, so Daniela was John and Victoria was Paul. Funny, Stefan doesn’t even like The Beatles (he says they are overrated *major eye roll*) but he’d do anything for a photo op.

I went across the street first to stand on the island in the road. I took a photo of the three of them in the order of John (Daniela), Ringo (Stefan), and Paul (Victoria). Then Victoria took one of me crossing the road solo. The plan was to photoshop me into their photo as George, but we never found someone to do that for us. Whatever, we can still say we walked across Abbey Road like The Beatles.

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Broadway: The Real Thing


The Real Thing tells the story of Henry, a successful playwright who is unhappily married to Charlotte, the lead actress in his current play about a marriage on the verge of collapse. When Henry’s affair with their friend Annie threatens to destroy his own marriage, he discovers that life has started imitating art. After Annie leaves her husband so she and Henry can begin a new life together, he can’t help but wonder whether their love is fiction or the real thing.

Ewan McGregor has made his Broadway debut in The Real Thing. Victoria got us tickets for my birthday. We saw it for the first time October 18th when it was still in previews.

I liked it (and even more when I saw it the second time). It’s funny and smart. I especially laughed when Henry (Ewan) compares good writing to a well-made cricket bat that can send a ball far. Really good analogy.

I also liked the relaxed singing parts and the classic Motown soundtrack.

My one critique is that it is very wordy and you really have to listen to know the topic. So don’t see the play when you are tired. You have to pay attention.  Also, don’t see the play hungry like I did. Whenever they were eating on stage, I wanted to ask if I could have some too.

So after the matinee on Saturday, October 18th, I was starving. I bought some chips for a snack and then we went to the stage door. It was not packed but we were not up against the barricade either. I did bring my camera but was very unsure that anyone would come out because actors usually don’t in between performances.

Well Ewan did come out and I was not prepared at all. I was stupidly standing 2 or 3 rows back eating chips without my camera or Playbill ready. Victoria managed to sneak her way to up to the barricade. She spoke to Ewan and he signed her Playbill. I heard her talk to him about how it was a pleasure to meet him and how she enjoyed his performance.

By the time I got to her he had moved on and I only got a couple of photos of him. After Ewan walked off towards Eight Avenue with the actress who plays his daughter. I suppose he was getting a bite to eat before the evening performance. Imagine just randomly seeing Ewan on the street or in a restaurant. So cool.

I still kick myself for missing this photo opportunity. It was light out and not cold. It would have been a great photo.

Anyway. I did get Magge Gyllenhaal’s signature (she does not take photos with fans), and Ronan Raftery’s (Billy) signature on the cover of the previews Playbill, which is too dark to see.

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