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2021 Bookish and Non-Bookish Goals

 I debated whether or not even to do this post. Unlike most years, I don't feel like setting goals. However, I decided to take a look back at last year, thinking I would probably laugh, but it actually turns out I set some thoughtful and flexible goals that I did mostly accomplish. So, I will do similarly this year: I'll set goals that I can probably accomplish no matter where this year takes me, and a lot is up in the air for me personally as well as my country politically, and whether I accomplish them or not, that's okay. So, let's go over last year's Bookish and Non-Bookish Goals: 2020-Bookish Goals 1. Read at least 60 books-I read exactly 60 books! 2. Reread old favorites and books I have more to learn from-Yes.  Towards the end of 2019/beginning of 2020, I reread Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy and enjoyed it so much. In 2020, I did a couple more rereads like Jen Sincero's You Are a Badass and Mary Oliver's Blue Horses , and I began 202
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December Wrap-Up

For my 2020 Goodreads goal, I had set 60 books. A the beginning of the year, it didn't seem like much, since I read over 80 last year and over 70 the year before. But this year was a different year, when I went through bursts of reading and bursts of just bingeing Netflix, so I had accepted that I wouldn't meet that goal. However, on Dec 26, I realized that I had read 55 books for the year...and my friends on social media egged me on for a 5 books in 5 days challenge, which I am happy to say I completed. I read more books in December than any other month this year, I think, and I did finish 60 books in 2020, finishing up with two book club reads for January, two new books I got for Hanukkah, and a collection of children's books.    I bought the Rebecca  collection a few years ago. I loved American Girl books growing up, and I read all of them. The  Rebecca books, the first (and only, I think) Jewish American Girl, came out after I was an adult, but I wanted to read them jus

2020 End of Year Survey

 2020 Reading Stats As usual, borrowed and modified from the sadly now discontinued Boston Bibliophile. How many books read in 2020? 60, which I hit just in time. Last year, I read 89, and the year before 73, both record-breakers for me, and...I am so freaking proud of myself for what I've been able to accomplish this year.  How many fiction and nonfiction? 36 fiction, 24 nonfiction Female/male/nonbinary author ratio? 50 female, 10 male, including one collection of short stories with female, male, and nonbinary authors Writers of Color/Minority Writers? 14 books by writers of color,  9 books by Jewish authors, at least three by LGBTQ writers, and more including some of the writers in the short story collection Favorite book of 2020? Middlemarch. I spent a long time reading and savoring it, especially in the uncertain days right after we were all told to go home and stay there.  Longest and shortest books? Longest:  Middlemarch by George Eliot, at 904 pages. Shortest: Diving into th

Favorite Books Read in 2020

The books that sparked the most joy for me this year include a classic, a book published this year, two books in translation, and five works of nonfiction. It's been a year when I've sought diversion, too often in the form of Netflix, but when I have read, I've sometimes been fortunate enough to find escape and hope in stories both sprawling and small in scale. I don't think these books have anything in common except that they tell me that some people are who they are...and some people rise to the occasion.   Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at That Artsy Reader Girl! My Favorite Books Read in 2020 1.  Middlemarch by George Eliot My first George Eliot but it won't be my last. Kept me busy for the first few months of quarantine, especially when I didn't know what was happening with my job. Immersive and satisfyingly realistic. 2. Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch Everyone should read this accessible fascinating book about how the Internet affects how we communicat

Books I Would Give as Gifts

 Hanukkah is over, and I received a generous flood of books to curl up with this winter! However, I don't usually gift as many books as I receive, since the family members I gift for tend not to be as big readers as I am. I did get books for a couple people this year tailored to their interests, and at least one of them was a hit so far. I also apparently hit gold with a storytelling Thomas the tank engine for a toddler :-) When I do give books as gifts, I try to match the interests of the person I'm buying for. My friend also gave me a great tip that I haven't tried out yet, but she says she always buys new releases for people so she knows they don't have it yet! Genius! (Unless they've preordered, but still). But instead of trying to categorize everything (the-friend-who-has-all-the-books, the-friend-who-hates-reading, the-latest-WWII-books-for-dads), I wanted to share a list of books I love that I think would make great gifts in general, for any time of year. Boo

Books on My Winter TBR

 Since I received an awesome book haul this Hanukkah (still three more nights to go!) it's an apt time to make my winter TBR! Lots of cookbooks on the list, plus some poetry and philosophy. Since I've got some time off from work, I can take time to go in-depth with my reading, if not my writing too! Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at That Artsy Reader Girl! Books on My Winter TBR Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz Walden by Henry David Thoreau (partial reread) Visible City by Tova Mirvis (book club) The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (other book club) A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher Devotions by Mary Oliver

Wintry Reads

 Even if it isn't technically winter yet, it's definitely starting to feel like it. I've read a number of books in the past few years that give off those cold wintry vibes--and even though I'm not usually such a fan of the cold, I've been embracing it! Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at That Artsy Reader Girl! Wintry Reads The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell Lab Girl by Hope Jahren The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

November Wrap-Up

It's been (another) long month. It was sweet having Thanksgiving at home, just us and the pups. We got a meal to heat up from Boston Market and I made a homemade apple pie with our synagogue's Zoom bake-a-long. Even with just heating up, it took over an hour and a half, and you put everything in your own dishes, so I can see how easy it is to make look like a homecooked meal! Reading this month was mostly for my book clubs, but I got in a couple of books I've wanted to read as well, like the new release from Modern Mrs. Darcy blogger Anne Bogel, Don't Overthink It, and Exit West , which was hugely popular a couple of years ago. I don't know that it lived it up to the hype, but certainly has a fascinating concept at its core: worth thinking about and quite topical.   Books Read This Month Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult (book club) Don't Overthink It by Anne Bogel The Rent Collector by Cameron Wright (other book club) Exit West by Mohsin Hamid Watching Call