Final 2016 Goal Update!

Time to wrap up 2016 with a report on my yearly goals! I did pretty well this year with a total of 96%. There was only one goal I didn’t complete!

1. Cook every recipe in Sally’s Baking Addiction: 100%

The final recipe was crepes!

Not perfect, but I'll take it

Not perfect, but I’ll take it

I would say out of everything I baked, my favorite had to be the homemade granola. It’s so easy, and so much more delicious than store-bought. Here’s the recipe for you:

Maple Pecan Granola
Prep Time: 5 min
Total time: 50 min plus cooling
Makes: 2-3 cups
Ingredients
2 cups (160g) old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup (165g) pure maple syrup (one time I ran out and used honey!)
1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
3/4 cup (105g) chopped pecans
2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine all ingredients and stir until all oats are moistened.
3. Spread onto baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

2. Finish all 2014 Goals: 100%
The only thing I had left on our last update was the fancy drinks!
2a) Read T-Z in Brewer’s: 100%
2b) Make 7 pies: 100%
2c) Make a fancy drink every month: 100%
Every drink I made in the last three months has been great! In October I made a fancy crock pot apple cider with apricot nectar for my book club. It was so great I made it again at Christmas! I tried another vanilla apple cider in November, but decided the first one was better. And then in December I made spicy crock pot hot chocolate and my book club loooooved it. I have made it at least three more times since because so do I. It’s from a book I got at the library called Slow Cooker Family Favorites by Maggie Shi.

Spicy Hot Chocolate
Serves 8-10
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
7 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Put everything in the slow cooker and whisk together. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours or until the chocolate has melted. Stir occasionally during that time.

yourewelcome

2d) Get everything then on my to-read list off it: 100%
Of course, my to-read list now has 389 books on it, but whatever.
2e) Update my blog 7 times: 1005

3. Finish all my Craftsy Classes: 80%
This is the one I failed at. When we last talked, I only had Continental Style knitting to go. I gave it a shot but it was so awkward and frustrating I gave up. Maybe I’ll give it another shot at some point in the future.

4. Complete a temperature scarf: 100%!!
This is probably the goal I’m most proud of!! Here it is:

IMG_20170102_115651872

I haven’t woven in the ends yet, so eventually those will be gone. You can tell that summer was a lot more one note than winter on both sides. I averaged the highs and lows to get each day’s temperature. Here’s the color key:

Orange=80s
Yellow=70s
Green=60s
Turquoise=50s
Blue=40s
Purple=30s
White=20s

I was going to use Red for an average in the 90s but somehow the average never got there. Ditto black for lower than 20.

5. Read one book a month someone else recommended to me: 100%
I’m pleased to say that three of the books from this project made it onto my Best Books of 2016 list! In October I read this book recommended by a library coworker:

Rat Fucked by David Daley

Rat Fucked by David Daley


This book was really interesting and also sad. It had a big chapter on North Carolina, since we’re one of the most (the most?) gerrymandered states. Check out my district, friends:

North Carolina's 4th. Designed by a computer to cram as many democrats in as possible so as not to pollute our surroundings

North Carolina’s 4th. Designed by a computer to cram as many democrats in as possible so as not to pollute our surroundings

Which isn’t as bad as District 12:

Ta Da! What the fuck

Ta Da! What the fuck

In November I read this book recommended by another coworker/friend:

Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach


This one got 5 stars from me! I don’t normally go for heavy sci-fi space adventures, but I really enjoyed this one about a mercenary working on a cargo ship that’s ~not what it seems~

In December I read this book recommended by Rob!:

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay


Rob often likes really angsty books so I was wary, but I really liked the voices of the main characters. They felt really honest and real. This one also got 5 stars.

Steven has vowed not to make goals for 2017 because he hated these quarterly reminders of his own failure. Here it is one last time!
1. Cook one vegetarian meal a week
“I was doing pretty good for a while there, and then I think I forgot. I still do it, but not on a regular basis.”
2. Learn a new violin piece once a month
“Yeah, I haven’t hardly picked up the violin outside of orchestra. Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
3. Finish all Craftsy classes
“No way. Nowhere near. I did finally get through the knife skills class I was putting off. It was useful.”
4. Make at least one bag out of leather
“I feel kind of bad about that one. I kept thinking about it, planning out different things in my head, and then never… I got distracted with Christmas presents actually.”

Previously: Goals 2016: Home Stretch

2016 Books: The Pretty

Okay, so these book covers aren’t necessarily pretty but they are ones that drew me in. I put a * next to the ones that are also on my 2016 Books: The Good list. Winning all the awards!

prettyhername
Her Name in the Sky by Kelly Quindlen
I looked at this one for a long time. It works well with the wistfulness of the story.

wheredyougo
*Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
This kind of pop art really sells the whimsical nature of the story.

prettywomen
The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics
This book didn’t live up to the creepiness of the cover.

prettyhabibi
Habibi by Craig Thompson
Beautiful art style, suspect story

prettydawn
Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd
I read this for #LaddSolidarity but I also really like the cover.

romeoandorjuliet
*Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure by Ryan North
YES

prettylet
Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy
SO PURPLE of course I like it

prettyshell
Shell-Shocked by Jessica Payseur
I just think everyone needs to see this cover. LOOK AT IT. It’s an Easter-themed romance novel.

prettyyear
The Year of the Beasts by Cecil Castellucci
I’m here for modern Medusa

prettyparis
I’ll See You In Paris by Michelle Gable
This cover looks like something I’d enjoy, but alas

augie
*Augie and the Green Knight by Zach Weiner
All the art in this book was great!

anythingbutordinary
*Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Hermann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff
Get it, girl

prettycore
The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo
Another cover that’s not pretty but is interesting

prettysprinkles
Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts by Jackie Alpers
I WANT IT

anyasghost
*Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Graphic novels I liked usually make it on here because I love the art

girlfromeverywhere
*The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
The cover itself looks exciting even before you know what it’s about

prettybaba
Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola
BABA YAGA I LOVE YOU

prettylumberjanes
*LumberJanes vol. 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson
Lumberjanes pretty much always ends up on here, right?

prettyencyclopedia
*The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg
Another great graphic novel

surprise_inside_cakes
Surprise-Inside Cakes by Rettke Amanda
YUM

Previously: 2016 Books: The Ugly

2016 Books: The Ugly

Here are my picks for ugliest book covers of the year (out of ones I read). I put a * next to the ones that were also on my 2016 Books: The Bad list. Rocking it with all the bad awards!!!

onemorething
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak
As boring as it can get, really

uglyovereasy
Over Easy by Mimi Pond
I expected more from this graphic novel

fortunespawn
Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
If this book hadn’t been recommended to me, the cover would have turned me away. I’m not into technical specs about your space ship.

feelinglucky
*Feeling Lucky by Kathy Bryson
Dude is still wearing a shirt? What kind of romance novel cover is this?

americanwerechaun
*American Werechaun in Dublin by Andy Click
Blah

uglypamela
Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson
This book was considered downright SALACIOUS in its time, so I feel like this cover could try harder.

uglyratfucked
Ratfucked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy by David Daley
This book was really interesting, but its cover isn’t doing anything for it.

uglyyoull
You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
Those bangs, oh god

uglygates
The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
It took me a stupid amount of time to realize that those are trees. Why are they sideways?

tocatchanheiress
*To Catch an Heiress by Julia Quinn
Rose clip art. Not even trying.

warlord
*The Warlord by Elizabeth Elliott
At least he’s not wearing a shirt, but the luscious flowing locks aren’t really doing it for me.

uglyeight
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
This looks like a children’s book not an angsty novel set in a winery

uglyfates
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
You can do better

cosmicsex
*Cosmic Sex by Karen Kelley
He looks stoned

uglycantwe
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
This cover makes my teeth itch

uglypogue
Pogue’s Basics by David Pogue
Boring

kanasquest
*Kana’s Quest by Anthony Ray Olheiser
Homemade

uglygirls
The Girls by Emma Cline
Eh

uglyeyes
*The Eyes of the Arab Boy by R Lamirand
I hate everything about you

Previously: 2016 Books: The Bad
Next: 2016 Books: The Pretty

ABC DVD: Arrested Development 2.3

Motherboy XXX
Lucille is ashamed of Buster’s hook hand so she concocts a plan to take George Michael to the annual “Motherboy” competition/dance event instead. Michael is determined to rescue him, and Buster agrees to help. Other boys wish they were being rescued from Motherboy.

motherboy

The Immaculate Election
Ann and Michael convince George Michael to run for school president, but when Michael finds out his son has no chance against Steve Holt, he asks Gob to use George Sr.’s dirty tricks to get him elected. Gob makes an incendiary campaign video that backfires, but impresses Ann with his light saber moves. Lindsay kicks Tobias out, so he dresses up as a British nanny named Mrs. Featherbottom to come back. They know it’s him, but the house has never been so clean.

mrsfeatherbottom

Sword of Destiny
Gob buys a “sword of destiny” and pretends to be Buster’s magical assistant since he can’t get a gig himself after the Magician’s Alliance kicked him out. Michael is hospitalized with appendicitis and thinks no one can do anything without him, but then everything is fine. Well, as fine as anything ever is.

swordofdestiny

Meat the Veals
George Michael wants to ask Ann to get pre-engaged and Michael decides the Veals need to meet his family so they will disapprove of the idea. Unfortunately, Lucille is depressed about George Sr. being gone and Gob is busy helping George Sr. kidnap Lucille for a secret vow renewal ceremony so they aren’t as awful as usual. Mrs. Veal takes Michael’s compliments (comparative to Ann) as come-ons tries to make out with him. Everyone ends up fighting at the church and George Sr. runs away again.

secularflesh

Spring Breakout
Michael checks Lucille into rehab until Kitty returns and demands to see her. She challenges Lucille to a drinking contest for George Sr.’s sperm. Lucille wins. GOB blows up the family yacht as part of a magic trick.

springbreak

Righteous Brothers
The model home collapses because it is shoddily made. George Michael and Maeby kiss. Tobias and Kitty leave together for Las Vegas, and Michael and GOB get in a fight on the courthouse lawn. They are separated by George Sr. who says there’s been too much fighting in the family and he’s going to turn himself in. Instead, he shaves and frames his twin brother Oscar.

imoscar

Trish’s Review
This is a strong set of episodes with some of the most memorable minor characters like Mr. and Mrs. Veal and Tony Wonder. The best part is probably when all the different storylines get ratcheted up to 11 in Righteous Brothers.
Rating: five out of five coolers full of sperm
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Kill Lucille because Motherboy is a terrible thing to inflict on anyone. Fuck Mrs. Veal and then get in an epic duel with Mr. Veal. Marry Tony Wonder, the magician, because he ~magically~ gives out free food and I like sandwiches.

tonywonder

Steven’s Review
Okay, yeah. This is where we get the good stuff. Badass Lucille makes an appearance, “Mrs. Featherbottom” makes “her” debut, and each episode seems to be daring the next one to be even more ridiculous. And seriously, the acting talent that we’re getting in this set is fantastic; Alan Tudyk and Ben Stiller in addition to the usual crew. Not to mention we finally see George Michael and Maeby finally seal the deal! (Or at least make out, but for them that’s close enough). Best line for me had to be Mrs. Veal begging Michael to teach her the ways of the secular flesh. And don’t forget the great Christian talk show, “And As It Is Such, Also As Such Is It Unto”
Rating Five out of five severed fingers
Kill/Fuck/Marry Kill Gob, because it’s a mercy to him and everyone else around him. Fuck Mrs. Veal (duh). Marry Kitty, because wouldn’t that be a wild ride?

Previously:Arrested Development 2.2
Next: Arrested Development 3.1

ABC DVD: Arrested Development 2.2

Switch Hitter
Gob goes to work with the Bluth Company’s competitor, although they may or may not be after him to win against the Bluth company in an upcoming softball game.

switchhitter

Queen for a Day
Some Bluth stock is finally unfrozen, but it’s important not to sell so that they retain control of the company. Unfortunately, no one listens, including Michael, who buys a corvette. Tobias buys a gay night club called The Queen Mary and converts a gang into being dancers (really they were the Hot Cops posing as a gang). He ends up getting stabbed after trying this on a real gang. The Bluths do lose control of the company to Lucille 2, who says she bought the stock because she wants to support them, but then decides to maintain control to get back at Lucille 1.

queen

Burning Love
Michael awkwardly tries to get with his childhood crush, Sally Sitwell, daughter of Stan Sitwell, the Bluth company’s main competitor. After finally hearing that her father approves of the match, Michael swaps his corvette with him for the money to buy Sally at the annual bachelorette auction, but she isn’t pysched about having her dad’s approval and turns him down. George Sr. installs a hot tub in the model home’s attic and instantly regrets it.

sallysitwell

Ready, Aim, Marry Me!
Michael is convinced that majority-holder Lucille 2 and Stan Sitwell are colluding against the company (really they are just in love). He calls in his dad’s friend “Uncle Jack” (not really their uncle) to try to bail them out, but his condition is a romantic date with Lindsay. Michael goes on a romantic date with Tobias to keep him from finding out, and Gob and Buster use army training and magic to spy on Lucille 2 because they are both secretly in love with her.

tobias

Out on a Limb
Michael learns that Maggie Lizer, whom he slept with 9 months ago, is 9 months pregnant. He gets Tobias and Lindsay to break into her house, steal her urine, and test it. It comes back positive, so he assumes that 1) she’s telling the truth (she isn’t), and 2) he’s really the father (he’s not, and she tells him he’s not). Buster swims in the ocean before being shipped off to Iraq, and gets his hand bitten off by a seal wearing a bow tie.

looseseal3
looseseal2
looseseal

Hand to God
Buster deals with losing his hand. Michael discovers that Maggie is NOT pregnant with his baby, but is acting as a surrogate for a gay police couple. They think she might be trying to keep their kid. Surprise! She’s not really pregnant at all. She outsourced it to a local waitress, who is using the pregnancy to pretend to be fat to sue the restaurant where she works. Gay policemen get their baby in the end.

imamonster

Trish’s Review
This bunch is kind of a mix for me: I like the two episodes about Maggie a lot, but I absolutely hate Ready, Aim, Marry Me! because Uncle Jack is gross.
Rating: Three out of five jars of chocolate body paint
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Kill Uncle Jack because he’s disgusting. Fuck Sally Sitwell because I like her hair. Marry either or both of the gay policemen because they seem really sweet and have maybe the healthiest relationship on this entire show.

gaypolicemen

Steven’s Review
Honestly, this run had a lot of iffy episodes for me. I love the Maggie focus, and the Buster hand-loss sequences are fun, but Michael and Tobias in particular kept irritating me and throwing me out of the enjoyment-bubble. Uncle Jack gets a pass out of me because 1) I’m pretty sure it’s a silly sendup of Jack Lalanne, and 2) it’s Martin Short! (How can you not love Martin Short?)
Rating: Three out of five loose seals.
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Kill Michael, like a dozen times. It was a close contest between him and Tobias, as both of them are royal idiots for most of this disc, but I can’t help but expect ridiculous antics out of Tobias. Michael, on the other hand, needs to grow a pair like pronto. Fuck Maggie, because she’s clearly got it going on (hard to choose between her and Sally, admittedly). Marry Stan Sitwell, because this may be the most genuine (and also successful) male figure in the entire series.

Previously:Arrested Development 2.1
Next: Arrested Development 2.3

ABC DVD: Arrested Development 2.1

The One Where Michael Leaves
Michael and George Michael try to leave for Phoenix because Michael is sick of his family but the police want to hold Michael responsible for George Sr.’s crimes now that he has run away. Tobias and Lindsay decide to try an open relationship. Gob becomes president of the Bluth company and finds some incriminating evidence hidden in a wall. Lucille signs Buster up for the army after being ambushed by a Michael Moore look-alike.

itmightwork

The One Where They Build a House
Gob promises to build a model home in only two weeks. Buster volunteers for the crew hoping to get injured to get out of army. Lindsay attempts to date a homeless man who is really a movie star researching a role. Buster ends up seeing his mom making out with Oscar and determines to go to war. The house is empty inside and collapses.

missionaccomplished

Amigos!
Gene Parmesan, the Bluth’s private detective, tracks the stolen stair car down to Mexico. Michael, Lindsay, Maeby, and George Michael head down to see if they can find George Sr. George Michael also brings his girlfriend, Ann, in the hopes that Michael will get to know her and maybe remember her name. Gob thinks Michael is attempting to flee the country and hires a bounty hunter named Ice to track him. Lindsay flirts with Ice badly. Ann gets stranded in Mexico.

gene2

Good Grief
Ice determines that George Sr. was killed by the Mexican police after first being mistaken for his brother Oscar and then being recognized as the inventor of the cornballer (all of the guards have horrific burns from it). The family plans a funeral, but tells Buster it’s a birthday party so he doesn’t lose it. George Michael discovers a very much alive George Sr., who bribed the Mexican police and has returned to try to win Lucille back from Oscar, and hides him in the attic. Michael discovers the deception and fakes his father’s attic escape so that he is the only one who now knows where his father truly is.

funeral

Sad Sack
The prosecution against Michael claim they have found a landscape photo of Iraq complete with bunkers on the Bluth company server, but it turns out to be a close-up of Tobias’ balls (Barry Zuckercorn knows the truth). Michael gets George Michael glasses thinking poor vision might explain his attraction to Ann. Buster needs Gob to motivate him over a wall in boot camp.

balls

Afternoon Delight
At the Bluth company Christmas party, Gob is mad that everyone makes fun of him and fires the entire staff. Michael convinces them to come back for another party the next day in which 1) his high mother drives her car into the banana stand, 2) Buster has to rescue Gob from the banana stand with his claw game skills, 3) both Michael and Maeby AND Lindsay and George Michael have embarrassing karoke renditions of Afternoon Delight.

army3

Trish’s Review
I feel like these are some of the strongest episodes in one stretch so far! I love Ann, Tobias’ attempts to join the Blue Man Group, and Buster in the army.
Rating: Five out of five fake-corpse pinatas
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Kill Tobias, because when in doubt I always kill Tobias. Fuck Ice, the bounty hunter. Marry Gene Parmesan because we both have a penchant for dressing up.

Steven’s Review
I actually really enjoyed most of this set, but it has the nagging tendency to feature more of Michael screwing up by giving his family opportunities to do it to him. Fix your indecision, man! They should be totally dead to you by now!
Rating: Four out of five cornballer burns
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Kill Michael, because he’s dead to me at this point. Fuck Barry, because everyone else seems to be into it, although he’s probably got every last STD by now. Marry Maeby, because she’s 1) constantly asking you to, and 2) making it big in the movies! Financial security assured!

Previously: Arrested Development 1.3
Next: Arrested Development 2.2

2016 Books: The Bad

This year I rated 11 books 1 star on GoodReads. Here they are:

It was a tough call on Worst Book of 2016. But I’m going with Looking for Alaska, mostly because of how critically and socially acclaimed it is. That raises expectations pretty high (unlike most of the other books here, which I expected to be terrible), so when it sucked it felt worse.

lookingforalaska
Looking for Alaska by John Green
I read this for Banned Books Week. Here’s my full review of why it sucks.

Library Book Sale Trash
warlord
The Warlord by Elizabeth Elliot
A romance novel I got for 20 cents at the library book sale. It’s about a dude in 12th cent. Scotland marrying a girl to save her from her evil step father. And then they find love.

tocatchanheiress
To Catch an Heiress by Julia Quinn
In this crappy romance novel, an English lord/AGENT OF THE CROWN kidnaps the wrong girl because he thinks she’s a Spanish spy. Then they find love.

cosmicsex
Cosmic Sex by Karen Kelley
Library book sale has a strong representation this year! This book is about aliens landing on earth to discover what these earthmen are like.

Proving a Point to Someone
feelinglucky
Feeling Lucky by Kathy Bryson
I read this to prove a friend wrong who thought there weren’t any romance novels about Irish dudes. This is about a woman who “catches” a leprechaun by grabbing his ass and then is entitled to his treasure. He tries to seduce the treasure back. Also in this universe leprechauns are just hot dudes who like money and can dance in mid air because why not.

americanwerechaun
American Werechaun in Dublin by Andy Click
I read this book for the same reason. It’s about a dude who keeps blacking out at the full moon and waking up with gold coins in his pocket. You know, a werechaun. Eventually he learns to control his powers and brings peace to the warring leprechaun and werechaun communities.

kanasquest
Kana’s Quest by Anthony Ray Olheiser
I read this when James Fox challenged me to read a knock-off Lord of the Rings book. It’s about the war between angels and Satan and involves some angel/human romance. It’s completely insane.

passionandponies
Passion and Ponies by Tara Sivec
This book is about a woman deciding she can overlook her Friend With Benefits brony tendencies and upgrade him to Boyfriend status.

Hate Book Club
eatpraylove
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I read this for Hate Book Club, full review here.

uglyeyes
The Eyes of the Arab Boy by Rod Lamirand
This was another Hate Book Club selection, famous for the author himself volunteering it. Full review here.

Just Randomly Bad
secretswekeep
The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
This book was about a dramatic car accident that killed one twin while injuring the other and everyone mistakes the one that lived for the one that died. And now she’s just pretending to be her sister?? Forever?? It’s really dumb.

mercyalbans
The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb
This book had a promising description: creepy house, family secrets, MURDER. But it was badly written.

Previously: 2016 Books: The Good
Next: 2016 Books: The Ugly

2016 Books: The Good

In total this year, I read 129 books! That’s 38,293 pages! According to GoodReads. I only gave five stars on GoodReads to 27 of them (about 21%). Also 3 of them were recommended to me by other people as part of my Recommended Books project! Good job, friends!

goodreads

This is the one I’m choosing as my Favorite Book of 2016, mostly because I haven’t stopped thinking about it, even though I read it near the beginning of this year. The story was so imaginative and the illustrations were awesome.

prettyencyclopedia
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg
This grahpic novel is BEAUTIFUL and so imaginative. It’s a story set thousands of years ago about an explorer from one of the poles, traveling in a canoe to different places, facing monsters and hostile civilizations, to find his True Love, who lives at the other pole. The illustrations are so great.

Other Graphic Novels

lumberjanes
Lumberjanes Volumes 3- 4 by Noelle Stevenson

I can never get enough of these hardcore, more badass girl scouts. This time they fight an ancient demigod monster that lives in the mountain near their camp.

princeless
Princeless Volumes 1-3 by Jeremy Whitley
A princess trapped in a tower makes a deal with the dragon guarding her, and the two go off to rescue all the other trapped princesses! It’s so badass and amazing!!

anyasghost
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Daaaaang this graphic novel starts subtly creepy and ends TERRIFYING

tomboy
Tomboy by Liz Prince
This is a graphic novel memoir about not fitting in to society’s gender roles, so you know I’m there. #tomboysolidarity

YA and children’s fiction

dumplin
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
This book was about a fat girl entering her town’s teen beauty pageant with a bunch of other high school social outcasts to make a statement. I really liked its message and identified with the main character #fatgirlsolidarity

girlfromeverywhere
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
This book was rad. The main character lives on her dad’s magical ship that can travel to anywhere that’s been mapped. Anywhere. Ancient China. El Dorado. Modern day New York. 1800s Hawaii. It’s nautical time travel fantasy with cool maps.

thewhisper
The Whisper (Riverman Trilogy, #2) by Aaron Starmer

It’s weird that, of this trilogy, this middle one is the only book to get 5 stars. The story is about the worlds you create in your imagination as a child, and those worlds being very much real and connected. This second book is a search through the various interconnected worlds of different imaginations on a hunt for a best friend and a villain.

augie
Augie and the Green Knight by Zach Weiner
This book is an adorable and sassy retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight featuring amazing illustrations!

seaoftranquility
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
A Recommended Book! This one was set in Florida and featured angsty teens, but the narration wasn’t over-the-top and annoying COUGHJohnGreenCOUGH.

Adult Fiction

goldenage
Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age (The Last Hundred Years trilogy) by Jane Smiley
I devoured this series that follows one family through 100 years. Each chapter is about the next year. A little history, a little future speculation, a lot of family drama. It reminded me of Edward Rutherford on a smaller scale.

rejane
Re Jane by Patricia Park
A modern version of Jane Eyre where no one has to marry gross Mr. Rochester! And part of it is set in South Korea!

romeoandorjuliet
Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure by Ryan North
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE ROMEO AND JULIET!!! In one of the endings you team up with Hamlet‘s Ophelia for epic revenge.

wheredyougo
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
An epistolary novel! That’s pretty silly! It has some PTA drama, some international intrigue, and an epic cruise to Antarctica! And a mystery!

fortunespawn
Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
Another book from my Recommended Books project! This is a sci-fi novel about a badass lady mercenary working as a security guard on an oddly accident-prone cargo ship. It’s cool to see a book from the point of view of one of the ship grunt’s, doubly so because she’s a woman.

Non-fiction

thingsnoone
Things No One Tells Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker
I’m really into Health at Every Size and body positivity because my past experience has taught me that weight and health might be correlated but don’t have as clear cut a causal relationship as commonly believed. This book is a series of (funny) essays about self-image, dealing with bullies, and living life.

girlsandsex
Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein
I really enjoyed Peggy Orenstein’s last book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, and this feels very much like a sequel to it, featuring interviews with teens and college-age girls.

anythingbutordinary
Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Hermann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff
Bet you’ve never heard of this awesome lady magician!! Your loss, because she was awesome.

nurses
The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins
Non-fiction that reads like fiction! I learned a lot of worrying things about healthcare!

savingalex
Saving Alex: When I was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That’s When My Nightmare Began by Alex Cooper
This book is terrifying, more so because it’s very real. Alex Cooper’s account of her time in “gay conversion therapy” reads like an account of kidnapped and abused child victims except her parents willingly put her there and to this day refuse to believe that was a terrible decision.

immortalirishman
The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan
This was part of my Recommended Books project this year! It’s a biography of Thomas Francis Meagher, who was exiled to Tasmania for his part in a failed Great Potato Famine-era Irish revolution, escaped imprisonment, and went on to become governor of Montana-territory!! Another non-fiction book that reads like a novel; I learned a lot.

atlasobscura
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer
A non-fiction book about little-known destinations around the world!!

Previously: 2015: The Good
Next: 2016: The Bad

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