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Best book of 2018


Books are a uniquely portable magic.

~ Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.*

~ Stephen King

*I do.  I carry a book with me almost everywhere (except on walks and hikes).

Currently reading.

Today’s December Reflections prompt is Best Book of 2018.  Well.  That’s a tough one.  I have read a lot of very good books this year.  I couldn’t possibly name only one favorite or The Best.  Also, I am unable to show you photos of all the books I enjoyed this year because when I finish a book, especially if it is a Very Very Good book, I give it away to someone I know will like it (even if they don’t know they will like it).

This was a Now Read This book club pick.

This morning I took a few photos of books I am either currently reading or have already read (and didn’t give away just yet).  The Now Read This book club exposed me to books I normally wouldn’t think to read.  I have not yet read their picks for November and December, but did put them on my reading list.

Since I am unable to pick one book, I am going to pick two from each genre I’ve read this year.  Or maybe just one.  We’ll see how it goes since I’m doing this off the cuff.  I will insert a few photos just to break things up.

Pop-up in the woods.

In the self-help/learning category, I loved the two books in the image that kicked off this post:  Zen Camera: Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography and The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul.  I haven’t finished Zen Camera because I’m taking it slow.  The exercises are wonderful and I don’t want to rush through them.  I did finish The Desire Map but still work with it because there’s nothing like setting goals with how you want to feel in mind.  It changed my perspective on how to set goals and challenges.

Little hat.

Educated: A Memoir and American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West were two of my favorites in the non-fiction category.  Both were Now Read This picks, and I don’t think I would have read either one if it hadn’t been for that.  I usually don’t read much non-fiction.  They were entertaining as well as educational reads.


My choices for the best in fiction that I read in 2018 are Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel and Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha)Sing, Unburied, Sing was an amazing novel and a Now Read This pick.  I think it has a little of what is known as magical realism.  Children of Blood and Bone is a YA fantasy novel that is based on African mythology.  It has magic, lots of magic, and it is another telling of the hero’s journey.  I am looking forward to the sequel.  Exit West: A Novel and Kindred, in the sci-fi genre, were also quite good.  Exit West is one of those books that has stayed with me.  I often think of it when I hear about or read stories about immigration, climate change, and the ever expanding human population.

The maple (with mistletoe) and the oak (still hanging on to its leaves).

The book I’m currently reading, Ohio, is likely going to make my “best” list, too.  It is, so far, a gritty book, one that takes place in Northeast Ohio, an area I used to live in (and often refer to as The Bogs).  The descriptions of the town and the area are, to me, spot on.  The Washington Post review describes it as a “bruising novel” that is a “prehistory of now” and how we got to this divided place in politics and life.

A December sunset at the Point.

In other news…  Today is my last day in the 50’s.  I’m not talking weather or temperatures.  I turn 60 tomorrow.  It’s kind of weird.  I don’t feel as old as 60 sounds.  I’m glad of that.  Still, it’s strange to think of myself as entering yet another decade and being closer to death than to birth.  It’s beyond middle-age, beyond where my teen-aged self ever thought I’d be (30 sounded old enough back in those days!).  Because she is an amazing writer, I will refer you to Katrina Kenison’s latest blog post:  this is 60.  We share a birth year and similar thoughts on the turning of the wheel of time.  Here is a little taste of Ms. Kenison’s essay:

Sixty is a deepening concern for our shared future. It’s a desire to give something back, to make the world a little better while I still can. Sixty is flexible. It’s understanding that information isn’t wisdom, and that wisdom arrives quietly and in its own time, nourished by listening and silence and reflection. Sixty is a greater willingness to compromise, to collaborate, to consider another point of view. Sixty is less about being right and more about being present.

Reflections while still in the 50’s.

Thank you for visiting today.  Let’s go to the Point for sunset this evening and see what Mother Nature will paint across the sky and reflect in the water.  Sunset is scheduled for 4:44 PM, the same as yesterday.  It’s warmer today than it was yesterday but still chilly (in the 40’s).  I’ll be there early so I can take a walk on the beach or out towards the marsh.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Part of the small beach at the Point.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  961)  Wonderful essays by wonderful writers who help put your own thoughts and feelings into words that you struggle to find.  962)  The pink and red and orange hues stretched out across the sky this morning at sunrise.  963)  The hawk that flew through the reddish-gold light of the sunrise, the colors warming her feathers and making her glow.  964)  The crow that chased the hawk.  The hawk looked to be about three times the size of the crow and yet the crow bravely harassed the hawk until she left the tree where she had landed.  965)  A funny birthday card from my sister-in-law arriving in the mail.  I don’t know how she does it but every year she manages to find the funniest card, one that makes me laugh out loud.

A moment of peace.


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

27 thoughts on “Best book of 2018

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I enjoy sunsets at the Point no matter the state of the water, but those calm days when it reflects the sky are, I think, some of the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s great to read your book recommendations, Robin. I have that photography book and the Desire book, but I haven’t read them yet. I loved Exit West, and I have most of the others you’ve listed on my list as well. Ohio and Sing, Unburied, Sing are also on my list!

    I hope you have a happy birthday tomorrow!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice choices Robin. A few days ago, I also listed the winners in Goodreads choices for 2018 which I have previously read. I make it a point to read them to know how other people choose their reading materials. By the way, happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have the Desire Map and haven’t gone through it, though I was part of her Facebook club and received Danielle’s emails for years. Educated was eye-poppingly good and of course, I shall have to note your other choices!
    Age is but a number. You look fabulous and hey… platinum hair with blue and purple ends (still looking forward to seeing it) is NOT what an old lady would sport 😉
    I shall wish you a happy birthday today and try to do so tomorrow as well!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you and I are very similar in respects to Danielle LaPorte’s book, Dale. I let the book sit on the shelf for quite a while (a few years, maybe), but I was also part of her Facebook club and received her Truthbombs via email. I sometimes wonder why I buy certain books if I’m going to let them sit on the shelf and look pretty rather than read them. lol!

      Thank you. 🙂


  4. What a fun post, Robin. I always enjoy your photos and the books are a nice added bonus! I enjoyed LaPorte’s Desire Map a few years ago and have suggested it to clients several times. Wishing you a lovely day on your entre to this new decade! Life seems to get better! Blessings for a happy new year to you! 💕🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Merril. 🙂 Thank you for the video, too. I absolutely MUST watch the Gilmore Girls. I’ve heard such good things about it and that video reminded me of our trip to Cape May when I was trying to pack everything for a two-day trip in a small daypack. I insisted on getting two books in there (and I did!). lol!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re most welcome, Robin. I’m glad you got both books in. That’s important! 🙂 You’ve never seen The Gilmore Girls? Yes, you must! The current series (on Amazon Prime) The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which is marvelous, was also created by the same person and her husband.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve heard a lot of good things about that series, too. I’m adding both to my list right now. We’ve been watching an old series my husband wanted to watch (The Wire). Not sure how he’ll feel about Gilmore Girls, but it’s football season. I can watch Gilmore Girls while he watches the games. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I love seeing what you see in your photos. And thanks for the book reviews. I may go for Ohio. And Happy Birthday! It is a shock, 60, but for some reason (I arrived there last year) it seems like doors opening to me. There are new opportunities that weren’t possible before. I think you’ll find them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa. 🙂 “Shock” is a good word for it. I didn’t think so until this morning when I woke up and thought, “Wow. I’m 60.” I like what you wrote about door opening. I think I’ll find them, too.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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