I always enjoy the book chat that abounds at this time of the year. Casting a look over my own Goodreads I see that once again I’ve read at least 200 books during the past year, as I wasn’t always diligent in recording I know I read more.
Taking a look at your readings in its yearly entirety can be a little sobering, this year I’ve read way too much light fiction, plenty of mysteries and a little too much Christian romance. Though I did find towards the end of the year some novels with substance and also discovered the pleasures of some light Catholic literature and dabbled a little with health and diet books. I can see a need in 2015 to actually plan my readings, in the past I’ve made resolutions and had good intentions to read ‘meatier fare’ but I know I need to compile a deliberate list.
Any list recommendations or must read books you can suggest?
As for the past year sharing a few highlights from each month:
The beginning of the year saw me on a Biggles binge, re-reading old friends. With a newborn it was probably all I was mentally capable of.
Made up for January’s lightness in style and reviewed most
- Discovered Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy mysteries which I absolutely loved.
- Read Lorna Barnett and Jade del Cameron mysteries which were so so.
- Devoured Terri Blackstock’s Restoration Novels, initially I was irritated by the characters then I became engrossed.
- Read the Book Thief, so popular with many but I didn’t like the writing style.
- Loved Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours which I raved about.
Delved into Christian fiction and tried a bit of Christian romance
- Was ‘on my seat’ with Deliver Us From Evil – Robin Caroll, suspense mixed with romance
- Read Rekindled – Tamera Alexander, a Fountain Creek Chronicle novel, a reflection of a marriage and a second chance.
Read some more Christian romance, trying to find an author as enjoyable as Janette Oke, continue to be disappointed
- Acceptable Loss – Anne Perry a William Monk mystery. Perry still remains my all time favourite mystery writer:)
Read a couple of auto-biographies as well as mysteries
- Something Other Than God – Jennifer Fulwiler, enjoyed:)
- Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape – Jenna Miscavige Hill, riveted, horrified!
- The Potter’s Field – Ellis Peters a Brother Cadfael mystery. Mystery and history my two favourite genres
- Blind Justice – Anne Perry, another William Monk mystery
Experimented with a bit of chick lit and discovered a new mystery author
- Read Jodi Thomas’ Widows of Wichita County
- and Emilie Richards’ Happiness Key
- Enjoyed Anne Perry’s Blood on Water, a new William Monk Mystery
- Discovered Charles Todd, reading An Impartial Witness and a Duty to The Dead, both Bess Crawford mysteries
Tried some non-fiction
- Nutrient Power – William J Walsh, too technical and not the answers I was searching for
- The Geno-type Diet – Peter d’Adamo the premise of this book with 12 people and so many different types/needs would be a nightmare diet to follow!
A couple of new mystery series discovered and a couple of new health books read
- Read more Charles Todd’s mysteries, discovering his Ian Rutledge series, read all 8 books our library had.
- Discovered Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder mysteries, beginning with Her Last Breath, found the main character fascinating and enjoyed the mysteries, read all three our library had.
- Went on a Brother Cadfael – Ellis Peters binge, reading all I could find
- Borrowed Trim Healthy Mama from inter-library loan. Whilst I agreed in parts they really lost me with their sugar substitutes and a lifestyle that supports so much dessert consumption.
- What Your Doctor May Not Tell you About Depression – Michael B Schachter, very helpful
- The Reading Promise – Alice Ozma, ‘everyone’ was raving about this book but I couldn’t see the excitement.
Read a few books of real substance
- The Atonement Child – Francine Rivers, loved, loved, loved this book. A total pro-life message in a non preachy manner, a must read!
- Let Her Go – Dawn Barker, a powerful message about surrogacy. Explored the feelings of the mother who ‘let her daughter go’ via surrogacy, and the lack of society’s acceptance for her feelings.
- New York Parent’s Guide to the Best Books for Children, I always enjoy reading books about books, constantly searching for good recs
- Running Like a Girl – Alexandria Heminsley, totally different to my usual type of book. Whilst I found the author irritating (she was a real princess) the story stayed with me
- Discovered The Mermaid in the Basement my first of Gilbert Morris’ Lady Trent Mysteries, read a couple more and enjoyed them
New mystery authors discovered, a couple of books with Catholic themes and a book on style
- Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death – James Runcie a Grantchester Mystery, enjoyed
- Vow of Compassion – Veronica Black a Sr Joan Mystery and two others. Sr Joan belongs to a contemplative order but she is the lay sister (can move between ‘both worlds’). Totally enjoyed her interactions within the world and the glimpse of the community of the Sisters.
- The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd, Catholic themes, but strange
- Discover Your Personal Beauty Profile: Dressing Your Truth – Carol Tuttle, I drove everyone mad obsessing talking about this book. It really made me accept myself for who I am, and brought and understanding as to why I am drawn to certain fabrics, patterns, styles
Another series with a Catholic flavour and a new title by a favourite author
- A Miracle for St Cecilia’s – Katherine Valentine – A Christmas gift, devoured already, the first in a series. Loved the spiritual interwoven with the everyday, an ordinary parish life, living ordinary lives, working with God
- Every Living Thing – James Herriot, one I hadn’t read! enjoyed:)
Read a little more to the children in 2014 than I did in the previous year, determined though to read yet more in the new year. Sharing our best reads.
- Happy Little Family – Rebecca Caudill, sweet
- The Hobbit – JR Tolkien, totally loved!
- Break In At The Bascilia – Dianne Ahern, a little credulous but enjoyable Catholic lit
- The Curse of the Coins – Dianne Ahern more of the series, the younger children love these
- Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter, an old, old favourite, I think our fourth time round
- Alvin Fernald, Foreign Trader – Clifford B Hicks, children enjoyed but I confess I found it boring
- A Little Child’s Life of Jesus – Amy Steedman, gentle
- Read to myself
- A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story – Linda Sue Park. Set in Sudan, gripping, fascinating twist at the end!
- Elsie Dinsmore – Martha Finley – Absolutely loathed this book, ranted and raved to all with great passion, am determined to burn the entire set/s!
How was your year in reading in 2014?