Wednesday, January 3, 2018

December Book Review

Not a strong finish to the year, but fitting more than three books into the holiday season would have been too much of a challenge.  I also unintentionally read all nonfiction last month.  I've actually been reading more nonfiction these days.  I would recommend all three of these books, most especially the first one.

I obviously missed this memoir when it was originally published as it is a little older.  If you haven't read it, you should.  I've added it to my list of favorite reads of 2017.  There are obviously those who grew up under harsher conditions but the fact that she escaped that life unscathed is miraculous.  Her father was an alcoholic while her mother really had no interest in domestic duties.  But yet, Walls and her siblings were extremely well read and encouraged to grow as artists.  The author is a wonderful storyteller, revealing her childhood in way that makes you feel like you're right there.  I did not want to put this one down.  

You guys know I was born and raised in the Boston area, but I had no idea any of this happened until I read this book.  It's true crime so you have to like that genre to read this.  It gets extremely detailed and was downright creepy at times.  If you do read this, keep in mind that it was published in the late 1960s.  This actually makes the book a bit more interesting because you're able to see how police investigations have changed since then.  There is much outdated terminology and even mindsets are extremely old-fashioned.

If you do read this book, be sure to google the name of the man who confessed to these murders.  The mystery and crime solving continues well after this book was published.

Katy Tur was the NBC News correspondent who followed Trump during his campaign to become President.  This book is a quick read and I would call it entertaining.  The behind the scenes information relating to the television world was interesting to me as well.

I typically do not discuss politics here as I typically do not discuss politics in general.  I will discuss tax law changes though.  Oh, boy.  I still haven't wrapped my arms around all the changes.  Was anyone else able to pay their property tax early?  The $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions on Schedule A is such a negative impact to those who live in high tax states.  Our house is just under 2,000 square feet and we pay over $8,000 a year in property tax, and then there's a state income tax on top of that.  Okay, that was a bit of a tangent.

Because I don't want to talk politics, I'll share what it's like to live here in Massachusetts.  At some point during the election process, a Trump "Make America Great Again" sign went up on someone's front yard here in our town.  My first thought when I saw it - That's not going to last.  And it didn't.  A few days later, it was gone.  Keep in mind that these people live across the street from a state trooper.  The sign was replaced but instead of placing it in the yard, it was now 15 feet up in a tree, turned sideways so everyone driving, walking, biking, running by could clearly see it.  The sign remains there today, along with a small notice on the tree warning passersby that a camera is recording you.  I walk/run by that house all the time and I'm not convinced that there's a camera there.  So, yeah, there's a glimpse at Democratic Massachusetts.      

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Anonymous said...

Can you explain the $10,000 cap? Are you saying its a negative impact because now you can’t write off as much on your taxes?
Sorry - would like to understand more about taxes but have no clue!

Sarah said...

Yes! Under the new tax policy, state and local tax - which includes income and property tax - will be capped at $10,000 on Schedule A for those who itemize their deductions. Prior to 2018, there was no cap. So if someone paid $8,000 in property tax and an additional $5,000 to state income tax, they would have had a deductions of $13K. Now, they would only be able to deduct $10K.

Christi said...

I just read a good non-fiction book, What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan. Made me think a lot about kids today especially in that transition from high school to college. It's so different from "back in our day."

Oh, and I bought the red lip gloss you suggested. I'm usually more of a neutral lip. I love how it brightens my look without being a vivid red lip. Thanks for sharing the recommendation.