Tuesday, November 20, 2012

mission: accomplished

after a whirlwind couple of months, i am currently sitting on my friend cheri's couch in st louis taking a break. i got out of bed at 9, i'm still in my pj's, my hair is all bed-heady, i only just finished breakfast, and i plan on doing very little today besides watching elf and working on some things for my brother's rehearsal dinner. vacation is amazing. does anyone still visit this blog?

i finally have time to write an update on my 2012 reading list. and here's the update: despite a major slowdown around june/july (coincidentally right around the time i started working more hours, joined the board of a non-profit, started a new relationship, & ...stopped blogging), i made it to 20 books! when i last updated this list in early april, i had reached book number 7. so to continue...

8. the hunger games, catching fire, and mockingjay, by suzanne collins: i know this is an unpopular opinion, but i was not a fan of this series. the first book was by far the most interesting, but the reluctant hero(ine) story is kind of played out in my opinion. and by the final book, i hated the main character and just. wanted. the. story. to. end.

9. the year of yes by maria dahvana headley: this book is the story of a woman who vows to say yes to every date she's asked out on for a whole year. completely by coincidence, my best friend and i read this book at the exact same time. we thought it would be funny and enlightening... but were wrong. the author was young when she did this experiment (around age 21, if i remember correctly) and of course managed to get asked out mostly by people who were completely loony. my favorite scene involved her unknowlingly dancing with marilyn manson at a club... which should tell you a lot about the kinds of guys she ended up spending time with, might i add.

10. the lost girls by jennifer badgett, holly corbett, and amanda pressner: this is the story of three friends who quit their jobs and spend an entire year traveling around the world together. i liked some writers (and their personalities) more than others, but this book has fueled a year's worth of wanderlust. must... travel... soon.

11. the number one ladies' detective agency by alexander mccall smith: this is the sweet story of a spunky lady from botswana who aspires to be a private detective. it's apparently part of a series and has also been made into a movie, which i need to check out. it was an easy read and i loved it!

12: bel canto by ann padgett: quite possibly the best book i've read all year. loved the characters, loved the plot, love any book involving UN involvement. piqued my interest in opera...

13: the soul of baseball by joe posnanski: borrowed this one from my sister to rekindle my love affair with baseball. done and done.

14: the search for delicious by natalie babbit: can children's books count toward my goal? i borrowed this one from my sister as well, because apparently it was a crime that i had never read it! it's a very charming story, so i'm glad i finally did.

15: the white masai by corinne hoffman: this is the story of a european woman who falls head over heels in love with a masai warrior while vacationing in kenya. she's super adventurous and marries him, moves to his village, and braves stomach bugs, wild animals, and social differences during her time there. it's a super interesting story, though i was pretty judgmental of the author while reading the book, as i felt she should have had a bit more foresight about the struggles she and her husband would face.

16: the secret life of bees by sue monk kidd: a re-read, this is one of my absolute favorite books. i ate a lot of honey while reading this one. :)

17: little altars everywhere by rebecca wells: also a re-read, also one of my favorites. it's not summer without the ya-ya's!

18: divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood by rebecca wells: see above.

19: siddhartha by herman hesse: this one's short and i'd been meaning to re-read it for years, so i devoured it over the course of two days in july (when i was basically bed-ridden). not quite as epic as i remembered it being at age 15, but still good none the less.

20: garlic and sapphires by ruth reichl: this was a kitchen reader book, but i forgot to post a review (hi, i'm a negligent blogger). it's the amazing, insightful story of what it's like to be the food critic at the new york times. i've never read a times review, but i've been meaning to start. ruth reichl is an incredible writer, so i'd like to read more of her books...

21: sex slaves by louise brown: this one was research for a talk i gave in september. it was simultaneously educational, fascinating, heart breaking, and infuriating.

22: maus by art spiegleman: originally read this in college and just re-read it. it's the only graphic novel i've ever read, but i love its unique spin on stories from the holocaust.

23: the bean trees by barbara kingsolver: i loved the poisonwood bible and animal, vegetable, miracle, so my sister lent me this book to check out. i'm about 3/4 of the way done, but i love it so far. BK's characters are always so dynamic and relatable and i love that she worked cincinnati into this story!

24: little women by louisa mae alcott: this is december's book club book. little women was my favorite movie growing up, so i'm excited to read the book again!

and, with that, i declare 2012 a success.


  1. How did you grow up in our house and not read "Search for Delicious"?? I know we listened to it on tape on a car trip somewhere, but you may have slept right through it! Bel Canto is an amazing read. Congratulations on achieving your goal!

  2. Glad you finally had a break!
    I'm still here :)

    Also, I wrote a blog post but it was crap...need to try again this weekend

  3. Wow, so I'm kind of the star of this post, huh? Glad you liked my recommendations! Did I recommend Bel Canto, too? Because there was a time I was telling everyone who would listen to read that book. One of my favorites.

  4. Oh, also: children's books totally count. Duh doy.