Archive - 2018

A bookish year in review

Being December 30, and past the midpoint of Sloth Week, it’s as good a time as any to summarize this year’s reading. I have 2 books in progress, one of which will be done by the end of the year (Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating) and one that I’m taking it slowly with because it requires thinking and introspection (Come As You Are).

But as of today I have read 63 books of my 50 book goal. Huzzah – this is my best year yet! (For reading. Not so good for non-sedentary hobbies.) I might increase next year’s goal to 60 books, but I feel like this is my personal sweet spot for reading.

Book totals since I started taking the train every day.

My five-star books were:

  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup – John Carreyrou
  • The Wedding Date – Jasmine Guillory
  • This Must Be the Place – Maggie O’Farrell
  • Behold the Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue
  • The Queen of Hearts – Kimmery Martin
  • Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
  • The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1) – Helen Hoang
  • The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin
  • A Thousand Mornings – Mary Oliver

Look at all those women and women of color! While I’m not ONLY reading those authors, I’m trying to keep a good mix. Many of these books were culled from book podcasts and others’ reading lists.

Here is the full list of books, rated high to low, although I never rate a book one star, I just don’t finish it.

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That’s only 62. WTF, Goodreads?

I’m still reading mostly eBooks, because it’s so much easier to carry my Kindle on the train than a giant library book that I’m trying not to damage. The downside is that my physical library trips have been low. I know, I’m never happy.

Click here to see my Goodreads 2018 year in review.

Life According to Steph

This post is part of the special year-end Show Us Your Books Linkup hosted by Jana of Jana Says and Steph of Life According to Steph. It’s just pretty late. 🙂

Christmas Roundup!

December was a sugar-coated whirlwind of activities that didn’t let up until the 26th, which begins WM and I lovingly call … Sloth Week. Schools are closed and TNP is closed until January 2. That leaves us here in the House on Literary Lane with NO OBLIGATIONS! (other than dog care, housekeeping, hygiene, the usual.)

The family was great to me as usual. I got both a drone and a guitar, making me 100% more annoying than usual.

Family, light, coffee, Ollie being amazing and Murphy trying to eat a bow.

This year I baked fewer cookies than ever and it still looks like I’m going to end up throwing a bunch out.

This year I baked:

Cookies! Cookies! Cookie Swap! Dog wanting cookies!

Oh, and I ran the cookie swap at TNP, so I baked the vanilla/chocolate version of the dark chocolate candy cane cookies for that. But that’s it! No snickerdoodles, no royal frosting, no pizzelles. Maybe we just have too many cookie-conscious adults and not enough gluttonous children these days.

Back to Sloth Week. On the 26th we did NOTHING. On the 27th we entered the sunshine and went to PJ Whelihan’s for wings and beer. Today WM replaced the door going to our garage and I finally went to a hair salon.


I stopped coloring my hair in July of 2017, planning on letting my gray come in and being a natural aging hippie crone. (Un)fortunately I only have 8 gray hairs. Today I had some dark put into the roots and some toner put on the ends to turn them from brassy to ashy.

ok it looks the same here. fml. and why am I growing a giant WC Fields nose?

I think the rest of this time off includes a lasagna, a trip to Home Depot, and a new lipstick. What’s coming in 2019? A no-spend and dry January, for starters.

Show us your books — December 2018

And just like that, the end of the year is upon us. And just like that, the month flew by and I only read 2 books. Reach the goal and slack off, that’s how I roll. No biggie! (except for drop cap abuse)

For the last time this calendar year, onto the books! I use the Goodreads system to rate books, which is:

  • One star: did not like it
  • Two stars: it was ok
  • Three stars: liked it
  • Four stars: really liked it
  • Five stars: it was amazing

Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants — Herb Freed

I saw this on other SYUB links last month – it was available free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a series of (fictional) short stories about Rabbi Ben Zelig. In the first story, we meet Ben as a rabbinical student. In the last one, he is a middle-aged man. Each story touches on love and loss and how Ben’s faith informs his feelings and decisions. The author is a rabbi and I appreciated learning more about the Jewish religion, which often gets obscured in media by Jewish culture. Most of the stories hit home, a few didn’t grab me.

Three stars and I will keep the phrase “A dollar’s worth of grace for a nickel’s worth of faith” with me.

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope — Anne Lamott

A brand new book by Anne Lamott which was on my Christmas list for a hot second until I saw a signed copy at Barnes & Noble on Black Friday! And now it’s mine.

Still life: book, blanket, boneheads. iPhone 6s, 2018

Let’s be honest, I will always like Lamott’s writing. She hits my middle-aged, Christian-ish sweet spot. This book is about how to pull hope back into your life when life seems … hopeless.  And hey! Things are pretty bleak, right?

She writes this book under the guise of trying to write down everything she knows for the younger people in her life. She touches on the usual topics: faith, love, addiction, loss, and her dead friends & relatives. It’s pretty much an Anne Lamott trope at this point that if she tells a story about a person, there’s a 85% chance they’ll die of a horrible disease by the end of it.

Four stars. If you hate Anne Lamott books, you’ll hate this one too.  If you’re me, you’ll sigh and reread it under blankets every year.

I did not finish You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. Maybe I’ll come back to it another time.

Currently Reading: Eric (Discworld #9) — Terry Pratchett. I’m halfway through and hope to finish tonight because the eBook loan expires on Thursday and tomorrow is TNP’s holiday party.

All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.

This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!

Life According to Steph

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