Amidst all of the very shitty things that happened over the last year, there is much to be grateful for. Highlights include celebrating my Great-Aunt Nanc’s 100th birthday, spending a relaxing weekend in a hammock in Idyllwild, discovering Bend, Oregon with a good friend, a road trip across Sedona, Taos, and Denver for Thanksgiving with my family.
Also, the Black Phoebe on my front porch who sings hello to me every day. Ruby giving us a health scare (for the millionth time), and then recovering. Discovering that I love to watercolor, and then discovering the amazing Lets Make Art tutorials. Second Saturday Sanghas with Sarah Clark. Stopping for a beer in my neighborhood while we’re walking the pup. A Star is Born. My husband. Women Activists (Alyssa Milano, young women in House of Reps, Christine Blasey Ford, Emma Gonzalez, Oprah’s Golden Globe Speech). Coffee. Trampled by Turtles, Brandi Carlile, Greensky Bluegrass. Marvelous Mrs Maisel. Black Panther. Champagne. The library. Yoga with Adriene. My neighborhood book store.
And, as always, getting lost in books. These are my favorites of the year – they helped me escape. Don’t miss them!:
- Overstory by Richard Powers
- Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver “He’s exactly what she expects of her elders at this historical moment. He’s legitimizing personal greed as the principal religion of our country.”
- Florida by Lauren Groff “I have somehow become a woman who yells, and because I do not want to be a woman who yells, whose little children walk around with frozen, watchful faces, I have taken to lacing on my running shoes after dinner and going out into the twilit streets for a walk, leaving the undressing and sluicing and reading and singing and tucking in of the boys to my husband, a man who does not yell.”
- Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
- There There by Tommy Orange
- The Recovery: Intoxication and its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison
- Circe by Madeline Miller
- Educated by Tara Westover “All my studying, reading, thinking, traveling, had it transformed me into someone who no longer belonged anywhere?” and “When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?”
- Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser
I have a stack of great books from the library I’m plowing through right now. Loved re-visiting Rilke and exploring grief with a dog character in The Friend by Nunez, and Assymetry by Halliday unexpectedly hooked me with the juicy Phillip Roth character (who Halliday actually had a love affair with). I loved both of these books and the way they explored writing. I’m almost done with the Clock-Makers Wife by Kate Morton and I can’t wait to snuggle under a blanket today and finish it up. I listened to 22 hours of the psychological thriller Witch Elm by Tana French on my commute – it explores privilege, memory, #metoo.
Red Clocks, The Mars Room, The Silence of the Girls, Everything Under, Becoming, All You Can Ever Know, and The Wildlands are sitting next to my couch waiting to be read next.
Here’s some more fun lists of the best books of 2018:
- Tournament of Books
- NPR Concierge
- NYT Best Books of Year
- Oprah Best Books
- Lit Hub
- Barack’s Best Of List (the one I most look forward to each year!)
Let’s hope 2019 is as good of a book year as 2018. Books are coming from Elizabeth Gilbert, Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles), Margaret Atwood (a sequel to The Handmaidens Tale), Julie Orringer (The Invisible Bridge), and my friend Patrick Coleman has a book coming out in the summer, in addition to his gorgeous book of prose poems that was just released.