A Year in Pages: 2018 (II: May-December)

At the beginning of 2018, in celebration, I read eight books! (see this blog post) The spring semester of my freshman year was a busy one, so I was unable to read recreationally until the summer (when I had a copious amount of time to do so in England on trains or the Tube). Listed below are the twenty other books that I read this year! A grand total of 28 books in 2018!

The Story of Art by E. H. Gombrich  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Fascinating. Engaging. Beautiful. Enlightening. Informative.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn  [✭ ✭ ✭]

Dark. Thrilling. Intense.

Z: A Story of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Sympathetic. Vivid. Dazzling. Tragic.

The Popular Girl  &  Other Short Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Decadent. Eloquent. Entertaining. Memorable. Brilliant.

The Rich Boy  &  Other Short Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Dynamic. Unexpected. Satisfying. Concise.

Sidney Chambers  &  The Shadow of Death (Grantchester #1) by James Runcie  [✭ ✭ ✭]

Suspenseful. Metaphysical. Heartwarming.

Emily Brontë: Poems by Emily Brontë  [✭ ✭ ✭]

Melancholic. Vain. Existential.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Stirring. Revealing. Moving. Candid.

You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are by Rebekah Lyons  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Life-giving. Insightful. Wise. Fruitful. Inspiring.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Horrifying. Sharp. Haunting. Unsettling.

Ada’s Algorithm: Lord Byron’s Daughter Launched the Digital Age by James Essinger  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Mathematical. Intriguing. Unembellished. Illuminating.

The Distaff Side by Elizabeth Palmer  [✭ ✭ ✭]

Dramatic. Predictable. Cliché.

Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Riveting. Sympathetic. Imaginative. Captivating. Fresh.

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry  [✭ ✭ ✭]

Intriguing. Mysterious. Disappointing.

The Art of Losing by Kevin Young  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Relevant. Striking. Thoughtful. Beautiful. Sorrowful.

Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Simple. Refreshing. Encouraging. Lovely.

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Breathtaking. Wise. Creative. Faithful. Candid.

Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in Summer 1953 by Elizabeth Winder  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Revolutionary. Truthful. Fascinating. Insightful. Tragic.

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Witty. Brilliant. Genuine. Impassioned. Succinct.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Startling. Raw. Political. Realistic.

 

What novels did you most enjoy reading this year, friends?

I’d love to add them to my 2019 to-read list, so please comment below!

Meet Me Next to the Nymphéas

My feet know the way,

and I trust them.

It is a humble, everyday sort of magic, I suppose.

And so, at last, with their guidance, I wander into the hushed gallery

and am bewitched afresh — utterly, completely, hopelessly.

My eyes blur with sudden tears,

and I am alchemy of emotion.

I breathe in greens, lavenders, golds;

I exhale serenity.

Hello, old friend. It’s me. I’ve come to stay awhile.

Titus Andronicus: Act II, Scene IV

I am not Lucrece. I am not Lavinia.

You cannot cut out my tongue

if the truth of the words that I speak

causes you discomfort,

if the way that I unapologetically carry myself

brings you unease.

You cannot minimize my significance.

You cannot trample upon my flame.

You cannot silence me

for, when I speak,

I verbalize the communal pain

of thousands upon thousands.

Muteness would be mutiny,

and that is an act I refuse to perform.

Aubade

I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the wilderness; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and the storm.'” Psalm 55:6-8

The Nesting

“But you are not a dove.” The reproachful echo resounds, echoing in my skull.

And yet, so often, I cling to my perceived agency, gaze firmly upon the skies.

I fixate in formulaic verbosity; I validate my foibles and fears.

Daydreams of nostalgic yesterday oft overtake present joys.

Phantom pains from missing wings skeletally ricochet.

Now I pluck at twigs, yearning to create something new, to find contentment here.

The Singing

Fragile frame. Twinkling song. Sharp, observant eyes.

The nightingale welcomes me into her nest, and I humbly accept.

“What’s your story?”

An inquisitive tilt of the head, expectant.

The words are slow, manifesting like molasses.

They are elusive, shifting in shadows I cannot grasp.

Yet the silence is somehow entirely right, and I need not rush to fill it.

I sip my tea, breathe in, and begin.

The pause just before birdsong greets the dawn.

Attacking My To-Read Pile

To properly kick off 2018, I read eight books over Christmas break!

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf  [✭ ✭ ✭]

Eloquent. Modern. Candid.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Riveting. Illuminating. Moving. Refreshing. Beautiful.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Magical. Suspenseful. Mysterious. Satisfying. Extraordinary.

Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jonny Sun [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Imaginative. Engaging. Heartwarming. Endearing. Unforgettable.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur  [✭ ✭]

Unoriginal. Repetitive.

Secrets for the Mad by Dodie Clark  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Vulnerable. Entertaining. Witty. Charming. Delightful.

The Stream & The Sapphire by Denise Levertov  [✭ ✭ ✭]

Worshipful. Rich. Thoughtful.

Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates  [✭ ✭ ✭ ✭]

Intense. Gripping. Ingenious. Thrilling.

Roots & Resolutions: 2018

Grow

  • Be renewed by frequent time in the Word.
  • Journal daily; process, reflect, and pray.
  • Travel. (London, England: May 2018)

Nurture

  • Exercise at least 2x a week (go to the rink, attend yoga class, etc).
  • Make reading for enjoyment a constant priority.
  • Stay hydrated!
  • Blog more consistently, aiming for a new post every weekend or so.

Prune

  • Spend less time on social media.
  • Consume less sweet treats — only on weekends or special occasions.
  • Save the earth and forgo being a carnivore on Meatless Mondays.