And then completing the list wasn’t looking likely during the Fall Update, but I pulled it off in the end.
Here’s the account of the final 3 items on the list…
Buy typewriter key jewelry
Way earlier in the year, when I was trapped someplace with only my phone at hand, I scouted out some sources for typewriter key jewelry. And then I sat on it for months, because busy. So in mid-December, I re-did the search cuz the clock was ticking. And while I’d love to be able to wear a bracelet of typewriter keys, I just can’t do bracelets. (They get in my way!) So I went for the necklace. This one.
Memorize five quotes
Done! (I’d share them, but they’re for myself alone*)
Invite friends for dinner
I’m a nervous chef who performs best without pressure.
And dinner guests = pressure.
Plus, lots of us are tricky to feed (special diets, specialized palate, restrictions, all that stuff).
So I’m calling this good: we invited the Dear Man’s Dear Sister and Dear Brother-in-Law (who definitely are our friends), and we ordered a pizza from a local place that makes deep dish pizzas that one cooks at home. So:
Applying heat to dinner CHECK
Serving said dinner to said friends CHECK
Stick a fork in it: it’s done!
Here’s the full (completed!) list of my 18 for 2018…
Call old friends on a regular basis
Buy typewriter key jewelry
Go on southern vacation with the Dear Man and Younger Sister
Go on northern vacation with the Dear Man and Older Sister
Roast vegetables once a month
Burn a candle when writing
Buy fresh flowers & watch a YouTube video to figure out how to arrange them
Invite friends for dinner
Memorize 5 quotes
Visit 3 history geek places
Replace long wool coat
Bake 2 family recipes
Buy warm winter coat & boots
Remind myself to slow down once per day
Complete 2 of the 3: Book Bingo, Read Harder, and Modern Mrs Darcy reading challenges
Do a deep decluttering of my house
And now it’s on to planning my 19 for 2019…
What’re your favorite accomplishments of the year?
Give this book a whirl if you like… memoirs of city dwellers moving to the country, middle-aged love stories, a light touch of humor, compulsively readable writing
Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly
Give this book a whirl if you like… tiny snippets of story, memoir in bite-sized pieces, poetic and perfect writing, humor
Best Young Adult Fiction
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Give this book a whirl if you like… a realistic teen viewpoint, reading fiction inspired by current events, contemplating Black Lives Matter, exploring complex issues in a nuanced way, powerfully emotional novels
Give this book a whirl if you like… discovering the real person behind the stories, learning about a literary legend, learning about the author of children’s classics, American history through the life of one pioneer, overcoming hard times
Best Women’s Fiction
I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
Give this book a whirl if you like… dual narratives, seaside settings, second chances, finding love, life after a breakup, heroic characters quietly saving lives
Best Literary Fiction (2-way tie)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Give this book a whirl if you like… lovely writing, creative use of language, Black Lives Matter, Fates and Furies, he said/she said narrative style, considering social issues through fiction
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
Give this book a whirl if you like… big stories, books about complex families, stories about people’s lives falling apart, stories about houses, dual connected timelines, the life of a scientist, individual evolution and evolution of species
So, my fellow readers… what’re your favorites of the year?
We’re approaching year-end, and things are busy and pretty darn good. Here’s what’s been happening at the Unruly household…
Reading | The last few months, the reading’s been splendid. I whizzed through The Library Book by Susan Orlean and kept reading passages aloud to the Dear Man because Orlean so perfectly captured aspects of library life and the dedication of librarians to their work.
And I’ve been devouring books about food and cooking. Current obsession: My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl.
Listening | On my 3-minute commute and occasional trip to the grocery store, I inched my way through the audiobook Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willick and Leif Babin (which they read themselves, and dude, they sound scary.) And just started listening to Transcription by Kate Atkinson, which is making me happy to be driving.
Learning | We’re doing seasonal decorating here at the new old house, and it seriously takes two to do this kind of thing. I’ve got no decorating game whatsoever, so my tactic is to look up stuff on Instagram and Pinterest, then show pictures of stuff I like to the Dear Man, who has an artist’s/designer’s eye and can make suggestions about our space. Then we wander through the flea market and boutiques and craft stores and we figure out which pieces will work. It’s all a little bit bumbling, but it’s fun to work on it together and learn what we can do.
Organizing | After several false starts, we finished organizing the closet, which is such a relief and delight. We had to buy shelves, which had to be custom cut, and then right in the middle of the project, the store discontinued the shelves we were using. But: we got it done!
Eating | It’s the holiday season, and we’re surrounded by treats!
Loving | Our new house. I love our new house.
Anticipating | We’ll be spending time with both sides of the family this holiday season, and that means laughing. Can’t wait!
It’s our fifth annual Book Bingo event, and we’re so glad you’re here.
Once again, my collaborators and I have pondered categories and themes for the annual bingo card, and we realized we have several categories relating to fire and rebirth… so we’ve got a fiery theme and a hidden Phoenix this year.
Big thanks to the two people who make this possible:
My dear friend, who conspires with me all year long to develop this list of categories. So much fun.
The Dear Man, who goes into his office and then says, “Do you have a minute?” and shows me the most gorgeous design that captures every aspect we wanted (and then a little bit more). I love this.
How to Play
Read a book that fits the category. Each book can qualify for only one category.
Complete just one row or column, or go for blackout by reading a book in every category.
All books must be finished in 2019. Books started in 2018 but finished in 2019 count.
We’ve provided some definitions, but you can free-style it if you like—as long as you can make a case that the book fits the category.
All categories can be fiction or nonfiction (your choice), unless otherwise specified.