Thursday, January 12, 2017

2017 Books and a Brag

I need to get this off my chest, so if knowing this about me causes you to never want to read the blog again, I understand:

I did not meet my 2016 reading goals. I KNOW. I even shamefully added the YA series I had re-read and didn't want to add since I read them in a day, and I still came up two books short of my goal. I guess reading lists and blogs get pushed to the side in a year with a new baby and a move. Such is life. 

The combination of the fantastically dreadful political climate and my lack of posting has the number of Cathofeminism followers dwindling. For those of you left though, I offer a quick run down of what I read in 2016, what I plan to read in 2017 so far, and a painting brag so that I can remember I am still pursuing creative outlets! Let's get down to business and talk books. 

2016 Reads:

Modern Romance: Aziz Ansari
A good read. Ansari researched past and present dating trends and compared, contrasted, dissected the similarities and differences. Plus he's hilarious.

The Princess Bride: William Goldman
I was totally suckered into the story here. Great book. Goldman is a genius. 

As You Wish: Cary Elwes
I had a major crush on Elwes when I was ten, so if you did also, this is a great guilty pleasure read. 

Romantic Outlaws: Charlotte Gordon
I had no idea how much I loved reading about historical figures until this book. It follows the lives of Mary Wollenstonecraft and her daughter, Mary Shelley. A truly fascinating story and now I need to make a mental note to add Frankenstein to my 2017 list.

So You've Been Publicly Shamed: Jon Ronson
Another one in the pop culture genre. While I am terrible about tweeting, I live on social media so it was an insightful read for me. 

rats saw god: Rob Thomas
I was mourning the moratorium on new Veronica Mars books, movies, series and went old school Rob Thomas. Great stuff. 

It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History: Jennifer Wright
I love reading about crazy historical figures. I need more books like this. 

The Art of Memoir: Mary Karr
AMAZING. I immediately added a few of Karr's books to my list, and she's my current memoirist heroine. There's a Catho writer's shin-dig she will be at in June and I plan to do all I can to be there. 

The Girl on the Train: Paula Hawkins
More fiction! That is so rare for me. I basically read this because I am dying to see the movie (obsessed with Emily Blunt but five kids at home so waiting for the DVD) and now I just want to see the movie even more. Quick read.

Half Broke Horses: Jeanette Walls
Walls wrote this from her grandmother's perspective and it was such a vivid story. She's a fantastic storyteller, and I loved this maybe even more than The Glass Castle. 

I tried to read outside of my standard female comedienne memoir genre and found a few more areas to pull from in the future. When I was 12 or 13, I read the Vampire Diaries series and it was my favorite thing in the entire world. When the CW announced they would be doing a TV series based on the books, I was all "YEAH. IN YOUR FACE, TWILIGHT." But I never watched the series, and the promos made me never want to watch it ever, but I secretly wanted to re-read the books. I had my mom bring them to me and, well, let's just say that there's a reason I haven't read much YA or fiction since I was 12 or 13. It was still fun to read again for nostalgia's sake. 

2017 Reading List (so far)

Books I have not been interested in reading even though in theory I really want to read them:

1. Breaking Through: Helen Alvare

2. Anna Karenina: Leo Tolstoy

3. Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching: Anthony Esolen

Books I have and cannot wait to read but then I just end up playing spider solitaire on my phone because it is mind-numbing in the best way possible:

4. In Cold Blood: Truman Capote

5. The Liars' Club: Mary Karr

6. Lit: Mary Karr

7. The Woman Warrior: Maxine Hong Kingston

8. It Didn't Start With You: Mark Wolynn

9. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: Ransom Riggs

10. My Badass Book of Saints: Maria Morera Johnson

11. Hillbilly Elegy: JD Vance

Books I do not have and will not let myself buy or check out or rent or borrow until I start actually reading more than a magazine article this year:

12. Everything I Never Told You: Celeste Ng

13. Just Kids: Patty Smith

14. Scrappy Little Nobody: Anna Kendrick

15. Talking as Fast as I Can: Lauren Graham

16. Frankenstein: Mary Shelley

17. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

As my goal for the year is only 15 books, and I have 17 and counting on my 2017 list, it's ambitious and I am considering some audio books for the ones I keep putting off. (I am looking at you, Tolstoy.)

Tell me: any you see that you loved? Hated? Dying to discuss? What are you excited to read this year?

Brag time: I have not painted since 2009. Kids got in the way.  I suddenly really wanted to make something, so I had the four older kids collaborate on the giant purple painting on top while I made a pair that were supposed to be for the bathroom, but I like them way more than I had planned to like them. Lesson learned: I miss painting.