Category Archives: Lists

January Books

So, remember when I made the resolution to read 100 books this year? It turns out that’s a lot of books. I mean, I know how much 100 is. I knew it was a lot going into it. But then N so helpfully did the math for me (math is obviously not my strong suit) and told me that meant I needed to read one book every three-and-a-half days.

That’s a lot of reading, you guys.

No matter, I am still trucking along. Let’s see how close I get to 100, at the very least. These are the books I finished in January:



If You Were Here – Jen Lancaster

Thoughts: This was just okay. It was a fluffy, easy read. It read like a fictionalized account of her real-life experiences, which is pretty much exactly what it was. Her memoirs are all really funny, and I think her writing style is better suited for memoirs.


The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman

Thoughts: Loved this one.  A unique story, it didn’t feel like anything I’ve ready before, which is always refreshing when you read as much as I do. Definitely pick this one up.


The Boy in the Suitcase – Lene Kaaberbol

Thoughts: Meh. I didn’t love this one. Apparently it’s the first in a series and I don’t care to continue with the series, so that says something. It’s a crime drama which I can take or leave. It’s somewhat in the vein of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, but only in that it’s Scandinavian and involves crime, I suppose.


Stardust – Neil Gaiman

Thoughts: Loved this one. Adding everything else Gaiman has written to my list for this year. This was a wonderful, whimsical, fairy tale. Ugh, so good.


The Phantom Tollbooth – Norman Juster & The Mark of the Dragonfly – Jaleigh Johnson

Thoughts [Tollbooth]: I didn’t love this one. I know it’s a classic and all, but it didn’t knock my socks off. It was definitely clever and fun, but not my favorite.

Thoughts [Dragonfly]: The publisher was giving away ARCs for this book, and I like free things. That being said, I also thought the cover was pretty, and I judge books by their covers. Now that we know I am a cheap and judgmental person, I will tell you that I thought this book was pretty good. It’s sort of a middle grade steampunk-fantasy type story. I hope this is part of a series, because while this book stands on it’s own just fine, there’s definitely a lot more to explore in the world Johnson has created here.



Hollow City – Ransom Riggs

Thoughts: Obviously I ordered this as soon as it was available, since I liked the first one so much. I don’t know why. These books are good (I read both really quickly), but they’re so weird. I don’t know how else to describe them. Good but weird.

So that rounds out my January total at 7 books. I gotta step up my game here.

*Note: This post does contain affiliate links. They will all re-direct you to Amazon, where I purchased 90% of these books.

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Cures for the Mean Reds


Or, Things To Do When One is Feeling Particularly Self Indulgent

Clear your calendar. Seriously. Cancel all your plans for the weekend, take a mental health day from work, whatever you need to do to get some quiet alone time.

Do your chores. I know this seems like an odd thing to have on a list of self-indulgent things, but you’ll feel so much better once all those nagging to-do’s are crossed off your list.

Put on your comfiest clothes. This is a time for perfectly worn in sweats and super soft socks and no makeup. Embrace it. Put on that Hoodie Footie.

Read a book. Or a magazine. Or the instructional booklet for your toaster. Whatever. Just cozy yourself right up and lose yourself in some quality reading material. Bonus points if you cozy up in a chair by the fire. With hot cocoa.

Work out. Hit up a hot yoga class and leave all your worries and cares in a puddle of sweat on your yoga mat. Go for a run and don’t worry about pace or distance. Go throw some weights around or take a barre class. Whatever kind of exercise you enjoy. Because exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t shoot their husbands.

Eat some comfort food. This is the complete opposite of the suggestion above, but that’s okay. Go get yourself whatever your favorite meal is. Spend some time in the kitchen perfecting your homemade mac & cheese. Then eat exorbitant amounts of it. Or, you know, get take out. Your call. Bonus points for ice cream, though.

Binge watch something. Get on Netflix and find a TV show you’ve never seen but have always wanted to watch. Proceed to watch every single available episode. (Suggestions: Orange is the New Black, Friday Night Lights, Dr. Who). Movie marathons are also really good here. (Suggestions: Harry Potter, old school Meg Ryan movies, Disney movies, Pixar movies, holiday classics).

Take a bubble bath. Or a hot shower, if baths aren’t your thing. But really, I don’t think there’s anything more relaxing than a nice bubble bath. Get some scented oils and bubbles up in there, bring in a good book, and just soak. You can really hammer this one home if you also add in a face mask, hair mask, body scrub…really get into the home spa vibe and just pamper yourself real good.

Sleep. Have a nap in the middle of the day. Stay up late. Go to bed early. Don’t set an alarm. Most often all you really need is one really great night’s sleep to re-set a crummy mood or just to recharge. Indulge.

Chocolate and wine. If nothing else works, there’s always this.


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Let’s Go Camping


Yes, the rumors are true. I’m going camping. For THREE WHOLE NIGHTS. My death is likely imminent. Just add a very healthy amount of dirt and bug spray to all of the above and that is pretty much how my trip is going to look. I’ll be back next weekend with stories galore, I’m sure, as well as a recap of my July. (HInt: it was rad.)

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