Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 365

And here we are…

Day 365.

The last hours of 2021.

This was a tough, tough year. I had some of the toughest moments of my life this year both personally and professionally. It was full of hope and despair and instability and so much unexpected change.

And it was also a year of unprecedented growth for me. I’ve had life-changing revelations and found peace and ease unlike ever before. I hope to carry this year’s gifts with me for the rest of my life.

Grateful that we all made it through this year without sickness. Yes was a fantastic word for me this year and likely one I will carry with me forever. It will sit alongside my favorites like brave and magic.

Thank you 2021, you are now complete.

Yes.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Review: The Other Black Girl

The Other Black Girl
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

Well not sure what it means that the last book I’m reading for 2021 is one that has me stumped. This book is hard to explain and has multiple genres and there are things I really liked about it and things I really didn’t. So I’m a bit all over the place about it. Glad I read it, though I do think it could have used a better editor.

View all my reviews

BOOKS READ IN 2021

  • My favorite read of the year was: Sorrow and Bliss
  • My favorite SciFi (sortof) read of the year was: Project Hail Mary and Sea of Tranquility
  • My favorite Fantasy read of the year was: Under the Whispering Door
  • My favorite nonfiction read of the year was: Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty
  • My favorite Historical Fiction read of the year was: The Magician
  • My favorite Mystery read of the year was: A Line to Kill
  • My favorite poetry read of the year was: What Kind of Woman
  • My favorite horror read of the year was: The Last House on Needless Street
  • Here are all my five-star reads for the year:
  • Sea of Tranquility
  • Three O’Clock in the Morning
  • The Color Purple
  • The Lowering Days
  • Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting
  • This Close to Okay
  • Sorrow and Bliss
  • Klara and the Sun
  • What Kind of Woman
  • Revival Season
  • The Power of Vulnerability
  • Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty
  • Project Hail Mary
  • The People We Keep
  • The Last House on Needless Street
  • Once There Were Wolves
  • The Choice: Embrace the Possible
  • Under the Whispering Door
  • Fresh Paint
  • The Magician
  • Trusting the Gold: Uncovering Your Natural Goodness
  • Oh William!
  • A Million Things
  • Mixed Media Color Studio
  • A Little Hope
  • The Heart Principle
  • Unconditional Confidence
  • The Lightmaker’s Manifesto
  • Unbound
  • French Braid
  • A Line to Kill
  • Yerba Buena
  • Inward
  • Burnout
  • Lessons in Chemistry

And here are all 229 of my reads from 2021 in reverse order. You can find all the reviews here and some of my drawings with reviews on instagram here.

  1. The Other Black Girl
  2. End of the World House
  3. Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships
  4. The Girl I Was
  5. Greetings From Asbury Park
  6. Confess
  7. Sea of Tranquility
  8. Imaginable
  9. Small Things Like These
  10. A Ballad of Love and Glory
  11. The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward
  12. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?
  13. Firekeeper’s Daughter
  14. Wish You Were Here
  15. Drawn on the Way: A Guide to Capturing the Moment Through Live Sketching
  16. The Island of Missing Trees
  17. Just Haven’t Met You Yet
  18. Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
  19. Lessons in Chemistry
  20. Beneath the Stairs
  21. Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life
  22. Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within
  23. Like a House on Fire
  24. The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
  25. Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
  26. Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle
  27. Clarity & Connection
  28. I Hope This Finds You Well
  29. The Sentence
  30. The Younger Wife
  31. Inward
  32. Always Only You (Bergman Brothers, #2)
  33. Ever After Always (Bergman Brothers, #3)
  34. The Night She Disappeared
  35. Off Season
  36. Yerba Buena
  37. The Atlas Six (The Atlas, #1)
  38. The Lincoln Highway
  39. Cackle
  40. A Line To Kill (Hawthorne and Horowitz Mystery, #3)
  41. No Cure for Being Human: And Other Truths I Need to Hear
  42. Already Enough: A Path to Self-Acceptance
  43. French Braid
  44. Out of Love
  45. The Suite Spot (Beck Sisters, #2)
  46. The Golden Couple
  47. The Selfless Act of Breathing
  48. Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement
  49. The Love Hypothesis (The Love Hypothesis, #1)
  50. The Last House on the Street
  51. Apples Never Fall
  52. The Arrangement
  53. Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
  54. Take Me with You When You Go
  55. Rock Paper Scissors
  56. The Maid
  57. Heart Smart (Work For It #2)
  58. Gone By Morning
  59. The Story of You: An Enneagram Journey to Becoming Your True Self
  60. A History of Wild Places
  61. O Beautiful
  62. The Wonder Test
  63. Matrix
  64. The Lightmaker’s Manifesto: How to Work for Change Without Losing Your Joy
  65. Beautiful World, Where Are You
  66. Dark Roads
  67. Unconditional Confidence: Instructions for Meeting Any Experience with Trust and Courage
  68. The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self
  69. The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient, #3)
  70. Tin Camp Road
  71. A Little Hope
  72. Zen Wisdom for the Anxious: Simple Advice from a Zen Buddhist Monk
  73. To Sir, with Love
  74. Get Messy Art: The No-Rules, No-Judgment, No-Pressure Approach to Making Art – Create with Watercolor, Acrylics, Markers, Inks, and More
  75. Drawing Is for Everyone: Simple Lessons to Make Your Creative Practice a Daily Habit – Explore Infinite Creative Possibilities in Graphite, Colored Pencil, and Ink
  76. Mixed Media Color Studio: Explore Modern Color Theory to Create Unique Palettes and Find Your Creative Voice–Play with Acrylics, Pastels, Inks, Graphite, and More
  77. Where the Truth Lies
  78. Cloud Cuckoo Land
  79. A Million Things
  80. Dear Me
  81. How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy
  82. Oh William!
  83. No Hiding in Boise
  84. Jacket Weather
  85. The Break-Up Book Club
  86. Trusting the Gold: Uncovering Your Natural Goodness
  87. Nothing More Dangerous
  88. The Shimmering State
  89. Not a Happy Family
  90. All Together Now
  91. The Stepsisters
  92. For Your Own Good
  93. Listening Still
  94. The Magician
  95. Rock the Boat
  96. Eight Perfect Hours
  97. Create Beautiful: A Glam Creativity Workbook for a Vibrant Life and Home
  98. Fresh Paint: Discover Your Unique Creative Style Through 100 Small Mixed-Media Paintings
  99. Maybe This Will Help: How to Feel Better When Things Stay the Same
  100. The Five Wounds
  101. The Maidens
  102. Under the Whispering Door
  103. What a Happy Family
  104. Notes from the Burning Age
  105. The Choice: Embrace the Possible
  106. The Layover
  107. One Last Stop
  108. Hostage
  109. Who Is Maud Dixon?
  110. We Are the Brennans
  111. The Guncle
  112. Malibu Rising
  113. The Husbands
  114. Rabbits
  115. What If You & Me (Say Everything, #2)
  116. Once There Were Wolves
  117. Yoga Pant Nation (Class Mom, #3)
  118. You’re Going to Survive
  119. Razorblade Tears
  120. A Good Day for Chardonnay (Sunshine Vicram, #2)
  121. The Last House on Needless Street
  122. Several People Are Typing
  123. Heartbreak for Hire
  124. Exit
  125. The Guide
  126. Instructions for Dancing
  127. The People We Keep
  128. Colorful
  129. If Only
  130. The 22 Murders of Madison May
  131. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead
  132. The Road Trip
  133. Easy Crafts for the Insane: A Mostly Funny Memoir of Mental Illness and Making Things
  134. How Lucky
  135. How to Save a Life
  136. Competitive Grieving
  137. Together We Will Go
  138. Morningside Heights
  139. That Summer
  140. What You Can See from Here
  141. What Comes After
  142. Girls with Bright Futures
  143. Life’s Too Short (The Friend Zone, #3)
  144. The Last Thing He Told Me
  145. Mary Jane
  146. The Perfect Daughter
  147. People We Meet on Vacation
  148. Project Hail Mary
  149. Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty
  150. Early Morning Riser
  151. The Finish Line (The Ravenhood, #3)
  152. The Last Goodbye
  153. The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
  154. Exodus (The Ravenhood Duet #2)
  155. Flock (The Ravenhood, #1)
  156. One Two Three
  157. Second First Impressions
  158. When the Stars Go Dark
  159. When I Ran Away
  160. The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton
  161. Every Vow You Break
  162. Perfect on Paper
  163. The Good Sister
  164. Gold Diggers
  165. The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connections and Courage
  166. Revival Season
  167. A Town Called Solace
  168. A Million Reasons Why
  169. The Intimacy Experiment (The Roommate, #2)
  170. Her Here
  171. On Hampstead Heath
  172. What Kind of Woman
  173. Everything After
  174. Only When It’s Us (Bergman Brothers, #1)
  175. Brood
  176. The Plot
  177. The Power Couple
  178. Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage
  179. Meet Me in Another Life
  180. The Kitchen Front
  181. The Soulmate Equation
  182. Infinite Country
  183. It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake
  184. Klara and the Sun
  185. Every Last Fear
  186. No One Is Talking About This
  187. Sorrow and Bliss
  188. We Run the Tides
  189. The Echo Wife
  190. The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket
  191. Faye, Faraway
  192. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It (Finlay Donovan, #1)
  193. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know
  194. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives
  195. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
  196. The Kindest Lie
  197. Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing
  198. Keeping a Nature Journal: Deepen Your Connection with the Natural World All Around You
  199. Switch
  200. This Close to Okay
  201. The Ex Talk
  202. The Push
  203. The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games, #1)
  204. Winterkeep (Graceling Realm, #4)
  205. Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6)
  206. Black Buck
  207. Love Poems for the Office
  208. Happy Habits: 50 Science-Backed Rituals to Adopt (or Stop) to Boost Health and Happiness
  209. How to Figure Out What to Do with Your Life
  210. The Anxiety and Depression Workbook: Simple, Effective CBT Techniques to Manage Moods and Feel Better Now
  211. Make Your Art No Matter What: Moving Beyond Creative Hurdles
  212. Dear Child
  213. Blacktop Wasteland
  214. The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1)
  215. Mother May I
  216. Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting
  217. The Lowering Days
  218. Good Company
  219. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
  220. The Color Purple
  221. The Lost Apothecary
  222. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
  223. Three O’Clock in the Morning
  224. Take It Back (Zara Kaleel, #1)
  225. The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett
  226. How to Fail at Flirting
  227. Just Work: Get Sh*t Done, Fast & Fair
  228. Float Plan (Beck Sisters, #1)
  229. Enneagram Empowerment: Discover Your Personality Type and Unlock Your Potential

UNRAVELING – GOODBYE TO 2021

I want to start by saying that this is going to be a long post. These reflective posts are how I make sure to live my life intentionally. They matter to me and I love being able to look back on them in future years. I know that this might not be interesting to many (if not any) of you, so please feel free to skip it. If some of you find it interesting, all the better.

This particular exercise is following Susannah Conway’s Unraveling 2022 sheet. You can download it right here. I split the reflective questions looking back on 2021 in and the questions to help clarify goals/dreams for 2022 into two posts. This is part I, part II comes next week. All questions are Susannah’s and are copyrighted to her.

Before we start unravelling 2022, let’s take a moment to look back over the last twelve months.  How has this year been for you? Pick up your pen and let’s do some digging. 

  1. First of all, did you have a word for 2021? Yes
  2. If you did, how did your word help to guide you through the last 12 months? Can you think of  any specific examples? It reminded me to try to be open and say yes. It reminded me to be aware of all that I said yes to. Yes was a really open and welcoming word. It was an optimistic word by default.
  3. What did you embrace in 2021? I embraced spaciousness and ease. I embraced not picking up what’s not mine to carry and releasing and also holding things lightly. 
  4. What felt uncomfortable in 2021? So much for such a long time. Work and home both had some serious challenges in 2021. Not to mention the world and covid. There was a lot this year and a lot of uncertainty still remains on all sides.
  5. What changed for you in 2021? Around the summer I read this book that gave me a major aha moment with the quote “Thank you for everything. I have no complaints whatsoever.” and that was the beginning of the major shift in my worldview. Even before that, restorative yoga was helping expand the time between the stimulus and response but that quote was the major shift. Whatever calm and space came over me then, I’ve been able to hold on to it so far.
  6. What did you discover about yourself in 2021? I discovered that I am stronger than I think both physically and emotionally. I am proud of myself.
  7. What new dreams did you uncover in 2021? My biggest dream has always been to be able to live with peace and ease and I think this is the year I’ve come closest to it. 
  8. When did fear hold you back in 2021? So many times. Both at home and at work, I didn’t make big changes because I am constantly afraid of the potential repercussions. I think fear holds me back much more than I would like to admit.
  9. Where did you practice courage in 2021? So many times. Especially at home but also at work. I showed up to my life again and again despite being deeply scared and despite so much unknown. I just continued to show up. I am proud of myself.
  10. What surprised you in 2021?  Many things surprised me both at work and at home this year but the most surprising part was this major shift in my ability to move through the world in a different way. My ability to not trigger has been profoundly life changing so far. 
  11. What was the best day in 2021? What happened? There is no one day that i can think of. There was a lot of magic this year. We got to take some trips in California. We got vaccinated and then boosted. I spent a lot of time outside in the sunshine. I did a bunch of art, a bunch of exercise and a bunch of climbing. I loved my people hard. I did the best I could.
  12. What was the most difficult day in 2021? What happened? There were many, many hard days in 2021. So much unknown and unpredictability. My work changed a lot, my manager left, we each had some low low points at home, and there continued to be so much restriction in our lives. One of my toughest days was when I spent hours and hours sobbing after a terrible meeting with my new manager at work. I couldn’t stop spiraling down and I can still feel the pain when I think of it now.

Pandemic Reflections: Year 2 

  1. I don’t think anyone thought the pandemic would have magically resolved by the end of 2021.  Things have been shifting and changing, but the majority of us are still living with restrictions.  BUT! We’ve made it this far! If you’re anything like me you’ve likely been reflecting on what  matters and what doesn’t. How has the pandemic impacted your life thus far? I think for me alone, the pandemic would be okay. I don’t love it but I can manage. Because not seeing people or not going places or doing things isn’t majorly life restricting to me. I miss my family. I miss some things but I can manage. The hardest part has been how others I love feel and what it’s done to them.
  2. What have you learned about yourself during this entire experience?  I’ve learned that I am strong. To be honest, since this isn’t as much a strain for me as it would be to someone extraverted, I think it’s not fair to assess how I’ve been through it. I’ve learned to balance my priorities and what comes easy to me with understanding and openness to what might be easy/challenging to someone else so maybe I learned even more about empathy. 
  3. Write down everything that’s helped you get through the year. Consider: new routines,  boundaries, connections with others, online community, new things you tried, things you read,  places you visited, new perspectives. I’ve done so much this year, here are some things that helped:
    1. Sitting outside as much as possible, finally bought that swing too, we’ll see if that helps in 2022.
    2. Did a bunch of art.
    3. Did a lot of exercise.
    4. Did a lot of climbing.
    5. Did a lot of yoga, stretching, meditation
    6. Did a lot of reading.
    7. Tried to connect with a few friends – could have done more here.
    8. Got us all vaccinated and 3 out of 4 of us boosted.
    9. Gave myself grace again and again.
  4. Note: With these next three questions there is absolutely no judgement here, so try to answer  honestly so you can identify any areas that need tending to! How have you taken care of yourself physically? I have exercised 18K minutes on the peloton and went climbing 2x week almost every week this year. I feel good about the exercise I did this year.
  5. How have you taken care of yourself mentally? I have done restorative yoga (and now meditation) regularly, too. I also have a coach and a therapist. They have both been essential.
  6. How have you taken care of yourself emotionally? Same as above. 
  7. What have you missed this year? Seeing my close friends. Seeing my parents and sister and nephews. Traveling. Not having to wear a mask when I climb. The feeling of normalcy.
  8. What haven’t you missed? Commuting to work. Too many activities or social interactions.
  9. What new ways of seeing the world have you discovered?  I have become more spacious and calmer and more able to see/sit with others’ pain without getting triggered by it.
  10. What will you never forget? This feeling of ease, I deeply hope it is here to stay. 
  11. What have you let go of? Working hard to let go of anything that’s not mine to carry.
  12. What feels more important than ever to you? Feeling my feelings, getting help, showing the people I love how much I love them.
  13. What now feels unimportant? Small, fleeting moments of frustration. Things that won’t matter five years from now.
  14. What are you ready to begin? Living with this ease and openness. With the confidence that I have my own back. May I hold on to it. 
  15. How has this year impacted your priorities? I focused a lot on my physical and mental wellbeing.
  16. How has this year impacted your home life? Our house is a mess. I’ve made peace that it likely won’t get better for a while.
  17. How has this year impacted your relationships? I’ve tried to be consistent with the few close friends I have. To check up on them and make sure they know I am here.
  18. How has this year impacted your work life? There’s no transition from work to life and that’s been hard. But it’s also been wonderful to get to be home all day and integrate life into moments of space where I can.

The Gratitudes 

  1. What have you been most grateful for this year? Big things, little things, the profound and the  everyday, what are you grateful for?
    1. Grateful that none of us got sick.
    2. Grateful that we are all still together and hanging on to each other.
    3. Grateful David’s ACTs are done.
    4. Grateful that Nathaniel found some wonderful new friends.
    5. Grateful for so very much this year.
  2. Gentleness alert! Did anything happen in 2021 that needs to be forgiven? Maybe it was  something someone did or said to you. Maybe it was something you did or said to someone else  — or to yourself? Maybe you feel you let yourself down in some way. Here’s the thing — we are  all beautifully fallible human beings doing the best that we can with the tools that we have, so  where can you give the gift of forgiveness to yourself or to another?  This was a tough year. So much struggle for me and people I love. I struggled a lot with work and with being able to handle and process all the change this year. I also struggled watching the people I love struggle. It was a tough year and I give myself endless grace for making it through and coming out as strong as I feel at the moment. 

The Gifts of 2021

  1. I now invite you to close your eyes for a moment and think about 2021 as a whole. As you cast  your mind back over the year, consider the gifts that 2021 offered you on your life’s journey…  What stands out the most? What really mattered?
    1. The exercise and yoga/meditation really changed my life.
    2. I helped David with his ACTs.
    3. We took several vacations all over California, including New Jack City.
    4. I continued to manage my team and inherited another small team.
    5. I did a lot of art.
    6. I went climbing with Jake every week. 
    7. I read 200+ books
    8. I reflected daily on insta for my word.
    9. I documented our lives, did OLW and WIL.
    10. I got lead certified. 
    11. I got our whole family vaccinated and 3 of us got boosted too.
    12. I continued to sponsor DEI at work.
    13. David and Nathainel transitioned to 11, and 7th grades now both fully at school.
    14. I stuck by my people and worked hard at loving them.
    15. I transitioned to a new manager at work.
  2. Describe 2021 in 3 words: challenging, grateful, release.
  3. If the events of 2021 were made into a film or a book, what would it be called? This is where it begins.
  4. Before we finish with 2021, take a few minutes to write out anything else you need to say to  the old year in the space below. You might like to say some final goodbyes and thank yous…Dear Karen, I am really proud of all the work you’ve done this year. I am proud of how you stuck with it. Got the help you needed. Took care of yourself. Stood by your people. Learned to let go and to not even pick up.  You are so strong. Remember this feeling of ease, it’s how you’re meant to feel.

THANK YOU 2021 YOU ARE NOW COMPLETE!

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 364

And that’s the end of climbing season for 2021. We finished in style and closed down the gym. We were the last people there for the last 45 minutes. We both had a good night. I climbed two stem 11bs. I will call that a win.

I also did a lot of journaling today and finished my book and wrote reviews and did some planning for 2022. So net net it was a really productive day and still felt restful.

Yes to good days.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Review: Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships

Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships
Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I liked this sweet novel about an aunt whose nieces come to stay with her for the summer as a way to give her sister and husband to recover from the loss of their third child. It’s sweet and there’s a romance but there are also some major issues in this book around death, loss, abandonment, and belonging. All of them are explored and taken seriously but still handled lightly. It was a fun read.

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Review: The Girl I Was

The Girl I Was
The Girl I Was by Jeneva Rose
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sweet story about how it’s never too late to save yourself.

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Review: Confess

Confess
Confess by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I might have read too many Hoover stories. I can tell where they will go, I can tell what will happen and I just don’t think the characters are as well developed or complex as I wish they were. I liked the idea of confessions and the paintings but the evil characters are too evil and the good are too good.

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Review: Small Things Like These

Small Things Like These
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

really wonderful and touching short story. loved it.

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Review: Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read a lot of mixed reviews about this book and several people said the first part was very boring. I totally didn’t feel that way. I listened to this on audio and the narrator was excellent. I was recently in the Galapagos so I really enjoyed hearing about that amazing setting again and true to form I didn’t see the twist coming and Picoult took it to some interesting places. I enjoyed this one.

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Review: Sea of Tranquility

Sea of Tranquility
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is absolutely, undeniably and unequivocally one of my favorite reads of 2021! I cannot wait until it comes out so I can recommend it to people who I know will appreciate it, too. I know some will dislike this book and even as I was reading it and tried to recount the premise to my kids and husband, they thought it was reductive and done because it’s such a hard to premise to explain but they are so wrong. It is excellent.

“Everything offended Jessica, which is inevitable when you move through the world in search of offense.”

First of all, Emily St. John Mandel’s writing is exquisite. It’s quiet and descriptive and delicate and a pure joy to read. When I first started the novel, I wasn’t sure where it was going and I wasn’t sure it was going to hold my attention. But her writing was so good and her characters drew me in immediately. I felt connected to every one of them and I was rooting for them.

“( We were still thinking in terms of getting work done. The most shocking thing in retrospect was the degree to which all of us completely missed the point.)”

Bits and pieces of how the future unfolds were also interesting to me. There was just enough to make it interesting and not so much to make it totally scifi or fantasy. The parts around the pandemic were also just enough there to be relatable and interesting but not enough to be suffocating (since we’re still in this pandemic, i am not finding enjoyable to read pandemic books.)

And then there were the amazing connections, twists or whatever else you call them. I figured one out way sooner than the second one which by the time I figured it out, I was so excited by how clever it was that I actually laughed out loud. I understand that different people might go different ways on this book but, for me, it worked 100% and I loved every single minute I spent with it. I cannot stop thinking about it and smiling.

with gratitude to netgalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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Review: Greetings From Asbury Park

Greetings From Asbury Park
Greetings From Asbury Park by Daniel H. Turtel
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“There was comfort in knowing that you could say just what you wanted and not worry about what the words meant because in the morning they would be gone and so would you.”

I did not connect with this book, no matter how much I tried. I picked it up and put it down at least twenty times in the month of December. I liked the idea of three siblings connecting through the death of their father. Two of which are from other mothers and two of which didn’t know about each other. I liked the premise but the execution didn’t work for me.

“Maybe he was really sorry and it was possible to believe that somebody had wronged you but still not really wish them to be dead. Maybe there were sort of gradations to revenge that should exist and some things you shouldn’t do.”

I found myself unable to connect with any of the characters which makes it hard to read what’s mostly a character-driven story. I found the story to be quiet but not in a peaceful way. So my attention kept drifting. I still managed to make it all the way to the end but this one will not stay with me even though parts of the writing and descriptions were really beautiful.

with gratitude to netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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