Four numbers about the 365 days of twenty-thirteen:
ONE: The miles I ran
500, right on the nose. I said I’d do it, and got ‘em in just under the wire. Second year in a row. I think it’s time to up my game. Only reason I cut it close was I basically took off all of December in favor of holiday sequins.
TWO: The books I read
14, 6 of which were by women. That’s a much improved ratio from last year, but still not as even as I’d like it. Do I just dig books by men? Do publishers pick women authors for genres I’m not into? Do I have a bias I don’t know about?
A few favorites:
- The Circle, by Dave Eggers. Made me think more than any book I read this year, mostly now every time I log in to another app/network. Given the source of the book’s dystopia — the unflagging certainty of the do-gooder tech vibe at the fake Goog-book company at its center — I’m surprised that (wonderful) smarm essay uses Dave Eggers as its jumping off point.
- Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell. Imagine “Say Anything” was actually a book written for 13-year-olds born this century.
- Sisterland, by Curtis Sittenfeld. The end just slays you.
- Others: Grace Coddington’s memoir (like candy you can’t stop eating), Lean In (self help for career ladies), The Great Gatsby (even better the zillionth time), The Art Forger (forgettable but fun), Crazy Rich Asians (perfect for the beach), Drown (I hear you catch the humor the second time through), A Very Recent History (all journalism should be written this way), The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (my first of what will be many George Smiley books), Nightfilm (fuuuuucked up, but a helluva page-turner), Hatching Twitter (like a personalized version of People Magazine)
THREE: The trips I took
20 by my count. 7 to NY (only 7?). None out of the country. Ten for me, 10 for work.
The standouts are New Mexico (breathtakingly photogenic, super awesome outdoor adventures, delicious food), Houston (the art! so great! who knew? everything else, for the record, is terrible), Chattanooga (modern southern charm in a tiny nearby city), New York (the day it snowed big floaty snowflakes that delayed my flight home and gave me extra time for white Christmas shopping).
FOUR: Some things I’ll remember
- My family got smaller and bigger this year. We lost my dear grandmother Arduth and Brennan’s sweet sister Ashley. And in between came Abby’s lil stunner Rae, the new star of everyone’s photo roll.
- Babies everywhere. Rae most of all, but also everyone else. The annual Snake Nation cabin trip included FOUR AND A HALF people under 4 this time around.
- We did a triathlon! Bon vivant, style, which is the best possible way. It includes all the elements from a traditional sprint-distance triathlon, but with meals and movies in between.
- Lots of local exploring. I spent a lot of Saturdays this year finding new trails to run around Atlanta. Turns out Arabia Mountain is amazing, as is Kennessaw Mountain and the Sawnee Nature Preserve up in Cumming.
- I cooked a Burmese feast. The pickled ginger salad was particularly good. It was for a dinner party to celebrate the premiere of the new Anthony Bourdain show on CNN, which is also particularly good.
- And I made an animated gif photo booth, no kidding. With a great deal of help from Ken Uzquiano, but still, I felt pretty awesome about making it work. Auto-posted the photos to Tumblr and everything.
Bye now 2013. You were alright, but my money’s on 2014.