Not Sure It’s a Happy New Year

So a new year has begun and it doesn’t feel like it. I am oppressed by the economy, by the rain. We didn’t put up a Christmas tree for the first time in our married life, in Gus’s life. I did not eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. My Christmas wreath is still on the front of the house, though I did take down all the decorations inside before I went down to Atlanta to spend New Year’s Eve with my friend from the second grade and her family and friends. That was delightful although I was a bit reduced by the celebration the next day driving home. I fear the economy. We both had stomach viruses. I am troubled by a vast sense of dread, mitigated only by the upcoming inauguration.

My last two books of the year were A Lion Among Men, the third in the Wicked series, and I think my favorite so far. The Cowardly Lion was always one of my favorite Oz characters. And The Hearts of Horses, which Jeff so wisely gave me. Wonderful book, almost as good as Water for Elephants, until the author stopped focusing on the horses to tell the human stories and started focusing solely on the people. Without the horses to deepen the metaphors it became more mundane, but still, a lovely book.

29. The Hearts of Horses, Molly Gloss
28. A Lion Among Men, Gregory Maguire
27. What Hath God Wrought, Daniel Walker Howe
26. Night of the Soul Stealer, Joseph Delaney
25. Brisingr, Christopher Paolini
21-24. Heaven’s Net Is Wide, Across the Nightingale Floor, Grass for His Pillow, The Brilliance of the Moon, Lian Hearn
20. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski
19. A Peace to End All Peace, David Fromkin
18. The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid
17. The Voyage of the Narwhal, Andrea Barrett
16. The Shadow Isle, Katherine Kerr
15. The Death of the Heart, Elizabeth Bowen
14. David Golder, The Ball, Snow in Autumn, The Coriloff Affair, Irene Nemirovsky
13. Th1rteen R3asons Why, Jay Asher
12. Five Go to Smuggletop, Enid Blyton
11. And Then We Came to the End, Fabulous, just like my experiences at a Nashville PR firm, Joshua Ferris
10. The Tenderness of Wolves, Cold, but no Cold Mountain, Stef Penney
9. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Paul Torday
8. Dragonhaven, Robin McKinley
7. The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo
6. The Asolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Alexie Herman
5. The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren Groff
4. Heart-Shaped Box, Joe Hill
3. Inkspell, Cornelia Funke
2. Riding Lessons, Sara Gruen
1. Summer People, Brian Groh


16-20. The Eustace Diamonds, The Prime Minister, The Duke’s Children, Can You Forgive Her, Barchester Towers, Anthony Trollope,
13-15. LOTR, three volumes.
5-12 Island, Castle, Valley, Sea, Mountain, Circus and Castle of ADventure, Enid Blyton
4. Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz, Ruth Plumly Thompson
3. The Silver Princess in Oz, Ruth Plumly Thompson
2. Captain Salt in Oz, Ruth Plumly Thompson
1. Earth Abides, George R. Stewart

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