December, 2018



December 1st, 2018, 1:24 p.m. - They put Misha Collins in a scene with a Russian-speaking character and no one spoke Russian? What a rip-off

Modern Family – "Kids These Days": After ten seasons, Mitch and Phil are just now admitting that they like spending time together? Come on. Rating: 3 revealing dresses

Supernatural – "Unhuman Nature": So Rowena was totally up for helping Dean? Really? Really? Rating: 3 driving lessons in Baby


December 2nd, 2018, 5:06 p.m. - SO FUN

47. Nine Perfect Strangers (Liane Moriarty)
This was one of those books I both wanted to speed through to see what happened, but also read slowly to savor every scene. Very entertaining, and funnier than I expected.

Up next: It's All Relative (A.J. Jacobs)


December 8th, 2018, 1:24 p.m. - "Get in the tube." "Oh, hell yeah. I love getting in stuff!"

Modern Family – "The Tree of Strife": I thought they were underusing Ed Begley, Jr., but they redeemed that in the end. Great casting there. Rating: 4 really old cars

Supernatural – "Byzantium": Show, if you're going to bring back characters from former episodes, at least bring back interesting ones. No one wanted to see Lily again. (Veronica Cartwright is awesome, though.) Rating: 3 celebratory burgers

The Good Place – "Janet(s)": INSTANT CLASSIC. Give D'Arcy Carden an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and any other TV award that exists. Rating: 5 chalkboards Chidi-Janet manifested without permission

Speechless – "F-O-FOLLOW T-H-R-THROUGH": How can a teenager get permission to start a park? Leslie Knope is so confused right now. Rating: 4 cats that went missing in the process of making coffee


December 13th, 2018, 8:01 p.m. - I am a cousin

48. It's All Relative (A.J. Jacobs)
I enjoyed this more than I expected. There's not a whole lot to it, but it's still interesting.

Up next: The Mars Room (Rachel Kushner)


December 15th, 2018, 2:09 p.m. - "You defrauded a charity at Christmas." "Well...anything can sound bad if you say it"

Modern Family – "Stuck in a Moment": They never followed up on the thing with Cal's Christmas presents. And I don't buy that Cam and Mitch, who have been parents for ten years now, suddenly stopped remembering that they have kids to take care of. Rating: 3 stolen trees

Supernatural – "The Spear": This was mostly boring (nice to see Garth again, though), but the ending was great. I was disappointed earlier in the season that they ended Michael's inhabitation of Dean so quickly, but now I'm happy. Rating: 3 gold eggs

Speechless – "J-I-JINGLE T-H-THON": Niecy Nash! That's all I needed. Merry Christmas, DiMeos! Rating: 4 pairs of ill-gotten VR goggles


December 23rd, 2018, 3:26 p.m. - It's like Orange Is the New Black, but without the fun parts

49. The Mars Room (Rachel Kushner)
I guess all the people who raved about this book don't mind that it didn't really have a plot?

Up next: Maeve in America (Maeve Higgins)


December 26th, 2018, 4:37 p.m. - Having the week off between Christmas and New Year's means I get to read a lot

50. Maeve in America (Maeve Higgins)
Good, but kind of thin. I feel like just when Higgins was starting to dig into a subject, she would end the essay.

Up next: I Can't Date Jesus (Michael Arceneaux)


December 30th, 2018, 9:16 p.m. - In contrast...

51. I Can't Date Jesus (Michael Arceneaux)
Arceneaux's book is the same length as Maeve Higgins', but I felt like every essay was fully rounded. He said everything he needed/wanted to say in just the right amount of words. This book earned its spot on everyone's best-of-the-year lists.

Up next: The Incendiaries (R.O. Kwon)


December 31st, 2018, 12:08 p.m. - Guess what time it is? It's Year-End Book Round-Up Time!

1. The Power, Naomi Alderman
2. Away with Words, Joe Berkowitz
3. Playing Dead, Elizabeth Greenwood
4. Exit West, Mohsin Hamid
5. Bonfire, Krysten Ritter
6. Into the Black Nowhere, Meg Gardiner
7. The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin
8. Stories I'd Tell in Bars, Jen Lancaster
9. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, Samantha Irby
10. Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado
11. Force of Nature, Jane Harper
12. Sunburn, Laura Lippman
13. Endurance, Scott Kelly
14. Red Clocks, Leni Zumas
15. Look Alive Out There, Sloane Crosley
16. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore, Kim Fu
17. Meaty, Samantha Irby
18. The Last Day of Emily Lindsey, Nic Joseph
19. The Vanishing Season, Joanna Schaffhausen
20. The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer
21. The Outsider, Stephen King
22. Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward
23. Lab Girl, Hope Jahren
24. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, Matthew Sullivan
25. The Elizas, Sara Shepard
26. IQ, Joe Ide
27. Calypso, David Sedaris
28. The Electric Woman, Tessa Fontaine
29. Give Me Your Hand, Megan Abbott
30. Educated, Tara Westover
31. The Last Time I Lied, Riley Sager
32. Watch the Girls, Jennifer Wolfe
33. The Third Hotel, Laura van den Berg
34. Asymmetry, Lisa Halliday
35. Planet Funny, Ken Jennings
36. Okay Fine Whatever, Courtenay Hameister
37. Vox, Christina Dalcher
38. The Perfect Mother, Aimee Molloy
39. Skinny Dip, Carl Hiaasen
40. A Head Full of Ghosts, Paul Tremblay
41. Pieces of Her, Karin Slaughter
42. Then She Was Gone, Lisa Jewell
43. Baby Teeth, Zoje Stage
44. All These Beautiful Strangers, Elizabeth Klehfoth
45. Dark Matter, Blake Crouch
46. Family Trust, Kathy Wang
47. Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty
48. It's All Relative, A.J. Jacobs
49. The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner
50. Maeve in America, Maeve Higgins
51. I Can't Date Jesus, Michael Arceneaux

The best: Exit West, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, Red Clocks, Vox

The worst: The Elizas

The most memorable/impactful: Into the Black Nowhere, Endurance, Lab Girl, Educated, I Can't Date Jesus

Book that Entertainment Weekly named one of the ten best that I disagreed with the most: The Immortalists

Favorite characters: Jojo (Sing, Unburied, Sing), Isaiah Quintabe (IQ)

Least favorite character: Didier Korsmo (Red Clocks)

Book that most lived up to its hype: Exit West

Book that least lived up to its hype: Baby Teeth

Book I was looking forward to that didn't disappoint: Calypso

Book I was looking forward to that did disappoint: The Immortalists

Books I'm most looking forward to in 2019: Act Natural (Jennifer Traig), On the Come Up (Angie Thomas), I Like to Watch (Emily Nussbaum), The Last Widow (Karin Slaughter)



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