YAY R. Renee!!!!! She is back (well, she’s always been with us, for years, even!!) and while we often chat books in the comments, you’ll find us chatting food, and all the foodie things too! I think she and I have identical palettes. Also you’ll find us chatting trips! Well, her trips (she’s done some fun traveling lately), and me living vicariously through her. LOL! 😂
And apparently we struggled through a similar book-rut in 2022. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t read some awesome ones. To be fair, we’ve both been in “home-change mode”. Her, with home renovations, me with home selling and then home buying and moving. BUT!! She did manage to read a bunch that are new-to-me, and I can’t wait to discover them too! TRIED AND TRUE (she’s another one that I consider a book-twin).
P.S. She made me giggle over her Josh Duhamel comment. I’ve known of R’s crush on him for years, and EVERY time I see him, I think of her.
But first… some fun 2022 R. Renee comment highlights:
I made the resolution that I wouldn’t read in the middle of the night anymore and it cut my reading down substantially! I didn’t realize how much of my reading actually came at the price of sleep. I thought that was just something we all say! 😆 Now it takes me weeks to finish a book!
My dream book right now is a well written, professionally edited, first person (preferably present tense), old school, SWOONY romance with an HEA that will gut me before it heals me. Easy peasy, right? 😆🤣 …I can always check the sample for tense/pov, but you never know about editing or feels until you get into it.
I made the bests buttermilk cornbread of my life yesterday and I don’t know what I did differently other than use “fake buttermilk” since I didn’t have any. It was soooo good. And now I’m hungry.
I’m eating Whole30 stuff, lots of fruits and veggies and mostly lean meats. Today is our last day, but we’re going to continue it (for the most part) indefinitely–we both feel so much better physically. I will “reintroduce” a cocktail tomorrow though!
We’re seriously considering airbnb-ing our house to support our travel habit. We live in a touristy area which is good. The depersonalizing part, not so good.
I’m in the process of “de-personalizing” rooms, boxing up our treasures (while you’re unboxing lol), and figuring out what can stay out and what I need to put up. I’ve already packed up my signed books, but my brain is fried trying to decide what to do with everything else. I want to leave them out for guest access, but which ones? ….It doesn’t even matter what you believe or which way you lean; I have something to offend everyone! I swore I’d never censor books, yet here I am censoring my own library.
We bought a camper and my brain is fried with everything we have to learn. Somebody just tell me what to do! 🤣
We just got a little travel trailer and we’re going to mostly live in that while our place is occupied. At first we’ll stay close, just in case, but when we’re more comfortable, we’ll travel. We’ll be here when it isn’t rented. The idea is to pay the house off and fund our travel habit for a few years!
I have workers here today too! We’re getting satillo installed in 3 rooms. My goal is to do the whole downstairs, but that will be a while.
Satillo is a clay tile popular in Mexican and Spanish design, and I both love and hate it. The original company used a standard grout that is much lighter than what I had in mind and now I have to match it. It’s also expensive and there are so few companies that do it, you just have to accept the price you’re given–which is why I’m doing a little at a time. If I had it to do all over again, I don’t think I’d go this route. I just messaged you a pic of one of the tiles they found with paw prints!
We have painters coming next Monday and the hubs conveniently got covid so he gets a pass on paint prep. He’s doing ok, but says it’s definitely the “sickest” he’s ever been.
It’s day 15 of our remodel with no end in sight. I can’t take it in that house anymore so I’m hiding out in the RV with the poodle. Everything is covered in dust (thanks to popcorn ceiling removal) and all my stuff is wrapped in plastic. And… because I’m calling my bedroom the covid room (even though the hubs is better), I have no desire to sleep in there until it’s scoured, so I’m “sleeping” on a roll-away in the kitchen, with Alice, who takes up most of the bed. Coincidentally, I’ve upped my wine intake. 🤣 I know it will all be worth it eventually.
We’re on week 5 of the remodel and I don’t see how it’s possible it will be the last week. All I know is that anything after week 4 wasn’t in the quote so I’m panicking a little.
I bought picture and curtain hanging templates off Amazon yesterday to help me put this house back together when they do finally get done. I have 1 month before a wedding we’re throwing here, and the bridal party is staying at the house. As of right now, the rooms are torn apart all the beds are wrapped in plastic.
R. Renee: We returned from Mexico last Wednesday and it was amazing as always! I could not love that island more. I went snorkeling through parts of the underwater museum (MUSA) and saw manta ray for the first time. I was too chicken (and queasy) to do the whale shark trip, but our guide talked me into it for next time.
*raises hand* I’m one of those lazy Christmas people! I want to do it, but then I think of all the cleanup after and I just don’t know. Plus our tree is artificial and covered in glitter that gets everywhere. If it weren’t so new I’d replace it. Instead I just leave it in the garage in the box. 🤦♀️
I’ve pretty much exhausted the list of disaster movies but I know I’m missing a ton of survival movies.
Now… here is her best of 2022 list!
Due to a massive rut, preoccupation with other things, and a newly acquired habit of binge-watching mindless TV, I only read 26 books last year. The good thing about reading so few books is that the ones I managed to finish were pretty great! Which made picking my favorites pretty hard.
I decided to limit it to my top 5 and here they are:
The Bodyguard by Katherine Center because I seem to remember hearing Josh Duhamel was Center’s inspiration for Jack and since I dream cast him in just about every book I read, it was a no-brainer! (SIDE NOTE FROM MARYSE: Here are a few of her fun “Josh-centric” comments from our comment past):
R. Renee: I recently found out Josh Duhamel was 15 minutes from my house filming The Lost Husband and I missed it! Yes, I stalk him and yes, I get Josh Duhamel google alerts, but unless you’re on casting call sites (which I am now because duh), they only tell you the closest major city. 🙄 The good news is, it sparked an idea.
R. Renee: I’m having cabernet in my Josh Duhamel wine glass! Want some?
Leslie M: Josh Duhamel wine glass?!? Speaking of…how freaking handsome was he in the Simon movie?
R. Renee: So handsome Leslie! And crazily enough I have 2 Josh Duhamel wine glasses! I love it because I’m kind of clumsy! I’ll email you a pic!
R. Renee: One of my mermaids sent me an early birthday T-shirt with a Darian-esque pic of Josh Duhamel on the front and my logo on the back!!! *dying*
R. Renee: I can’t even get myself to watch TV that Josh Duhamel is in. It’s a serious affliction.
Maryse: Okay… now I’m curious about that last comment. I think I’m missing context. LOL!!
Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan because Nora and Leo inspired me to get my lazy butt out of bed all summer to watch the sunrise. It’s now one of my favorite things to do. When it’s not freezing.
R. Renee: After reading Nora Goes Off Script, I started getting up to watch the sunrise so I’ll at least have 30 minutes of calm every day. Now I’m looking at porch swings so I’ll have a designated sunrise watching spot like Nora did. If only I could find a handsome movie star to watch it with me. *sigh*
Kathy: Oh, how did you like Nora Goes Off Script? I have it so I think it will be my next read!
R. Renee: I really liked it. It’s far fetched but fun. Just go along for the ride!
Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez because Daniel. And baby goats in pajamas.
R. Renee: I’m about 50% into the audiobook for Part of Your World and loving it! The narration is fantastic too. Zachary Webber is swoonyyyy!
Tasha J: I just finished Part of Your World recently and loved it…
Between Hello and Goodbye by Emma Scott because Emma never fails to rip my heart out and put it back together again.
Michele G: Between Hello & Goodbye is flat out AMAZING!!! It’s probably my favorite by her in a while and I truly enjoy everything she writes. For me this one really struck a chord. I highly recommend it.
R. Renee: I agree with Michele. I love everything Emma writes but this one is something special. As her alpha reader, I usually know the plot ahead of time, but this time I went in blind. Let’s just say when I got to a certain point, I sent her a few choice words and took the rest of the night off to cry it out. 😆
And my favorite book of the year:
Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead because Ben is glorious, Lee is painfully relatable, it’s set in Austin, and I’m a sucker for unapologetic writing (e.g., Monsters: A Love Story) and fantastical Texas political fiction (e.g., Red, White & Royal Blue).
Tasha J: I just have to get, Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead bc I just adored the thriller I read by her and was surprised to see she had a romcom come out earlier this month.
Here’s to turning off the TV and breaking out of the rut! Happy New Year!
Love R. Renee’s book taste? Check out more of her favorites:
- Reader Favorites – R. Renee’s Top Ten for 2016
- Reader Favorites – R. Renee’s Top 10 Favorite Books for 2017!
- Reader Favorites – R. Renee’s Best Books of 2018 List
- Reader Favorites – R. Renee’s Top Ten Best Books of 2019 List
- Reader Favorites – R. Renee’s “Graduating Class” Books of 2019 List
- Reader Favorites – R. Renee’s Top 10 Best Books of 2020 List
- Reader Favorites – R. Renee’s Best of 2021 List
➔➔➔ Looking for more of our “Best of 2022” lists? And maybe our “Best of” yearly lists:
and… my own “Best of” lists:
➔ My Best Books of 2021
➔ My Best Books of 2020
➔ My Best Books of 2019
➔ My Best Books of 2018
➔ My Best Books of 2017
➔ My Best Books of 2016
➔ My Best Books of 2015
➔ My Best Books of 2014
➔ My Best Books of 2013
➔ My Best Books of 2012
➔ My Best Books of 2011
➔➔➔ Looking for more of our favorite recommendations? Browse our “Ultimate Favorites Lists” here. Are you in the mood for a certain kind of story? Browse our favorite “genre/trope categories” here and our reader favorites lists too.