My book club co-founder commented recently that she really enjoys a book with a map because she feels like she is going to travel somewhere. Indeed, that’s how we started our year at the Tipsy Mamas’ Book Club when we read The Little Paris Bookshop and followed Nina George’s characters on a river journey through France.
Two weeks ago I participated in the monthly book club at the O’Neill library where we discussed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. Joyce’s story also features a map — coursing Harold’s walking trek 600-km across England.
In the end, while most of the Christian allegory other readers commented on that night slipped right over my head (I think I have trouble relating religious symbolism to secular characters), I found the journey gripping, even if I was a little disappointed in the main character at the end of the book. Fortunately for me, there is a related title by the same author called The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey which might flesh out the story a bit enough to satisfy. I plan to check it out later this winter.
As sat in the discussion at the library that night I also reflected on my own journey over this past year. I read many books (see below or follow my reading list here), sent all of my kids off to school for the first time, grieved the death of my English golden retriever Sanibel and created space for myself to re-embrace lost passions -- writing (through this website) and singing (through the Highrock Christmas Concert). It’s been an eventful year.
I invite you to read along with me as we forge ahead into 2019.
2018 Reading List:
1. The Little Paris Bookshop (Nina George)
2. Eligible (Curtis Sittenfeld)
3. Say Goodbye to Whining (Turansky and Miller)
4. American Wife (Curtis Sittenfeld)
5. Days Without End (Sebastian Barry)
6. The Power (Naomi Alderman)
7. Difficult Women (Roxanne Gay) (only up to page 82)
8. Killers of the Flower Moon (David Grann)
9. Flight Behavior (Barbara Kingsolver)
10. Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan)
11. Little Dog, Lost (Marion Dane Bauer)
12. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Caroline Fraser)
13. Little House in the Big Woods (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
14. The Bait of Satan (John Bevere)
15. The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind (Barbara K. Lipska)
16. Saints for all Occasions (J. Courtney Sullivan)
17. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
18. Siblings Without Rivalry (Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish)
19. Tribe (Sebastian Junger)
20. Pachinko (Min Jin Lee)
21. Beyond Colorblind (Sarah Shin)
22. Sourdough (Robin Sloan)
23. Lilac Girls (Martha Hall Kelly)
24. Everything Here is Beautiful (Mira T. Lee)
25. Barracoon (Zora Neale Hurston)
26. The Cloister (James Carroll)
27. The Mill on the Floss (George Eliot)
28. The Little Virtues (Natalia Ginzburg)
29. Citizen (Claudia Rankine)
30. Heroes of the Frontier (Dave Eggers)
31. My Life in Middlemarch (Rebecca Mead)
32. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows)
33. Prohibition: A Concise History (W.J. Rorabaugh)
34. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Matthew Desmond)
35. Sing, Unburied, Sing (Jesmyn Ward)
36. Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People (Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald)
37. Exit West (Mohsin Hamid)
38. Brown Girl Dreaming (Jacqueline Woodson)
39. The Kindness Challenge (Shaunti Feldhahn)
40 The Unlikely Pilgramage of Harold Fry (Rachel Joyce)
41. An American Marriage (Tayari Jones)
Here you will find a catalog of my writing and reflections.