2019 Resolutions

I’m a little behind on New Year’s resolutions, but I needed time to really think about what I wanted of 2019 and of myself. I still don’t really have that answer, but I do know one thing that I want to define the year: books. To read a plethora of books and to share my thoughts about them with all of you.

Oh and travel. A lot of traveling. So that’s two things I want from this year.

You could say those have become annual resolutions for me. In 2019, though, I yearn to do more. I want to expand my literary presence and stray a bit from my normal genres. I want to tap into the titles that make my family and friends come alive. I want to know authors whose passions and backgrounds might differ from my own.

Here, I present to you my 2019 reading resolutions.

2019 Resolutions

Just a few recent adds to my bookshelf.

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Ranked: Reads in 2018

This year contained many ups and many downs, so it’s hard to say how I really feel about 2018. One thing I am positive about though is that this year was full of fantastic reads. Twenty-six books fell into my hands these past 365 days, and it’s time I share with my loyal readers the definitive ranking of every book I read this year. Now let’s get down to business!

2018 reads

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Independence Day Reads

You know that horrible question that comes up during ice breakers, “Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.”

Dammit, Brenda, I don’t know. My life is not that interesting.

Well, two years ago I finally figured out my answer: I like war. Not in the gruesome way. More like I have an affinity for war themes in pop culture. The PatriotSaving Private RyanLone Survivor, Glory, Top Gun (OK, maybe this last one is a stretch). I love them all. Now maybe this won’t surprise many people, but let’s consider my love for rom coms and chick lit. There’s a sharp contrast there. When you think about how much I love nonfiction, it starts to click a bit.

Now let’s combine that passion for my obsession with colonial America and the Revolutionary War. Every year in the days leading up to my country’s birthday, I pray The Patriot will be on TV, as well as PBS’ Liberty’s Kids series (don’t judge; it’s an excellent show). Anything and everything that has to do with the Revolutionary War and our country’s independence has me jumping for joy.

Crossing the Delaware

Source: A&E.

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You (Best Be) Ready

The first time I watched Tiffany Haddish on TV, she was telling a story about how an old guy died while she grinded on him at a bar mitzvah. Then of course I heard the story about her taking Will and Jada Pinkett Smith on a Groupon swamp tour. From there, I read about the $4,000 white Alexander McQueen dress that she insisted on wearing at the Girls Trip premiere, SNL, the Oscars, and, most recently, the MVT Movie & TV Awards. Haddish and her antics have been everywhere the past two years, and I wanted more.

Then I came across her memoir The Last Black Unicorn. You know how I feel about memoirs. This time was different.

Haddish’s standup comedy special famously proclaims, “She ready!” Me too, girl, me too.

The Last Black Unicorn

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Who Run the World?

Back in 1969, women were not running the world. Sorry, Bey. They weren’t running Newsweek either. In fact, they were so far removed from running the newsmagazine that these talented individuals were relegated — and forced to reside inevitably — in research … until they got pissed off and did something about it. The Good Girls Revolt gives us the account of how 46 women at Newsweek said enough is enough and set a huge precedent.

Sometimes the content speaks for itself, and obviously The Good Girls Revolt spoke to me on a professional and personal level. Lynn Povich is a storyteller though, and she made me feel like I was right there alongside these women as they fought for what they deserved. Combining her writing abilities with a story that needed to be told made for the most lit book I’ve read in a long time.

The Good Girls Revolt

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So Live Your Life

  • What: The Last Lecture
  • Who: Randy Pausch
  • Pages: 206
  • Genre: nonfiction; biography
  • Published: 2008
  • The lit: 1463390917-2400px1463390917-2400px1463390917-2400px1463390917-2400px of 5 flames

I’m typically not a fan of unsolicited advice, so I never seek out self-help or inspirational books. That would be contradictory. Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, though, wasn’t inspiration or a guide to life. It was humor, heartache, and realism all tied up into many different life lessons, the first of which being: You should read The Last Lecture.

The Last Lecture

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