The Task Tamer

New Book Recommendations

Teri 01/14/2019 Comments

This week I am going to write my third annual post of book recommendations (my other posts are here and here). I set a reading challenge each January, with a goal of reading at least one book per week. Last year I read 74 books so this year I am setting my target at 65 books. I am on my third book of 2019 so I am hoping to achieve that goal!


My favorite books read in 2018, in no particular order:

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Lisa See

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman

The Story of Arthur Truluv, Elizabeth Berg

This is How it Always Is, Laurie Frankel

Warlight, Michael Ondaatje

We Were the Lucky Ones, Georgia Hunter

The Giant’s House, Elizabeth McCracken

All We Ever Wanted, Emily Griffin

The Radium Girls, Kate Moore

I Was Anastasia, Ariel Lawhon

The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri

Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartner's, Gretchen Anthony

An American Marriage, Tayari Jones

Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens


Books I enjoyed, in no particular order:

Miller’s Valley, Anna Quindlan

The Address, Fiona Davis

The Clockmaker’s Daughter, Kate Morton

How to Stop Time, Matt Haig

Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, Kathleen Rooney

Varina, Charles Frazier

The Gilded Years, Karin Tanabe

The Great Alone, Kristen Hannah

The Power, Naomi alderman

In the Midst of Winter, Isabel Allende

The Flight Attendant, Chris Bohjalian

Pachinko, Min Jin Lee

Summer Wives, Beatriz Williams


Books I found odd but still enjoyed:

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, Rhonda Riley


Books I would have been happy not to read:

Lake Success, Gary Shteyngart

Tangerine, Christine Mangan

Atomic City Girls, Janet Beard


If you have a favorite, please let us know in the comment section below!


After spending so much time reading, I like a recipe I can make quickly, or that doesn’t require a lot of hands-on time. This week’s dinner is perfect!


Baked Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic Maple Bacon



1 large sweet potato, washed and halved

Olive oil to brush on potato

1/2 cup brown rice

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

dash of salt

3 slices vegetarian bacon, diced

2 pats vegan butter



  1. Preheat toaster oven to 425. Brush potato with olive oil and place on a baking pan, cut side down. Place in oven and bake 30-40 minutes, flipping potato halfway through, until a knife tip slides into potato easily.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt. Pour in rice and cook until tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain and return to pot to keep warm.
  3. Heat a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Whisk in balsamic, syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and whisk frequently, until liquid is reduced and thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon.
  4. To serve, place a serving of rice on plate, top with potato half. Cut some slices into potato and put a pat of butter on each. Top with balsamic maple bacon.
  5. Enjoy!



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