Rachel’s said it before and I’ll say it again, “We take birthdays seriously around here!” So why wasn’t I in the same zip code as Rae on the 1st? Why, oh why? (I promise I would have sung the high harmony, Michael Scott style.) Now granted, I got to see her the previous Saturday for not nearly enough hours, but you should get to spend considerable time with the people you love most. Good fun, favorite humans, favorite reads…I want it all apparently.
Speaking of favorite reads, my 2018 picks are obviously overdue. Here they are without further ado:
I’m in good company with Barak Obama. The former Pres said Educated was one of his favorite books of the year—visionary Bill Gates was bringing up the rear when he mentioned it was on his holiday reading list. I reviewed this astonishing memoir last March. I’m still baffled and amazed by Educated. Let me re-iterate, “Hats off to you Tara Westover…for beating the staggering odds, for educating yourself. I have big respect for your obvious moxie and your incomparable resolve. Move over Jeannette Walls, there’s a new hero in town! “
Honestly, I’m struggling to narrow down my favorites. It’s just so hard. The Tattooist of Auschwitz noses out Where the Crawdads Sing by virtue of the fact that it is based on a real-life, against-all-odds story. One that has profound staying power. I admire Lale Sokolov’s indomitable hope and his deep-rooted integrity. This is a holocaust novel you won’t want to miss.
Audible narrator Anna Popplewell brought the oh-so memorable character Emmeline Lake to life. Rae and I concur, this is definitely a listen worthy of repetition.
The only thing better than a highly entertaining Jonas Jonasson novel is Peter Kenny reading one of them. If you don’t believe me, check out Jonasson’s latest: The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man. This book is a sequel to a best seller of a similar name with a different narrator. Wisely, they went with Kenny on round two. Good idea!
I’m out of space, I know. Here are the honorable mentions: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It’s a toss-up between Virgil Wander and The Paris Wife. Anything by Neil Gaiman is well beyond an honorable mention—he’s top-of-the-list, just below the birthday girl.