15 Books to Read in 2015!

Happy Tuesday everyone! How’s that holiday hangover treating ya?  Hopefully everyone had a relaxing and stress-free Christmas. Max and I were lucky enough to be able to spend the holiday with both of our families, Christmas Eve with mine and Christmas Day with his, fancy, I know.  I was kinda sorta bummed that we didn’t have any snow, but I’m not going to lie and say I was upset about the 50 degree weather, it was amazing! Suck it California. Er well, I’m sure they had warmer weather than Chicago but I’m over it. Besides, tomorrow is new years eve, where the hell did that come from?

Anyway, with the new year in less than 48 hours, I’ve been putting together my list of books to read in 2015. I set a goal to read 20 books last year and I pretty much failed. I read 12. I was pretty good about reading in the beginning of the year, but then as soon as August hit, I tapped out. I could just punch myself because I really wanted to hit that goal but life kind of took over. But lucky for me, there’s a whole new year ahead that I can use to try and surpass what I hit this year. So below, check out my 15 books to read in 2015.

And just in case you’re a “one genre” kind of reader, fear not! This list has got memoirs, fiction, thrillers, history AND Amy Poehler, she gets her own genre because she’s amazing. Some of these are older and some aren’t even out yet, but I’m willing to bet they’re all going to end up on some best seller lists if they haven’t already. I say this because I think I can see the future. But I also haven’t read any of these yet, so maybe don’t judge too hard if they bomb…let’s see how this plays out.

15 Books To Read In 2015! - Champagne and Chambray

A Deadly Wandering by Matt Richtel – A brilliant, narrative-driven exploration of technology’s vast influence on the human mind and society, dramatically told through the lens of a tragic “texting-while-driving” car crash that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006. – Good Reads

 The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins – This thriller isn’t even on shelves yet (mid-January I believe) but it’s already drawing comparisons to Gone Girl and the Silent Wife, which by the way, I actually hated. But hopefully they just mean it involves murderous bitches and some seriously messed up shit.

 Yes Please by Amy Poehler – It’s a book written by Amy Poehler, what else do you need?

Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan – A memoir of a 20-something New York Post journalist who developed an autoimmune disease and literally lost her mind. Yep, like, for real, that can apparently happen. Watch out.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – This has been on my list for awhile and I haven’t been able to get to it yet, so I’m going to make sure it happens this year. I love a good WWII historical fiction book, I just can’t help myself! Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.  – Good Reads

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – Ok, this is what it says in the description on Good Reads. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. So, I’m obviously going to read it NOW, how can you not?! It’s Young Adult, but sometimes I feel like a young adult so it’s ok. Plus the Wall Street Journal said that it appeals to the older crowd too!

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – I like books that start out with Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . This is a story about a murder in a Chinese American girl living in rural Ohio in the 70’s.

The Martian by Andy Weir – I wouldn’t normally be into this but Max is really into space so I figure I’d read it and learn a few things to impress him? Plus it’s getting great reviews and it’s becoming a movie with Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain.  ‘Apollo 13 meets Cast Away in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller, set on the surface of Mars.’ – Good Reads

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult – I’ve read a lot of Picoult’s books and I’ve only been disappointed once, so I’ll of course be picking up her new novel. It’s got mixed reviews on Goodreads, but it believe there are elephants involved, and I love elephants, so I’m giving it a shot!

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill –  A portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all. -Good Reads

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero – Recommended to me by a friend (thanks Christer, maybe I’ll let this review be your guest post!), this book was written with the help of an actor who played in the “greatest worst movie ever”, if that makes any sense. I’ve watched the movie that this book is about and now I’m dying to read the book and get the behind the scenes of this amazingly terrible film. Also, James and Dave Franco are making a movie based on the book. So, yeah.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – I’m not normally one for history earlier than WWII, but this inspired-on-a-true-story following the final days of a young lady accused of two brutal murders in 1829 Iceland, seems too gripping to pass up.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt – This is an earlier novel from author of the aclaimed best-seller The Goldfinch, so I figure it’s probably worth picking up. I actually did pick it up almost 10 years ago and started it but never made it past the first 100 pages. I’ve still got my copy and I’m going to revive it this year.

People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jen Mann – I picked this mainly for the title and the cupcake on the cover. It’s apparently written by a pretty witty blogger, so I’m gonna give it a shot even though I think the intended audience was suburban moms, of which I am neither. Livin’ on the edge over here!

The Son by Jo Nesbo – ‘An electrifying stand-alone novel set amid Oslo’s hierarchy of corruption, from which one very unusual young man is about to propel himself into a mission of brutal revenge.’ – Good Reads (Also my favorite crime writer, so I know this will be a good one!)

Let me know down in the comments if you’ve got your own list of books to read in 2015 – anything that I’ve got on mine? Have you read any of my picks already? Give me your thoughts so I can adjust my list accordingly, there’s always room for changes! I left spots for five others that will most definitely gain popularity in the new year too. I think my first book is definitely going to be Brain on Fire, if it’s anything like I’ve heard, I’ll have my first of the year finished in the first week. Overachievin’ like a boss!


Weekend Links 12.19.14

Weekend Links 12/19/14

Happy Friday everyone! Hope everyone has an exciting weekend planned, as this is last one before Chrismtas, which means party overload I’m sure. I’ve got our work holiday party at The Berghoff tonight (can’t wait for some of their rootbeer!) and then we’re heading up north for a birthday party.

We’d planned on having a holiday potluck tomorrow night at our place, but a couple people couldn’t make it and there was some unavoidable winter sickness and we just thought it better to postpone. So now we’ve got a post holiday holiday party to look forward to! Sometimes those are even better because the holiday stress is past us.

Anyway, let’s get to it, your weekend links are here. Spoiler alert: There’s nothing on here about Serial because I haven’t listened to the entire finale yet. I’ve still got about 25 minutes to go and I’m having to avoid social media to dodge any information. But I’ve got some other good stuff for ya, promise! Have a great weekend everyone, don’t drink too much eggnog!

This recipe for Oreo treats, they’re like rice crispy treats only with Oreos. Max and I made a few batches last night to take in for office holiday parties, I even made a version with birthday cake Oreos. Yeah.

Speaking of sweets, take a look at this mouth-watering round up of cinnamon rolls 10 ways over on Design Crush. I die for cinnamon rolls people, especially on a Saturday morning in December. And while we were at Target buying oreos, the cinnamon rolls were 3 for $5 sooooo…you know what’s happening tomorrow morning at our place.

An interesting article about why creative people flourish in clutter. As long as I’m technically flourishing, I’m cool with not having to clean my room.

This is a suuuuper important one – the list for 2015 Chicago Restaurant Week is out and you can start booking, so jump on it quick before all the good tables get taken!

Kiiiiind of want to try this free 30 day trial of SaltedTV, online cooking classes taught by acclaimed master chefs from across the country. They range from the very basics (like knife skills)  to the very complex (like how to break down a goat), and cover every subject under the sun. Plus it’s only $10/mo. Gilt also has an offer right now. Food Network, time to step your game up.

Bored at work? Not as bored at these guys over at Squarespace were. (Mail….kimp?)

Stumbled upon (can you stumble on the internet?) this adorable little letterpress shop called 1canoe2. I’m a sucker for some pretty hand lettering, so I’m basically in love.

I bet you could still order this necklace for me for Christmas if you really wanted to. I really want you to.

This is a beautiful collection of gorgeous photos taken by drone photographers from all over the world. Our planet is pretty awesome.

Huge news! Instagram announced the release of five new filters this week. First time they’ve given us new picture changing magic in about two years, so this is exciting stuff for instafreaks like myself.

Welcome to my new favorite single, Wasted Love by Matt McAndrew (and Adam Levine I guess?). Is anyone else still raging about The Voice finale? It was a sham I tell ya, a sham! Regardless of the outcome, I still love this song. And Matt. And Adam.


2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Under $25

Uhhhh, can you guys believe Christmas is actually one week from today? That can’t be right, it was like, JUST Thanksgiving last weekend. I’m serious, I don’t even remember what happened between me sitting at the table eating the damn near perfect brussel sprouts I cooked and me waking up this morning.

Unfortunately that means that this is the last of my gift guides for you this year. Well, maybe. I’m considering pulling together a procrastinator’s gift guide.  You know, some gifts that you can go pick up in an actual brick and mortar store, removing the ever dependable USPS (I’m rolling my eyes) from the equation. Has anyone else noticed a lot of your UPS or FedEx deliveries being sent to the local post office for the last leg of its journey? What’s up with that? Speaking of thatI’m thinking THAT sounds like a really great, regular feature on the blog. Thanks Keenan.

Ok but foreals, let’s get down to business because I know everyone’s got the finale of Serial to get to and we don’t wanna keep Koenig waiting. This last beauty that I’ve prepared for you is the Holiday Gift Guide for Under $25. These babies are perfect for your office secret santa, your girls’ gift exchange or a thoughtful stocking stuffer for mom or sis!
Holiday Gift Guide: Under $25

Written In The Stars Notebook $14 | Bobbi Brown Lip Stick $24 | Daily Dishonesty Book $11 | Cotton Cap $10 | Golden Wisteria Phone Case $25 | Wine Wipes $7 | Twist Scarf $20 | Dope Framed Art $25 | Sea Salt Candle $16Celebration Pencil Set $12

I know I sound like a broken record, but just in case you haven’t been keeping up, I’ve got a bunch more gift guides for you to take a look at it if you’re still riding the struggle bus coming up with gift ideas. And with only a week left, I hate to say it, but I’m probably your best bet at this point! Kidding. But am I? Ok, the here are the guides: The BFF | The Chef | The Techie | The Foodie | The Little Ones | The Coffee Addict | The Cocktail Lover | The Man | The Hostess | The Jetsetter

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: The Little Ones

I just wanna make the point that I don’t really believe in buying expensive baby clothes since they’re going to be out of it in a few months anyway.  But I feel like Christmas is a perfect time to break that rule, since there are just so many stinkin’ cute things to buy!

In this installment of gg’s, I bring you the Holiday Gift Guide for The Little Ones.  Whether it’s your own sweet babe, or your niece, nephew, godchild or just a baby that is so darn adorable it deserves a lil somethin, you’ll be sure to find something to get a giggle and a smile out of the trendy tot (or at least their mama!) with this gift guide.

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: The Little OnesI Woke Up Like This Sweatshirt $79 | Orange Cable Weave Leggings $23Chilote Child $46Striped Hooded Bunting $42 | Baby Jumpsuit in a Jar $56Mixed Brown Leather Minis $95 | | Fleece Lined Sweatshirt $26 | Cloud Tights $13 |  Bird’s Family Tree Nursery Art $80

Friendly reminder if you haven’t been following along with all of my gift guides this year, don’t worry, you can still catch up! I’m sure you’re still looking for gifts for a few more friends, hopefully I can help you out! The Chef | The Hostess | The Techie | The Foodie | The Jetsetter | The BFF | The Coffee Addict | The Cocktail Lover | The Man

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: The Man

Sometimes the hardest person to shop for is the person you know the best. In my case, that would be Max. But I find that shopping for him isn’t too difficult, I’m usually able to come up with something that he really needs or really wants. Plus it doesn’t hurt that he’s a pretty fashionable guy, so anything I’d want to see him in is usually something he’d buy himself. Easy. Peasy.

If you’re stuck finding something for your husband, boyfriend, brother or dad, take a look at some of my picks for the guys in your life in the Holiday Gift Guide for The Man. Hopefully you can discover a present they’ll really love.

2014 Holiday Gift Guide for The ManThe Time Teller $95 | Custom Map Cufflinks $50 | Hey Handsome Shave Kit $68 | J Crew Cashmere Scarf $98 | Little America Backpack $90Harry’s Shave Sets $15Chicago Blackhawks Ugly Sweater $50 | Cheddar Money Clip $68 | Rayban Classic Clubmaster $113 | Nice Parking Cards $20 | Crosley Cruiser Turntable $80 | The Single Sided Belt $45

You guys, how amazing are those Nice Parking cards? Max would go through those so fast. And that turntable would make a pretty retro piece, it comes in seven different colors AND has an aux output. And those cufflinks, you can pick two locations important to your man and they’ll make cufflinks with those exact spots! Ah-mazing. THAT is a  personalized gift! I think any guy would be happy to get any of these trendy gifts.

And if you missed any of the other gift guides you can hop right over to them now!
The Chef | The Hostess | The Foodie | The Techie | The BFF | The Jetsetter | The Cocktail Lover | The Coffee Addict