Month: December 2015

My favorite books of 2015

The past few months have been a blur — mostly due to the new house — so going over everything I’ve read this year proved to be a nice surprise. I had forgotten how many great books there were!

In order of when I read them:

Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1) My Heart and Other Black Holes The Storyspinner (The Keepers' Chronicles, #1) Black Dove, White Raven Lexicon: A Novel An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1) Bone Gap Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) The Walls Around Us Chasing the Sun Conviction Yes Please

Notes:

  • A particularly lovely treat is that several of of my favorite reads this year were written by friends of mine, including Jasmine Warga, Becky Wallace, Natalia Sylvester and Kelly Loy Gilbert. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to read the work of people you know in real life, because what if you don’t like it? (Awkward…) Fortunately, with each of these books, I could tell I was in good hands from page 1.
  • LEXICON was a book that Andy discovered on a whim, devoured, then urged me to read so that we could discuss it. That doesn’t happen often.
  • The author of BONE GAP is an “agent sister” of mine, and I’m honored to think that Tina has as much faith in me as she does in Laura Ruby, whose writing is so lyrical and fierce.
  • Once again, I’m trying more audiobooks. (Including SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT and YES PLEASE from above.) In our old neighborhood, I could hold a book or my phone and read while I walked Riley, because there were only a couple streets and virtually no traffic. But our new neighborhood is much busier and more urban, so listening to books is a safer way to go. Unfortunately I don’t have the best attention span when it comes to audio, and I’m picky about narrators/voices. For that reason, nonfiction seems to work best for me.

What were your favorite books of 2015?

If you’re interested, here are the roundups from previous years.

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The gift of being loved

For my 30th birthday, Andy gave me an incredible gift.

Every day for an entire year, he wrote me a postcard. That’s 365 postcards. 365 days of commitment. 365 love letters, random thoughts, amusing poems, fond memories, doodles, notes of encouragement, and more.

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I cried when I realized the scope of what he had given me. The dedication and discipline that it took. The thoughtfulness. The tenderness.

He never missed a single day. He bought postcards from all over, sometimes even when we were together, quickly sneaking them to the register while I was browsing a different part of the store. He made time for his project — for me — during business trips. He even managed to write these postcards while we were traveling to and from Taiwan, never mind that we were together on planes and in airports for 36 hours straight each way. I had no idea.

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It took us about 5 hours to read all of the postcards once. We’ve started going through them again, savoring this round, marking favorites. It’s another level of joy and love that we’re getting out of this gift, together.

This is what people mean when they say it’s the thought that counts. This was not an expensive present, but it’s worth far more than any dollar value.

Starting with 30, people tend to dread getting older, especially the big milestone years. But if Andy is going to come up with surprises like this, how can I do anything other than look forward to each birthday and feel grateful at every age?

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Thirty

For over two weeks I’ve been trying to write a brilliant post full of wisdom to mark the milestone of my 30th birthday. But one of the things I’ve learned over the past 30 years is that sometimes less is more.

Also: Marking occasions on the internet is not as important as living them

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If my next 30 years are even half as wonderful as my first 30 have been, then I can have no complaints.

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Riley's #1 love? Kibbles.

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There are dozens of additional photos that I would have loved to include here. Unfortunately I have no idea where they are now after our recent move. But even if I could find them, I would still have to leave so many out. How do you narrow down 30 years of life, love, and memories to just a handful of images? How do you capture the breadth of family, friendship, and fun that I’ve been so lucky to enjoy?

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When I was a little girl, 30 felt like a far-off galaxy. Too distant and nebulous to fathom. Or even bother thinking about.

Now here I am. Exploring these strange, beautiful stars.

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