2017 In Bullet Points
Outside the Reviews / December 24, 2017

2017 summed up in one bullet list of Important Events!   Took my first solo cross-country trip, plane flights and all, to see my best friend. Complete with very-nearly-missing a flight. Acquired a baby sister by nefarious means. Already feels like she’s been here forever! Got a pixie cut for the first time. Won my first short-story contest in June. Acquired my driver’s license: so I could drive to the library. Went to a college summer program. Spent eight months working a part-time job at an animal shelter, the longest stretch yet, and learned both how to deal with hyper dogs and with the human limits of non-sleeping. Started learning to play the ukulele. Sent out query letters for my manuscript and received the corresponding number of rejections. My oldest pet, Sunflash the Cockatiel, died. Drew three different full-page drawings I actually like. Got accepted into college! (Also promptly lost the acceptance letter – my ability to lose anything and everything remains the running gag of my life – and then found it again.) Learned to crochet. Lost Nanowrimo for the first time ever. Reviewed 173 books. Continued to utterly fail at Sleeping and other such normal human things.

Top Books of 2017
Outside the Reviews / December 6, 2017

Alright, you know I can’t pick favorites. It just isn’t happening. But I did go through all the book-reviews from the last year, and pick out the top ones, sorted by age. So, here’s some of the books I loved most in 2017*. ~ Adult ~ The Scent of Water. A quiet, slow-paced story set in the countryside. Probably not the sort of thing I usually review, but maybe I should try to find more such stories – this one is on my mental ‘inspirational’ list. To read it was mentally renewing in a way very few, maybe none, of the more ‘exciting’ books was. The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Top of the line fantasy by Neil Gaiman. This is the sort of surreal story that slides from creepy to horrifying then somehow into beautiful and back to creepy again, the story of a little boy’s adventures narrated by the adult remembering, a story that might very nearly convince you – at least for as long as you’re reading – that this world is thinner than you thought and there are things behind the stars. Bellwether. This one’s just fun. An oddball sci-fi/realistic story about chaos theory…