Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Books of 2015

If you have read this here blog for any length of time, you are aware that I adore books.
With only one child at home and not in high school,  I read mostly at night before I go to bed or early in the morning before the house wakes up and wants breakfast..
No more reading while waiting for band or sports' practice to get out. 
It has been an adjustment. 
Looking at this list, though, it appears that I compensated somehow.
Here is a list of what I read in 2015 (in reverse order) and my thoughts as I finished each one.
Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubinstein
 I, oddly enough, liked this book.
 Based on the true story of a Transylvanian bank robber, hockey goalie guy who is just trying to make a name for himself.
 Much of this takes place in Hungary in the 1980-1990's and there is a lot of history that I was ignorant to.
The Invisible Girls by Sarah Thebarge
I am conflicted over this book.
It really read as two separate stories.
A Somali refugee and her 5 young daughters as they are taken under the main character's wing which I enjoyed.
The second storyline was the main character's battle with cancer.
Just not something I would have chosen.
Enjoyable over all...not a favorite.

Starring Sally J. Freedman as herself by Judy Blume
When this came in at the library, I was surprised.
Didn't remember requesting it.
 I must have hit a wrong button somewhere along the line, but since I had not read a Judy Blume book since I was 10, I sat down and read it.
 It did remind me how in tune the author is with things going on in kid's lives.
 Enjoyable for young ones.
When Love Comes Home by Arlene James
A lost son returns home to his mother, but things aren't all that rosy.
 Maybe a love story ensues? :-)
A Love So Strong by Arlene James
A Christian romance that leaves a pastor questioning where his duty and caring intersect regarding a young woman and her brother.
  Good read.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
A lighthouse keeper, his wife and a crying baby washed ashore in a boat.
How will the decisions made in that moment affect their lives.
This kept me guessing until the very end.
Really enjoyed it.
Family in Hiding by Valerie Hansen
A Christian romance novel that is enjoyable.
Like Hallmark movies, you can figure out the ending when you begin, but it is the journey to get there that is fun.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Took me a couple chapters to catch on, but after that, I was sucked in and surprised.
Was there a murder?
Love story?
It kept me guessing and I was wrong.
It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell
Tells the true story of Can You Stay for Dinner blogger Andie in her own words, which are wonderful.
 I related to so much in this book.
She is a terrific writer.
Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
 A lifetime of letters and E-Mails to and from Rosie.
Many to her best friend from age 5ish.
It was enjoyable, but not one that will stay with me.
Catching Her Heart by Carolyne Aarsen
 A terrific Christian romance book.
Will falling in love with a former boyfriend be worth the risk?
The Green Road by Anne Enright
 Spans 30ish years, beginning in Ireland.
Mom vacillates between meanness and kindness, maybe bipolar.
 As the 4 children grow into adults, the story follows their lives until they return when Mom is in 70's and threatening to sell their home.
 Hard in places, uncomfortable in others.
Just okay.
Loving by Karen Kingsbury
This turned out to be the final book in a series.
 I read it in a day and enjoyed it a great deal.
The story of finding the mate that God created for you.
 A good summer read.
Homecoming Reunion by Carolyne Aarsen
This is a Christian based summer romance read.
 I loved it.
 The story stemmed around Matthew 6:21
Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
This was fantastic!
 A summer in 1961 touched by deaths...what that means to the 13 year old storyteller kept me fascinated.
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
Several families share their stories as immigrants from Panama, Mexico, Puerto Rico...how and why they have come to American and what their lives are here.
Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiere
A perfect summer read...romance, castles, mystery, Ireland.
What's not to love?
Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough
 While I adored the Thorn Birds, I fought my way though this.
 Several spots grabbed my interest but not the majority.
The Rocks by Peter Nichols
 This tells the story of two people over the course of 47 years...the people coming and leaving Mallorca.
The perfect first summer read of the season.
The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe
 Story of a mysterious people in the mountains of Tennessee.
 Music, family, intrigue.
Really liked this and had no idea what was to happen.
The Kindness Diaries by Leon Logothetis
 One man's journey around the world on a yellow motorbike surviving simply by the kindness of strangers.
Out of The Fields by Dr. Ramon Resa
  This author has been our kidnicks' pediatrician for twenty years.
 He is a terrific man as I know him, but this book opened my eyes to so much more.
 Enjoyed this a great deal and boy does this man adore babies!
Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh
 I needed something light and fun to read after the last several books.
This was perfect!
Romance, small town, bookstore...what else is there in life?
 Really enjoyed this!
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Sugar Plum Fairy's teacher is reading this to her class and I wanted to be prepared to answer questions.
Set in Denmark during the Nazi takeover, this tells the story from a little girl's eye.
Her best friend is Jewish.
 What that means...
what they do to help...
I think it is a terrific introduction to that part of our history for children.
 Really enjoyed it...as did my 10 year old.
Forty Days by Bill Simon
 Fascinating true story from the pen of the journalist author.
Tells his story of being taken prisoner along with three colleagues in Iraq.
 Brutal, both physically and emotionally.
 Tough read because of the subject but interesting.
Killing Patton by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
I have read all of these books and as always, I learned a lot.
  I never knew anything surrounding Patton's death or much of his life for that matter.
 It was very interesting and I still wish history in high school was taught as these books are written.
The Endless Forest by Sara Donati
This is the final book of the series.
  I am sad.
  I did like the way the author ended the book.
 Loose ends were tied up.
  I am still sad, though.
The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
 Read this author years ago and enjoyed her writing again.
 A grandmother tells her life story to her granddaughter.
The daughter of immigrants, her life was not easy but how she lived it to the fullest is wonderful.
The Girl's Guide to Love and Supper Clubs by Dana Bate
Tells the tale of a twenty something in Washington DC...unhappy in her job and love when she makes a daring decision...underground supper club.
What ensues is fun and daring.
I enjoyed this read...done in a day.
My laundry wasn't, but the book got finished.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
 This was good.
I followed and played into what the author wanted from me.
  I was not happy with the ending though...at all.
Why the Jews by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin
This was so insightful and explains things that I before had not been able to comprehend.
  A very important read...especially in these times.
Wreckage by Emily Bleeker
Tells the tale of a deserted island, plane crash survivors and the lies they tell...
I enjoyed this one.
American Sniper by Chris Kyle
 I enjoyed this book...
I will see the movie one day.
I found the author's perspective interesting and insightful.
Certainly makes my appreciation of what our soldiers sacrifice on our behalf more profound.
Queen of Swords by Sara Donati
The 5th in the series.
 Much takes place in New Orleans during the War of 1812.
I enjoy how the characters in each book has grown and that I feel as though I know them.
What will I do when the final book arrives at the library?
 Don't want this series to end, but I suppose it must.
Fire Along the Sky by Sarah Donati
The fourth in the "Wilderness" series...
Still love these so much!
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
This is being made into a movie which is why I grabbed it.
 The story of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's Disease.
Told from her perspective.
  Having a family history with the disease, I found it hitting a little bit close to home as well as eye opening.
  It is a tough read for that reason and I will not watch the movie...not sure I could handle it.
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
As I began this book, I felt I knew the story from somewhere....
Not sure why.
Story of bullies, justice, a father's love and relationship with God, murder and family as told from the eyes of an 11 year old boy.
 Enjoyed this.
There you have it.
My book list.
Did you read anything wonderful this year?
I am always on the lookout for a good book.
Here are my lists from the past if you are interested.
(Their links are also on my sidebar anytime you want to peruse)



Michelle said...

I have also enjoyed the series by Sara Donati. Am contemplating reading the next volume after, The Hum and the Shiver.

barb said...

I always enjoy your yearly book list! It gives me some ideas for books to read myself. How do you choose which books to read?

Anonymous said...

I love this, I found several books on your I want to check out!

Cheltz said...

You're still blogging!! Hi Jen, I don't know if you remember me, but we met through our blogs when I first started blogging. You wrote a guest post for me once about your childhood. I'm just writing because someone gave me an extra Book of Mormon and I thought of you. Have you read the Book of Mormon? Would you like one? I'd be happy to send this one to you if you do. I know reading the Book of Mormon brings me a lot of strength on tough days and over time makes my life better :).

And no, this is not some secret ploy to get your address :). You can email me at penelopes dot pad at gmail dot com. Hope things are going well for you and yours!