It's that time of year again! Here are the books I read in 2016, described in 5 words or less. Enjoy!
1. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
You can *feel* Savannah.
2. We're Just Like You Only Prettier by Celia Rivenbark
Kind of funny.
3. The Martian by Andy Weir
4. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DeCamillo
Lovely fairy tale.
5. Dream It! Do It! by Marty Sklar
Words of an Imagineering legend.
6. Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot
Cute but can't remember why.
7. My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff
Needs to be a movie.
8. The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
Bryson does it again.
9. The Vegas Diaries by Holly Madison
Little bit of scandal.
10. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page
YA Book Club is back!
11. The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Page
Dystopian Wizard of Oz.
12. Yellow Brick Wars by Danielle Page
Girls kick a$$.
13. The Hostage Prince by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple
Fantasy adventure for kids.
14. On Bowie by Rob Sheffield
Only Bowie tribute you need.
15. Up In Honey's Room by Elmore Leonard
Too much Nazi.
16. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Not your typical mystery.
17. Uncle Fred in Springtime by P.G. Wodehouse
Good old, PG. The laughs!
18. It Looked Different on the Model by Laurie Notaro
19. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Check off another Austen!
20. Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby
Love Hornby's sense of humor.
21. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery
A beast, but worth it!
22. Best. State. Ever. by Dave Barry
Quick, funny, perfect palette cleanser.
23. Dave Hill Doesn't Live Here Anymore by Dave Hill
Another great humorist.
24. Your Favorite Band is Killing Me by Steven Hyden
Pop musical rivalries. Insightful.
25. The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland by The Imagineers
A perennial Disney favorite.
26. Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs by Dave Barry
27. The Amazing Compendium of Edward Magorium as told by N.E. Bode
28. Monster Trucks and Hair-In-A-Can by Bill Geist
A little too condescending.
29. Summer Days and Summer Nights by Various
YA summer-themed compilation.
30. Dave Barry Slept Here by Dave Barry
America's tall-tale history.
31. The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
A compelling story.
32. Legends, Icons, and Rebels by Robbie Robertson, et al.
Rock 'n roll history lesson.
33. Bad Habits by Jenny McCarthy
Not as funny as expected.
34. Golden by Jessi Kirby
YA Book Club good choice.
35. Love Is A Dog From Hell by Charles Bukowski
Trying to branch out.
36. I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson
David Cassidy, teen idol.
37. Cup of Gold by John Steinbeck
Steinbeck wrote about pirates?
38. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
My first Fleming. Yikes.
39. Cassette From My Ex by Jason Britner
I heart mix tapes.
40. Hello, It's Me by Chris Epting
Pop culture goodness.
41. Parenting Is Easy (You're Probably Just Doing It Wrong) by Sara Given
42. Songbook by Nick Hornby
Personalized recommendations just for you.
This year I made sure to fit in a couple of my all-time favorite authors (P.G. Wodehouse and Bill Bryson), while also discovering a couple of new ones (Nick Hornby's non-fiction and Dave Barry's everything!). There weren't that many duds this year (yay!) and I have a few new books that I absolutely loved (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil). I get excited every time Rob Sheffield comes out with a new book, so 2016 was a success in that regard as well =) Seriously, if you aren't familiar with the Rolling Stone author's work, what are you waiting for?!
Flashback to New Year's Eve 2009 decorating a Rose Parade float for Cal Poly =D
And New Year's Day 2010. We won the Bob Hope Humor Award =D
I spend so much time immersed in travel research that sometimes I can't remember where the ideas for certain things even came from. Case in point, the 101 Coffee Shop in Hollywood. I don't recall what put it on my Adventure Radar, but there is has been for some time now.
Formerly the Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop (as seen in the movie Swingers) the landmark got a makeover in 2001 and it is now a celebration of 1960s diner culture. But the best part? They have something called a Waffle Brownie Sundae. I mean...
So when my Mom and I were on our way down to Orange County we pulled off the 101, got turned around for a minute or two (Hollwyood after dark is not the best time to try to find a place you've never been before), and then there it was, in all it's neon glory. The 101 Coffee Shop with a giant arrow pointing the way.
We were tired from our drive, but I immediately pepped up when I saw the jukebox. I'm knee-deep in an Elvis phase right now, so I fed my dollars into the slot and chose several Elvis hits, then went back with more for the Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, Elton John, and Ray Charles. I was so glad no one else happened to be interested in picking songs just then! I love picking my own soundtrack.
I think I ordered some sort of salad and/or chicken dish and I'm sure there were fried involved (there always are), but of course the star of the night was the Waffle Brownie Sundae. It was just as mouth watering as advertised.
Okay, so the photo doesn't really do it justice, but trust me, it was amazing. And yes, that is a reindeer in the window behind me with blue balls =) Merry Christmas!
My Mom and I took a quick LA trip this week and while we were out and about I was secretly hoping that I'd see a WRDSMTH. If you don't know who WRDSMTH is, pop on over to Appreciate the Arts and check out our piece on Ephemeral Art. He's basically one of my favorite street artists and I had yet to see one of his pieces in person. But, seeing as a lot of street art is impermanent, I had no way of knowing if I would find one. So I left it up to chance and...
I was unbelievably excited! And not only did I find this piece, but...
"Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we will be able to treat life as art."