Saturday, January 20, 2018

Lit: Uniquely Portable Magic

It's that time again - time for me to clean up my saved Facebook posts!

* You've probably noticed in my Sunday posts that I'm a big fan of The Mindy Project, Mindy Kaling's show in Hulu. Love Mindy on that show but love her even more for her very visible book fandom. Book Riot has a list of 20 Books Recommended by Mindy Paling on Twitter and Instagram. There are a couple of Jane Austen books on there so I know Kaling is cool!

* Barack Obama, also an avid reader, posted this list of his favorite books (and songs, but I'm only sharing the books) of 2017. Pretty stoked to find out that three books I read and loved are on this list: Grant, Anything Is Possible, and A Gentleman In Moscow.

During my presidency, I started a tradition of sharing my reading lists and playlists. It was a nice way to reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world. With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up, I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most. From songs that got me moving to stories that inspired me, here's my 2017 list — I hope you enjoy it and have a happy and healthy New Year. The best books I read in 2017:

The Power by Naomi Alderman
Grant by Ron Chernow
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Five-Carat Soul by James McBride
Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Dying: A Memoir by Cory Taylor
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
*Bonus for hoops fans: Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Basketball (and Other Things) by Shea Serrano

Author Umberto Eco's library contains some 30,000 books

* As if we needed another excuse to buy more books, this article from Inc. teaches us "Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You'll Ever Have Time To Read."  Yet another way, it turns out, that books make us smarter. 

* Jamie Ford's Love And Other Consolation Prizes was one of my favorite books of 2017. Ford sets much of his story in an early 20th-century Seattle brothel. Messy Messy has an article about the real madame on who Ford based Madame Flor, The Brothel Boss Lady Who Helped Build Seattle. I always love to dig deeper into the historical fiction I read.

* Finally, from Time, KonMari to Hygge: Inside The Lifestyle Guide Boom or Death Cleaning to Hygge: These Books Want to Be The Next Marie Kondo (I have no idea why the link has one name but the actual article another). I never could make myself by Kondo's books but I very much enjoyed Meik Wiking's The Little Book of Hygge and I've been working to bring a little hygge into my home this winter to keep my spirits up. With Forty Bags In Forty Days coming up, maybe I need to get my hands on The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning? I wonder if Margareta Magnusson has tips on how to get your husband on board with the cleaning?


  1. I've started saving posts on Facebook and tend to forget they are there. I really like this idea.

  2. I really enjoyed Marie Kondo's book. Your forty bags in forty days project is not much different from what she preaches in it. The death cleaning thing is odd but I totally get it. You don't want anyone having to wade through years of bank statements or other mundane paperwork trying to get it all organized after your death after all!

    I miss a sane, educated, reading President. Obama's list was such a breath of fresh air with some very deserving books on his list. Someday, we will have another president who reads more than Twitter!

  3. I pitched two of Obama's picks for my club list... one made it. A Gentleman in Moscow. I had two other picks that made it too.. The Hate U Give and The Immortalists.