Monday, January 2, 2012

What I Read in 2011

 Books are a part of me and I don't know what I'd do without them. As I did last year, I am posting a rundown of the books I completed over the past 12 months along with my thoughts after finishing each one. I am amazed that I read so many!  Maybe you will find something that might interest you.

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke - Loved it!
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson - This story is set in England and is of a retired and widowed Major.  It is a love story and I enjoyed it greatly.
Same Kind of Different As Me by  Ron Hall and Denver Moore - LOVED this true story about faith, trust, perceptions and friendship. I read it in a day and a half.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett - I really enjoyed this. I think it shed a bit of light on what it was to be a black maid in Mississippi in the 1960's.  Very heartfelt.
Art's Blood by Vicki Lane - This was suspenseful with lots of twist and turns.  I immediately began the next in the series.  I love the author!
Old Wounds by Vicki Lane - This is another in the Elizabeth Goodweather series.  This explains Elizabeth in more depth and is filled with suspense and further solidifies my enjoyment of this author!
The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff - This tells a story of the "19th wife" of Brigham Young, her crusade to end polygamy as well as the "Firsts" in today's society. I found it interesting.
Blue Willow by Doris Gates - This Newberry Award Winner was written in 1940.  A great book to read with Lollipop Pop. The story is told from a child's point of view as the daughter of a migrant farm worker in California.  Our hometown is even mentioned. ( might enjoy this with your daughters)
Bloodroot by Amy Greene - I enjoyed this book. It is set in Tennessee and is a story that spans 4 generations of a family and how they weave together.
In a Dark Season by Vicki Lane - This one was very good as well.  I found myself talking outloud to the characters.  I am hooked, I think.
Last Dog on the Hill by Steve Duno - A terrific story that follows the 16 years of a man's life with his extraordinary, rescued dog.  Enjoyable.
Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George - I really enjoyed this book...especially this time of year...Easter
The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer Purcell - This is a very easy read about 2 New Yorkers who buy a historical farm and then try to make it as gentlemen farmers.
The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Life by Kristin Kimball - I loved this! It is a couple's story starting a self sufficient farm.  I am not sure I could do what they accomplished.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver - I enjoyed this story of an American Missionary Family in the Congo at told by the daughter and mother.
Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas and Micah Sparks - I really like this. It is a true story as told by these brothers as they travel around the world intertwining stories of their life with the trip.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers - This was good. It is set in California's Gold Country in the 1850's.  A prostitute, the man who loves her and her struggle with God.
A Quiet Hero by Rita Crosby - I LOVED this story of a Polish POW in WWII. Rita is his daughter and the story is told as he tells her.
Journey to the Well by Diana Wallis Taylor - This novel is based on the Bible's Marah...the woman at Jacob's well.  I enjoyed it.
Room by Emma Donaghue - Excellent!  The setting is very disturbing, but is told from the eyes of a child with innocence, wonder, amazing love and power.  Very moving book.
This Fine Lady by Eva Marie Everson - A young privileged girl marries her true love.  He becomes a minister and her faith or lack of, is examined through this story.  I enjoyed it. (This was my first Kindle book)
Solitary by Travis Thrasher -  This tells of a 16 year old boy moving with his mom to her childhood home.  Mysterious things have happened and continue to do so. Cultish.  I read it all, but was not a favorite.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - I knew nothing about this or the movie.  The main character (an elderly man, now) tells his story of life in a circus.  This was easy to read and to become completely absorbed in.  I loved it!
The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks - A good romance and summer read.
Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum - This story is told from 2, a young German woman during WWII who did what she had to in order to keep her young daughter safe.  The second perspective is from that daughter as an adult in the USA.  It was very good and thought provoking.
Save Me by Lisa Scottline - A friend loaned me several books by this author.  I almost put this one down after a few chapters.  It involves a mother volunteering at her child's school when there is a devastating fire.  She is challenged on the decisions she made.  I ended up finishing it and did enjoy the twists and turns it took me on.  The subject matter bothered me enough to lose sleep.  Read at your own risk.
Look Again by Lisa Scottline - Okay, after reading Save Me, I was not sure about this.  A single mother's adoption might turn out to be invalid.  It is twisty and turny as Save Me was, which I enjoy, but the subject matter bothers me.  The author is a fantastic storyteller...I felt as though I had vested interest in the characters and liked them...maybe too much...I was an emotional wreck.
The Thirteenth Gift by Charlene Costanzo - This shows how the 13th Gift affects a woman and her life as a reporter and wife.  Enjoyable.
Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tattoo by Heather Wardell - This was an easy read and okay.  The main character learns and evolves as a person and has to decide if her marriage is worth saving.
The Scarlett Letter by Nathanial Hawethorne - I had never read this classic.  It is not what I normally enjoy...but I did.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller - I knew nothing of this going in.  It is based on the Salem Witch Trials.  It explained the "why" and "how" they occurred.  I liked the characters and enjoyed this.
A Respectable Trade by Philippa Gregory - I enjoy this author and her historical novels.  This tells the story of a lonely woman and her husband who has turned his shipping business into a save trading one.  It is set in England and offers excitement, romance and intrigue.
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton - Shaggy was reading this for school.  I enjoyed it, although the ending is not what I expected or wanted.
The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy - I loved this one!  The story tells of a woman who literally feels the hand of God on her shoulders.  There is an accident and a mystery...vengeance and faith.  AND it is set in the area where I live.

Have you read any of these books?  What have you been reading?

"A room without books is like a body without a soul"


Anonymous said...

I have read a few of these and have picked a few from your list to read this year. The girls and I are going to the library today to see if we have Blue Willow, thank you for suggesting it!
I love it that you do this, I always find some great books to read from your book list. :)

Michelle a.k.a. Farmchick said...

I have read several of these and enjoyed them. I am trying to get my husband to read, "The Dirty Life". I also love it.

Twisted Fencepost said...

I wish I could find time to read. Most of the reading I do is on the internet or magazines. I love books, but I just can't get myself to sit down and start reading. Maybe I should add that to my 2012 list of things to do.

tipper said...

I've read several of the ones on your list-but I'll be looking for the ones I haven't. Great post!!

Emie Kay said...

Thanks for the book ideas! I like the things you like and look forward to reading some of these on the list. Your blog makes me wish I was a mouse in your house or part of your family! :-) Thanks for posting the beauty and joy all around you. Happy New Year. emie

Megan said...

What a fabulous list - I'm definitely going to check out a few of them!

Denice said...

Oh what a fantastic list!!!! Thanks for the snippets as I found two I am for sure looking into.