Making a List, Checking It Once

What I like most about this time of year isn’t the decorations or the cookies, it’s the year-end lists! Okay, maybe it IS the cookies, but let’s say for the purposes of this column that it’s the lists. Here’s a list of the best cookies – I mean – wait.  Let’s start over.

As a librarian, nice folks frequently ask what I’m reading, never really expecting the dismissive response of ‘the newspaper’ or ‘paperwork,’ but it’s true. Most of my downtime is spent corralling two boys and driving. Any leisure time is spent reading comic books, listening to podcasts, watching movies, or playing video games. By the way, if you want any recommendations on any of those things, I’m a bit of an expert!

But I keep getting this question, and I did promise a list at the start of this column, so here is a list of the top four traditional books I have read in the last year. Why four? Because I only finished four books this year. According to my checkout history, I have taken out hundreds of library materials, and of the handful of non-comic books, here are the four that I completed:

“Everything is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss” by Stephanie Wittels Wachs. The title says it all – both horrible and wonderful, as any celebration of the life of a comedian cut short by a heroin overdose will provide.

“Calypso” by David Sedaris. Nothing unexpected from the Sedaris family here, and that’s a good thing.

“The Monk of Mokha” by Dave Eggers. A biography that’s equal parts coffee cultivation and Yemeni Civil War.

“Beastie Boys Book” by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz. A collection of essays told by surviving band members and special guests.

Huh. I guess I like memoirs AND lists. (And cookies!)

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