The Best (and Worst) of 2015 Books

Most maddening book:

“Giant”, by Edna Ferber. If you like being left hanging in suspense at the end of a book, with no idea of what could properly finish the story, then this is just the book for you. After finishing it I had to storm into the hallway and yell at my housemate who had recommended it to me. Who does that?! However, in spite of the (in my opinion) incomplete ending, the writing style is entrancing, and it’s a good look into Texan/Mexican relations in the days of massive ranches and oil industry.

 

Disappointing books:

The books by Ruth Reichl and Ree Drummond were rather, well, meh. I had read “Garlic and Sapphires” by Reichl in 2014, and it was my favorite of the year, but the others I read this year were not quite as delightful as I hoped. As for Drummond’s book, well, you’re better off reading her blog than her book. I love her humor and her love for butter, but her love story was too full of sappy emotion for my taste.

 

Very much not disappointing book:

“My Life and Hard Times” by James Thurber. I grew up on one of the stories from this book, “The Night the Bed Fell on Father”, and the whole book lived up to my expectations. If you need some light, quick reading, this is the book for you.

 

Book you should absolutely read:

“A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken. Trust me on this. It’s like finding that person that makes you say, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one!” I especially like his perspective on the timelessness in Heaven. SUCH a good read!

 

Best Illustrated book:

Probably that should go to “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick. In fact, a large portion of the story is told through the lovely pencil drawings, rather than writing.

 

Most Poignant Book:

“Counting on Grace” by Elizabeth Winthrop takes that one. It’s the story of a little girl that had to work in a cotton mill, and the awful conditions, and hopelessness are heart-wrenching. It’s an excellent read however, and well worth your time. Honorable mention goes to “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”.

 

Weirdest Book:

This is a tough one, since I read a couple that were pretty stretching to my little brain. “Tale of the Flying Dutchman” by Bryan Jacques is a fairy tale kind of weird, and “The Giver” by Lois Lowry just makes you think all kinds of things that had never occurred to you before. Out of the two, I’d say I liked “The Giver” better.

 

There were many more that I loved, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, of course, and L.M. Montgomery’s are always worth reading, and Hannah Brencher has some very worthwhile things to say, and some of the books I read to my school kids were delightful and should be read many times over. So many books, so little time! seems to remain the problem, as always.

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