The Things We Forget

Mother’s Day is weird this year.

Mom’s birthday is May 11 and usually it falls within a couple of days of Mother’s Day.  My mom was an extraordinary gift giver.  For me,  it was always a struggle to get on her level for Mothers Day and her birthday, which we always treated as separate days.   She understood the struggle of people who have birthdays on or near holidays… of course, my birthday is on National Boss Day… I guess I know the struggle as well?

It just caught me off guard last month- I came across an ad for Menards or something that was like, “Make Mother’s Day Special.”  I was like, “Wow.  There is that, too.”

Growing up, I did a lot of the cooking.  It started when I was in about 5th grade, Mom got really sick over Thanksgiving and I made Thanksgiving dinner.  Up to that point, I made the occasional hot dogs  or macaroni and cheese or ramen.   But after, we realized I could more or less follow directions for cooking meals, I took over a majority of the cooking.

It made sense, because in 6th grade, I would come home from school and “get dinner started”… and once you’re trusted to boil pasta water, it’s not that big of a step to make hamburgers.  And no one every bled out from cutting themselves while making a salad.

I learned at an early age how to get food to the table at the appropriate temperature, at the same time.  Seriously, my mom would flip shit if I brought out fries 10 minutes before burgers were ready. Or a pan of baked ziti getting cold on the table while you’re still waiting for salad to come out.  I learned that you cannot use flour or granulated sugar to thicken up buttercream frosting that you carelessly made too thin.  That first year I made Thanksgiving dinner, mom talked me through the whole thing, including dressing, mashed potatoes, and gravy.  I cooked the turkey breast down because I didn’t know any better.  When I got the meal to the table, the turkey did not look like what you see in magazines, and I assumed I had messed something up.  Mom was like, “breast down is how Martha Stewart cooks her turkey”.  And it keeps the white meat from drying out.  Ever since, I’m like, “Martha Stewart can get on my level!” And I cook the damn thing breast down.

Growing up, we had a weekend routine that I continue to be in awe of.  We’d get up Saturday morning and do JJ’s soccer games/tournaments, and wrestling meets.  If Nicole and I were reffing, we did that. Often, mom would work in the concession stand or field marshal at tournaments or do whatever portion of the seemingly endless work of volunteers in youth sports organizations.  Then we’d hit the library for books.  We never had a limit- we’d each leave with a stack of books that would reach our chins.  Then the video store, back when that was a thing.  Usually we’d get 2-3 movies… some new releases, some that we had seen before.  Usually there was something for all of us to watch as a family and then something that was Rated R, which mom and dad would watch after we went to bed.  Then groceries and the feed store, then home.

After unloading the horse feed and groceries, we usually have 1-2 hours to immerse ourselves in reading.  Mom would turn on college football or PBS, while she sewed or crocheted, or quilted.  And then we had pizza. Chef Boyardee makes a pizza mix, that comes with the dough mix, sauce, and Parmesan cheese for two pizzas.  Throw some mozzeralla on top, and it was not a half bad pizza.  Once JJ got a little older though, two pizzas made as prescribed didn’t go real far in a family of five.  So, we’d get another pizza dough or use flour to thicken up the crusts.

Around the time I was in 5th grade, I was making the pizza myself.  And I got good at it.  I figured out how to make it, so that it was filling and delicious.  Pizza plus nachos made with doritos, bean dip, taco sauce, and cheddar cheese.  That is Saturday to me.

When Mom was in hospice, she explained the origin of that family tradition.  Her father had died when she was kid (11-12 years old).  Her mom was trying to raise four kids and keep a roof over their heads.  She made pizza for the family because it was cheap and it was good, and it was one thing just didn’t suck.  It was something they could look forward to for the week.  And back then, soda was just becoming a thing. They’d have glass bottles of soda and pizza, and for that night, things were okay.

The thing is, I forgot the recipe.

There was a time when I knew that recipe better than I knew the star-spangled banner.  I’ve made it a couple of times since she died, and its just not right.  Its actually kinda terrible.

I have two thoughts  on the matter- one is to let it go.  Before she died, I didn’t make pizza from scratch because it is a little bit of a beat down.  Especially when you get get a Hot and Ready at Little Ceasar’s for $5.  Or a decent frozen pizza from Aldi for $4.

But, then there is the other part of  it… that I ought to re-develop the recipe, so I can pass it down to Nico.  But he has such trash taste in food… I can’t imagine he would like it.  And that would be disappointing.


Growing Stuff

We had planned to move back to the northwest side…

There have been 4 high profile murders in Rogers Park in the last year or so… a couple of bystanders caught in drive-bys… one at the CTA stop just south of where we are.  Another across the street from the Jewel we went to a lot.

Then, Rogers Park, had the makings of a serial killer.  Back in the late summer/early fall two people were murdered, in separate incidents, execution style in East Rogers park (where we live).

But there are other annoyances to living where we do.  There is a neighborhood bar katty-corner across the street.  Which I thought would be cool… but its not cool when the same drunk lady is outside yelling her face off at 2am.  And parking.  Oh, the parking is the definition of a cluster f*ck.

So, the plan  was to move when our lease was up (April 30).  We *wrongly* assumed that we would be able to go month to month at our current place, not really checking to see that that would be an option.  But it wasn’t and our leasing company would extend the lease by only one month.  For a fee.

We looked at some places… but honestly, Dave and I weren’t sure we’d be able to actually move in order to not be homeless.  Honestly, it scared the hell out of me, the prospect of giving our place up and having to find a new place and move in 10 days.  I’m not going to lie.  Also, April has been completely bonkers for us, with me playing three times a week, Nico’s baseball and soccer schedule picking up.  Judo.  And work.  It just was not going to happen.

So, we’re still in East Rogers Park for another year.

Its actually okay, because I was getting ready to burn the Chicago rental market to the ground.  Truthfully, I hate it.   I absolutely hate it.  We can have a conversation about what should be “required” for a rental space… after months of looking, I just got this unbearable smugness from listings I was seeing.  A third-floor walk-up 3/1 with 900 square feet, no dishwasher and no laundry?  For $1300 a month? In a transit desert? F*ck you.

I don’t know anything about the rental market here, but I know some property developers/leasing companies that have a hell of a lot of nerve with the shit they pull.  I get the sense that so many of these companies are just blinded by the market that they have no sense of decency.  I don’t understand how it isn’t immoral to rent properties that don’t have laundry facilities.

Honestly, at this point, I welcome the revolution.

The good news is that it only took Dave one month of looking at rentals to understand the sociological  implications of vast inequality.  I mean, he’s not throwing Molatov Cocktails… yet…but he gets it.

I guess that one of the upsides to not moving back to the Northwest side means that I can get my garden hopping this year.  Last year, I was supposed to get some new soil amendments o I didn’t start my garden till after.  By then, it was too late.  But, I am on it this year.  I plan to get the lettuce box going again this year, which was great for salads two years  ago.  I am also not kidding myself about the tomato situation.  I’m doing 2-3 plants, tops and they are going in my garden plot, along with Kale.  My strawberry plants failed spectacularly in their strawberry bucket.  But I am not sure what I am going to do there.

My succulents have been doing well.  I had read (on the internet) that succulents don’t like water and to not water them.  Ever.  I had 10 plants in my office window last year this time, and I managed to kill all but 3 of them, just by not watering them.  Well, I read a book on taking care of succulents.  Turns out that they actually like to be watered.  So  they don’t die.

I know what you’re thinking: Could JBR be any more basic?  Of course I would be into succulents.  They are having a moment right now.  You know ya girl: she basic AF.





JJ and Elena Sitting in a tree…

My brother got married.

THAT is a weird sentence to write.  Only because he was so anti for so long, it was like, “Yeah, we get it, you don’t want to get married.”  But he did.  He found a sweet girl that puts up with his shit.

It is funny to type that.  Because he’s actually a nice person to live with… he’s super considerate and pulls his weight with stuff. At least he did on the few occasions that he has lived with us.  Of course, maybe he knows I would put the hammer on him if tried NOT pulling his weight.  It’s hard to say really.   



In any case, they decided to get married.  She is from Germany/Italy, and her family couldn’t make it.  And JJ is anti, as we’ve discussed, so it was small.  Just us and our Washington Aunt Judy.  Plus one of JJ’s friends.

JJ works in marine carpentry; right now he is working on the Swiftsure, the oldest remaining lightship.  Which is really cool.  I got to tour the old boat when I got to town.  Really kind of annoyed I couldn’t get a t-shirt or a coffee cup or something.  Can you imagine it on swag?  It would be brilliant!


The next day, we headed to Pike’s Place for flowers and to walk around.  I haven’t been in over 20 years, so it was cool to see it.  Still still still love buckets of flowers.  Honestly, I could live my whole life and never get tired of buckets of daffodils, lillies and tulips.


Nicole and I were also on the prowl for gifts for our kids.  I hit the jackpot with a complete set of baseball cards from 1989.  Nico was all in on that, you can bet.


JJ’s soon to be mother in law treated us to a fancy dinner the night before at a place on the lake.  Like an idiot, I didn’t bring any other jackets with me to Seattle.  I had my black adidas travel jacket, but that was it.  And it rained a lot… so… I ended up buying a windbreaker from target to keep the rain off of me.  But it meant that I went to dinner looking like a hick that doesn’t know how to dress for fancy restaurants.


I have decided that my sister is the Barney Stinson of us kids.  She photographs well and always looks like a million bucks.  For traveling, she throws on Adidas trainers and a FSU hat over loose wavy hair and looks like an influencer on instagram.  I wear a hat on a plane and people assume I am a man with poor manners. Also, I don’t know if my face is just permanently swollen, but you can pretty much never see my eyes (FAT… its fat, I just have a fat face?). Also, I have come to realize that my face isn’t very symmetrical.  Due to my broken nose and my partially ground down teeth (from grinding my teeth when I sleep).  What is kind of remarkable is that I don’t even see how messed up my face is anymore.  That is what my eyes have done.  They have automatically applied a Facetune edit so I don’t notice on a daily basis on not symmetrical my face is.  So, at least I have that going for me.  SUUUUUUUCK.

The ceremony was a small justice of the peace deal on Sunday morning, which is something I can’t recommend enough.  I didn’t realize it, but the court house was basically closed.  They let us in for the ceremony, but no one else was there.  So it was nice to be able to get pictures without random people being in the way.

After the ceremony we headed to fisherman’s terminal for some pictures.  As he has done for 35 years of his life, JJ was intent on ruining a lot of them, with his face and his general “JJ-ness”.  LOL Elena, joke’s on you, he is yours now!

While at Fisherman’s terminal, we had brunch at Chinook’s, which was fantastic.  It was the best meal I had there.


After brunch, we scooted to a light house for a few more pictures before JJ whisked Elena off for a surprise honeymoon.  He actually got in touch with her boss to get her a couple of days off so that they could go, which I thought was really cool.

When they split for that, Nicole and Aunt Judy and I went to the Chihuly exhibit, which is at the base of the Seattle Space Needle.  It was pretty cool.  I wasn’t REALLY interested in hitting the exhibit, but we had like 10 hours still my flight and 6 for Nicole’s so, we were like, “Sure”. I was blown away by the intricacies of the work.  So, I was glad we went.


Taking Stock: February 2019

Making: I am in the mood to make a mess of bath bombs.  A mess of them.
Cooking: Thinking about Ina Garten’s engagement roast chicken.  Only because I think winter calls for Roasted chicken.
Drinking: I discovered a new type of green tea that also has chai and vanilla in it.  It is not bad.  Actually quite enjoyable.
Reading: So many books.  So far, I have a physical copy of a productivity book going.  Along with that, I have also started to listen to The Prince of Tides, which I don’t love.  Mostly because I am not a fan of the guy who is reading it.  Also, after like 4 months, I finally got a copy of The Chemist audiobook.  I was intrigued by the premise, even if I am slightly underwhelmed by the author. Also listening to The Finkler Question, but I hate it.  It seems like I have been listening to it forever… but here I am, still with 2938473984 hours left to listen.  It is a Booker Man Winner and is just not my speed.  My mother would roll her eyes at me continuing to read a book I hate because it is a Booker prize book.  But I am who I am.
Next read: I don’t know.  So many.  When I finished China Rich Girlfriend last week, GoodReads told me that I was ahead of schedule on my goal to read 52 books this year.  In an effort to read more physical books, I have a stack just waiting for me.  But then my holds for audiobooks come through.  The next book I am going to start though, I think is “Deskbound”.  It is about how bad sitting is.  And strategies to stand up more.
Wanting: To try all the travel friendly backpacks out there. So I clicked on a couple of ads in Instagram featuring the perfect do it all bags. And I keep getting more in my feed. It’s not bad. I just wish that I could buy every one and have them all match up against each other in a fight to the death.
Deciding: I decided to read the works on the Lemonade Syllabus.  Basically it is a syllabus of essential work to understand and ponder the themes of Beyonce’s Lemonade album. So, a lot of works by black feminists.  It is a lot of works (200).  But no one says I have to do it all TODAY.  This is mostly because I have inner monologue/conversations with myself about inter-sectional feminism that just aren’t very productive at this stage.
Enjoying: Despite completing a cider challenge last year (wherein I focused on drinking ciders), I am still choosing interesting ciders when I get the chance.  This past Friday, the craft brew place across the street had Made Marion by 2Towns Cider House  and I gave it a go.  Easily my new favorite cider.

Waiting: For Game of Thrones.  I think its going to be bad, I’m going to experience a lot of hurt over who is going to die.  But I am ready.
Wearing: A chunky cardigan that used to be my mom’s, mostly to bed. It doesn’t smell like her. But it reminds me of her.
Following: Handwriting and calligraphy accounts on Instagram.  So mesmerizing.
Noticing: The continued development of my traps and shoulders.  I attribute it to benching and shoulder pressing regularly.  Yeah, that is like cool, but could my triceps, biceps, and abs stop being so absolutely worthless?
Sorting: My books.  I am completely out of control.  I can’t stop buying them.  And I can’t stop requesting holds from the library.  Just how much time do you think you have m’am?
Coveting: An actual vacation.  On a beach.  With the sea and the sun.  This is how you can tell that we are currently in the season of the Long Winter.
Disliking: A book I am reading right now. It is about productivity.  The author contends that people tend to over estimate how much they actually work and that if you are willing to be flexible with how you arrange it, it is possible to get a lot of work done and spend a lot of time with your family.  She lost me when she mentioned having to make a decision between buckling down for work or drifting around the house aimlessly cleaning and such before the nanny came.  Now everytime I pick up the book, I have to say as I open it, “This bitch…”
Feeling: Not tired. Sometimes it is the case that I have a hard time sleeping on Sunday nights.  Generally, this is not the case throughout the week. But it seems like a combination of adderall+preworkout for my games on Sunday sometimes produces this result.  Like tonight, I was in bed at 915, because I wanted to get up at 445.  I wokeup at 1230 and couldn’t go back to sleep.  So I just got up and am awake now.  I guess I’ll just go to the gym?
Snacking:on Sumo oranges, because it is sumo season, mother fuckers.

Hard Words

My mom died.

It’s weird to type that.  Even though I knew at some point that it would happen, I really didn’t think that I would ever type that specific sentence.  My mom died.

I think I am handling it well.  Or maybe I’m not. I haven’t started doing drugs.  I haven’t started drinking more than I used to.  I have been able to get out of bed to go to work. I haven’t started to engage in risky behaviors and I don’t think I am “flying off the handle” any more or any less than I did when she was alive.

I have played soccer games and gone to the gym.  I have moved offices at work and donated books to the little free library in my neighborhood.  I have watched my kid play soccer.  I have taken naps.

I’m just a little sad.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I am not a kid. Technically, I am not an orphan, so this shouldn’t be traumatic for me.  I mean, most of us are going to lose our parents.  Most of us will bury our parents, with our children and partners by our side (or not).  When parents die, mostly, we are grownups, capable of handling such an earth shattering event, dealing with it, and continue to put one foot in front of the other.


“Ship in turbulent sea” by Franz Müller-Gossen

There is a lot about her death that I just flat out object to; things that I don’t feel were right or that I felt powerless to stop or effect.  I am only two weeks into this situation and I can promise you that I have an opinion about some stuff.  Feel free to hit me up for advice when the time comes.

But there are also some things that were good about it, if there really is such a thing as a “good” death.

She was a hard person to love. While she loved us kids fiercely and ferociously, she was from a different era, when spoiling your children was to ruin them, for certain.  She was harsh in the sense that she saw the floundering and failings of children as reflective of their parents.  In her book, there was very little that a person could do in life to make up for raising a terrible kid.  I think she honestly thought that she would be judged by how we turned out.  She wanted us to be capable of hard work, of discipline, and sacrifice.  The result was that while each of us kids has our different emotional baggage, we definitely did walk around like we were better than everyone else.

Spoiler Alert: We were.  We were smarter, better students, better athletes, harder working, and generally more agreeable to be around than all of our peers.  That is a fact.  Sorry haters.

However, there wasn’t a lot about our childhoods that was easy- there weren’t a lot of hugs and hearts and flowers in our house.  Some days it was easy to think that she didn’t love us. I remember days being dropped off at school in the morning and being so upset and angry and anxious that I was glad I was late so that I could calm the fuck down before walking into class.  And while we did walk around with an air of superiority (despite all available evidence to the contrary), she inflicted onto each us our anxieties.

But here is where the sword cuts both ways; while she is directly responsible for most of the emotional baggage that her kids carried with them as young adults (and maybe some of it that we carry to this day), she also gave us the things that we needed to leave.  Each of us was absolutely unafraid to go out into the world, to leave the nest, and have 100% confidence that before we hit the ground, we’d figure out how to fly. We knew how to work, to plan, to sacrifice, and to be disciplined.  We were fearless, each of us in our quest to make something of ourselves and to go out in the world away from SW Florida and do something. And while each of us are figuring out what this is, we haven’t let fear of leaving and the unknown stop any of us.

My mother was 20 when her mother died.  She’d already lost her father when she was a kid, so when my grandmother died, mom and her brothers were orphaned.  In addition to her older brother, there were also two younger brothers, one of whom was still  in high school.  But when her mother died, some of my mom’s dreams died, I think.  She’d set aside some of her goals and plans to work and keep her family together. Two years later, she’d be married and two years after that, she’d give birth (to me).  She seemed hell-bent on ensuring that we were comfortable outside of our comfort zone, so we wouldn’t be afraid to leave.

My grandmother’s death, was not a surprise, as she was ill for 6 months and spent the last month in hospital.  And while she would never have said it outright, I think Mom resented those last six months, having to keep the house together and being forced to be responsible for everyone else.  On many occasions, she made it clear that she didn’t want a long drawn out death.  She didn’t want to “ruin” multiple years of holidays with her impending death.  And in many ways, she died like she lived: quietly and without a lot of fuss.  In fact, if you told me that she invented the Irish Goodbye, I wouldn’t doubt it.  Not for one second.

Her death, while horrible and absolutely not in line with what I would have chosen for her, wasn’t really that bad.  It was quick- she was in hospice for less than a week.  Her brothers, my sister, brother and I all got to spend time with her in her final days- Nicole and I were there for the first few days, then Nicole and JJ traded.  We filled the room with talk about the old days and outrageous tales of when she and her brothers were younger.  Her room was quiet and dark and us kids kept the music going; Springsteen, Goo Good Dolls, Garth Brooks, and Counting Crows.

And it wasn’t a surprise when it happened. She just slipped away.

Even if the nurses hadn’t said so, I had a sense that it was close.  She had gone from being in a sort of agitated anxious state the first night, talking and responding to us to less agitation, less angst, smaller responses. Less.  She was still.

The last night, her brothers headed back to their hotel (after our dinner of pizza and Coke in the room).  Mom, while she wasn’t engaging, I think sensed we were there.  My dad headed back to the house.  JJ and I were settling in for the night (they let us stay with her in hospice).  A couple of our favorite nurses were like, “it won’t be long.”  I think Mom settled when the room quieted down and decided it was time.

I have seen things about death and how much of an honor it is for someone to let you be in their presence when they die.  Some argue that a soul will hang on as long as necessary for the right time to depart.

Now, I don’t know about that.

But, when she passed, it was the way she would have chosen, slipping away quietly, without a lot of fuss.  Just JJ and I were there, listening to Springsteen’s Broadway Album.

Obviously, I’m still processing this.  But I am so incredibly thankful that I was able to be there with her in the end.  The one thing that I wanted when she got sick back in November was that she wouldn’t die alone.  And she didn’t.  In my book, that was good.


Resolutions are NAH, Bucket Lists are YAH!

So I guess New Year’s resolutions are out now.  Which is great, because I always kind of found them annoying.  Although, my friend Julia had a great way of dealing with them, which was to resolve to learn to spell one word that she always had a problem with (like inconvenience).  She told me that like 10 years ago and it has always stuck with me.  Like to this day, whenever I fall down on the job spelling inconvenience (which to be honest is a lot- like I have fucked it up two times in the last two sentences), I think about her and her resolution to be a better speller.

But also, resolutions were kind of a pain, because I always felt like they were attempts to change some aspect of yourself.  Like, “I resolve to be a kinder person.” And for some people, who already struggle with themselves as people the last thing we need is some bullshit annual reminder of all of our shortcomings.

So, this year, I said, “FUCK THAT” and decided to have a 2019 Bucket List instead.


This is a list of stuff to do this year.  I like it better than a list of resolutions because a list of resolutions implies some type of improvement that will happen when the resolution is “done”.  And I am all in on check boxes, to be honest.

Also, I don’t like the vagueness of a resolution.  Like, “be kinder”.  Well, I paid for a person’s groceries at the store the other day (calm down, it was $6.45).  Did I do it?  Did I accomplish my resolution of “be kinder”?  On January 1, 2019?  Did the honk and angry curse I gave someone who wouldn’t let me merge on Fullerton near Lakeshore Drive yesterday do anything to damage said hypothetical “be kinder” resolution yesterday?  How do resolutions work?

So that is annoying.  And also, there are just somethings that have to get done this year.  Like, we need a new couch/sofa.  Nico is officially too big to lay on our crappy loveseat together.  But it feels dumb to resolve to get a new sofa/couch.  So… bucket list it is!!

Some of the things I put on my list this year:

  1. Write David Sedaris.  A letter.
  2. Walk to work one day.
  3. Certify DPU for student loan forgiveness program.
  4. Learn to poach an egg.
  5. Make beef wellingtons.
  6. Visit the Art Institute of Chicago.
  7. Read 1,000 articles on Pocket.
  8. Eat 27 different types of produce every week.
  9. Get a Dexa scan.
  10. Finish Nico’s baby book.
  11. Make Nico a craft nook for his room.
  12. Take a ceramics class.
  13. Lift weights 180 times.
  14. Journal.  ALL YEAR LONG.
  15. Improve my cholesterol numbers.

As of now, there are 102 items on my bucket list.  But instead of thinking about the world like, “Well, it’s July, I haven’t done all of these things yet, guess I am garbage and should try again next year,” I am approaching it as, “How many of these things can I get done?”

So, we’ll see.  I mean, its not all bad.  Like, Item 99: get 20 massages.  That is not a bad idea.  In fact… I think my Friday afternoon is looking good for this.


Books I Read in 2018

This year, I did the GoodReads Reading Challenge, setting out to read 25 books. In total, I finished 50 books. Some were really exceptional. Some, I was annoyed at having wasted time on them. The ones below that have a star next to them are some of my favorites.

The 2017 O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction
Lincoln in the Bardo
You Will Not Have My Hate
The Remains of the Day
Annihilation (Part of Southern Reach Trilogy)
Authority (Part of Southern Reach Trilogy)
Acceptance (Part of the Southern Reach Trilogy)
Born to Run*
Ready Player One
The Sun and Her Flowers
Decluttering Your Life at the Speed of of Life
Red Sparrow
438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea
Fahrenheit 451
Deep Work*
The Productivity Project
The Game from Where I Stand
A Brief History of Seven Killings
Quidditch Through the Ages
Walking the Americas
Caroline: Little House, Revisited
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the the Culinary Underbelly*
Crazy Rich Asians
Everything is Awful: And Other Observations
Anne of Green Gables
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Teammate: My Journey In Baseball and a World Series for the Ages
Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002
Gone Till November: A Journal of Riker’s Island
The White Tiger
Where Did You Go Bernadette?
The Last Black Unicorn
We Were Eight Years in Power*
Guts and Glory: World War II
Strangers in their Own Land*
Holidays on Ice
Fear: Inside the Trump White House
Little Fires Everywhere
The After Party
The Wife
AntiCancer: A New Way of Life
The Hate U Give
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do
Escape from Camp 14*
The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites
In Extremis: The Life and Death of Marie Colvin*
The Happiness Project

Interestingly, about 10% of the authors I read were Asian and 14% were black; which left about 76% white. I tended to read overwhelmingly the works by male authors (87%). About 24% of the books I read this year were by authors who were not US based (mainly coming from the UK and Canada). I read more non-fiction this year than fiction (54% versus 46%).

I would like to try to do a better job this year of reading more diverse authors. It is just that when my holds at the library come up, they come up. So, a book I might have been planning to read gets pushed back because of what is being pushed to my Libby app (the app for content with the Chicago Public Library).

Some books that I am planning to experience this year:
We Should All Be Feminists (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)- I love her voice and really want to listen to this.
Wolf Hall (Hillary Mantel)- This is part of that great idea I had to read all the Man Booker books. Its been VERY slow so far.
Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History (Keith O’Brien)- About women pilots? Yes, sign me up.
The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing’s Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living (Scott and Helen Nearing) My brother recommended.