A Look Back on 2019

Books-

Following are the books I read (in order) in 2019; if I recommend it, it has an asterisk in front of it.

  1. Stripped – Zoey Castile
  2. Wicked and the Wallflower – Sarah MacLean
  3. Bitter Orange – Claire Fuller
  4. *The Other Miss Bridgerton – Julia Quinn
  5. The Dreamers – Karen Walker
  6. *Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating – Christina Lauren
  7. *One Day in December – Josie Silver
  8. *Beautiful Bastard – Christina Lauren
  9. *The Devil’s Daughter – Lisa Kleypas
  10. Roomies – Christina Lauren
  11. Nine Perfect Strangers – Liane Moriarty
  12. Beautiful Stranger – Christina Lauren
  13. *Becoming (audio) – Michelle O’Bama
  14. Silent Threat (ebook) – Dana Marton
  15. A Whole New Light – Sandra Brown
  16. Where The Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
  17. *Save Me The Plums – Ruth Reichl
  18. *Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss – Rajeev Balasubramanyam
  19. You Don’t Know Jack – Erin McCarthy
  20. The Peacock Emporium – Jojo Moyes
  21. *Tomorrow There Will Be Sun – Dana Reinhardt
  22. *Daisy Jones & the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid
  23. *The Bride Test – Helen Hoang
  24. *Favorite Half-Night Stand – Christina Lauren
  25. The Mother-in-Law – Sally Hepworth
  26. Dating You/Hating You – Christina Lauren
  27. *Sweet Filthy Boy – Christina Lauren
  28. *Beautiful Player – Christina Lauren
  29. *I Miss You When I Blink – Mary Laura Philpott
  30. *Dirty Rowdy Thing – Christina Lauren
  31. Educated – Tara Westover
  32. *Evvie Drake Starts Over – Linda Holmes
  33. Beautiful Secret – Christina Lauren
  34. The Farm – Joanne Ramos
  35. *The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren
  36. *Normal People – Sally Rooney
  37. *”A” is for Alibi – Sue Grafton
  38. *Talk to Me – John Kenney
  39. *Carry On” (reread) – Rainbow Rowell
  40. Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell
  41. The Little French Bistro – Nina George
  42. Dark Wild Night – Christina Lauren
  43. *Home Work – Julie Andrews
  44. *Waiting for Tom Hanks – Kerry Winfrey
  45. *Matchmaking for Beginners – Maddie Dawson
  46. *Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed – Lori Gottlieb

My top 10 recommendations (not romance) from this list are (please see past blogposts for my thoughts if I don’t describe below):

  1. Talk To Me – Ted Grayson is a beloved (except by his family) network TV anchor until he is caught on camera acting poorly and loses everything. A side story involves a “fake news” outlet that prints whatever it wants to print for sport/traction.  I did not buy this book but, if I had, I would’ve underlined many passages.  Here are a few:

“The nation was angry.  And it had a new and wonderful tool to express its anger.”

“Nuance is dead.  In its place, we have judgment.  Instant judgment.  That’s the world we’re living in.  There’s no truth.  There’s no fact.  There’s only what you can get to trend.”

This book hits the nail right on the head for me; I found it to be very powerful.

  1. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone – Lori Gotlieb is a therapist who is genuinely invested and good at caring for her patients. When a personal crisis shakes her world, she, herself, seeks the help of a therapist.  In this book we delve into her patients’ lives and work through their issues in addition to hers.  It’s funny, sad, personal, intelligent and moving.  It’s nonfiction but reads very easily.  I could not put it down.
  2. Save Me the Plums
  3. Matchmaking for Beginners – I found this book utterly charming. It’s a little kooky but it is lovely.  I passed it along to my niece and mother-in-law and they enjoyed it too. Bonus – I got a new mantra out of it!  I loved this book.
  4. Evvie Drake Starts Over
  5. I Miss You When I Blink
  6. Daisy Jones & the Six
  7. Becoming
  8. Normal People – I feel like I could have hated this book, but I didn’t. I really kind of liked it. It follows the relationship between two people from high school to early adulthood.  At times, it is angsty, depressing, endearing, awkward and frustrating.  But it’s very real in regard to how hard it is to form connections.
  9. Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss – Professor Chandrasekhar is an expert in economics, but that’s it. He is succeeding in almost no other way, and really not even in his career, in the way that matters most to him anyway.  His family ties are in shambles and his body can no longer take the stress of his job, so his doctor orders him to follow his bliss.  He doesn’t know how or what that even is.  Here is the story of how he finds it.

In lieu of a romance list, I’m going to shout out the authors Christina Lauren.  The plural there is not a typo.  Christina Lauren is actually 2 friends who write together – how cute is that?!  They have written 24 books, most of which I read in 2019 (see above).  They are (almost) all very good but some are really great.  Click on the titles below to see synopses.  My favorites are:

  1. Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
  2. My Favorite Half-Night Stand
  3. The Unhoneymooners
  4. Beautiful Player (book 3 in the Beautiful series)
  5. Sweet Filthy Boy (book 1 in the Wild Seasons series)

Movies-

Of the 26 movies I saw last year, here are the movies I rated an A or A-. Last year I listed 11, not so this year:

  • Aladdin
  • Toy Story 4
  • Booksmart
  • John Wick 3: Parabellum

TV-

I’m still a network tv watcher so I’m going to talk about a couple of those shows here because I feel like they get no love anymore.  My Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV list just keeps growing and is too overwhelming.

I still watch a lot of the same shows I’ve been writing about so I’ll just put a plug in for the new ones I’m enjoying.

  1. “Bob Hearts Abishola” – A very sweet comedy about an overweight, single, compression sock businessman and his relationship with a nurse from Nigeria whom he meets when he has a heart attack. It’s funny, it’s real (shining a light on immigration) and it’s well acted.  I really like it.
  1. “Stumptown” – If you didn’t know this show was based on a series of graphic novels, you wouldn’t really know it by watching. It centers on Dex (Cobie Smulders from “How I Met Your Mother”) a Marine vet who is a hard drinking, PTSD affected, gambling addicted, smart mouthed PI who takes care of her brother Ansel (who has Down Syndrome) and hangs out in a bar owned by her close friend Grey, an ex-con (played by Jake Johnson from “New Girl”).  Micheal Ealy plays a cop she hooks up with. The cast is fun to watch, the show is and different – quality escapist television.

I am also still watching “Emergence” and “The Unicorn” but I’m not as fully invested as I am with the above two.

Eating/Saving the Planet-

While we enjoy Veganuary at our house, I thought I’d share CNN’s list of the best/worst diets for 2020 – click here.

We have begun composting!!! If you are interested in learning more, click here.

Here we go into the 2020s!  It’s going to be an eventful year for my family.  I wish you and yours good health and much happiness and many, many entertaining moments.  Thanks so much for reading.

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