Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2019

Out of the more than 100 books I read this year, I decided to share my favorites.

Favorite first time reads published prior to 2019:

The Library Book by Susan Orlean (2018)
The Shining by Stephen King (1977)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (2012)

Favorite reads published in 2019:

Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe (2019)
Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark (2019)
Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham (2019)
Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal (2019)
Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (2019)

Honorable Mentions – Books I reread because I love them:

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (1997-2007)
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939)


Favorite read of the year:


Americanah (2013)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Happy Holidays: A Year in Review 2018


As the holiday season is in full swing, and we are getting ready to go on vacation, we wanted to put together a note to let all our friends and family know what we have been up to in 2018.

We continue to build and grow our lives in Houston. It has been a bit of a struggle to grow accustomed to life back in the States after living in Italy for a few years, but we feel that we are finally adjusting.

Earlier this year, Sarah left her position at a local public library to become a Grants Administrator at MD Anderson Cancer Research Center. After nine months at this position, she is thriving and really enjoying her work. MD Anderson has been named the top cancer hospital in the United States and, as of this year, can also boast of having a Nobel laureate as one of the faculty members. The work that MD Anderson does is very important in caring for patients with cancer and researching a cure for all cancer. This summer, Sarah realized first hand how important this work is, as her aunt passed away from lymphoma cancer.

Aunt JoAnn meant a lot to us. We have been fortunate enough to have spent quality time with her in Arizona, Texas and when she visited us in Italy. We shared many wonderful moments and laughs with her. We admired her love of life, family and friends. We love her and miss her every day.

Greg had a lot of traveling this year to exciting locations like Paris France (see pictures below) over the summer (the absolute best time to get out of the Houston heat) and Sao Paolo Brazil, as well as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington DC.  He also had a trip to Cincinnati, so not all of the travel is to somewhere exotic.  Fall 2018 was his first semester teaching undergraduates, and he had 130 students in an intro to physics course.  It went well overall, and every week was able to get a laugh during class (which means the students were awake).  The reviews aren’t back yet, but the students probably learned something!  He’s been doing research with two really good students on neuroscience and the physics of the cytoskeleton as well.

While Greg did travel a lot for work this year, we didn’t travel collectively for fun that much, mostly because of Sarah’s new job. We did visit Greg’s brother and sister-in-law in Ohio for a weekend, but that was our only real travel adventure this year. As we are big adventurers, we had to rectify this, so after spending time with Sarah’s family on Christmas, we will be heading on a Caribbean cruise. We are looking forward to island-exploring, basking in sun, and lots of rest and relaxation.

I hope you all have an enjoyable holiday season! Feel free to drop us a line below to let us know how you are doing. We love you all!