I thought it would be fun to try to capture the essence of each of the books I’ve read this year in as few words as possible.
- Extraordinary Means (fiction, by Robyn Schneider): medical ethics explored through young adult fiction in an alternate reality
- The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (fiction, by Jan-Philipp Sendker): transporting epic love story
- Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (non-fiction, illustrated edition, by Michael Pollan): sensible eating with fun pictures
- The Beach House (fiction, by Mary Alice Monroe): mothers, daughters, turtles
- Made You Up (fiction, by Francesca Zappia): lovable mentally ill protagonist surviving high school
- The Magicians (fiction, by Lev Grossman): Harry Potter meets Narnia, but more cynical and with some R-rated content
- A Man Called Ove (fiction, by Fredrik Backman): love and death, laughter and tears
- The Risk Pool (fiction, by Richard Russo): fathers, sons, small-town upstate New York
- Bewteen the World and Me (non-fiction, by Ta-Nehisi Coates): poetic description of life in a black body
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane (fiction, by Neil Gaiman): a spooky little fairy tale
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (non-fiction, by Rebecca Skloot): the woman whose cervical cells revolutionized biomedical research, unfortunately without informed consent
- Best Boy (fiction, by Eli Gottlieb): dramatic times at an assisted living center, from the perspective of a homesick autistic man
- The Forgotten Sister: Mary Bennet’s Pride and Prejudice (fiction, by Jennifer Paynter): the story of Mary, the Bennet sister that is left out of most of the action in Pride and Prejudice
- Americanah (fiction, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie): an outspoken young Nigerian woman moves to the US (where she loves, blogs, and encounters racism), and years later, returns to Nigeria
Some books on deck for 2017 are Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik), The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak), Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (by Trevor Noah), All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood (by Jennifer Senior), and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry (by Fredrik Backman).
We went for a morning hike around Saratoga Spa State Park during our visit in early August. Our first stop was the Island Spouter.
Next we explored the Orenda Spring’s huge mineral bank, which has an amazing texture if you look closely.
Toward the end of our hike, we were able to hear a bit of the Philadelphia Orchestra practicing for their upcoming performance at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), and strolled through a sports and exotic car show. What a varied experience in one lovely park!
Well, the horse racing season is almost over in Saratoga Springs, but at the beginning of August we went to watch the horses’ morning workout at the Saratoga Race Course (commonly referred to as “breakfast at the track,” whether you eat there or not). After watching a few of the horses running laps around the track, we took a guided walking tour of the stable area. The tour was a neat way to learn about all of the preparation that goes toward each horse’s performance, and to see many of the horses up close.
A year ago I wrote a top ten list of my favorite things that I hadn’t done in a year. Here’s a follow-up on my attempt to do them this past year:
- Swim in the warm ocean with big waves. No such luck. I stuck my foot into the ocean here in Nova Scotia, but it was way too cold to consider swimming in. Maybe next year!
- Play mini golf. Done! Jeff and I played mini golf at my favorite mini golf course, Around the World in 18 Holes in Lake George, NY (shown below), over the summer. We also played mini golf at Beazley’s glow-in-the-dark mini-putt in Dartmouth, NS, where I played the best mini golf game of my life and beat Jeff for the first time!
- Go to an art museum. I didn’t make it to any during the past year, but I plan to go to at least one in Paris in a couple of weeks!
- Go to the Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC. Didn’t make it. And it looks like we will be in Saratoga the weekend before the Jazz Festival this year, so we might see the Beach Boys at SPAC, but no Jazz Festival. Maybe next year!
- Play tennis on a non-windy day. I played tennis several times last year. Yay!
- Eat an apple cider donut from Saratoga Apple. Nope. Wheat and I still aren’t friends, so I probably won’t be able to eat a regular cider donut anytime soon. But now that I have a donut maker, I can and will make my own.
- Hang out with my friend Theresa. We didn’t get to hang out in person, but we did skype a few times, so I’ll consider this one mostly successful.
- Kayak. Nope. Hopefully this summer!
- Go on a waterslide. Nope. Hopefully this summer?
- Go to a baseball game with friends on a nice day. I was so close to making this one happen. We had tickets to see the Red Sox play in Pittsburgh while we were in town for a wedding, but our flights got messed up and we ended up missing the game. Maybe next year…
There were cute cows at the farm where we went apple and pumpkin picking!
Speaking of cute cows, here’s a snapshot of me wearing my favorite cute cow T-shirt (while enjoying an orange Dole Whip at Humpty Dumpty in Saratoga Springs, NY)! If you need a cute cow shirt for yourself, I bought mine at the Mahone Bay Quilt Shop.
The Daily Post at WordPress prompted me to “make a top ten list of favorite things to do you haven’t done in over a year.” I’m pretty self-indulgent, so I do a lot of my favorite things fairly regularly. But here are the ten favorite things I came up with:
- Swim in the warm ocean with big waves. The ocean in southeastern Florida in the summer is pretty much perfect for me.
- Play mini golf. Preferably Around the World in 18 Holes in Lake George, NY.
- Go to an art museum. This one just made the one-year cut – It’s barely been more than a year since I went to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia with Kerry.
- Go to the Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC. Preferably with my sister.
- Play tennis on a non-windy day. Apparently this is a lot to ask for in Nova Scotia.
- Eat an apple cider donut from Saratoga Apple. They are my favorite donuts anywhere, ever.
- Hang out with my friend Theresa. Chile and Canada are so far apart =(
- Kayak. I blame my lack of kayaking last summer on my Crohns-yness.
- Go on a waterslide. I miss the Blue Tubaluba at Sandcastle.
- Go to a baseball game with friends on a nice day. Even better if it’s a Red Sox game and I get to eat a soft pretzel while watching the game =)