Links I love

Happy Friday, readers! It’s been quite a week around here: we launched our 2020 Reading Challenge yesterday, and we hope you’ll join us to make the reading year to come your best one yet!

More bookishness: get your posts ready, because Quick Lit is coming on Sunday, December 15. This is where I share short and snappy reviews of what I’ve been reading lately, and invite you to do the same. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been reading!

This weekend at my house we’re making piles of Chex Mix and Christmas cookies, and we really need to finish up that holiday shopping. I hope a lovely weekend awaits you.

My favorite finds from around the web:

  • The Best Books of 2019. Here’s your annual reminder that all those books on the abundant year-end “best of” and “favorites” lists may be completely wrong for YOU. That is okay. I read exactly two of the books on this list and I capital-H Hated them both. HATED. So much! (No, I’m not going to tell you which ones.)
  • How I Get By: A Week in the Life of a McDonald’s Cashier. “I’m on the bus to my hospital job when I get a call from McDonald’s—they want me to come in today. So after I finish my shift at the hospital, I figure out the bus schedule to get from job A to job B. By the time I get home tonight, I will have spent almost 5 hours on the bus.”

Favorite Instagram:

Currently: sorting these advance review copies into pub date order. So much good stuff to read right here. Follow me on Instagram @annebogel.

On the blog:

One year ago: 9 cozy winter favorites for the cold and dreary season.

Two years ago: A Christmas Gallery. For your convenience: my favorite holiday posts, in one place.

Three years ago: The best Christmas scenes in English literature.

Four years ago: The life-changing magic of reimagining our relationship with our work. “For starters, stop referring to it as a balance. Your work is part of your life; your life is part of your work.”

Five years ago: Best book you’ve never heard of on … getting over it. Read this book for your sake and for the sake of those around you.

On What Should I Read Next:

I chatted with reader and children’s book writer Kate DiCamillo about the books that inspired her to dream up stories, and the hopeful work of writing for children, and what she learns from readers, that’s YOU, about her own books. If you’re an aspiring author or a reader looking to build your bookish community, you’re going to love this episode!

On One Great Book:

If you love books about books, or if you enjoy nonfiction that changes the way you see the world—or, at the very least, the bookstore—you’ll want to listen to today’s new episode of One Great Book.

Have a great weekend!


Leave A Comment
  1. Janna says:

    Oh my–I clicked on the 2019 Best Books link and there are NO books on that list I would even consider reading–you were brave to have read TWO of them!

  2. Kay says:

    I really like the old Christmas posts, especially the ideas for stockings lists. However, I do have a request; next year could we please have these kind of posts earlier? I start my shopping usually in October and want it all done by the end of November at the latest otherwise I go into anxious mode, yet all of the blogs and magazines publish their shopping guides and ideas in December. Surely I am not the only person who starts shopping early and wants to be done before the shops are heaving with desperate people? x

  3. Kimberly says:

    I laughed out loud when you said you read/Hated 2 of the books on the list, because a) you remind us it’s OK not to love every book and b) I only read one on the list and HATED it but partly because I am from Topeka and had such high hopes. Would love to hear others thoughts on it, but then again I would never recommend it.
    Love your blog, it’s a total joy!

  4. Suzanne C says:

    Let’s play “which books did Anne capital-H hate”, lol. I’m going with Machines Like Us and Trust Exercise. What a capital-H Horrible list of books! Just what I’d expect from Vulture.

    Lin-Manuel Miranda had me at Jimmy Smits. Can’t wait to see In the Heights.

  5. Cynthia says:

    Such fabulous news for Milan Kundera and his wife, Vera. It can’t change what came before, but BRAVO to the Czech Republic for setting it right. I think I may have a Kundera reading binge to celebrate!!! Thank you for sharing the news with all!!!

  6. I’ve only read one of the books on the Vulture list (and I haven’t heard of half of them), but I will say that I loved it. Stay and Fight made my best of the year list–it was great on audio.

    I’m actually surprised to see it on another list. For me, it was a last-minute (blind) audiobook checkout from the library and I haven’t seen anyone else talking about it. I hope it gets a little more attention. Hard to say, though–most of those other books do not appeal to me at all.

  7. Michelle Wilson says:

    I’m with Suzanne. Lin Manuel had me at Jimmy Smits. I love movie musicals and he included some eye candy for those of a certain age! Too bad I do not have the same excitement over CATS! I think I will probably watch that cringing and hating the whole thing.
    Anne, I would just like to thank you for doing such a great job with these posts. Always something fun and fanciful but interspersed with those more difficult. It is a good thing, especially at this time of year, that we remember how very lucky we are…everyone has a different reason. Thank you.

  8. Sarah R says:

    I want to play which did Anne hate too! LOL! My guesses are #1 and #7.
    I’ve only heard of 5 of them, and only attempted The Topeka School, and that was a DNF.
    PS – I went to see what Amazon rating #10 had, and I saw it’s on Kindle sale for $2.99. 🙂

  9. Alison says:

    Thanks for the album recommendation! Just downloaded it to listen to while I bake. With all the overload of, well, everything around Christmas I especially appreciate instrumental albums 😉

  10. lou ann darras says:

    I saw the NYT best list and had no idea about any of them; also saw the National Book Award List and not so sure about them either. I was seriously considering Trust Exercise but then, in the blurb on the site you pointed to, I saw a reference to Gone Girl, which, frankly, I loathed. BTW I am 75% through The Dutch House and am really enjoying it.

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