Quicklit December 2017

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We moved our furniture to put our tree in a different spot, and I must say reading within view of it is rivaling back yard reading, and reading by the firepit as a new favorite place to park myself with a book. Cozy nights=Merry Christmas.

Here's what I've been reading lately:

The Purple Swamp Hen And Other Stories by Penelope Lively -- I'm not usually a short story person, but I think someone on The Readers podcast talks about her a lot, so when I saw this on the new releases shelf at the library I picked it up. These short stories were great- engaging and satisfying. They were like a mix of F. Scott Fitzgerald and O. Henry. I predict that several Penelope Lively books will appear on my TBR in 2018.

11/22/63 by Stephen King -- This was a re-read for me, brought on by the release of the Kennedy files in early November. I still love this book as much as I did originally, even if it is a gigantic doorstop that was hard to carry on the metro!

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall -- It's not weird to relate to a polygamist man right? Because that was my reaction to this book. Oddly sympathetic.

It's been a few months since I've linked up with Quick Lit, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been reading.

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My favorite non-fiction books from 2016

Earlier this year, I made a goal to read or listen to fifty non-fiction books. I read 47 - not bad, considering I'm in the middle of 3 non-fiction books right now, and I still have 11 days left to go in the year.

My non-fiction books look a lot different from my reading list I created at the end of last year. I managed to get through only 15 of 40 on my list. I can't decide if I need to read harder, or if I need to ease up a bit on my list. I have some very ambitious books on my list while my actual non-fiction reading leaned more towards travel memoirs and cook books. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Here are the non-fiction highlights from 2016. (Note, I'm talking about books I read in 2016, not necessarily books published in 2016.)

Best General Non-fiction from 2016:

Leaving Orbit by Margaret Lazarus Dean - Makes you sad that you didn't pay more attention to the space shuttle program when it was around.

The Road Not Taken by David Orr - An in depth look at the poem everyone quotes without understanding.

When Books Went To War by Molly Guptil Manning - A testamnet to the power of reading.

Best travel memoirs from 2016:

Grandma Gatewood's Walk by Ben Montgomery - Read this book if you want to feel weak (but in a good way.)

Walking with Plato by Gary Hayden - An excellent walking book where the walkers don't end up fighting or divorced at the end.

Braving It by Ben Campbell - A father and daughter go to backwoods Alaska. What could go wrong?

Best Biographies from 2016:

Hissing Cousins by Marc Plyser and Timothy Dwyer - A great look at a historical rivalry.

Rosemary by Kate Clifford Larson - So sad, but extremely interesting.

Best Cookbooks from 2016:

100 Recipes by America's Test Kitchen - Everything in this book is amazing. I keep having grand plans of cooking through it.

Home Cooked by Anya Fernald - Another book of delicious food, but also a great book to curl up with on a stormy day.

Everyone is Italian on Sunday by Rachel Ray - No gimmicks in this book, just great food. Try the oatmeal.

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Review: Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

I got a lot more laundry done than usual this weekend because I was listening to the audiobook version of Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson. This book about the least famous Kennedy child was heartbreaking, but also inspiring. Her birth was rough, and Rosemary suffered from intellectual disabilities. After a failed lobotomy in her early 20's Rosemary spent her life hidden away from her public, and even her family for a time. It's hard not to judge Joseph Kennedy for what happened to Rosemary, just as much as it's hard not to admire what her brothers and sisters, especially Eunice and Ted, did later in life to better the positions of disabled people.

If you like biographies of underappreciated people try: