quick lit – next page, please {my best books of 2018}

I have decided to do something that I have never done before here on the blog.  I am selecting the best books that I read in 2018. I am not going to cover every category (there are so many); I’m just going to highlight categories that had multiple selections that I really liked.

Fantasy

Circe by Madeline Miller

Runner-Up: Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

I do not read fantasy. I read The Illiad  and The Odyssey for school, along with other fantasy classics that were required reading.  But I have never read them for pleasure.  But towards the end of 2018, I was longing for something fun and pointless – an escape from the seriousness of my usual picks which tend to fall heavily in the Nonfiction/Memoir/Autobiography category-very worthwhile but often weighty material. I mentioned this to a friend who suggested that I try to read something that I don’t generally read.  I’m so glad that I did.  With these picks, I was able to suspend belief and just read for the sheer love of words-no deep thought, no lessons to learn, no new knowledge to implement into my life.

But a good story, no matter the genre, is always going to teach us something or make us see something in a different way. Miller’s Circe was amazing.  Miller took the character of Circe in The Odyssey and expanded her back story and made me see her in a whole new light.  I love books that do that.  And Time’s Convert, the fourth book in the All Souls Trilogy also accomplished that.  It was interesting. It was engaging and both books were an absolute delight to read.

Fiction

Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

Runner-Up: The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

I am still pondering Almost Sisters which I read with the Rocket City Mom book club.  The setting, the characters, the storyline. This was a book with very weighted themes told in such a light and palatable way. For a full review of this one, check out my review on Rocket City Mom.

I also loved The Ensemble, a debut by Aja Gabel.  That novel, about the lives of musicians in a string ensemble, also has stuck with me and I will probably read it again.

Memoir & Autobiography

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Runner-Up: We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

Memoir/Autobiography and Nonfiction are what I generally read.  I read quite a few books in this category but it wasn’t really hard to narrow down my two best ones.

I didn’t read Love Warrior when it first came out. The reason: I was being a prejudicial snob. I don’t know if you remember but there was a lot of discussion around it.  Glennon released a book about saving her marriage while that very marriage was ending. I was convinced that she had absolutely nothing to teach me. I was wrong.

We’re Going to Need More Wine was so funny and if I indulged, I would have needed more wine.  I laughed so hard, I couldn’t stand it.  My girlfriends laughed so hard they couldn’t stand it. This book was awesome!

Nonfiction

I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights & Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel

This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth

My reading guru, Anne Bogel released her second book, I’d Rather Be Reading. I adored this little volume for making me realize that I wasn’t the only crazy person in the world when it comes to my love for books and for reading. I laughed. I cried.  What more can you want from a book?

I have had an interesting relationship with Geneen Roth’s work.  Her idea that it’s not about the food when it comes to weight and healthy eating was an idea that I had quickly dismissed as bologna.  Her first book, Women Food and God sat on my shelf for a year before I opened it. Then I read the first few chapters and put it away and it sat on my shelf another year before I was ready to receive the wisdom inside.  This Messy Magnificent Life is a follow-up. I love it so much, I am rereading it now.

The Winners

This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth

Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

I can’t decide between these two so there you have it: my two best books of 2018. What were yours?

enjoy life…

Per usual, I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her Quick Lit posts.  Head over there if you are looking for more reading ideas.

 

 

quick lit – next page, please {october 2018}

My reading has taken a back seat this month due to preparations for the wedding I helped coordinate. I did manage to finish three books, so I guess that’s not too bad. And I also completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of reading 38 books this year.

Currently Reading

  • Shadow of the Night by Deborah Harkness. This is the second installment of the four books of that rabbit hole Leigh Kramer led me into. Must admit, I didn’t get any further with this one.
  • Transformational Speaking by Gail Larsen. Still working through this one.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I have got to finish this one before the year is out.

Read

  • This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth. I have enjoyed this one so much, I am currently going through it again. Geneen asks a lot of questions that I have been taking the time to journal my answers.  Very eye-opening.
  • Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson. This was a Rocket City Mom (RCM) Book Club pick. And boy! Was it a good one! It was humorous but poignant and very relevant for the times in which we find ourselves. Here’s the full review link in the RCM website.
  • Indestructible: Leverage Your Broken Heart to Become a Force of Love & Change in the World by Allison Fallon. I had the pleasure of attending a workshop that Allison presented two years ago. She is one of the reasons that I began writing again.  And her new book is a great read for anyone who is wanting the courage to listen to the voice within. I wrote a full review for the #write31days project: This Bookman: Meditations & Miscellany in October.  Check it out.

So, what have you been reading this month? 

Every month, I highlight what I’m reading in these posts: Quick Lit – Next Page Please. And per usual, I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy.  Head over there see what others are reading. Maybe you will find something that will pique your interests.

enjoy life…

book review: indestructible

As someone who has been reading and, now writing, about books and reading I have often wondered how I could be one of the fortunate few who received books in advance of publication or ARCs (advanced readers copy). Turns out, “ye have not because ye ask not” and I am honored to be on the Launch Team of Allyson Fallon’s new book, Indestructible.

Indestructible tells Ally’s true story of a love that didn’t go as she had hoped and her journey through it and out of it to become a woman who keeps her heart open, in spite of the heartbreak. It is a cautionary tale of being with the wrong person, as well as, encouragement to disentangle from a toxic situation, to move forward, and be confident in who you are in the world.

When I started the book, I thought that I would be reading a how-to guide. It reads more as a personal account of her journey. And although I struggled with the timeline of the story, I would not hesitate to hand this book to anyone who is about to embark into a committed relationship or who wants to find the courage to listen to the voice of their inner soul.

Indestructible reminded me of Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle in that it is raw. It is emotional.  It is honest. It is thought-provoking.

Ally believes that the regular practice of writing can change your life.  I was fortunate to attend one of her workshops a few years ago. That event encouraged me to begin writing again. And I can only hope to write with such a depth of feeling and to boldly share my truth with the same bravery that Ally has in Indestructible.

til tomorrow, enjoy life

Catch up on the rest of this series.