Readers, Dad. They're called readers.

Anna Karenina
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Beginning of Better Days: Divine Instruction to Women from the Prophet Joseph Smith
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good Book
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life
Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society
The Kindness of Strangers
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor
Twenties Girl
The Last Anniversary
Between Shades of Gray
Wicked Business
Courtship and Curses
Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality
The Solace of Open Spaces
The Birth House
Still Alice
Eliza, The Life and Faith of Eliza R. Snow
The Brides of Rollrock Island
Finding Colin Firth
Looking for Me
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope
The Kitchen House
Sweet Tooth
The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
Double Down: Game Change 2012
The Rosie Project
Darth Vader and Son
Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures
Freakin' Fabulous on a Budget
Wedding Night
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Dad Is Fat

I did read some books this year--not as many as I would have liked, of course, but still. There was reading. One time I saw another blogger's New Year's Resolutions and one of them was "Read four books this year." I remember being so confused and gobsmacked. I mean, how could you avoid reading four books in one year? Seriously! I think her other resolutions were things like "Learn how to make own croissants" and "Go sailing in the Maldives or some s***," and she probably accomplished them. Which just goes to show that maybe I don't use my down time as productively as I could.

Anyway. There was a stretch this summer where everything I read was disappointing, but thankfully I got back on track. Here were a few favorites from 2013.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. This was the 5-star book for this year. I had to be in the right frame of mind to finally pick it up and read about cheery things like sex trafficking and women without access to education or maternity care. But I'm so glad I did. And there's actually quite a lot of cool, uplifting stories about what these women are able to do once they get treated like, you know, humans.

Still Alice
Still Alice. This novel is about a brilliant Harvard professor who starts forgetting things. When she gets disoriented during a jog, she visits her doctor and is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. Alice and her husband, with their three adult children, are all trying to cope in their own ways as she deteriorates. I couldn't put it down, even though it was pretty heartbreaking in places.

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures. This will never win the Nobel Prize for Literature, but man it's what I needed to read after little Loki was born. I just sat on the couch and howled, then tried to read parts out loud to GH. I think my favorite story was the one about the road trip where her husband had to hold their child in the air on the side of the road while he did his business.

Where'd You Go, BernadetteWhere'd You Go Bernadette? This book was a fun read that was also really well-written. Bernadette doesn't fit in with the other moms in Seattle (and she doesn't want to). When her agoraphobic tendencies get out of control, she disappears after a failed intervention. The novel is made up of the emails, FBI files, and ER bills compiled by Bernadette's teenage daughter as she searches for her mom.

The Rosie Project The Rosie Project. Hilarious and touching. This book is maybe what would happen if Dr. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory wanted to find a life partner. In this version he's Dr. Don Tillman, an Australian genetics professor whose social awkwardness (think Asperger's) masks the fact that he's a very sweet guy. Don embarks on "The Wife Project" armed with a survey he's designed to weed out unsuitable matches. But when he meets Rosie, a woman who meets none of his requirements and causes all kinds of upset to his orderly life, he keeps looking for reasons to spend time with her. (Note: the Kindle version is only $1.99 right now, so if your library doesn't have it this would be a great way to check it out!)

What about you guys? Any favorites I should put on this year's to-read list?


Kayla FrecklesinApril said... [reply]

Half the Sky has me wanting to become a doctor and move to the developing world and help marginalized women. My husband has, sadly, told me that's probably not going to happen.

Have you read Tell the Wolves I'm Home? SO so so good.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Kayla, you are the 2nd person in a week to tell me about Tell the Wolves I'm Home (the other was blogger friend and basically-related-to-me Missy). So I definitely have to read it!

Janalee said... [reply]

ha-ha - four book, snicker.

Since I've pulled a few great books from your site, I'll offer a few bones for you from my 2013 list:

*Their eyes were watching God
*Cannery Row
*Call the midwife
*Ethan Frome
*Quiet (introvert book)
*Life Lessons from mothers of Faith (LDS, mostly excellent pieces)
*Eats, Shoots & Leaves, (hilarious, I bet you've read it)
*Fahrenhiet 451 - !!
*Language of Flowers
*Native Son - sooooo great.

Janalee said... [reply]

That would be:

Ha-ha - four bookS, snicker.

That's what I get for snickering.

elliespen said... [reply]

Of course my first thought here was, "Don't do that, son. Don't romanticize them."

I saw a report recently that described a study where participants had to "read extensively" by reading half a million words in six months. That's about 6.25 average-length books. I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry that that's what their definition of "extensive reading" encompassed. I've a feeling Mr. Darcy, for example, would be unimpressed.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Janalee, these are the ones from your list that I've read too:

*Call the midwife
*Eats, Shoots & Leaves
*Fahrenhiet 451
*Language of Flowers

And yep. They were all great!

Nemesis said... [reply]

Elliespen, please be my BFF. And yeah. My perspective could very well be skewed but to me 1 book a month does not a "great reader" make. But then I remember seeing stats on how many people left high school or college and just never read another book ever again.

elliespen said... [reply]

Done. :) (What clinched it, You've Got Mail or Mr. Darcy?)

Jenny said... [reply]

I read more than 4 books when I learned how to make croissants. Don't marginalized yourself because someone else is clearly not a great reader and can't take pleasure in too many things in one year....

Read the boys in the boat. Yes it's technically about sports but it is. British sport! And Hugh Laurie gets a shout out along with Gregory Peck!!

Also read Me before you and The girl you left behind, both by Jojo Moyes.

beckyww said... [reply]

I hit several good ones this year. "Orphan Master's Son" - North Korean story about love, torture and culture - depressing but excellent. Really made me think. "Edgar Sawtelle" - deaf son in a family that raises dogs - I don't even like dogs and loved this. "Warmth of Other Suns" - black migration to the north - wouldn't have bought it if I'd known what it was about and yet I couldn't put it down.

Jennifer Whitcomb said... [reply]

Read Julie Berry's new book.
All The Truth That's In Me.
It's up for some pretty great awards right about now.

P.S. Who needs the Maldives when you've got a pile of good books?

Liz Johnson said... [reply]

OOH, I second the Ethan Frome recommendation. Although maybe wait until it's sunny outside, because that book is just like winter - grey and stark. (and I LOVED it.)

I recommend "Shadow Divers," "Lone Survivor," and "The Handmaid's Tale." Bonus for Lone Survivor - Mark Wahlberg stars in the film adaptation, which I plan to see ASAP because, Mark Wahlberg.

{owens} said... [reply]

Hey, I'm a stalker :) I found your blog thru Hillary McCormmick's blog. And I just have to say, I've been sitting here at work practically peeing my pants. Your posts are incredible, hilarious, and it makes me feel good. Thanks for being so funny. PS I'm a nurse and I'm SHOCKED your nurses didn't listen to you about the FOLEY! You totally get mom-of-the-year points for having babies and having broken bladders.. :(

Nemesis said... [reply]


It was both, but mostly the "You've Got Mail!"

Nemesis said... [reply]


Jen, I'm buying Boys in the Boat for the library and just checked out Me before You!

Nemesis said... [reply]


Beckyww, hello! I read Warmth of Other Suns a couple of years ago and I agree, it's such an unlikely page-turner! Will have to check out the others on your list . . .

Nemesis said... [reply]

@Jennifer Whitcomb

I just saw that one at my library! And yeah, holy dang that's a lot of award nominations . . .

Nemesis said... [reply]

@Liz Johnson

Liz, I WILL wait on Ethan Frome, because I can't be playing around with The Bleak Stuff when it's Jan/February. Badness ensues.

Nemesis said... [reply]
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Nemesis said... [reply]


{Owens}, welcome! I always love a friendly, literate stalker. ;-) And THANK YOU for backing me up that those two particular nurses were crazy weirdo crack smokers. We have it from a nurse, folks!

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Love the scarf from last post. LOVE your title. A delightful line from a favorite movie. The world still needs Nora Ephron. Maybe YOU could take over?

Nemesis said... [reply]

STM, I could never hope. Will just have to settle for quoting her among kindred spirits!

Missy W. said... [reply]

I really enjoyed Still Alice, and I recommend "Wonder" as one of the few YA novels I have liked in a long time.

Missy W. said... [reply]

Also, I laughed so loud about the hobo spider in your pants because that happens to me ALL THE TIME in the winter. Ok, that happens to me all year.

Brittney said... [reply]

I always look forward to your reading lists, you have impeccable taste my dear. Many of my current favorite books were recommendations from you.

Nemesis said... [reply]

@Missy W.

Missy, I read "Wonder" this month and loved it--my book group is going to read it this year too! Also, SO glad I'm not the only one with the embarrassing hobo spider moments . . .

Nemesis said... [reply]


Brittney, are we friends on Goodreads yet? If we aren't then we should be!

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