To Read: 9 Books for Early Bedtimes

To Read: 9 Books for Early Bedtimes

-To Do List 2019- #1-

I don’t have any routines. Like, NONE.  Some days I wash my face, some days I don’t.  Some days I wash my body, most days I don’t.  The only thing I do with regularity is read in bed.  These days, the earlier the better.  Otherwise, I’m asleep 5 words in.  

Since this such a regular ritual, I need new material, like, all the time (nerd alert!).  And the end of the year means “Best” lists abound, but I can’t read ‘em all, so I’m counting on some friends from cyberspace (and real life space) to recommend the best bedfellows from 2018.

 Here they are:

1.  The Great Believers, Rebecca Makkai 

“...Hands down one of my best reads of 2018.  Why?  1.  Beautiful storytelling that will totally dismantle (and partially reassemble) your heart.  2.  Portrays a dynamic art scene that-GASP- *isn’t* New York!  3.   Contains a shout out to the Mars Cheese Castle. 4.  And another to Door County cherry wine.  5.  Has one of the most thoughtful acknowledgements sections I’ve ever read, encouraging readers to seek out #ownvoices texts from the gay community about the devastation of AIDS in the 1980s (with an amazing companion piece on Literary Hub about writing across difference).  Read it!!”

 -  Cool Mom Jessie Ann Foley, author of many a great YA novel.


2.  Florida, Lauren Groff   

Who is inspiring you these days? 

...Lauren Groff for her words.  Anyone and everyone speaking truth to power in 2018.”

-Cool Mom Kate Birkhead, photographer, founder of Analogue Child Chicago


3.  Ghosts in the Schoolyard, Eve L. Ewing

Trying to find the words about why we so strongly want to save our “failing” schools can be difficult.  Eve Ewing has focused on where that desire stems from and how people work through it.... I know it’s going to be a timeless addition to any collection...”

-Black Girl That Reads, blogger, reader


4.  There, There, Tommy Orange

”’The bullets have been coming from miles.  Years.  Their sound will break the water in our bodies, tear sound itself, rip our lives in half.  The tragedy of it all will be unspeakable, the fact we’ve been fighting for decades to be recognized as a present-tense people, modern and alive, only to die in the grass wearing feathers.’ 

This is- no exaggeration- one of the best books I have ever read, destined to be a classic. ”

Cool Mom Jessie Ann Foley, author of “Sorry for Your Loss,” out this June.


5.  Heart Berries, Terese Marie Mailhot

”An upologetically honest and immensely inspiring book.”

-Emma Watson, actor, big time celeb


6.  My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh

”I know I’m late to the game but finally found time to read this fantastic book and I’m going to read it all over again starting now.  Wow.  I really couldn’t put it down.  All of her books are great.”

-Amy Sedaris, actor, sister, big time celeb


7.  Becoming, Michelle Obama

It makes you cry with joy (over the Obama era) and sorrow (over the Dark Ages happening right now).”

-My sister, cool mom/HS English teacher Maggie Cramer


8.  And Now We Have Everything, Meaghan O’Connell

Meaghan O’Connell’s account of her experience through pregnancy, birth, and new motherhood is raw and funny and completely honest.  It feels like the pregnancy book millennials didn’t know they were waiting for.  It reads as if your best friend is leveling with you.” 

-Get Lit Book Club, blogger, reader


9.  The Idiot, Elif Batuman

We need more giant meandering books written by women and we need more books about the weirdness of the college experience and we need more books with pink covers and we need more books by Elif Batuman.  Her writing voice is so completely and utterly hers- I would read anything with her name on it.  “The Idiot” was one of my best reads of 2018 and maybe of ever.”

- Cool Mom Jessie Ann Foley, author of many a good YA novel, including one this spring


What besties are on your bedside table?


P.S.  Last year’s Book-et List.  And beam me up, Scotty!  Cause I read all but this one!   






To Hear: 9 Songs for Staying IN.

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To Do Lists 2019:  PLAN on STAYING COOL.

To Do Lists 2019: PLAN on STAYING COOL.