23. The Best American Short Stories of the Century ed. by John Updike (audiobook) – I love the Best American short story collections, but this one was just not up to par. I assumed it would be exponentially better than the single year volumes because these stories are supposed to be the best of the best of the ENTIRE CENTURY. Meh, not so much.

24. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver – Excellent! Highly recommended. I saw some griping here and there online that Kingsolver isn’t providing practical steps, but she does complete an incredible experiment and share a lot of helpful/fascinating information along the way. If you’re at all interested in eating locally and avoiding nasty stuff like CAFO beef, you should read this.

25. The Apron Book: Making, Sharing, and Wearing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort by EllynAnne Geisel – This was a gift from my mom as thanks for the apron I made her. I felt like I’d time-warped to 1950, but it was a pleasant quick read and even included some good recipes and apron patterns.

26. The Possessed by Elif Batuman – I had such high hopes for this book! It sounded so quirky and interesting, and I loved the idea of a book that explored both life in academia and Russian lit. Quirky? Yes. Otherwise? No. It was unfocused to me: one minute literary paper, the next travelogue. I had a hard time connecting to the non-story.

27. A Trailside Series Guide Bicycling by Peter Oliver – Great guidebook if you want tips on selecting a bike, improving your form, shopping for gear, and basic maintenance. I enjoyed it, but if you’re only going to buy one bike book, I would instead recommend The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair .

28. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry – A Texas classic. I struggled a bit in the early chapters, but once the cattle drive got going I enjoyed the story. If you can’t stand for author’s to kill off characters that you like, you might struggle with this one. I haven’t read many westerns in my day, but I gave it a try after several people I trust told me this was their all time favorite book. It’s not on my fave book list, but it is good.

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