Books I read in 2019

My goal for 2019 was to read 12 books. I re-read 12 books and read 6 new ones for a total of 18. I’m including all the books I re-read in my list here this year.

I’m going for 15 in 2020.

Here’s the list of books I read in 2019, organized by date read.

  1. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. This book is different from his usual books in that its a sci-fi book instead of fantasy. Turns out, he can do sci-fi extremely well.

  2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. I re-read these every few years.

  3. The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2) by N.K. Jemisin. These books are incredibly well written and excellent, but I’m not sure I can continue the series. It’s weird: I like the story, but it takes too much mental effort for me to keep up.

  4. Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #2) by Jessica Townsend. Wonderfully magical series.

  5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling.

  6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.

  7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

  8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.

  9. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.

  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.

  11. Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds by Brandon Sanderson.

  12. The Bayern Agenda by Dan Moren.

  13. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal.

  14. Age of Legend (The Legends of the First Empire, #4) by Michael J. Sullivan. Solid installment in a very good series.

  15. Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2) by Michael J. Sullivan. First time re-reading this series. Just as good the second time through it.

  16. Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations, #3-4) by Michael J. Sullivan.

  17. Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6) by Michael J. Sullivan.

  18. The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan. This is a prequel to the Riyria Revelations, but if you do read the series read this one after the Revelations series.

Rejected Medical Definitions

blister | ˈblistər |
noun

  1. painful bubble
  2. ouchy

zit | zit |
noun informal

  1. embarassing bubble
  2. mount faceuvius

canker | ˈkaNGkər |
noun

  1. a rift in time and space

ingrown toenail | ˈinɡrōn ˈtōˌnāl |
noun

  1. satan’s revenge

hemorrhoid | ˈhem(ə)ˌroid | (British haemorrhoid)
noun

  1. the Spanish word for “gross”

diarrhea | ˌdīəˈrēə | (British diarrhoea)
noun

  1. a real bummer

Tastes Like Caramel

Have you ever had a meal with people who only eat super gross super healthy food? They’ve often been on these gross diets for so long that they think their health food alternatives taste good.

They’ll be like, “Mmmmmm have a bite of this locally sourced kale mash. I added a bit of honey and it tastes like real caramel.”

Spoiler: it doesn’t taste like caramel.

They have forgotten what caramel tastes like.

Fake caramel tastes better.

These people should wear little dietary bracelets that say, “healthy eater.” That way emergency medical professionals will know they can revive them by putting actual caramel in their mouths1. They will wake up and think they’re in heaven.


  1. Don’t ever do this to a passed out or sleeping person.

Throwing Pickles at Enemies

On New Year’s Eve in 2018 we ate dessert at Disney’s Contemporary Restort Hotel. Afterwards, we took an elevator as high as we could get without a key card. Then we found an exit to the stairs on the outside of the building so we could watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

I’m not personally afraid of heights, but I am afraid of heights on behalf of my kids. You know, because of their general lack of life experience and understanding of things like heights. So we warned the kids to just stay away from the railings. Period. And they did. They were great. Whew.

I was holding my then 4-year-old while waiting for the fireworks to start. He expressed his worry that the wind might blow us and cause me to drop him off the edge. We were not standing close to the edge. I assured him I would never drop him. He asks why. I say, because I love you and also I’m not standing close to the edge. He accepts this.

At this point I could’ve stopped, but instead I helpfully added that I wouldn’t throw anything off the building, not even things I didn’t love. Like what, he asks? Like a pickle, I say. I wouldn’t even throw off a pickle and I hate pickles. Why? Because they’re gross. Why wouldn’t you throw it off? Because I wouldn’t wish a pickle upon my worst enemy. Not even a pickle traveling at its terminal velocity. He says he doesn’t like pickles either and that he’d throw them off.

But the truth is I’d throw pickles at my enemies. Willingly and happily. This works out especially well if my enemies like pickles. Maybe they’ll be like, hey thanks for the pickles. I won’t be your enemy anymore, pickle friend. You are now my pickle friend. Please throw more pickles at me. I want pickles. But then I’ll regret making my enemies into friends. So then I start throwing other things at my friends in an attempt to make them go away because I’m running out of money and I just want to go back to the way things were before I decided to throw pickles at people. So it’s just better if I never throw pickles at my enemies.

In closing, I would like to expound upon why I don’t like pickles.

You know how when you’re a kid and you hate food because it’s gross? But adults say it’s not gross and maybe you should just try it, for the love of everything holy? And then you’re like, I don’t know, you don’t seem that smart to me. You’re just bigger.

That is why I still hate pickles. I’ve gotten bigger than I was when I was 7, but I’m still just as smart. I may have forgotten that other things are gross, like onions and tomatoes, but I will not forget about pickles.

Mutant Sludge

Sometimes, when I throw stuff in the trash or separate something that’s part cardboard and part unrecyclable plastic I’ll imagine that they’re close friends being separated forever.

The cardboard will cry out, “I love you! I always have! We’ll meet again in the afterlife!”

And the plastic is like, “There is no afterlife for me, you beautiful fool! You will be remade into a Trader Joe’s grocery bag and fall in love with a lemon chicken and arugula salad, but I’ll spend spend a hundred thousand years next to a plastic-wrapped, poo-filled diaper that over time grows into a mutant sludge. The sludge will eventually break free to pursue its lifelong dream of starting a comic book franchise. Farewell forever.”

Whenever this happens I back slowly away from the garbage can and apologize to the earth.

Sorry, Earth.