Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday Truism and What I Read in 2014

We shouldn't teach great books;
we should teach a love of reading.
~B.F Skinner
This was a good year for book reading for me. 
As I look back, I see the books read in the car while waiting to pick kids up from school or practice. I see the ones that moved me to tears and made me laugh or learn something new.
There were a couple series that I discovered, so if you want, read the list from the bottom up...that is the order in which I read them and some comments might mean more that way.
Have you read any of these?
Do you have others that you love?
Do share, please.
Love Does by Bob Goff
Collection of life experiences that really made me think.
From how God sees how He asks us to travel with Him.
Some funny...some poignant but all thought provoking.
Lake in the Clouds by Sara Donati
The third in the series...spent an entire day reading the last half of this book to finish before the year was out and I adored it as much as the first two. AND there are more!
Continues to follow the family...this time back in America...bounty hunters. Slave running...meeting with Meriweather Lewis.
These books have everything I love...adventure, history, romance.
Dawn on a Distant Shore by Sara Donati
Little did I know when I read Into the Wilderness, that it was the first of a series!
 Loved this second one as much as the first.
 Characters sent to Scotland and I could imagine my ancestors in this page turner.
Third book just arrived at my library and I can't wait!
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
 Completely enjoyed this. Fun to have visited many of the places in Washington DC that are integral parts of this story.
 Knowing there would be twists, I found myself guessing who would not be who they seemed...never guessed correctly.
 Enjoyed a great deal.
The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
Sadly, I did not finish this book before I saw the movie.
I definitely would have enjoyed it more.
 Much darker than the movie and ALOT was changed.
Enjoyable, but not my favorite.
Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati
 LOVED this!
It is long but I could hardly put it down.
 Love, adventure, late 1700's set in upstate New York, mostly.
  Really good.
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
 Story of an ordinary young lady and a wheelchair bound former extreme sport/playboy.
How their lives become intertwined...Powerful subject matter and I enjoyed this.
A Good Year by Peter Mayle
This was a quick and fun read.
 Had me wishing for a generous uncle living alone in France in a chateau on a vineyard who deemed me his beneficiary.
  No such luck, but enjoyed the book.
The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow
This is the true story of one birth mother's life before and after putting her baby up for adoption at 17 in 1929.
Even though I knew the ultimate outcome of connecting with her daughter nearly 8 decades later had me doing the ugly cry.
It is THAT moving and the cover photo imprinted itself onto my heart.
Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
This story takes you on a journey with two Canadian Cree boys as they grow into men fighting in WWI.
 An Auntie's perspective weaves itself in as well and I adored this book.
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson.
Translated from Norwegian, this is a story of a 67 year old man...each chapter alternates between present time and his childhood.
  I had a challenging time in the beginning but am glad I pushed forward.
  It ended with me wanting more.
The Rent Collector by Camron Wright
 This was fantastic.
Set in Cambodia after Khmer Rouge took over.
Filled with love, hope, horror, literature and living with decisions we make.
  Did not expect to like this one as much as I did.
  It will remain with me.
Somerset by Leila Meacham
This is the prequel to Roses and I adored it.
 Settling in Texas as it became Texas...the Civil War...history. family and three favorite things.
Did not want this one to end.
Roses by Leila Meacham
 Set in Texas, story chronicles the lives of three families connected by friendship, love and a curse. Just when I thought I had the storyline figured out, it took a different turn.
I REALLY enjoyed this.
Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
  Not sure why I had a difficult time getting into this book, but I am glad I stuck with it.
Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe
 Enjoyed this as much as his second book...which I read first.
 I think I really like this guy.
Just wish he'd stop doing those commercials that make him look creepy.
Unmarried Widow by Artis Henderson.
Memoir of a young woman before, during and after her life as a military wife.
 Heartfelt, heartbreaking and hopeful.
Tumbleweeds by Leila Meacham.
Love, lies, coverups, football, love -known and hidden.
Twists and turns.
 Really like this story from childhood to adulthood in Texas.
Beautiful Ruins by Walter Jess.
A summer romance read.
  I enjoyed it.
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.
 Teen friends met at summer camp...story follows them into adulthood...A good read.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.
This was okay...not my favorite.
 Tells the story of a 14 year old girl who loses her beloved uncle to AIDS.
He was her confidant, mentor and in her mind, the only one who understood her.
Love Life by Rob Lowe
After listening to an interview with the author, I grabbed the book.
 It did not disappoint.
He is a man with a good head on his shoulders, cherishes his wife and sons and imparts wisdom, honesty and humor.
Thoroughly enjoyed this.
Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.
 A newly retired man and unhappy man in England receives a letter from his past.
What happens when he walks to the mail to reply is the beginning of this tale.
 I loved this!
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamana Ngozi Adichie.
 Set in Nigerian in the 1960's.
Based on the Nigeria Bifara War time.
I knew nothing of these events at all.
  I came to care for the characters and their lives.
 Parts are hard to read in that war is tough.
I enjoyed it, but it is not a quick, easy read.
My Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffingan
 Essays on fatherhood written by this comedian.
 I enjoyed this.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
 Story of a geneticist who might be on the autism spectrum.
His story of looking for one thing but ultimately finding something else.
 I enjoyed this perspective.
Soy Sauce for Beginners by Kirstin Chin.
 Really enjoyed this story of a young woman trying to find her San Francisco with her cheating husband or her Family in Singapore.
The family soy sauce (made the old way) business pushes and pulls her.
 Enjoyed it and read it in a day.
I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had by Tony Danza.
This is an excellent insight to our education system...what works, what doesn't.
  He spent a year teaching 10th graders in Philadelphia.
  Very good and should be recommended reading for anyone thinking about teaching.
Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh.
 One man..three wives and what is left in his wake.
 Enjoyable summer read.
Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel.
Set in the late 1960's in Miami an area of Biscayne Bay...Marriage, family, heartbreak.
Easy summer read.
 I enjoyed it.
Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler.
 I read this in a day...albeit I was looking for anything to do other than yardwork.
The premise is a man moves into his new apartment...goes to sleep and wakes in the hospital.
He remembers nothing.
 While I read and enjoyed this, I was left disappointed in the character of these characters.
 I wanted more.
Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by JB West.
The Chief Usher at the White House shares his insight from serving the Roosevelts, Trumans, Eisenhowers, Kennedys, Johnsons and Nixons.
 Fun, interesting and a good read.
Of Windmills and War by Diane Moody.
Two stories set in as an American Soldier and the other a girl in Holland.
How they meet...what happens next.
Also learned about Operation Chowhound.
Really liked this one!
The Dressmaker of Khair Khan by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.
This was an excellent story of survival in Afghanistan after the Taliban arrived.
 Fascinating, brave, strong, proud and hopeful.
Orphan Train Rider by Andrea Warren
 One boy's true story as an Orphan Train Rider.
 Begun by the Children's Aid Society in the 1850's.
 I am embarassed that I knew nothing of this part of our history.
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
A teenage memory shoved away is brought to the surface years later.
Simple Survival?
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
 What a remarkable young woman!
 She tells of the day she was shot by the Taliban and her life since then, but this book is really a love story.
 A love for her country, her people, their history and what they deserve.
 It was much more than I expected.
My Sisters The Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell
 The author's study of 6 female saints and how they are relevant in her life.
  Really liked this and learned a lot.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself (Linda Brent)
This is a true story of a girl born into slavery and her trials, hardships and perseverance.
 Really liked this book...cried and laughed.
Mama's Bible(Oregon Trail) by Mildred Colvin.
 Tells the story of a family travelling to the West in a wagon train.
  Much lost and much gained on the trip.
  Liked this
The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts.
A baby's insane asylum...based on a true story in 1885, this is a true psychological thriller.
 Enjoyed it.
I am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith.
Tells the story of Livia who married to Caesar Octavianus.
Based on real characters of the period...Antony, Cleopatra...really enjoyed this.
Buried in a Bog by Sheila Connolly
This is actually the book that comes prior to Scandal in Skibbereen.
 I really think I could be happy in an Irish village.
  Really enjoyed these books.
Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
This is fascinating and as with their Kennedy and Lincoln books,
I believe if history were taught like these books are written, we would be a much more educated and informed society.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.
This is a fictional story based on the true events surrounding what were known as orphan trains...trains that took more than 200,000 orphaned, abandoned or homeless children from the East Coast to the Midwest between 1854-1929.
 I learned a lot and enjoyed the author's perspective
Carly's Voice by Arthur and Carly Fleischmann.
This is the true story of Carly by her father and herself. Carly has autism and the insight is amazing, eye opening and so very important.
 Miss Carly is a young lady who has found her voice in spite of autism.
 Remarkable story.
Scandal in Skibbereen by Sheila Connolly Murder Mystery set in Ireland.
 Just requested another book by this author.
 Really enjoyed it.
A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf
. A novel telling what could have been Esther's love story.
  Enjoyed this.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
True story of a young woman who hikes, alone, the Pacific Crest Trail from Mojave, California to Washington State.
She literally figures herself out and discovers who she truly is.
Prairie Tale by Melissa Gilbert.
Autobiography of Half-Pint, Her struggles to become the woman she is today. Growing up as a famous and much loved child actor could not have been an easy road.
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
 Story told from the eyes of a teenage boy.
 Love, loss, tragedy and hope.
 Read in a day.
 Liked a lot.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday
Story of what can happen when a seemingly impossible idea meets with belief that it is not so impossible.
  I enjoyed this a great deal.
Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle.
True story of a pastor who worked in the L.A. gangs.
  I found this enthralling, hopeful and frightening all at the same time.
Read in just over a day.
The War on Christmas by John Gibson.
Explains how and why Christmas in our schools has become little or nothing.
 How a minority of people have made that happen.
 Sad and true.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Lollipop Pop read this and told me I needed to.
  In Jonas's world, there is no fear.
 Everything is controlled.
  I enjoyed it and will continue to think about it.
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.
A story of the author's grandmother told in first person.
She lived her life with excitement, troubles and moxie.
Loved it.
Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise by Joyce Magnin
A middle age woman finds herself in a life that she had not planned after being widowed.
  She discovers her strengths and how to fight for her friends.
 I enjoyed it.
Jesus, the One and Only by Beth Moore.
What would it have felt and looked like to live in the time of Jesus and witness his life?
 This takes you on that journey.
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.
Murder mystery told from the eyes of a child chemist.
  Loved it!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

This is a great list. I am anxiously awaiting the next installment of the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. They are all wonderful.