A new year means new books! And, though I had a great bookish 2018, I couldn’t be more excited to start fresh. Together with the ladies over at Literary Quicksand, I set a couple of bookish goals for 2019, and a few of the books on my TBR list this month are sure to help me get off to the right start.
Though Louise Miller wrote The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living first, it is the second of her novels that I’ve read. Earlier this year, I picked up The Late Bloomer’s Club and adored it, falling in love with the town of Guthrie (Stars Hollow flashbacks!) as well as her food-filled writing. The paperback cover makes it look perfect for winter reading, so I waited until my holiday break to get it from the library. It wasn’t super winter-y, but it was a lovely read nonetheless!
Olivia Rawlings, Livvy to a privileged few, is a talented pastry chef working at an exclusive dinner club in Boston. When her life there goes up in flames, she flees to the nearest haven — a truck stop filled with delicious pies — and onto Guthrie, Vermont, where her best friend Hannah convinces her to put down roots, even temporarily.
The time of year has come where I’m choosing to settle in with cozy books, and Ruth Reichl’s food-centric novel Delicious! fit that bill perfectly. Reichl is a well-known food writer, and her past certainly helped her craft the core of this novel, since the main character Billie Breslin works at the prominent (but fictional) food magazine, Delicious.
Billie has a phenomenal palate and can detect even the slightest amount of ingredients in a recipe with just a bite. It’s this gift — along with her appreciation of and curiosity about food — that earns her a job as assistant to Jake, the editor of Delicious. Billie fits in instantly, at home among people who are equally passionate about food, and her future is looking bright. But, when the magazine suddenly shuts down, her work family disperses, and she’s left alone in the office (housed in a 19th century mansion) to make good on the Delicious Guarantee.
With the holidays just around the corner and 2019 a mere two weeks away, it’s the perfect time to look back at the year behind as well as look forward to the year ahead. I came across this survey via Never Enough Novels and couldn’t wait to get in on the fun! I also want to give a shoutout to The Perpetual Page Turner, who has been doing this annual year-end survey for 9 years now! Without further ado, my 2018 in review:
2018 READING STATS
Number Of Books You Read: 103 (as of 12/18)
Number of Re-Reads: None. I almost never re-read books, but I’m hoping to fix that next year by doing my best to re-read at least one book per month.
Genre You Read The Most From: Literary Fiction
Like much of America, I’ve been looking forward to Michelle Obama’s book Becoming since the moment it was announced. As much as I’ve admired her from afar, I honestly never knew much about Michelle and was excited for the opportunity to learn more — from her, in her own voice.
Michelle’s writing is as engaging as expected. From the beginning of the memoir — a section entitled “Becoming Me,” in which she describes her life growing up on the South Side of Chicago — to the end of “Becoming More” — the final section in which she discusses her and her family’s life in the spotlight while Barack held office — it was a joy to get to know her better.
Can you believe it’s almost 2019 already? This year has positively flown by. Perhaps that’s because I’ve read so many stories and visited so many different worlds this year — for the first time ever, I’ve completely 100 books (and I’m still going)! It feels amazing to have accomplished that, and at the same time, I’m not sure it’s something I want to repeat. Even with my blog, for which I have to carefully reflect on the books I review, I can barely remember most of the books I’ve read.
Since we last met for SUYB, I’ve finished 11 books — four of which I finished in the 5 days of the Thanksgiving Readathon. That’s a lot to catch you up on, so I’ll try to keep it brief!
Like many girls, I grew up with Anne Shirley. I adored her big imagination and found it amusing to watch her get into and out of trouble. Just as important to the story are Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, the brother-sister duo who give Anne a home at Green Gables. In her latest novel, Marilla of Green Gables, Sarah McCoy explores what life was like for the Cuthberts before Anne arrived.
The young Marilla — idealistic and eager to please — reminded me a lot of precocious Anne, which is not what I expected. Still, we’re all young once, and I thought Saray McCoy did a wonderful job showing Marilla’s transformation from a clever, spirited teenager to the woman we came to know in L.M. Montgomery’s novels. Though for some reason the story felt more modern to me, I thought she captured Avonlea beautifully; I found myself wishing I were there yet again.
Wow, I can’t believe December is here, and next year is just around the corner! I reached my reading goal of 100 books just last week, so from here on out, all the books I read will be superfluous. I might slow it down a bit — catch up on some TV shows (here’s looking at you, The Great British Baking Show!) — but we’ll see. I usually have a book nearby, regardless of my goals.
Without further ado, here’s a look at what’s on my radar for December:
When Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing was selected for Reese Withersoon’s book club, it became an instant must-read. Equal parts coming-of-age story, mystery, legal drama and love story, I can see why! I came by it through my first HealthTea Book Crate, in which I received a signed copy, and I was excited that it was selected as one of my recent book club reads.
Kya Clark lives in Barkley Cove, North Carolina, and has watched her family leave her one-by-one, until — at the age of 10 — she is left quite alone. As she grows up, Kya chooses to stay close to home, preferring to get her supplies from a small store on the docks, where she can also fill up her boat with gas, rather than venturing into town. This fierce independence earns her the nickname Marsh Girl.
Caroline Hulse’s debut novel The Adults is like a Christmas comedy (Four Christmases comes to mind) meets Big Little Lies. Though Claire and Matt are divorced, they decide it’s best for their daughter Scarlett to experience a “normal” family Christmas. So, they book a weekend away at a woodsy resort and bring their current partners along for the ride! What could go wrong?
Claire’s boyfriend, Patrick, couldn’t be any less like her ex, Matt. Patrick spends much of the novel secretly training for an Ironman, at one point even racing through a lazy river to practice his swimming. Matt takes a different approach to life. He has a laissez faire outlook, often “forgetting” important details and preferring recreational drugs to exercising. His girlfriend, Alex, is smart, extremely patient and would probably be friends with Claire in another life. The characters were almost caricatures of real people and weren’t exactly likable, but they were entertaining.