This One’s for the Girls

Parks and Recreation gave us so many great TV moments, and Galentine’s Day (aka February 13, when we celebrate the great women in our lives) is one of the best.

Although I can’t be brunching with my favorite ladies today, it’s a great excuse to share some of my favorite female non-romantic bookish relationships. My criteria: all members of the relationship have to be well-developed characters with their own stories and motivations (ie, no friends who basically be taken out of the story without it affecting the plot to much). In no particular order:

code-name-verityMaddie and Julie from Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
The most powerful story of friendship and sacrifice in YA. Or literature. COME AT ME.

The Penderwicks sisters from The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall
The Penderwicks girls are smart and thoughtful and supportive. Part of why I love this series is just getting to spend time with all of them.

Hermione and Polly from Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
Even in the truly worst of experiences, Hermione and Polly’s supportive friendship shines through. I don’t have the upper body strength to be part of their cheerleading team, but I would totally hang out with them after practice.

Nikki and Maya from This Side of Home by Renée Watson
Genuine and thoughtful look at two twin sisters who are growing up and growing apart, but always have each other’s backs.

Mary, Scarlett, Tansey, and Emer from A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle
Touching story about a girl, a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother as they deal with life and death.

Elizabeth and Christina from Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty
This was one of my favorites as a teen reader. I love how Elizabeth and Christina get to be friends through their schools’ pen pal program. Great story showing how friendships can evolve over time.

Other suggestions for great Galentine’s Day reads? Share them in the comments!

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everybody! We’re digging out of a snowstorm here in the Boston area, which means all I want to do this weekend is curl up with a lot of books and baked goods. (Gotta get a run in there, too.) In the meantime, let’s kick things off with a couple of book reviews in fifteen words or fewer.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
A beautiful story about family and kindness and the power of stories.

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Epic and engaging look at the history of cancer. Literally cried at some parts.

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
Whether it’s poetry or books for adults or YA, Woodson more than delivers.

Links Galore

The links I’ve been saving for a snowy day:

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! My week has mostly been sneezing and hacking and staring out the window like a recluse in a Victorian novel. But I’ve also gotten a little reading in, so let’s kick the weekend off with my fifteen-word-max reviews.

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
I already loved the show; now I love the book, which features more obstetrics.

The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
I love the Penderwicks more and more with each book. Batty is a joy.

Links Galore

Lots of links I’ve been saving:

Annie’s Non-Scientific List of Best of 2016 Books That Were Probably Not Published in 2016 but Are Best for Other Reasons

I don’t read a lot of “best books of the year” lists. Most of the time, I’m catching up on books that were published prior to this year, and ‘best of’ is so subjective anyway. The best book for you might be one that’s about a particular topic that you read at a particular time. Maybe it’s not the best crafted or the most popular, but it’s the best book for you in that moment, and that should be celebrated, too.

With that in mind, here are some of my best books that I read in 2016–with some very specific categories.

Best Audiobook to Listen to on a Road Trip That Lasts 3.5 More Hours Than You Think It Will: Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Trust me. Amy and her friends are here to help.

Best Book for Making You Want to Scrape Your Emotions out with an Ice Cream Scoop: Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez
I’m still obsessed with this book. A tough read but so powerful.

Best Picture Book for Making You Wish You Were a Toddler Again: Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
This book is adorable and hilarious and I don’t know why I can’t read it every night as an adult person.

Best Book for Helping You Put Things in Perspective: Life Without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People by Camille DeAngelis
I read this one immediately after buying it, which is rare for me. Get on this, fellow artists. (Also this one actually came out in 2016 so mwahaha, nailed it!)

Best Book for Making You Want to Run Everywhere: 26.2 Miles to Boston: A Journey into the Heart of the Boston Marathon by Michael Connelly
I never considered myself a sporty person but now I’m reading all these running books and having major feels.

Best Book for Making You Want to Spend a Summer in Maine: The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall
How does Birdsall craft stories that are so gentle and yet so real?

Best Book for Feeling Like Melina Marchetta Writes Specifically with You in Mind: The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
Damnit, Marchetta, how are you so good?! Why do you want me to cry and have feelings?!

What’s on your specifically categorized ‘best of 2016 (or maybe not 2016)’ list? Share in the comments!

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted a Friday Fifteen, partly because November was a dumpster fire and partly because I was in a reading and writing slump (mostly related to the general dumpster fire-ness).

ReadingYes Please by Amy Poehler
Fresh and funny and honest; I want to be friends with Amy and her friends.

Writing: …I know what to do if there’s a fire or earthquake or killer bee attack.
New MC is prepared for anything.