Wednesday, July 23, 2014


It’s that time of year again! We’re (over) half-way through the year, and I’ve read a TON of books… 143 books to be exact, so here are some of my favorites so far.

The most interesting book I re-read this year was actually four books in one: The Year I Turned 16 by Diane Schwemm. I think these were probably some of my favorite books when I was 11 and 12, because they were about four sisters and, yup, the year they each turned 16. I’d been thinking about it for a few months, for some reason, and I finally found a cheap used version at Powell’s in Portland. Sidenote, never ever go to Powell’s on a Saturday if you can avoid it. It was pure madness, I tell you! The re-read proved interesting. I can’t exactly pinpoint what I loved about these books so much. I think it was the overall tone, and of course the characters, but the writing isn’t great. Didn’t hold up….

My favorite YA book I’ve read so far this year is…. We were Liars by E. Lockhart, which I can’t tell you anything about….. Which should make you really want to read it. If you know what I mean. Eeeeeeek.

One More Thing by B.J. Novak, the famed producer/writer/actor from The Office - one of my all-time favorite TV shows - is my favorite book of short stories this year so far. They’re political. They’re literary. They’re HILARIOUS. This book had me rolling.

I have three favorite fiction books so far:
The Circle by Dave Eggers: The premise of this one is what got me, as well as the relatable main character. This is my favorite Eggers, of whom I’ve never been a HUGE fan. I just leant this book to a friend who doesn’t read much, so we’ll see what he thinks!
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: I read Sherlock this winter on a whim, because my only exposure had been The Hounds of the Baskervilles in junior high. I liked the rest of the stories A LOT more than that one. Yes indeed.
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane: Another “on a whim” book, which I picked up out of the “new fiction” section of the library, mostly because I liked the cover art. It’s sort of a political mystery/thriller/commentary(?), and it’s very European, but it should make you think!

And, finally, shockingly, I have FOUR favorite graphic novels so far this year. I’ve never read a ton of graphic novels in the past, but 2014 has been a good year to get into them, I think.
Hark a Vagrant by Kate Beaton: I was not familiar with Beaton’s blog when I picked up this book on recommendation. It’s mostly historical cartoons. And they’re hilarious. I CRIED laughing about a particular one, which was a joke about the sun rotating around the earth….
Relish by Lucy Kinsley: This is a graphic memoir about food. And it’s amazing. I really loved how Kinsley could relate everything in her life to food in some way. Beautiful.
Blankets by Craig Thompson: This book has been out for a few years. It’s another memoir. This one, about the upper-midwest, and a heartbreaking teenage love story.
Hyperbole & a Half by Allie Brosh. Incomperable. I’ve been reading this blog for a long time. I basically worship the Alot, and it was amazing to see it all in print.

So…..that’s it so far. I hope that if you check out any one of these books you won’t be disappointed! As for me, Goodreads tells me that I’m 32 books ahead of schedule to read 200 books this year. Yikes.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lost Rocks

Our latest adventure: Lost Rocks. Redwood National Park (#10).