2018 In Review

Following are the books I read (in order) in 2018; if I recommend it, it has an asterisk in front of it.

  1. *The Power– Naomi Alderman
  2. *The Dry– Jane Harper
  3. A Stranger In The House– Shari Lapena
  4. *Still Me– Jojo Moyes
  5. *Before We Were Yours– Lisa Wingate
  6. *Born A Crime– Trevor Noah
  7. *Hello Stranger– Lisa Kleypas
  8. The Gilded Years– Karin Tanabe
  9. Every Note Played– Lisa Genova
  10. *The Immortalists– Chloe Benjamin
  11. How To Stop Time– Matt Haig
  12. You Think It, I’ll Say It– Curtis Sittenfeld
  13. The Flight Attendant– Chris Bohjalian
  14. *The Woman Left Behind– Linda Howard
  15. Accidentally On Purpose– Jill Shalvis
  16. *my grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry– Fredrik Backman
  17. *What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlaw– Leah Stewart
  18. *I Am I Am I Am– Maggie O’Farrell
  19. Beach Rental– Grace Greene
  20. *Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine– Gail Honeyman
  21. *Before Jamaica Lane– Samantha Young
  22. *Hero– Samantha Young
  23. *One Good Earl Deserves A Lover– Sarah MacLean
  24. Wired– Julie Garwood
  25. Force of Nature– Jane Harper
  26. Hope Flames– Jaci Burton
  27. Fall From India Place– Samantha Young
  28. When Katie Met Cassidy– Camille Perri
  29. Life And Death– Stephenie Meyer
  30. Severance– Ling Ma
  31. *Echoes Of Scotland Street– Samantha Young
  32. *Chemistry– Weike Wang
  33. Hate To Want You– Alisha Rai
  34. *Fight or Flight– Samantha Young
  35. This Will Only Hurt A Little– Busy Phillips
  36. Roses– Leila Meacham
  37. *Because of Miss Bridgerton– Julia Quinn
  38. The Girl With The Make-Believe Husband– Julia Quinn
  39. *The Kiss Quotient– Helen Hoang
  40. The Little Shop Of Found Things– Paula Brackston
  41. The Wedding Date– Jasmine Guillory
  42. The Great Alone– Kristin Hannah

 

My top 5 recommendations on this list (not including romance, those will follow) are:

  1. Still Me
  2. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
  3. The Dry
  4. Chemistry  (I recommend actually reading this one, not listening to it on Audible. The way/how it is written is part of the experience.)
  5. The Immortalists– I wrote about the four above in previous posts so please go back for my take or click on the links to see book details. As for this one, I didn’t love everything about the book but it did stay with me.  If you could find out the day you were going to die, would you want to know?  After reading this, I’m not sure I would. Destiny, free will, family dynamics, living life to the fullest or protecting oneself from everything – a lot to noodle over.

As for romances:

  1. Hero/ Fight or Flight  – Same author though very different stories. Fun, escapist reading.
  2. The Kiss Quotient  – The lead character (and author!) has Asperger’s so a different slant to a romance story.  I enjoyed it.
  3. Because of Miss Bridgerton  – The first of a new series from one of my favorite authors.  I think I read it in a day because I didn’t want to put it down.  Book four comes out this year.  (In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t enjoy the second book of the series and I haven’t yet read the third.)

 

Movies-

Rather than list all the movies I saw, I’m going to list the ones I gave A’s or A-‘s to (listed in order seen):

  • Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
  • Molly’s Game
  • Call Me By Your Name
  • Ready Player One
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
  • RBG
  • Hearts Beat Loud
  • Mission Impossible: Fallout
  • Beautiful Boy
  • Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

 

In the spirit of “I should go on a diet January,” I’d like to recommend a documentary on Netflix. What The Health critiques the health impact of meat and dairy products consumption and how the production of these foods affects communities and our planet.  It is very compelling in its advocacy of a whole food plant based diet which, shown here, can reverse chronic disease (including diabetes).  Obviously the creators of the doc want you to feel how they feel; it’ll be up to you to do your own research after you watch it.  All I can tell you is my girls have changed how they eat now after watching it.  It’s pretty powerful.

 

TV-

I listed my favorite dramas last time.  My favorite comedies haven’t really changed and I think I’ve discussed them all previously:  “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (thank you NBC!), “Mom,” “The Good Place,” “Superstore,” “Blackish,” and “Fresh Off The Boat.”  No I haven’t watched “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”  (Amazon Prime) yet, though I have seen half of the “Barry” (HBO) episodes – jury is still out.

 

Song of the Blog –

In Busy Phillips’s memoir she talks about sparkly humans.  I like the term though it conjures up a different type of person for me than it does for her.  Sparkly people, to me, are those to whom we gravitate or want to be with – they draw you in.

My aunt Micki was a sparkly human.  She was always the life of the party; you could hear her laughter from across the room.  The world needs more sparkly people like her, not less.  She left too soon, but while she was here she did a lot of good and she had a ball.

My grandfather celebrated his 100th birthday this past July.  I think we were all more excited about the milestone than he. I also think he was biding his time until he could be reunited with my grandmother who passed away 3 years ago. He was properly exalted at his party; we praised, celebrated, memorialized and loved on him – it was a gift for all of us that we were able to do it and that he was able to receive it.  He was a small, quiet man with a big presence.  He wasn’t sparkly but you wanted to make him proud.  And if you made him laugh, you felt like a million bucks.

He passed away in October.  I’ve been thinking about what it must’ve been like to have lived for 100 years and all the change he must have witnessed: the loss, the love, the disappointment, the joy, the pain, the gratitude, etc.

I guess the number of years doesn’t ultimately matter, 100 vs 74, but how you live them.  Hopefully, to borrow from Marie Kondo, you can do something every day that will spark joy for yourself and for others.

As for this song, the title is kind of apt, but that’s it.  I just like the song; the feel, the rhythm, the groove.  Here’s 1950 by King Princess, I hope you like it, too.

Thanks for reading!

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4 thoughts on “2018 In Review

  1. Janet Nahirny

    I love this post. Love how you describe both your Aunt Micki and your Poppa. And you read 42(!!!!) books this year. Sheesh, I better get reading. And something for you to look forward to — The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel! — hopefully it will spark joy for you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Suzanne Wallace

    I always look forward to getting this to think about new books that I want to read!!! Thank you thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Like

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