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HI LONG TIME NO SEE! Remember how I promised to try to write on some sort of schedule, like once a week or once a month, and then didn’t do that? Sorry. As my loved ones can attest from my average text response time being roughly 1-5 week(s), I am equally flakey/over-committed with the best of intentions and worst of organizational systems in real life, too. I have a stack of drafts in my email with half-written blog posts and Post-It’s with ideas all over my hoarder house, and I keep waiting until I have enough time to write until it’s perfect. And, as evidenced by the above pic I took early this summer initially intending to write about the books I was planning to read this summer… And now it’s December and I still haven’t found the time to write it. But I recently read some article somewhere when I was procrastinating on something that perfect is the enemy of good and you just need to finish shit and move on. I was going to look for the article to link to it, but then figured that kind of defeated the purpose of the concept (I think it was the New York Times, google it if you’re interested.) So, I’m going to try to experiment and rebel against my obsessive nature and just knock some blogs out.

I’m finally writing today because my favorite news source I start every AM with, theSkimm, announced they’re collecting books to donate to the Pajama Program. Send them your favorite childhood book (ages newborn to 18) by 12/22, and for every book they get, they’ll also donate $2 up to $50,000. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. All of the details are here. I can’t wait to do this. Reading saved my young, nerdy, eyepatch-wearing self, and my love for books inspired me to become a writer. I can’t wait to send them some books, and reading about this book drive was the kick in the pants I needed to finally write about the books you should buy for you (or the bookworms on your holiday gift list) too, while you’re at it. Some have reasons, others don’t, click if you want to or don’t – perfect is the enemy of good so I am hitting POST now bye!

Books I Read And Loved In 2017

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan Along with Maria Semple, my favorite author. This was my favorite book of 2017.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple Along with Jennifer Egan, my favorite author. Closecloseclose second favorite book of 2017. Maria Semple makes me want to write (and finish writing) a novel. TWO NEW BOOKS BY MY FAVORITE AUTHORS so I guess 2017 wasn’t a total wash…

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent This is the darkest book I’ve ever read, and also one of the most stunning. I will never forget it. It blew my mind. Closecloseclose third favorite book of the year. Despite the horrific subject matter, the way the words are put together is just gorgeous and the heroine is the type of badass we need more of in the stories we read and watch. I wouldn’t shut up about it, so Tony finally picked it up… And finished it in less than a day, and then he couldn’t stop talking about it. When it first came out, it sold out on Amazon it was so popular. CAVEAT: Its violent subject matter is not for everyone.

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan Hilarious third book in a hilarious series. The first, Crazy Rich Asians, was recently filmed and is coming out soon, I think! (The second, China Rich Girlfriend, is so fun, too.)

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips Could not put this down. Super terrifying page turner. I dare you to try and read this in more than one sitting.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman A Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. Reese doesn’t miss.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance Fascinating, heartbreaking, eye-opening, inspiring memoir regardless of your political beliefs. If you were as crushed and shocked by the election as I was, this is a very interesting read.

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs Beautiful memoir by a poet, mother of two young sons and the direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson. I cried so hard so much.

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks Short Stories! By Tom Hanks!

The Actor’s Life by Jenna Fischer So great for anyone wanting to break into Hollywood, or anyone who’s been in Hollywood for a while and needs to get re-inspired.

I also read these last year, and can’t remember if I ever shared so sharing now because they’re incredible:

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Books I Bought But Have Not Read Yet (seriously I need to stay off Instagram)

Unqualified by Anna Faris Fave podcast, fave actress, can’t wait.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty She wrote Big Little Lies, which was the best TV series of 2017 (if you’re not reading books on this list, go watch that. SO GOOD.)

News of the World by Paulette Jiles My mom loved this one and recommended it.

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins Author of Gone Girl!

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley The author is behind the TV adaptation of Fargo, which Tony and I LOVE.

The Dry by Jane Harper Another Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Party Girls Die In Pearls by Plum Sykes

The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

we are never meeting in real life. by Samantha Irby

Tony’s favorite book of 2017:

Flowers of the Killer Moon by David Grann

All-Time Favorite Books (if you have not read them yet… read them):

Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple Richard Linklater is currently making this into a movie starring Cate Blanchett and Kristen Wiig. Need I say more? I AM SO EXCITED I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH.

A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

American Housewife by Helen Ellis Laugh out loud hilarious short stories.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

For past Book Club picks, get over here! And don’t forget to send your favorite childhood book to the Pajama Program!! Any books I missed this year that I need to add to my stack?


  • Heidi Hawk says:

    Always nice to hear from you again! I’m an avid reader and it’s been a good year for books. I highly recommend “The Sellout” by Paul Beatty, The Killing Lessons by Saul Black (very dark, very well written), Another Day of Death in America by Gary Younge (non-fiction about 10 youths who day on a randomly selected day in America–talks a lot about gun culture), Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, and After Long Silence by Helen Fremont (about a woman who discovers her parents were Holocaust survivors after they denied it for years). Glad I got a few new book ideas from your list!

    • Annie says:

      Thank you so much for the sweet words and all of these amazing recs! Another friend was just talking about Another Day of Death in America the other day. I can’t wait to check them all out. Thank you so much again for still reading when I randomly pop up, I appreciate it so so much! Hope you have the happiest holidays!