Read This: Books I Read Last Year

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Book people are always looking for their next good read.  Including me.

I recently sent this list of some books that I read last year to a friend, so thought I’d share it on here.  I’m not so great at reviews as I usually just either gush how much I loved it or might indicate that a character annoyed me, and that’s as far as I get.  But, I’ll do my best. I always check Amazon or Goodreads for reviews, but these were all books that were recommended to me.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – felt like I was about the last person around who hadn’t read this, so finally made the effort.  I enjoyed it.  Not a cheerful topic (Nazi persecution of the Jews), but well done once you get used to the writing style.  It’s really different but felt right for the book.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I have read all of these.  Not sure I would have started it had I realized that the series wasn’t finished yet (I’m talking to you too, George R. R. Martin) – A good friend jokingly refers to this book as “Scottish porn”.  I admit, in some chapters, she is not far off!  (And have you watched the series?  Oh my word.  But, Hello Jamie Fraser!)  If you enjoy historical fiction (and love Scotland like I do), then you will love this series.  They are huge books and I was addicted from about the 5th page.

Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies- another historical fiction.  This one had a few slow parts, but overall I really enjoyed it.  It really highlights how few choices women had back then.  And although we have a long way to go, we have also come amazingly far.

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa and Stephen Snyder short and sweet and a lovely example of people needing people in different ways and at different times in their lives.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – I did not read these as a youngster, but loved the movies.  I started reading these books to see if my Mom would want to read them.  I loved them and ended up reading the whole series. She did too.

Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott – similar sweetness to the Anne books above. I enjoyed both of them.

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs – This is not a religious book.  I admit that I am not very religious.  But, I do find religious history, and perspectives on religion, very interesting.  In this book, the author lives his life according to the Bible, in a literal sense.  I admit that it highlights some of the ridiculousness that is in the Bible, which some might find offensive.  He is not defamatory, however, just very literal.  I thought it was great.  He also wrote My Life As An Experiment, which I also really enjoyed.  His wife is a saint to put up with all his life experiments!

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker – if you can get past all the Christian talk/bible quoting (I freely admit that stuff annoys the shit out of me), then this book speaks volumes.  It did to me anyway.  I plan to read it again very soon.

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth – I love love this show on PBS, however, the book is a LOT more ‘raw’ than the series.  There were parts that I had to skip over. I have heard the 2nd book is even more intense, with more about the British work houses.  I can’t handle that,  hence I won’t be reading the next book.  This one was good, but I prefer the innocence of the TV program.

Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes – I really liked the first half of the book and all the history of homemaking.  However, I found myself getting a bit angry in the latter part where it detailed some families living off government subsidies in order to keep living their ‘radical homemaker’ lifestyle.  That is not in the correct spirit of the movement in my opinion.  Or at least it shouldn’t be.

So, there is your list.  I also read a bunch of books on grief, after my Mom died, but don’t feel like dwelling on those since I don’t really feel like any of them told me anything I didn’t already know.  I’d already been grieving her illness for years.  If you want to know which ones I read, I’m happy to share.

There were a few good juvenile fictions books that I read with the boys that I’ll list in another post.  And of course, an untold number of picture books.  I admit I have a real soft spot for a good picture book.

And always looking for suggestions for new reads!

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