#AMonthofFaves 2018: Favorite Thangs

Starting today, I’m joining hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling 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, we write about some of our favorite things, “e.g. to eat, drink, wear, smell, see, do, enjoy, best purchases, most used gift received, most used purchases, favorite concert, outdoor activity, place visited, most squee worthy moment of the year.”

For this topic, I first thought maybe I’d mention family and friends, but I don’t think that qualifies as “things”. So instead I’m going to talk about literal things that were my favorites this year, as I scrolled back through photos from the year:

A few explanations: 

  1. Hoses: Our pipes froze in January, but thanks to our town’s Public Works Department and a neighbor, we were able to get water temporarily from the neighbor.
  2. Landscaping: I did myself. The rocks were already there. The mulch was from Lowe’s.
  3. Goodwill finds: I later learned this Frank Lloyd Wright glass was worth at least $40 on Ebay.
  4. Local wine: We discovered this local winery at our local farmers’ market.
  5. Canned wine: We and our neighbor Sam started a “book club,” where we shared our latest alcoholic finds. This was one of hers.
  6. Pumpkin pie: Cooked by my wife, Kim.
  7. Wedding reception couch: This was at the wedding of my sister-in-law Tracey near Cleveland, Ohio back in June.

What are some of your favorite things from this past year? Share in the comments if you like or join the event at any of the hosts’ websites.

Joining in for #AMonthofFaves for December 2018

Starting tomorrow, I’m joining hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling 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. Here are the days and topics:

  • MON. | Dec. 3 – #AMonthofFaves [The 2018 Favorites Edition]
  • WED. | Dec. 5 – #AMonthofFaves Popular Books Worth the Hype
  • FRI. Dec 7 – #AMonthofFaves [The Blogger Love Edition] 
  • MON. Dec. 10 – A Day (or Weekend) in the Life
  • WED. | Dec 12 – #AMonthofFaves Routines, Habits and Changes. What Worked this Year and/or What Didn’t
  • Fri. | Dec. 14 – #AMonthofFaves On Our Holiday Wishlist 
  • Mon. | Dec 17 – #AMonthofFaves Winter Reading 
  • WED. Dec. 19 #AMOnthofFaves This is How We Holiday 
  • FRI. Dec 21 – #AMonthofFaves On the Screen 
  • MON. | Dec. 24 – #AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals
  • WED. | Dec. 26 – Favorite Book Covers From Our Reads This Year #AMonthofFaves
  • FRI. | Dec. 28 – #AMonthofFaves This Is How We Read and Blogged This Year 
  • Mon. | Dec. 31 – Favorite Books Read This Year #AMonthofFaves

Today, I planning on starting drafts for each since I already have ideas for many of the topics. 

As for what I did this past week and last month, and what I have planned for this month in addition to this event, see my previous post Pushing Forward Back November/December 2018.

How was your past week? Your past month? Read, listened to, watched anything good?

My Top 5 Favorite Books Read In 2017

For this past month, I’ve been joining hosts Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their 4th annual #AMonthofFaves blog event. – “a fun way to recap the year that was” – during the month of December. Today’s topic is “The Top 10 Books That Blew Your Mind This Year,” which I’ve adapted to my own top 5 favorite books read in 2017.

On Friday, I gav you My Top 15 Albums of 2017; yesterday, my wife Kim and I gave you Our Top 10 Favorite TV Shows/Movies of 2017; and today, I give you…

My Top 5 Favorite Books Read In 2017

5. The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist, letterer), Elizabeth Breitweiser (colourist)
4. The Lost Book of The Grail by Charlie Lovett
3. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown
2. Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans
1. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV, the only book for which I wrote a review this year.

I won’t be writing much today about them, because Friday, my aunt, who has been living with my parents and who has been in ill health for a number of years, passed away so my mind understandably isn’t all here. A memorial service will be held Wednesday for her at my parents’ church and Kim and I are going (it is one of Kim’s regular days off from work and I’m taking a vacation day). However, I will say that Suzi from the blog Whimpulsive recommended The Fade Out, a graphic novel, to me; Tasha from the blog Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books recommended The Lost Grail; and Andi from the blog Estella’s Revenge recommended Searching for Sunday.  Surprisingly, three of the five were nonfiction, since I don’t read much nonfiction. I think altogether I read five nonfiction books this year.

Books Read In 2017

In reverse order, here is what I read:

  1. Lazarus: Vol. 1 by by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark (artist), Santiago Arcas (illustrator)
  2. The Fade Out: Act One by Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist, letterer), Elizabeth Breitweiser (colourist)
  3. The Fade Out: Act Two by Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist, letterer), Elizabeth Breitweiser (colourist)
  4. The Fade Out: Act Three by Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist, letterer), Elizabeth Breitweiser (colourist)
  5. Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly
  6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  7. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
  8. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  9. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
  10. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  11. Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout
  12. Too Many Cooks by Rex Stout
  13. The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett
  14. The Western Star by Craig Johnson
  15. Gallows View by Peter Robinson
  16. The Red Box by Rex Stout
  17. The Rubber Band by Rex Stout
  18. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV
  19. Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
  20. Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett
  21. Dark Water by Parker Bilal
  22. Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
  23. Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbø
  24. Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbø
  25. Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen
  26. Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction by Eric Foner
  27. Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
  28. Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout
  29. Leaves of Grass: The Deathbed Edition by Walt Whitman
  30. The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett
  31. Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane
  32. Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane
  33. Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane
  34. Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans
  35. Robert B. Parker’s Cheap Shot by Ace Atkins
  36. The Rain in Portugal: New Poems by Billy Collins
  37. Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
  38. Sacred by Dennis Lehane
  39. Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane
  40. Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania, edited by Marjorie Maddox
  41. The Widow by Fiona Barton
  42. Dearest Creature by Amy Gerstler
  43. The Dry by Jane Harper
  44. Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay
  45. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

How was your year in reading for 2017? What were your favorite books? Let me and my readers know a few of them in the comments, if you like.

#AMonthofFaves: I Love…December

a-month-of-faves.jpgI’m joining hosts Girlxoxo, Traveling with T, and Estella’s Revenge for their 4th annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” – during the month of December. Today’s topic is “I Love … December.”

My wife and I don’t do much decorations because of…well…a small house and cats, really, one cat, Seamus, who is about 11 years old.  However, we still love decorations, especially at my parents, where we just happened to go yesterday to get together with them, my aunt, my sister and her family, because my wife works Christmas Day.

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Family Christmas today.

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Besides getting together with family, we do have a few Christmas traditions that include, but aren’t limited to the following:

  • drinking egg nog, mixed only with Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, Private Edition.
  • watching Christmas movies, especially Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and the only version of A Christmas Carol (in my wife’s opinion, and now in my opinion too), the 1951 version which was called Scrooge when it was released in Great Britain and which starred Alastair Sim.
  • listening to “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” as read by its author Dylan Thomas.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?