My focus last year was less on reading and more on other new experiences. So I read thirty books instead of a more hefty amount. But here are the titles I did read, along with a blurb about each one. Some of them were lovely, and some of them I jumped in only to find I was in a pool I didn’t wish to swim in. Maybe my mini reviews will help you avoid those. And hopefully my glowing reports will inspire you to read the excellent books I found!
|The Secret Life of Bees||Sue Monk Kidd||Fascinating cultural read, similar to “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Had a few “parts” though, so I can’t recommend all of it.|
|Good to Great||Jim Collins||Boring. Good business concepts, but ill presented.|
|A Tale of Three Kings||Gene Edwards||Kind of interesting.|
|Animal, Vegetable, Miracle||Barbara Kingsolver||This book was mostly boring, with hilarious and interesting bits thrown in. You’ll like it if you’re a bit of a health nut.|
|A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet||Sophie Hudson||Southern tales, not very well written, but funny, and kinda sweet.|
|Do Hard Things||Alex and Brett Harris||A reread for me. Better for a younger audience than I.|
|Michael O’Halloran||Gene Stratton Porter||So sweet, and while very unrealistic, has cool culture and a charming story line.|
|Beaulah||Augusta J Evans||Long and rather boring in stretches and full of words I didn’t know. Interesting story line though, if somewhat incredible like a lot of old novels are.|
|Anne’s House of Dreams||L. M. Montgomery||Delicious. Just plain delicious.|
|The Total Money Makeover||Dave Ramsey||Inspiring. Makes me wish I had debt to pay off. Hah.|
|Belles on Their Toes||Frank B. Gilbreth Jr Ernestine Gilbreth Caret||Hilarious all over again.|
|Anne of Ingleside||L. M. Montgomery||Very full of Anne’s kids’ personalities, which I liked.|
|Rainbow Valley||L. M. Montgomery||Enjoyable, but not my favorite of the series, since it was more about the Parson’s kids than Anne’s.|
|Never Change||Elizabeth Berg||EWWW. Stay far away.|
|Rilla of Ingleside||L. M. Montgomery||Sad, but delightful in the end.|
|I Capture the Castle||Dodie Smith||Not at all what I expected, but very intriguing. Has some undesirable parts though, making it less recommendable.|
|The Monk and the Riddle||Randy Komisar||More interesting than a business book should be. Also, surprisingly challenging, in wondering what to do with my life.|
|A House Like a Lotus||Madeleine L’Engle||Ugh.|
|Princess Academy||Shannon Hale||Exceedingly well written kids’ book, making a predictable story line delightful.|
|Eats, Shoots & Leaves||Lynne Truss||Hilarious! If you have any interest at all in writing, or any grammar nazi tendencies, read this.|
|The Healer||Dee Henderson||Not as good as some of the others in the series.|
|Bread & Wine||Shauna Niequist||Makes me want to host all the parties, ever. Also eat all the food, ever. Lyn and I have even made the bacon-wrapped dates from it already, with great success.|
|The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society||Mary Ann Shaffer||Great writing style. I must have a thing for books formatted as letters.|
|Damsel in Distress||PG Wodehouse||I think the first long Wodehouse book I’ve read. I would totally recommend it, especially for a summer vacation book. His use of language, as always, is masterful.|
|Daddy-Long-Legs||Jean Webster||Always a pleasure.|
|Chronicles of Avonlea||L.M. Montgomery||Short stories about random people in Avonlea. Some were great, others not so much.|
|The Blue Castle||L.M. Montgomery||I may want to reread this one every few years for the next decade.|
|Adam of the Road||Elizabeth Janet Gray||Not earth shaking by any means, but a nice read for a kid interested in medieval times.|
|Ordering Your Private World||Gordon MacDonald||Rather dull, although he has good things to say.|
|My life in France||Julia Child||Very interesting start. Slightly long and too many details towards the end, as biographies tend to have. Still, I wish I could have met her.|
- I finally finished reading the Anne of Green Gables series. Now my childhood is complete.
- I wish someone could teach business-book-writers how to present their good ideas in ways that you actually want to read them.
- I love books about food, and books written as compilations of letters.
So tell me, what have you been reading lately? I’m planning to tackle a stack already on my bookshelf, including War and Peace, so I can’t make any promises, but I still want to hear your recommendations for me this year.