2015 Books Read

It has been a long while since I’ve written any book reviews, but I have still been reading a lot and I get asked for new book recommendations every so often, so below are some of the books I’ve read over the past year or so.

  1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt –It was so good and I like Tartt’s style of writing so much that I looked up other books she wrote.
  2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt — I liked this novel by Tartt as well.
  3. Purity by Jonathan Franzen — I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything that Franzen has written. He’s my favorite author.
  4. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult –My Aunt Sue lent me this book because it has elephants in it and it was actually a pretty good book. The author did her research and spent some time with elephants to incorporate them in her novel. Although it is fiction, some of the elephant stories referenced were based on true stories.
  5. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. People are comparingher to Gillian Flynn. I liked this book and read through it quickly.
  6. Where the Blind Horse Sings by Kathy Stevens–I bought two of her books when I visited her animal sanctuary, the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, this past summer. Her sanctuary is a wonderful place giving love and a second chance to many different kinds of animals, and I liked this book which tells the story of how Stevens started the sanctuary and some of the animals’ history.
  7. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace- I tried but just could not finish it. I got maybe 1/4 of the way through this humongous 1,000 page novel. I have begun referring to my mom as “the moms” now though, so thanks Wallace. I also recently watched End of the Tour with Jason Segel who played DFW in the film…at least I watched the entire movie.
  8. May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes — I want to shake the protagonist Harry because he’s such a stup, but it’s still a decent book.
  9. You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik –Teacher/student affair. It was a decent novel.
  10. You Too Could Have a Body Like Mine – Super weird but kind of interesting storytelling.
  11. Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling–I read this for a book club I’m in but I thought Kaling sounded whiny and I didn’t enjoy the book.
  12. Find a Way by Diana Nyad — I bought her book after hearing her speak at a NY event. She’s inspiring and her life story is interesting.
  13. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins –I enjoyed this book and I heard it’s going to be made into a movie, so read it fast.
  14. Blame by Michelle Huneven –This was another book lent to me by my Aunt. It was a little depressing and slow-going, but I still enjoyed it. I just lent it to my mom to read now.

Happy Reading!

2015 Year in Review

2015 was a great year. I took two of the most amazing trips of my life in the same year. Below is a recap of the highlights in my life in 2015.

Winter (Jan-Feb)

  • Gel nail virgin no more! In 2015 I got my first gel manicure and I treated myself to some fancy nails occasionally throughout the year
  • Trip to Australia – I had one of the most amazing trips of my life during a week-long trip to Australia. We went on a rain forest tour in Cairns, stayed on a live-aboard boat scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef for four days, and checked out Sydney
  • I saw some cool art and went to some good shows. I found an artist whose work made out of tulle I love, Ifran Onurmen, I went to a Maroon 5 concert, and I saw The Elephant Man starring Bradley Cooper on Broadway

Spring (March, April, May)

  • Kevin and I spent our four-year anniversary skiing in Vail, Colorado
  • We celebrated Kevin’s 33rd birthday in style with a nice dinner with friends
  • We had afternoon tea to celebrate Easter at The Lowell in NYC
  • I celebrated my 27th Birthday and Kevin and I took a trip to Puerto Rico where we went scuba diving and kayaking in the bioluminescent bay
  • We celebrated Kevin’s friend’s wedding in Mexico

Summer (June, July, Aug)

  • Hiking in Minnewaska State Park in New York and picking fruits and vegetables
  • Broadway shows and some visitors (Becca & Rob and my mom)
  • Independence Day in Michigan and surprising my mom with kittens. Kittens! We got two little nuggets from the same breeder we got Pants and Boots and they are the cutest. This was a special trip. I mean, how often do you get a chance to surprise your parents with two fluffer nutter babies?!
  • Runcation in the Poconos. Kevin took things to the next level on his journey in becoming an actual runner. So proud of him

Fall (September, Oct, Nov)

  • Wedding in Napa Valley, California for Jeanne and Christopher
  • We visited Iceland where we relaxed in the Blue Lagoon, went scuba diving in the Silfra fissure (our first time diving in dry suits), and went lava caving
  • Kev and I ran our first 5-mile race at the Poland Springs five-miler race in Central Park
  • Kev and I visited Vermont for the first time. We took a tour of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory and we went hiking to see the Fall foliage
  • We spent Thanksgiving in San Francisco with Kev’s family

Winter (Dec. ’15)

  • I flew to Vegas, my first Vegas trip as an adult, to see Britney Spears in concert. The spa at the Encore was also amazing
  • Christmas was spent in Michigan with my family. We rented a large party bus for the family to drive to my Aunt’s. It was also my Grandma’s 80th birthday and my first time meeting baby Frodo Baggins
  • Kev and I brought in the New Year in Berlin. It was our first time visiting Berlin.

I had an amazing 2015 and I’m glad I had Kevin, friends and family to enjoy it with. I’m also very fortunate to have taken three big trips to different countries: Australia, Iceland, Germany. If I had to pick, my top two favorite trips out of the dozen or so places Kev and I traveled this year, I would pick Australia and Iceland. They were very different trips, but both countries are beautiful and I had a blast going on the tours and exploring the country.

Cheers to 2016! I hope to have another happy and adventurous year.