Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What I Read in December

Crescent Beach Pier

I had plenty of reading time this month, making up for November, and I finished 6 books and started 2 more on the 30th & 31st. Another year full of books! I averaged a book a week, which is pretty good. I wish I could read like crazy Modern Mrs. Darcy and hit a couple hundred, but 50+ still feels really good, and that's just reading for me, not including the novels I read to the kids for homeschool, picture books from the library, etc. What was your favorite book of 2014?

*Small Victories by Anne Lamott // This is Anne's newest book and you can bet your sweet face that I had that on order from the library the minute I found out about it. This book is a lot about cancer and death, and "it just is this side" than her others, but is still quirky and wonderful Anne. It's a book more similar to Help, Thanks, Wow, and Stitches, even the sizing of the book, and lucky for us it's a little bit thicker, too. A+, Anne. If you're new to Anne Lamott, you might want to read this series of hers first. She'll catch ya', hook, line, and sinker with those.

*Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kahling // Second female comedian book (Amy coming in 2015!) I've read. This felt like a really random book of thoughts by Mindy, but it was funny and although I've barely watched The Office (like, embarassingly few episodes) and haven't started The Mindy Project yet, I sorta' feel like I know her. The best part about this book is the androgynous picture and caption on the back of the book. Made me laugh for days. I'll get around to TMP, since it's on Netflix, but this didn't make me want to watch every single thing she's done, more just root for her as a female in comedy. Or whatever.

*A Bird on Water Street by Elizabeth O. Dulemba // I found the plot of this book intriguing--it's about a small Appalacian mining community on the cusp of an entire overhaul of union practices and nature regeneration. It's based on an actual place that literally had no green or living things around it because of the mining, and I love a good true story. I even found the notes in the back of the book enlightening and Dulemba inserts a number of photos that show the dirt. That was the landscape--dirt and buildings. It's a young adult novel and I read it while traveling, and I enjoyed it.

*Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose // This book I read as a review reader and will do a longer post on the blog in January. What I can tell you is this: this book is beautiful, starting with the cover, and ending with the last poem. I think I read this book in two days, and Rose's book has a really quick pace to it, so I could have read it in one, but I really needed to put it down to go to bed! It's a story about friendship, cultural clashes, and the history of the Pilgrims and natives on Roanoke Island.

*168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam // Well, I suppose this book seems sort of out of place with all these YA novels (3! in one month!) and memoirs, but I do love a good nonfiction + time management read. This book's subtitle says it all: you have more time than you think. Vanderkam has a pretty fluid writing voice and so it's easy to keep reading the anecdotes and the study summaries she does to prove her point that our culture has the most amount of leisurely hours in a week in the history of the world. "We" always say we'd like to do xyz, and always cite lack of time for the reason we never hit those goals, and just like that, we're 20 or more years behind on what we actually wanted to do with our lives. This book didn't get great reviews that I saw, but I was intrigued by the title and I enjoyed it. Who else might like it? Type Aers and fellow female INTJs. Unite, efficient friends!

*Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell // I actually posted on facebook that the first 50 pages were boring me, but I had read So. Many. Effing. loving reviews of this YA novel that I had to finish, and the humor was catchy. Well, right after page 50 things start picking up and I read this in one day. Nearly 400 pages (not verse) in ONE day. That's got to be a record for me, I'm not a fast reader. This book is about 2 kids who meet on the bus, and how they accidentally, and weirdly, fall in love. Eleanor has a crappy home life, and Park is that quiet nerdy guy in your high school with a heart of gold. It really should be a movie. It probably will be, since The Fault in our Stars got to be. I liked it. I'd recommend it. I didn't fawn over it, but it was really good. Also, Rainbow Rowell? Best author name ever.

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