2018 books

i read 113 books last year. wow.
and here i go again. hoping for 100 this year ... but if i don't make it, at least i'll have tried and read a lot.

1. everything i never told you by celestial ng ... for my first thursday book club ....... EXCELLENT. and oh so very heart breaking .... a family that appears fine and is oh, so, very broken. so well done.

2.fierce kingdom by gin philips .... OH.MY.WORD. that was a fantastic book. a thriller. a page turner. just awesome.

3. a visit from the goon squad by jennifer egan .... for wednesday book club.... liked ... didn't love ... super scattered to me .... but some of the chapters/short stories were super intriguing ....

4. clan of the cave bear by jean auel .... rereading this series because i love them so much.

5. hillbilly elegy for sunday book club .... well. we are supposed to (as a nation) read this book to better understand the culture that elected donald trump.... “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.” ......https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/11/books/review-in-hillbilly-elegy-a-compassionate-analysis-of-the-poor-who-love-trump.html ... and there's an excellent review on why we should read it .... and it was readable and informative .. and you should read it .... i liked it but did not love it .... as happens when you read (do, eat) something that you should.

6. the ninth hour by alice mcdermott .... j.p. lent this to me ... her library book .... and it is excellent ... and sad .... and oddly, i'd say i have a penchant for nun books..... or people who choose an unexpected life path books ... and in this case sally who is surrounded by nuns .... surrounded by charming characters that are nuns ....

7. jean auel's valley of the horses ... book 2 in the series .... that i'm rereading because i love ayla.

8. how not to die
9. how not to die cookbook
by michael greger. library books. that i would have gone ahead and bought when a friend mentioned them.... but got from the library because of my resolution ... so ... eat more kale ... and flax seed ... and exercise plenty ... SO much to take in ... i probably need to extend the check out .... ack.

.10... jean auel's the mammoth hunter ... third in the earth child series .... i actually need to slow down so this charming series lasts longer! this is probably my fourth or fifth time in my life going through the lot of them ....

11.. Charlaine Harris's "complete sookie stackhouse stories" .... these are short stories that sort of  go between her other books (vampires, werewolves, fairies, elves, shapeshifters.....) ..... makes me want to go back and read the series again .... i think i'm up to date reading all her books ... and there are a lot! (library book)


12. inside out and back again by thanhha lai ... wow wow wow wow. this is the best book i've read in a long time. it kinda blew me away. julia read this in her jan term. she was taking a class on writing children's literature and read ten or so assigned books during the course. this was one of them.  so, i picked it up having no idea anything about it and was awestruck by it. here's what i didn't know before starting it. it is written in verse. it is poetic and sparse and beautiful. it is a story based on the authors childhood fleeing vietnam after the vietnam war. stunning. awesome book. can't speak highly enough of it. read it.

.13 wonder by r.j.palacio .... i read this when the kids' whole middle school read it .. and liked it then ... i have just read it again because julia brought it to me in her pile of jan term class books and i said i'd read them all .... it is a strong, touching story. i haven't seen the movie but imagine i should.

14. planet of the blind by stephen kuusisto ..... this extraordinary man is going to be a speaker at life is a verb camp in november. i figure i'll read this book a couple times this year ... and probably some of his other books too.

.15 ....standard deviation by katherine heiny ....is it a novel about parenting? infidelity? marriage? special needs child? are you more like audra or graham? do you do origami? ( i do, ack!) ... funny book.

16. the life and death of andy warhol by victor bockris .... yay! sophie and i went to the andy warhol museum in pittsburgh (where andy warhol was born) .... the museum was extraordinary and i decided to read this book to get a deeper look .... excellent.

17.speak by laurie halse anderson ..... so. i am not buying books this year. mostly. but this one appeared on my kindle. so i guess one of my kids bought it and i reap the benefit. haha. anyway... the book is great. YA fiction. a traumatized high school girl who becomes socially isolated and barely speaks any more .... until she finds her voice and reveals the trauma that has shut her away.

18.... already i am rereading fierce kingdom by gin philips ..... i just read it in january. it was awesome then.....not as frightening the second time. but still and excellent suspense novel. harder to read this time as it was right at the time of the florida school shooting.


19.the hate u give by angie thomas ... a reread for me for my sunday night book club of church ladies .... i led the discussion ..... i'm struck by how wonderful the women in my group are. racism discussions among a bunch of white ladies could be bland or bad .... but i think it was hard an heartfelt .....

20 ... jean auel, book four, plains of passage ... not the best of the jean auel earth children books ... but i still loved it .... has more disparate parts as the pair travel to and over the glacier ....

21.... jean auel, book five, shelters of stone .... jondalar and ayla make it back to the land of the zelandonii and try to settle into a life together NOT traveling.

22. lumberjanes, vol. 1 .... this was free on kindle unlimited .... and it is a graphic novel .... but i was not the target audience. even though i like paranormal and zombies and what have you, this was too simple. five girl power sorts fighting monsters .... it had funny moments .... and the graphics were actually quite good .... but i'm not going to read the next 8 books in the series.

23, carry on by rainbow rowell was SUCH A SURPRISE. i've liked other books of hers ... i think she's just YA ... was looking for light, easy ..... and this started out disappointing to me ... it seemed like such a harry potter steal. pals, magic, in a school, good vs. evil..... but actually, it got awesome. quite a sharp turn away from its harry potterness.... and then throw in some vampire stuff ..... i quite liked it.

24. milk and honey by rupi kaur..... poetry. exquisite. read it on a sick day.

25. mules of love by ellen bass .... OH! this poetry speaks right to me. i think she is so similar to me that she writes my thoughts. i love poets who are different than i am, who have stories to tell that teach me ... but to read a poet who knows you truly is lovely..... look up her poem insomnia ..... i feel as if i could be a stanza .... me and my illness and my insomnia ..... waking up to wait til it's time to take my next round of medicine.

26. what my hand say by glenis redmond.... poetry ..... my book club that just read the hate u give should read this book of poetry. it is an even more powerful telling of black in america in these times. substitute powerful for make you cry.

27. rest in the knowing by lynda allen .... fabulous poetry. smart poetry. i've read these many times. they speak to me differently each time.

28. home fire by kanita shamsie ..... WOW. this is a politically relevant book that i was not enthusiastic about reading for my wednesday night book club..... but i was amazed. it was awesome. it was terrible and wonderful and hard to read and enlightening. no such thing as black and white problems ... there is always nuance of gray that changes everything.  hard to be a muslim, particularly a westernized muslim in this day and age. the ending shattered me.

29. the end of the world running club by adrian j. walker.....
(so this year, i'm trying not to buy books willy nilly. i'm doing more from the library. reading more that are just in my home to be read. catching up on all the ones that i impulse purchase for my kindle)
... end of the world running club has been on my kindle for a while .... i didn't recall who recommended it or what genre or what it was about ..... but i'm moving on through my kindle with diligence now rather than getting more books, so i started this one ... and was INSTANTLY hooked. so good. i believe i got the idea to buy it from the Facebook group called silent book club.... where we talk about books online, not aloud. and it is apocalyptic .... and post apocalyptic .... and i am weirdly drawn to that sort of story .... and this was super. edgar was such a well developed character starting from a sort of questionable character ... and he develops and grows through the difficult times of the world's cataclysmic change ..... but that's enough. GREAT book.

30. the wife between us by greer hendricks .... i'm reading this as the calendar page turns from march to april.... so far so good. lots of messed up people doing psychological thriller suspense things ...... mostly i'm wondering who is going to go astray. it could be anyone at this point. they are all disasters.
***now i'm done. oh gosh. they are all disasters was right! slow start but turned into a page turner.

31. the same stuff as stars by katherine paterson ... this is the same author that wrote bridge to terabithia .... julia brought me the book ... one of the ones she read in her jan. term class about writing children's literature. this book was stellar, sweet, sad ..... i loved it.

32. wild embers: poems of rebellion, fire and beauty by nikita gill .... i found this poet while sick and surfing the web for poetry to celebrate poetry month (yay, april!) .... i found a few of her poems that really spoke to me so i bought a book .... and got it the next day... and now i have read it all... many of the poems more than once ... cause that's how poems are. excellent book of poetry. i've already recommended it to two friends. y'all, buy poetry books. support poets.

33. the couple next door by shari lapena ..... this on the heels of the wife between us (^ up there, #30) ... was maybe too much intense all in a row for me!! yikes... another psychological drama with all sorts of twists and scariness. well done. crazy. (ended up being picked for may book club on thursday)

34. fated(alex verus book1) by benedict jacka .... alex verus is a wizard who can see the future .... it is a well done magical book ... a little scarier (killing and fighting) than i much like ... but i loved the man character and the woman he is friends with ..... so i'm going to go ahead are read book 2, cursed, which is about the best compliment you can give a book 1: reading book 2.

(note: in march i started shelters of stones on audible..... and i'm still not done.... i usually listen to a book while exercise or drive alone .... and i've been sick, shingles, and have not been driving OR exercising .... so now i've been listening in the shower or the tub and it is just much slower going! ... looking forward to getting back to regular walks .... and shelters of stone is really taking forever!)

35. witch is why two became one .... my witch books .... always an entertaining, easy read.

36. it's kind of a funny story by ned vizzini ... YA .... sophie told me she loved it and that i should read it .... similar feel to a john green book .... serious stuff that you wish wasn't YA .... hard adult stuff. but in a touching, elevating way..... so ... a boy commits himself to a psych ward instead of committing suicide. excellent book.

37. the year of less by cait flanders ... i'm not sure how i found out about this book .... i'm in a group called deepening ... where we are having a year of less ... deepening with what we have .... about un cluttering ... going with what you have ... so this book fits with that .... interesting, bloggy book

38. clara and mr tiffany by susan vreeland ... i've read quite a few of vreeland's books ... and enjoy them because they have been based on art history in various ways .... and this is no different .... it is a snapshot of an era when women lacked much autonomy and clare found some small bit in her work with mr. tiffany glass.

39. the age of miracles by karen thompson walker. I LOVED THIS. a dystopian future when the earth's rotation slows down. excellent.  (may book for wedn book club)

40. my not so perfect life by sophia kinsella .... england .... small town girl moved to london and has trouble finding her happy path .... classic kinsella .... well done, not brain surgery.

41. the gender game by bella forrest. post apocalyptic... the two lands are matrus and patrus ... one female lead, men subservient ... one male led, women subservient .... and a plot to overthrow and twists and turns. i liked it.

42. two old women: an alaskan legend by velma wallis ..... this was super. a redo of a legend i didn't know ..... a positive, non whiny outlook is important!

43, no nonsense buddhism for beginners by noah rasheta .... i've been attracted to buddhism for quite a long time now ... this was a great book to read because it teaches about buddhism more than pushing the reader to buddhism ... very buddhist of it to show me the information and let me choose it on my own. sophie has asked to read it too. i love that!

44. the words i want you to keep by gaby compres .... OH! this is the most beautiful book of poetry i've read in a while. i've read it multiple times and have a new favorite each go.

45. a poetry handbook by mary oliver .... a prose guide to understanding and writing poetry. maybe one day i'll share poems i write. hoping these tips help! haha

46. wild embers by nikita gill .... poems of rebellion fire and beauty ... wow... i LOVE this.

47. collage, a new approach by jonathan talbot .... a skinny book with lots of inspiration ....

48.original fire by louise erdrich .... poetry! .... these sorta feel like stories .... i read a couple each day like you'd read bed time books when you were little. lovely

49. the potter's studio handbook ... by kristin muller .... inspiration and bravery found in a book .... wen i'm doing things, i like to read about them!

50. bridge for dummies! by eddie kantar .... i'm no dummy .... i know when to buy the book to find our more stuff!

51. mastering the potter's wheel by ben carter .... oh i have a lot to learn ... now i've read it all ... i just need to keep practicing!

52. setting up your ceramic studio by virginia scotchie ..... excellent resource book for good ideas! it helped me sort out what i needed to do in my new studio.

53. witch is why the moon disappeared (book 17) ....
54. witch is why the wolf howled (book 18)

55. the land of painted caves by jean auel ... the least good of the series ... but since it is the last one you have to read it.... haha ... happy to have read the whole series this year. i love ayla and jondalar.

56. less by andrew sean greer .... audible .... about a lost writer. i'm not sure i love it ... but i did thoroughly enjoy it and the matter of fact attitude about hard stuff.

57. brownies and broomsticks by bailey cates
58. bewitched, bothered and biscotti by bailey cates
59. charms and chocolate chips by bailey cates
60. some enchanted eclair by bailey cates ....
....yay ..... excellent series i've found ... murder mysteries .... with light witchery .... love them.

61. the lost witch by chandelle lavaun
62. the brave witch by chandelle lavaun .... started a series ... coven: elemental magic .... first one was a witch that didn't know she was a witch .... it's YA .... but i'm quite enjoying them .... looking forward to reading the rest

63. orphan train ..... reread it for my Wednesday book club ... holds up to a second reading. very well done book

64. middlesex .... a reread for my thursday book club. i recall liking it the first time i read it ages ago ... its long and epic and spans generations .... seemed a bit slow and too long this go ... but still lovely in the arena of epic story telling.

65. little fires everywhere ..... celeste ng ..... a reread for my sunday book club (that met on tuesday) .... this is an excellent book. one of my favorite this year.

66. educated by tara westover. a memoir ... which i don't always love ... and this was astonishing and awesome..... raised by a mormon extremist and isolationist without healthcare or education .....GREAT book

67. sing, unburied sing: a novel by jesmyn ward..... national book award winner. lots of friends read it and recommended.... it was sad and epic .... three generations of heart ache ....

68. which is why the music stopped .... book 19 in this adele abbott series ...... light and fun

69. the mystery of easter island by katherine pease routledge ..... i read this because i was going to easter island .... it is the author's expedition recounted.

70. our lady of the harbor by charles lindt .... i'm not even sure how this ended up on my kindle ... who recommended it .... but it was a lovely novella ... short and mysterious.

THESE BOOKS are out of order to how i read them this year. darn. i'm playing catch up and going backwards through my kindle library.

71. the one by john marrs .... a thursday book club book .... about finding your perfect match ... and the mishaps .... with loads of twists .... quick, easy, interesting read ....

72, the beach by alex garland ... made into a not well reviewed leo dicaprio movie ... the book was great. interesting premise ..... a lesson on why utopias don't work out usually.

73. cursed  (alex virus book 2) ..... not as great as the first book .... but still good ..... harry potter take off .... wizards and vampires and kids at a cool school. definitely a much harder edge than the early harry potter books though.

74. anything is possible by elizabeth strout .... a story about a family .... extended ... alienated ... finding their way back together. i always enjoy this author.

75. easter island. a novel by jennifer vanderbees...i read this because i was going to easter island .... and it made the whole trip more wondrous to me .... but it was also just a good book. great story. surprise ending in one of the timelines.... loved it.

76.the rebel witch
77.the broken witch
78.the eternal witch
(the coven:elemental magic series by chandella lavaun) ... see the first two at 61 and 62 .... i love this series and was SO disappointed that it didn't end! ... i have to wait now for the next one to come out. fun, magical YA fiction.

79. see 57-60 .... for the beginning of this series.... magic and macaroons
80. spells and scones
81. potions and pastries ... all three by baileycates .... fun, easy, happy magical mysteries. have enjoyed the whole series ... hope there are more! 

82. middlesex by jeffrey eugenides ... read this when it first came out ... weird, epic book .... middlesex is not a place. haha

83.  witch is why the music stopped (book 19) ... still going on this series by adele abbott.

84. keeper of lost things by ruth hogan ..... for my church lady book club .... i liked it ... didn't love it ... my favorite part was the collecting/keeping/stories of lost things .... it reminded me of bee season where the mom, i think, stole things and had a storage unit full of beautifully stolen tiny tokens and artifacts of other people's lives .... 

85. the seven and a half deaths of evelyn hard castle  by stuart turton .... for my first thursday book club .... 

86 unwind by neal shusterman
87 unstrung
88 unsoiled
89 undivided
..... i listened to all of these on audible ... and it totally upped my time on the treadmill and walking the neighborhood because i was HOOKED .... YA fiction post apocalyptic stuff, though the apocalypse was a moral one, not a nuclear holocaust .... brings up lots of interesting topics on the value of lives at different ages and stages from conception on .... well done.

90 woman in the window by a.j. finn  ... not at all what i expected..... a home bound psychologist with binoculars .... VERY good.

91... from sand and ash by amy harmon ... EXELLENT .... set in ww2 italy ..... it is horrible and beautiful ... horrible as all holocaust era books are ... and beautiful characters .... and a story setting that i've not read before in the context of the holocaust. i get a bit ww2 weary, i find the holocaust so hard to read about ... but this one was different... wonderful relationships

92. pachinko ... by min jin lee .... i'm actually still reading this as i put my list down .. but nearly done and love it very much. great story\

93. the aether witch ... the latest, #6,  in the series by chandelle lavaun .... i'm looking forward to the next being released in january .....

94. murder in her stocking, a granny reid mystery by G.A.McKevett ..... a sweet book about a grandma with nosey, sleuthing skills. not a great mystery, but an excellent group of characters i enjoyed reading about.

95. the dovekeepers by alice hoffman ..... bible times ... epic (a bit too long) ... strong female characters.

96. a simple favor by darcey bell .... i found this book in the pocket of my airplane seat! what a surprise! what a gift .... so i started it then and there .... it is a psychological suspense story .... the people are all just nuts .... unreliable narrator ..... similar to gone girl, girl on a train, couple next door ..... fun vacation read.

97. crazy rich asians by kevin kwan.... funny book .... not sure about the truth of it .... but it was a fun read.

98. the miracle morning: the not so obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life before 8am by hal elrod .... free kindle book .... i read it .... i'm not going to be doing it .... though i do try to get all my stuff done early so that i can piddle and dither and art the rest of the day .....

99. The Shepherd, the Angel and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Berry .... for my weekend book club .... it was silly and light and short .... 

100. murder in her stocking ... by g a mckevett ..... christmas .... light.

101. deck the shelves by toni shiloh .... christmas .... light.

102. where the crawdads sing by delia owens..... YAY ... one of the best books i've read this year .....excellent story ... i adored the main character kya .... and just when i was loving it as a story of excellent, well developed characters in interesting circumstances, SUDDENLY there was a murder .... and it was riveting. can't speak highly enough of this beautifully written book.

to read next/soon:

sunday book club

thursday book club ...

wedn. book club.... 

a christmas book or two .... 

 ...  some witch is when books ...20

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