Hi everyone. I'm in happy vacation mode. I did a bit of picking up today and got ambitious and cleaned out 2 of my kitchen cabinets. It's time to make some space and get rid of some mismatched pieces I haven't used in years. That took about an hour and then I had the whole afternoon to make art. Big smile.
But no photos of the new art yet so today I am going to do a reading review. I will admit I do this more as an assignment to organize a years worth of reading, but if you like to read about books (like I do), then here's a post for you.
A Year in Review
I did LOTS of reading and listening this past year. 100+ stories, art books, fiction, nonfiction, biographies, cookbooks, fantasy, mysteries, science...whatever caught my fancy and kept my attention. So here we go, not all 100+, that would be a novel in itself, but here's my top fictional picks that I read of listened to in 2018.
It's good to reread a book sometimes. Or listen to a book that you read years ago. Good books of course. Being older than the last read, more mature, the books are so much better, most times. Or at least they are different.
Charles Dickens: Wow- this was a rediscovery. I took a Dickens course in college, but this time, listening to these on my commute back and forth to work, I think I just got into his writing. I couldn't stop listening to the version of Great Expectations, which was my favorite book by Dickens back in the day. Have you read about Pip and Miss Havisham?
And I also listened to A Tale of Two Cities which I hadn't listened to since high school. It's way better now than it was when I was a 17 year old.
This Barbara Kingsolver book was in my top 5 and is still there. The characters are from the American south and the narrator, since I listened to it this time around, had the perfect accent which made the African experience feel even more real.
Add a Jane Austen's Persuasion to the mix as well as Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park.
And when I came home from Newfoundland I had to read the book that made me think about going there in first place.
And I needed a little magic this fall so I reread this whole trilogy. It was as exciting a time travel romp as the first round. Witches, vampires and demons are always fun to read. There's a new book out with characters from this series that I haven't yet read, but hopefully in 2019.
And I've got a few more rereads on my 2019 reading list. Top of my list is the Harry Potter series.
Some of my favorite type of reading.
I read 3 Tony Hillerman mysteries of these during 2018. I really enjoy these books.
Tony Hillerman has since passed away but his daughter has picked up the series, and she is as good a writer. This was the book she published this past year.
And Auntie Poldi made me happy. A 60 year old retiree acting as a detective and an actual police detective in Sicily is lots of fun.
And I read a few of these cozies set in Oxford, England in a tea shop. I want to read a few more also. They are light reading with some potential romance too.
And one more to go in this Peter May mystery. I loved how this one went back and forth between the present and the past, and being set on a windswept Island off the coast of Scotland only added its allure.
And this final mystery book is one in a trilogy that goes back and forth between the ancient Anasazi people of the American Southwest and some modern archeologists in the same area. They were fascinating reads and it's too bad there aren't any more in this series.
And what happened to the son of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI when they were killed in the French Revolution? This book started off slow but then it really picked up and was hard to put down.
And finally, a mystery with a bit of a science (or even sci-fi) twist set in the Museum of Natural History in New York.
I started this book in 2017 and then put it aside because it was too thick to carry on a trip with me. I finally got back to it in 2018. I know lots of folks say it was their favorite book, and although maybe not my favorite, I did really enjoy it, and must also say the story still sticks with me, even though I finished it back in February.
And then a little light fantasy reading about dragons. I like the strong woman protagonist in this one.
For some October spookiness, I will say I really liked this book. Vampires, a youthful Bram Stoker (who wrote Dracula) and the enchantment of Ireland made this book a great autumn read.
I read a book about Wyatt Earp and the old west that Mary Doria Russell wrote a few years back, and this book sounded interesting. This book is set at the turn of the 20th century, with a strong woman who goes to Egypt and meets famous people like Lawrence of Arabia and Winston Churchill as well as becomes part of the political scene of the day.
OK, Eleanor is my favorite book of the year. I read it in one sitting. This book just makes you feel good and remind you life is all about what you make it.
And Red Winter is a teen book that I listened to when I got home from Japan but I really enjoyed. It was a good introduction to some of the Japanese gods and goddesses that this girl deals with in her journey to be a goddess, as well as an enjoyable story. There's 2 more in this trilogy I hope to get to this year.
And Lincoln in the Bardo had many interesting reviews. Some people didn't like it, and some did, but I really enjoyed it. The main characters are the ghosts in a graveyard, set in the 1860's at the height of the American Civil War and right after President Abraham Lincoln's youngest son died. I also liked the style the author used, which was more like dialogue in a script than the typical paragraph set up in a usual novel.
I think that's more than enough book talk for one day. I'll finish up my book list in another post.
Thanks for visiting. And if you have any good recommendations for the new year, I'd love to know them.