My Top 12 of 2018 aka How to Set Some Reading Goals

The major publications have already released their “best of” book lists for the year. But nope, at A Lifely Read, I like to push it to the very, very end. Major newspapers/magazines/websites have a reason for pushing their lists a bit early: No new books are being released at the end of the year and publishers want people to buy books for the holidays. (Did you see the article about printing issues that “derailed” holiday book sales?)

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Set your goals on a post-it next to your two phones and old-school adding machine. (STOCK IMAGE, duh!)

People often create reading challenges for a New Year, so I’m going to frame my Best Books of 2018 List according to the 12 months of the year. These aren’t necessarily the months that I read the books, but you’ll see why I’m slotting them in. Second caveat: Unlike official “best of” books lists, these are not just books published in 2018…I just happened to read them this year. My blog, my rules, okay?

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Not Oprah. Not Reese. Just Me: A Lifely Read & My Top 10 Book Club Picks

Sometimes I think of this blog as my own personal book club. I pick a book, read it, and then discuss it with – myself. That’s the writing part. What happens next, though, is I’ll receive a text from a friend who’s read a post and continue the “conversation” or someone will comment online about some aspect of a post with an interesting thought. So perhaps this blog is, in fact, kind of a “real life book club.” Readers and I “meet” outside of a regular gathering, but the jumping off point for discussion is – hey ho – right here. (Ironically, the very first thing I posted here was entitled Alone With My Books?)

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If this is what you want your book club to be, I can’t help you. ALTHOUGH, if these women are discussing books while dancing, I applaud their multitasking.

I’ve been in book clubs off and on since my early 20s, and I don’t mean to be a spoil sport, but I’m generally not a fan of the ones I’ve been in where people don’t actually read the book. I know, I know, that is the ultimate mommy/girls night out shtick: “No one ever reads the book! LOLOLOLOLOL….Pass the wine!” Call me a glutton for punishment (or maybe just antisocial), but if we’re meeting because of a book, let’s, I dunno, discuss it. We can go out for drinks or coffee to chat another time. (Maybe this is why I liked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine so much. #superserious #superliteral)

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Home is Where the People Are: Thoughts on An American Marriage

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An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones

Have you watched Broadchurch, the British crime drama? It’s an enthralling detective series (3 seasons currently on US Netflix, FYI!), and Olivia Colman who plays DS Ellie Miller (or “Millah” if you’re in our household and like to imitate David Tennant, of Dr. Who fame), will portray Queen Elizabeth starting in season 3 of The Crown. (Just providing a little British television family tree for you.) The acting and story lines are superb, but there is just one little niggling thing that I have to mention every single time we watch, much to my husband’s chagrin, I’m sure. My one annoyance: The village of Broadchurch is just like Richard Scarry’s Busytown. Why, look, the entire cast of characters has come out for the trial: the rector, the local newspaper editor, the plumber, the shady character who actually has experienced hard times and is therefore not shady, just guarded. (No candlestick maker yet.) And here they all are again at a footie match on the beach. And the local woman’s birthday party. And the community vigil. Meanwhile, Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm help mummy with the snacks. Wait a minute… Continue reading