quick lit – next page, please {best books of 2021 edition}

For the past few years I have been intentionally compiling my best books of the year.  So I thought I would share my top 10 books of 2021. Counting down…

#10 | The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

A practical guide to comfort you in difficult times, including playlists, food, and practical advice.  I have enjoyed everything that I have read by Matt Haig, and have this one on my nightstand to pick up when I am feeling a bit low.

#9 | You Got Anything Stronger: Stories by Gabrielle Union

Though not as funny as her first book, We’re Going to Need More Wine, this one stood out because of Gabrielle’s openness and honesty in discussing difficult topics including infertility, motherhood, and racial justice. For example, she talks about how everyone else was so happy when her surrogate became pregnant but she was mad! This book was so very painful at some moments but it has stayed with me and I cannot stop thinking about it so, on the list it goes.

#8 | The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Delila Harris

This one was unlike anything I have ever read. Some have said it was a book written by a black woman for everyone, but that included often unexplained references to a black woman’s life (IE. Putting on a silk scarf at night). I loved that about it.

#7 | The Wayfarer Series by Becky Chambers

I read all 4 of these books starting with A Long Way to Small Angry Planet.  And thus began my love of Becky Chambers. I will read anything she writes.

#6 | Writers & Lovers by Lily King

This book has the second best ending of a book I read all year so, on the list it goes.

#5 | The House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

I don’t know why it took me so long to read this one but such a lovely, hopeful story. Anyone who is struggling to feel accepted and loved by others should take a peek at the magical story.

#4 | Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

In March, the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club read this one; I hadn’t read it since I studied it in college. It held up. I love it as much then if not more now. And it was very interesting to read it as an older woman and how my perspective have changed since then.

#3 | Address Unknown by Katherine Kressman Taylor

Everyone should read this! And at about 70 pages, it won’t take much of your time. Originally published in the early 30’s before the start of WWII, it is a fascinating story told in letters about two friends, one German and the other a Jew and what happens when the German moves home at the rise of Hitler. Fascinating! Short – only 72 pages.

#2 | Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

This book is epic! The longest I have read in a long time. But very much worth my time.

#1 | A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

I heart this book so much! I read it for the third time last week and hugged it to my chest when I was done.

What was the best thing that you read last year?

enjoy life…

Per usual, I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her Quick Lit post.

quick lit – next page, please {best books of 2019 edition}

quick lit. best books 2019 

Last year, I selected the best books that I had read in 2018.  I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to do a 2019 edition. Like last year, I am not going to cover every category.  I don’t read every genre. But I’m just going to highlight the ones that I read that had multiple selections that I loved.


My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

Runner-Up: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

I do not read romance. But traveling back home from the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club Event in Winston-Salem last year, I plowed through a lot of What Should I Read Next podcast episodes, including Episode 203 where Emily Carter, a now-repentant book snob, confessed to giving romance novels a chance and loving them, especially in a particular time of life.  With the weather being gray and gloomy, I decided to brighten my reading experience.  Last year, I read fantasy. This year, it was romance.

I selected Anne’s pick for Emily, The Bromance Club. This book was so much fun.  The premise asks the question what would happen if men read these books as a guide to communicating and romancing their significant others.  In Lyssa’s books, the answer is hilariously effective. I cannot wait for the second one in the series.

With the success of Bromance Club, I started looking for more great romance books.  Bookish friends (who I met at the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club Retreat last year) recommended My Oxford Year. This was a romance novel that dealt with very serious theme. I am still processing this one – the sign of an excellent book for me.


Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Runner-Up: Midnight at the Blackbird Café by Heather Webber

I read one book by Taylor Jenkins Reid a few years ago.  Then, wanting to read a book that everyone was talking about when everyone was talking about it, I bought Daisy Jones and the Six. I will definitely be rereading this one.  What Reid did was masterful.  I was tempted to Google Daisy Jones and the Six.  She made the characters so believeable.

Midnight at the Blackbird Café was an absolute delight.  I have selected it as a Rocket City Mom Book Club Pick in 2020.

Memoir & Autobiography

I Miss You When I Blink  by Mary Laura Philpott

Runner-Up: Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl

Memoir/Autobiography and Nonfiction are what I generally read and I read quite a number of selections in this category.  But two have stood out. Save Me the Plums is an memoir that reads like a novel.  It was a real page-turner.  I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. And that’s saying something for a memoir.

Miss You When I Blink taught me the most this year and I read it twice – a couple of months apart. I selected it as a Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club pick. You can read my full review here.  Mary Laura joined us to discuss the book – one of my highlights of my year.


The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future by Ryder Carroll

Guys! Mommy-Brain is a very real thing.  And as my year got busier and busier, I couldn’t keep track of it all. Enter The Bullet Journal Method, which has been described as “KonMari for your mind”. I have used the techniques in this book very successfully and return for a refresher every couple of months.

The Winners

I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I have decided to pick a fiction (including romance) winner and a non-fiction (including memoir/biography) winner. So there you have it.  My best books of 2019.

What was the best thing that you read last year?

enjoy life…

Per usual, I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her Quick Lit posts.  Head over there if you hacing difficulty figuring out what to read.

friday’s “secret”: create your best, of the year {2015 edition}

I cannot believe that the year is pretty much over! Two more weeks and I will be telling you “Happy New Year!” As Gretchen Rubin has so eloquently stated, “The days are long but the years are short” and seem to get shorter and shorter with each passing year!

One fun thing to do at the end of the year is to look back over it and think about my highlights: what I did that was fun and memorable. I have had a great year and there is so much I could write about. But this is my “best, of the year” list, so only the best here.

Quote of the Year: Honor the space between no longer and not yet! – Nancy Levin

Pic. Better Than BeforeBook of the Year: So many books, it is so hard to pick just one. But here goes: Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin – finding the Four Tendency Framework and discovering that I am an Obliger has literally changed my life and how I go about accomplishing things that I want to do. It is now available in a paperback edition here.

Race of the Year: I only entered two races this year so not many to chose from but between the two: The 12th Annual Liz Hurley Run and the 2015 Galaxy of Lights 5K, I would have to chose the Galaxy of Lights. At that race, I ran in spite of fear and anytime I do something in spite of fear it is one of my highlights!

The Wynn Las VegasMeal of the Year: A foodie like me cannot not tell you about the best food of the year; so many options here. But I will have to go with breakfast at the Wynn Buffet in Las Vegas. This is where my hubby and I held our wedding brunch almost 10 years ago and every time I get to eat there is an awesome thing. Another thing that I loved about this meal was that I didn’t pig out, even though I wanted to. A moral victory for me!

Blog of the Year: I’m sorry but I can’t pick just one so this category will have two blogs of the year. One is Modern Mrs. Darcy which I have mentioned over and over again. The second one is The Geeky Shopaholic which I have discovered just recently. I love her content.

Podcast of the Year: I devoured everything Elizabeth Gilbert this year. Her podcast Magic Lessons was the impetus that caused me to continue to put my work out into the world, regardless of my fear. Based on her book, Big Magic (see how I edged another book in there?) one of the things that will always stick with me is that fear will always be present, in my car, as I travel on this journey of life. The only thing is, he is not allowed to dictate my destination or to control the radio under any circumstances.

Trip of the Year: Even though I went to the beach three times and a family reunion in Vegas, my best travel experience was my sister’s wedding in St. Augustine, Florida! The entire weekend was full: full of joy, full of excitement, full of family and friends, full of fun. Over all, that will always take the cake.

Movie of the Year: So many of my favorite franchises released movies this year: Marvel, The Fast and the Furious, etc. But the winner in this category, and I really can’t believe I am saying this, is Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out. It was awesome!

Like Mother, Like SonInstagram of the Year: “Like mother, like son!” Slowly, ever so slowly adjusting to being a new mom was a huge part of this year and having a child is scary. One of the scariest things about it is seeing yourself in your child’s face and in his personality. I dare you to tell me, which one is the Buddy Man.

Many thanks to Paula of the Geeky Shopaholic for the idea for this post. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

enjoy life…