2018 Book Roundup

In 2018, my friend Claire challenged me to read 100 books in a year. In general, I'm not really big on reading challenges. I don't want to get so focused on hitting goals that I'm not enjoying my books anymore. But 100 books was exactly the right challenge for me. I could still read whatever I wanted, and that number was only a little higher than what I have read in previous years. If I eliminated just a couple of my bad habits, I had enough time to increase my reading time. (That said, if the goal were much higher,…

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The Scone Story

When I re-released Hungry Heart in March, I made a crack on Instagram that if you had the old version of the book, you should not make the scones. I was not kidding. Here's how I found the most embarrassing error of my writing career (so far): Before I published a book, I used to think that book signings would be the worst part of being an author. What if no one buys a book? What if no one even shows up? What if they do show up and I have to talk to them? I’m an introvert, FFS. I…

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Funny Books for Winter Blues

I had planned to title this post something like "10 Hilarious Movies to Brighten Your Winter Doldrums." But then I couldn’t think of enough funny movies. (And, to be fair, I have a rather dark sense of humor. True story: when husband and I saw Fargo in the theater, we were in hysterics. You could hear our laughter bouncing off the theater walls because not another soul in the place was laughing. I might not be your best source for funny movies.) Since I have weird, Morticia Adams taste in movies, let’s do books instead. You are prolly worried that…

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On Binge Reading

Let’s talk about a giant reading binge – by series or by author? Do you do it? Any you recommend?  I’m not talking about a reading binge just to cram in more book titles, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing; right now I’m talking about a binge because you love an author or a series so much that you have a completist mentality about them. I read last week that Louise Penny is releasing a new Gamache mystery in November and I am soooo excited. I hope she does another book tour, and I really hope she comes to…

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The Shape of Water

There were two women about my age sitting next to me in the movie theater. They smelled like wine, and they were loud and bawdy through the whole movie. I wanted to snap at them You are not in your living room! Please kindly STFU. But I didn’t say anything because God knows I love a tipsy night out with my mains. They giggled like mad at the naked bathtub scenes, they debated the anatomy of the fish-man (“Do you think he even has a dick?”), they were not shy about scoffing and loudly protesting what they thought was weird…

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2018 Word of the Year

I don’t make resolutions anymore. For the last two years, I’ve chosen a 'Word of the Year' and I think that works much better for me. Something about setting a resolution feels like a zero-sum game. Even though I totally know that isn't true; if you set a goal to lose 20 pounds and you only lose 15, you’ve still done very good work. I do understand that. But my brain is all-or-nothing, and I’m tired of beating myself up on December 31 (or, more accurately, around mid-January) for not keeping up with my goals. I was having a hard time…

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2017 Reading List

While I think we can all agree that 2017 was an epically stupid and oftentimes terrifying year to be a human, it was a magnificent year to be a reader. That has always been the case in my life: books save me from the crazy in my head and the crazy in the world. I read 69 books in 2017, which is a little bit less than what I read last year, but still pretty average for me. In my day job, I edited an additional 28 books for other authors, so I suppose my total book consumption is 97 books. That does…

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The Definitive Christmas Movie Roundup

In which Julie gets tipsy on red wine with her best friends and teaches you all about Christmas movies and cookies. How do you know you have the best tribe of friends? When one of them suggests a potluck to watch Love, Actually together and ALL THREE OF YOU bring the same thing: a bottle of red wine and a box of Trader Joe’s Chocolate-Covered Peppermint Joe-Joe’s. Best cookie, best drink, best movie, best gals. THAT, my friends, is a perfect night. There are moments in Love, Actually that rip my heart out. Like when Emma Thomson goes into the…

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Reading People

Have you ever looked at Awesome People Reading? Do yourself a favor and go check it out. Why is it so fascinating to look at people reading? Because we read to know we are not alone. I like to think this is not even a costume John Cleese is wearing. Just maybe how he reads the paper every morning.   Tom Waits reads. And you can piss off.   Before she was a dame, her formal title was Badass Judi Dench.   I can't really explain why I think this photo of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jessica Lange reading is so damn sexy.…

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Books With The F Word

Recently, my husband asked me why I have so many books with the F word in the title. I didn't really have an answer. Because they are funny? Because they are good books? Because I love a good curse word? Fair warning: if you don’t like cursing, just stop reading right now. This post is not for you. I love cursing, and do it a lot. But even I get that this post is excessive. I'll catch you back here on Saturday for some fun links, and you have yourself a nice day. For the rest of you filthy animals: Today I have…

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