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  • Writer's pictureAllison Pittman

The Books This Book Lover Loved

I set my reading goal from birthday to birthday. It's in the middle of summer, so I can get a running start at the beginning and do a marathon read at the end. I keep it simple--51 books last year, 52 books this year. It's a system I might have to reevaluate when I'm in my 80's, but for now it works. This year I kept track in this nifty little journal that I bought for $5.99 that lived in my bedside drawer until I finally guilted

myself into using it.

As you can see, I started off with great intentions of nice, thoughtful entries...

Which eventually disintegrated into scribbles where I couldn't even remember the book title until I went to an old facebook post to retrieve it.

My goal this year is to post a goodreads review of EVERY book I read. Follow me there to see if I'm holding myself accountable.

In the meantime, in NO PARTICULAR ORDER (because they aren't even listed in my little journal in any particular order), here are my favorite books I read from birthday, along with a bit about how and why each one made the cut. These are the books that made me want to go back and read them again, or tell somebody else to read them, or go read everything else the author ever wrote. These are the books I stumbled across, books that were a blind grab off a library shelf, or eye-catching from a social media post. They came into my life randomly and left a mark. If you're a Book Lover, too, you might want to check a few out!

  1. Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton -- Just a good, old-fashioned Western about dinosaur fossil hunting in the wild, wild west. A smidge of truth, a ton of fun. Listened to this on a road trip with Mikey.

  2. The Address by Fiona Davis--a time-slip novel that brings a mystery through the Gilded Age in New York City (1880's) to the new wealth of the 1980's. I'm a sucker for an architecture-based story line. This novel introduced me to a new favorite author. Library loan, but now I own it, and I pre-ordered her latest book. Outside of author friends, I've never pre-ordered a book before.

  3. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann--true crime about a crime I'd never heard about: deep, evil, complex. Another road trip audio that I ended up finishing while driving around to do unnecessary errands. It's apparently a huge hit, but I'm still the only person I know who has read it. Go read this now.

  4. The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott--enchanting novel that I read in one night. (trust me, that is RARE...) Indescribably lovely, beautiful prose. Library loan that I went back and purchased just to experience it again.

  5. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah--this novel shredded me to tiny little bits, and I haven't quite collected myself even though I finished it months ago. Of all the books on this little list (of all the books I read...) this one is the most commercial. Has the most hype. Believe the hype. Audio book that i listened to on a flight trying not to scream and startle the stranger five inches away from me.

  6. Land Line by Rainbow Rowell--nobody takes me through the experience of falling in love like Ranibow Rowell, but I'd missed this one somehow. It's a story of married love, and it gave me the exact message I needed this summer. After this I immediately went back and re-read Eleanor and Park and Fangirl. She types my heart.

  7. Megiddo's Shadow by Arthur Slade--I chose this initially as a novel for my Middle School students, but fell in love with the character development and writing over a closer read. Just a beautiful story of unfinished redemption. Kindle, initially, but now I am the careful caretaker of a classroom set.

  8. **Honorable Mention Re-Read** Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger--because the author has recently transported this FAVORITE book of mine (like top five in my life) to a stage musical, and I'm going to see the Previews of it next month. Can you imagine if every book you loved had the opportunity to have the characters turned into a living, breathing, singing, dancing cast? Me, either. Can't wait!

OK! So, it's a new year, a new age, and time for new reads. Currently finishing The Alice Network by Kate Quinn for book club. We'll see if it makes next year's random list...

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