Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019: The Big Slump, and 2020 Goals


According to Goodreads,
In 2015, I read 43,281 pages across 194 books.
In 2016, 45,426 over 190 books.
In 2017, 29,373 over 122 books (It's hard to read after your dog dies).
In 2018, 45,746 over 169 books.

Last year, I read 25,839 pages over 83 books. I don't really know why, either. Plus a lot of it was just okay, which makes it really hard to write a blog about books. There's a lot, but mostly it comes down to this: writing about mediocre books didn't make me want to write anything at all. So I didn't.

But I did look back on my year to get these numbers (which I knew would be low, but daaaaaaamn), and realized that I did read a few things I'd like to highlight. 2019 round-up it is!

In no order at all:

1. Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean
I need to say this: I love a chubby heroine. There are so many heroines that are smart/funny/sassy/interesting/brave now (yay!), but we still don't have a lot of heroines who are worried even a little bit about their size or stature. Hattie can't fit into a crowd, but she no longer wants to, either. She's tall and a bit heavier and all she wants is to take over her dad's business, but he thinks that she should still try to get married at 29. So she decides to ruin herself by spending a night at a brothel for ladies. Except that on her way, she encounters Whit, the Beast of Covent Garden, who promptly changes her life. I love the dialogue, I love the goals, I love the characters. Whit and Hattie forever.

2. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
I loved Rogerson's first novel An Enchantment of Ravens, but I loved this one even more. Elisabeth has always lived at one of the Great Libraries, homes to grimoires of all the sorcerers. One night, an incredibly dangerous grimoire is let loose on the world and in trying to stop it, she is accused of being the one who set it free. She must work with a super hot sorcerer, who she has been told is very, very, very evil, to figure out who is sabotaging the libraries and with what goal. And also maybe fall in love.

3. Untrue: Why Almost Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free by Wednesday Martin
I don't remember where I heard about this book, but it was a fresh and fascinating look at female sexuality across humans and some primates. This book covered so much, but the things that stood out were how much more flexible women are when it comes to mates. how patriarchy versus matriarchy impact women's choices, and that I can't think about female primates mating with multiple males to trick them all into acting like the father without immediately starting to picture Mamma Mia!

4. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
I have loved the film since I first saw it and love to re-watch it on rainy summer nights, but I had never read the book because I thought it might be terribly outdated. Surprise, it wasn't! This title holds up very well and manages to be different enough from the movie that I was able to enjoy both and not see every single thing coming.

5. Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool by Clara Parkes
CAUTION: If you love yarn, maybe don't read this until you're looking for new yarn because it's catnip.
Clara Parkes was offered a bale of wool so that the yarn reviewer could learn how wool turns into yarn. Everywhere it went is somewhere I would now like to go. Her wool started at Catskill Merino, a farm that breeds cashmere-quality merino sheep. Don't look this up, it's beautiful and I want it. It was cleaned down in San Antonio, sent to multiple factories to be spun, dyed by multiple people in different fashions, and sold out on her website before I even finished reading the book. On the other side, this epic quest shows just how important it is that we support small wool businesses. Some of these factories have since closed. Dyers have stopped dying. It makes it more important than ever to know where your yarn comes from.

6. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
I am not an audiobook person, but I loved this audiobook so much that I am going to try to do more audiobooks next year (it also pairs well with my knitting habit!). Alice is a lonely young British woman who meets a handsome Kentucky man and basically said, why not? She moves to Kentucky and quickly realizes that her new husband has dead mommy issues, daddy issues, and absolutely no idea what being married is all about. So when the call goes out for librarians to deliver books to the more rural parts of the area as part of Eleanor Roosevelt's traveling library plan, she is all in. She meets an excellent team of women and finds real joy in what she does. But you know, educating women is evil, women having independence is evil, etc. These women are brave and spunky despite the challenges they face, which makes me love them all the more.

And now some 2020 goals:

1. Clean off that damn TBR bookshelf of all books I purchased before today. I can probably do that.
2. Reread one book a month. I don't let myself do this enough.
3. Go to the movies once a month.
4. Try not to buy too much yarn (look at me setting myself up for failure!).

That's all, folks! Good luck to us all.


Post a Comment