Sunday, January 1, 2017

Books of 2016

Another year over means another year of books have been read.

I still don't read as much as I'd like. I know my iPhone is part of the distraction, I'm not sure what else to blame. Still, this year was better than the year before, so that's good news.

  • Spindle's End by Robin McKinley was a really, really, really great variation on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. I loved it. 
  • Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo - I managed to clean up and organize my clothing and books, but I didn't get rid of all of the other clutter in my home. I will say, my clothes in my dresser are folded in the way the author recommends, and it does bring me great joy to see all of my colorful socks at once. 
  • Royal Target by Traci Hunter Abramson was a cute, fun, yet unrealistic read. I like my book group ladies because they introduce me to books I wouldn't pick up on my own. 
  • The Art of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein - A normal life full of trials all told from a brilliant, faithful dog's point of view. A great read. 
  • Rising Strong by BrenĂ© Brown. I'm not even half-way through this book. While I like what BrenĂ© Brown has to say, I find it really hard to read "self-help" type books. I will probably finish this book eventually. In the mean time, I highly recommend her videos and TED talks. 
  • Briar Rose by Jane Yolen was a great book. Another twist on Sleeping Beauty, but in a very different, heartbreaking way. Read it. 
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer - I had listened to the audio book of Cinder in 2015, and listened to Scarlet, Cress, Fairest (I read this one on an ebook!), Winter, and Stars Above in 2016. These are more variations on beloved fairy tales, set in a robotic, space-age future, and I loved them. I really enjoy audio books because I can multi-task and still enjoy a good book. 
  • Siddhartha by Herman Hesse was a beautifully poetic look into the journey of transitioning through life. 
  • Enders Game by Orson Scott Card - Fantastic. A little different from the movie that came out a few years ago. I need to read the entire Enders series now.
  • The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton was a wonderful novel following several stories at different times. I was thoroughly surprised at the end, so that was good. I'd like to read more by this author. 
  • The Last Girl by Joe Hart - This is the first book in the Dominion Trilogy. It's about a girl who breaks free and saves the day in a distopian America. I'm curious where the story will go, but the writing didn't suck me in the way other stories of this type have, so I don't know if I'll read any others in the series.
  • The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman - I only made it half-way through this book and I don't know if I'll ever go back and finish it. The idea behind the book is very interesting. It is a true story about the woman who saves hundreds of Jewish people's lives during WWII in her family's zoo in Warsaw. I love the story, however, this book bounces between reading like a novel and reading like a dry history text book. I kept waiting for it to suck me in. It never did. 
So, my grand total for 2016 was 16 books. Two maybe don't count since I didn't finish them. So, it's more like 14 books and two half-books. C'est la vie.
I should get extra credit for the countless picture books I have read to my children this year, including many diverse creation stories, myths, and classic tales. I'm also becoming quite a bilingual reader, because I can read Spanish children books, too. I don't understand many of them completely without using the Google Translate App on my phone, but I can read them!

2017 is upon us and I am already reading four books. What is wrong with me?

All year long, I've been slowly reading The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner. She was brought up in a polygamist off-shoot of the Latter-Day Saint tradition. It's hard to read because it is slow moving at times and deeply troubling at others. I will definitely finish it. Eventually...

I'm also reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling, one chapter a week, in sync with the podcast Harry Potter and The Sacred Text. Reading, pondering, and hearing their discussion on the chapter is a fun experience.

This week I started the January book for my book group as well as the first book in the Selection series. 

If you're trying to get more books in your life, do it for free. I HIGHLY recommend you spend some time at your local library and get a library card. I LOVE our library!!!! Also, I use the free Overdrive App on my phone to check out ebooks and audio books from my library. My other book supplier is - I have a Kindle and a Prime membership, so I have access to one free new book each month, one month before it is released to the public. Books are awesome. Free books are awesomer!

Cheers to a year of reading, my friends!!!!