All this month, I’m joining Girlxoxo and Traveling with T for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – a fun way to recap the year that was. They have a schedule of topics planned out for 14 days and while I don’t plan to have a post for each topic, I do plan on having a post for several of them. To see the entire list, visit #AMonthofFaves 2019 [Blog Event] Announcement. Today’s topic is the first for the month: Popular Books Worth The Hype (And/Or Not Worth The Hype).
For me, popular books worth the hype that I read this year were five:
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
None were published this year as I usually am at least a year behind, if not more, in reading popular books. Born To Run and Born A Crime were published in 2016; Hunger was published in 2017; The Library Book and 7 1/2 Deaths were published in 2018. The one I had on my shelf the longest was Born To Run, one I had gotten in a Christmas blogger gift exchange a few years ago. After reading it, I’m wondering why it took me so long to read it.
Each in its own way exceeded my expectations:
The 7 1/2 Deaths was more than just a mystery. It also was a mixture of science fiction, which I really, really want to like, but usually don’t. As a teen, I loved science fiction, especially Isaac Asimov.
Born A Crime was not your typical memoir from a comedian. By the end, I was in tears.
Born To Run wasn’t just about the music, but was about much more than that, including depression. Yes, admittedly, it did help to be a fan, but I was impressed with his writing, which I shouldn’t have been surprised after hearing his songwriting, but still was.
Hunger: I didn’t think I’d like it based on trying to read one of her other books and not liking it. However, this one was different and her incredible honesty at telling her story won me over.
The Library Book: Based on what I had read from others about the book, I thought it was going to be more true crime, which I am not a fan of either, but it wasn’t just that and delved into the history of libraries, especially in L.A
How about you? Whether or not you’re participating in A Month of Faves or not, what popular books did you read this year that were worth the hype and/or those that weren’t worth the hype?
Again today, I’m joining hosts Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” with “every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out” and a link-up on all their blogs. Today’s topic is “This Is How We Read and Blogged This Year.”
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet by by Ta-Nehisi Coates (writer), Brian Stelfreeze (artist), Joe Sabino (letterer), Manny Mederos (designer), Rian Hughes (logo designer), Jack Kirby (writer, artist), and Laura Martin
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
Colosseum: Poems by Katie Ford
The Cruelest Month, the third Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, by Louise Penny
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason
The Last Kashmiri Rose by Barbara Cleverly
The Late Show by Michael Connelly
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Life on Mars: Poems by Tracy K. Smith
Normandy Gold by Megan Abbott, Alison Gaylin and Steve Scott (illustrator)
Pago Pago Tango by John Enright
Pines, the first in the Wayward Pines series, by Blake Crouch
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Queenpin: A Novel by Megan Abbot
Rebound by Kwame Alexander
The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
The River Why by David James Duncan
She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
Still Life, the first Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, by Louise Penny
Tangerine by Christine Mangan
The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
Wade in the Water: Poems by Tracy K. Smith
How I Blogged
In one word: Consistently, at least once a week.
By the numbers: 78 posts.
Most of them were Sunday Salon posts, with a few readathon posts, several readathon posts, and a few What We’re Watching Wednesday posts with my wife. With every blog I’ve ever had, I always try to write several blog posts a week and inevitably fail. This one is no different as once again this year, I attempted some new themes, but failed. I do better at one theme/meme: The Sunday Salon, with readathons mixed in. So in 2019, that’s what I’m going to stick to: Mainly one blog post per week with a couple of readathons mixed in, namely Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and 24in48 Readathon.
Again today, I’m joining hosts Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” with “every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out” and a link-up on all their blogs. Today’s topic is “Challenges and Goals.”
I didn’t do any reading challenges this year and my personal goals/resolutions? I’m going to save those for a post January 1. Instead, I am going to look forward to my reading goals for 2019, including a collection of 10 books on my Kindle with which I want to start the new year. However, I will save my “First Book of the Year” for a post for January 1– and it will be a book in print this year.
My main reading goal this year, in what will be the year that I turn 50 (in June), is to read 50 books. This year, I read 35; in 2017, 48; in 2016, 44, so it is doable. Initially, with my 25 Things Before I Turn 50 post, my goal was to read a book a week and I was thinking of a book a week in the year that I turn 50, but then as I writing this, I realized why not just make it 50? So there it is.
In alphabetical order, the books I have on my books to read in 2019 collection on my Kindle are:
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
All Things Bright and Beautiful and All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first Amelia Peabody mystery, by Elizabeth Peters
John Adams by David McCullough
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
The Quiet Game, the first Penn Cage, by Greg Iles
The Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis
The Year of Less by Cait Flanders
You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me by Alexie Sherman
A few explanations:
Technically, it’s 13 books, but I have the first Herriot books in one collection and The Space Trilogy that I recently bought as a Kindle Daily Deal.
I already have started the first three books on the list. I just haven’t finished them…yet.
The list is split evenly fiction and nonfiction as I want to read more nonfiction than I did this past year.
Again today, I’m joining hosts Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” with “every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out” and a link-up on all their blogs. Today’s topic is “On The Screen”.
Favorite TV series
These are some of my favorites, with some overlaps with my wife, but not all:
The Doctor Blake Mysteries
The Kominisky Method
Mozart in the Jungle (Season 4)
These are, or were, available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. The highlights for me were the two Canadian shows: Kim’s Convenience and Letterkenny. If you’re offended by language, skip Letterkenny. But if you’re not and like quirky and offbeat, then watch. Unfortunately, if you’re in America, only the first two seasons are available (so far) on Hulu. Also quirky and offbeat are Alone Together and Psiconautas. The most joyous of all of them is Miranda and both Kim and I loved all of the episodes.
These are our favorite movies from this year in alphabetical order:
Avengers: Infinity War
Crazy Rich Asians
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Mission Impossible: Fallout
A Star is Born
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
The ones I enjoyed watching the most were Deadpool 2 and Paddington 2, two movies on the opposite end of the spectrum, highlighted by this exchange on Twitter:
The ones, though, that I think were the most important were BlacKkKlansman and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the latter of which my wife and I cried through most of. The former solidified my love of the actor Adam Driver, whom I loved in Logan Lucky, and introduced us to a new love of John David Washington, Denzel Washington’s son, a formidable actor on his own.
What were your favorite TV series and movies that you watched this year?