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:

2016 Book Resolution Recap

Confession: I kinda forgot that I made reading and writing resolutions for 2016, at least in an official way. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t make some progress! Some recaps from 2016 reading and reading

1. Finish book series I’ve started: I did manage to get through a few series that I’d started, including Dairy Queen, the Wolves of Mercy Falls, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I still have some series hanging out there, but at least I didn’t start a bunch more series that I couldn’t finish.

2. Read a few books for grown-ups: I did read outside of the YA sphere, but they were all non-fiction. I think that counts.

3. Add some non-fiction to the list: Totally nailed this one! I ended up reading way more non-fiction that I’ve read in years.

4. Pick from books already on my shelves: Well, I think I did that once…

Audio Book 5. Read more, tech less: Oddly enough, I think getting into audiobooks actually helped me reading more while tech-ing.

6. Finish my current WIP: I did get through a revision of this WIP, but it needs some more work before it goes out and is currently on a break. (Sorry, characters, I still love you.)

7. Complete a new first draft: I ended up completing a new first draft! It’s still way early in the revision process, but I really like this one.

8. Write when I think I don’t have enough time: I definitely could have been better at this. It’s so easy to think that a half hour isn’t enough time, when you can do way more than you think you can.Happy Dog

9. Start outlining new projects: I’m not an outliner, but I did start a spreadsheet of potential projects with notes about what they might include.

How did your 2016 reading and writing go? What were your successes, surprises, and challenges? And what’s on tap for 2017?

Be on the lookout for my 2017 resolutions, hopefully tomorrow!

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s the last Friday of 2016, and I am super glad to kiss this year goodbye. Let’s endeavor to stay strong, stay focused, stay positive, and stay supportive in 2017. In the meantime, let’s close out 2016 with a look at what I’ve been reading in fifteen words or fewer (because it’s winter break and I’m on vacation).

Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti
Caletti’s writing is beautiful, and Mads and Billy are heartbreaking.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
A fun, British-fueled romp toward the apocalypse. I need a miniseries now.

26.2: Marathon Stories by Kathrine Switzer and Roger Robinson
I guess I’m the kind of person who reads sports writing now. Yay running!

Links Galore

Lots of links I’ve been saving:

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys–and happy holidays! This evening is going to be all above gift wrapping, dessert baking, and hopefully watching the Muppet Christmas Carol (the best of the Christmas Carol versions, obviously). In the meantime, here’s a look at what I’ve been reading, in fifteen words or fewer:

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Finally finished this series! Now I’d like a Wolves of Mercy Falls miniseries adaptation.

Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind by Sakyong Mipham
Interesting look at the connection of the mind and body, and the art of being mindful on the move.

And in case you need some media to get you in the holiday spirit, the latest episode of Crossover Appeal is live for your listening enjoyment.

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!