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December 2021

January 2022

Gimme that book!

Free book? Free book!

One of the best things about living in a big building in the middle of a large city is that you’re surrounded by people but they don’t know you. This means you don’t have to stop all the time and chat with people, explain what you’re doing, and promise to talk to them later. You just live your life like a normal person who doesn’t want to chit chat.

You can accomplish the same thing by living in a remote cabin, but then you won’t find free books from time to time on the little table next to the elevator.

Folks on my floor will, on occasion, pop a book they are done with on the table. This means it is up for grabs, and the people who know me know I’ve got me some book grabbing hands. That’s how I ended up the book pictured above!

He’s going to be a lawyer, isn’t he?

When dealing with a toddler it can sometimes be difficult to know if they are doing the exact opposite of what you asked them because they don’t understand you or because they are tiny jerks.

During bedtime tonight Declan brought along a plastic egg and a plastic piece of corn on the cob. Sammy invented a game with some rather simplistic rules:

  1. Take the plastic egg and corn on the cob
  2. Throw them under your crib.
  3. Ask your father to retrieve them.
  4. Throw them under the crib again.
  5. Ask your father to retrieve them.

And so on.

After the 6th or 7th round I was tired of this game and it was clear, judging by his giggles, Sammy was just getting started. I settled him down, looked into his eyes, and said, “If you roll this egg under your crib one more time you’re going to get a time out. Do you understand?” Sammy looked at me and it was hard to tell if he understood me.

What he did next made it clear.

He threw the egg behind the couch and laughed like a madman.

Books I liked in 2021 that you could enjoy in 2022

I usually try to post some of my favorite books of the year before Christmas as folks can use the list as inspiration for gift giving. This year I didn’t get a chance to do that, and really I’m pretty sure no one is waiting for my book list to buy their loved ones Christmas presents.

However, you can still buy any of these books for anyone you might like! Don’t like purchasing stuff from Amazon? Buy them somewhere else! Heck, buy from them a local indie bookstore. I dare ya!

Anyway, I read 76 books last year and here are the books that I gave the coveted 5 star rating (though in the spirit of full disclosure I gave a lot of books 4 stars last year):

  • Cloud Cuckoo Land - This book has gotten a lot of attention, and for good reason! It is sort of literary fiction with a dash of science fiction… or is it? Either way, it is very well written.
  • The Lincoln Highway - A shaggy dog story in which the main character spends several hundred pages not doing the one thing they want to.
  • A Psalm for the Wild-Built - Want a short book about a robot and a monk who makes tea? This is the one for you!
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words - A book about the Oxford English Dictionary and womens’ rights. How can you go wrong?
  • Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life - Did you know that fish aren’t a thing? Mind blowing.
  • The Galaxy, and the Ground Within - Another Becky Chambers book! This is the 4th in a series, but you really don’t need to read any of the others to enjoy this one. Nothing much happens in this book, and it is a delight.
  • The Midnight Bargain - Be careful with which spirits you make deals!
  • Piranesi - I was nervous about reading this book, so I put it off for months. Don’t be a fool like me and read this as soon as you can!
  • Mexican Gothic - This book, as the kids say, is a mood. I really enjoyed that mood, but if you don’t… you won’t like this book.
  • The Hidden Palace - I wasn’t going to include this book on my list because it is the second in a series and the author is a friend of mine (crazy, I know! I’m even mentioned in the acknowledgments) but it is so good! And you don’t need to read the first book to read this one, but it certain helps… and the first book is so good too.
  • The Liar's Dictionary - A low paid editorial assistant realizes there are fake words in the dictionary she’s working on… and it gets complicated.

There you have it! My top 11 books of 2021! Read one, or read them all! Heck, you can even not read any of them.