Book List 2016

My focus last year was less on reading and more on other new experiences. So I read thirty books instead of a more hefty amount. But here are the titles I did read, along with a blurb about each one. Some of them were lovely, and some of them I jumped in only to find I was in a pool I didn’t wish to swim in. Maybe my mini reviews will help you avoid those. And hopefully my glowing reports will inspire you to read the excellent books I found!

Title Author Notes
The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd Fascinating cultural read, similar to “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Had a few “parts” though, so I can’t recommend all of it.
Good to Great Jim Collins Boring. Good business concepts, but ill presented.
A Tale of Three Kings Gene Edwards Kind of interesting.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Barbara Kingsolver This book was mostly boring, with hilarious and interesting bits thrown in. You’ll like it if you’re a bit of a health nut.
A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet Sophie Hudson Southern tales, not very well written, but funny, and kinda sweet.
Do Hard Things Alex and Brett Harris A reread for me. Better for a younger audience than I.
Michael O’Halloran Gene Stratton Porter So sweet, and while very unrealistic, has cool culture and a charming story line.
Beaulah Augusta J Evans Long and rather boring in stretches and full of words I didn’t know. Interesting story line though, if somewhat incredible like a lot of old novels are.
Anne’s House of Dreams L. M. Montgomery Delicious. Just plain delicious.
The Total Money Makeover Dave Ramsey Inspiring. Makes me wish I had debt to pay off. Hah.
Belles on Their Toes Frank B. Gilbreth Jr Ernestine Gilbreth Caret Hilarious all over again.
Anne of Ingleside L. M. Montgomery Very full of Anne’s kids’ personalities, which I liked.
Rainbow Valley L. M. Montgomery Enjoyable, but not my favorite of the series, since it was more about the Parson’s kids than Anne’s.
Never Change Elizabeth Berg EWWW. Stay far away.
Rilla of Ingleside L. M. Montgomery Sad, but delightful in the end.
I Capture the Castle Dodie Smith Not at all what I expected, but very intriguing. Has some undesirable parts though, making it less recommendable.
The Monk and the Riddle Randy Komisar More interesting than a business book should be. Also, surprisingly challenging, in wondering what to do with my life.
A House Like a Lotus Madeleine L’Engle Ugh.
Princess Academy Shannon Hale Exceedingly well written kids’ book, making a predictable story line delightful.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves Lynne Truss Hilarious! If you have any interest at all in writing, or any grammar nazi tendencies, read this.
The Healer Dee Henderson Not as good as some of the others in the series.
Bread & Wine Shauna Niequist Makes me want to host all the parties, ever. Also eat all the food, ever. Lyn and I have even made the bacon-wrapped dates from it already, with great success.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Mary Ann Shaffer Great writing style. I must have a thing for books formatted as letters.
Damsel in Distress PG Wodehouse I think the first long Wodehouse book I’ve read. I would totally recommend it, especially for a summer vacation book. His use of language, as always, is masterful.
Daddy-Long-Legs Jean Webster Always a pleasure.
Chronicles of Avonlea L.M. Montgomery Short stories about random people in Avonlea. Some were great, others not so much.
The Blue Castle L.M. Montgomery I may want to reread this one every few years for the next decade.
Adam of the Road Elizabeth Janet Gray Not earth shaking by any means, but a nice read for a kid interested in medieval times.
Ordering Your Private World Gordon MacDonald Rather dull, although he has good things to say.
My life in France Julia Child Very interesting start. Slightly long and too many details towards the end, as biographies tend to have. Still, I wish I could have met her.

Three conclusions:

  1. I finally finished reading the Anne of Green Gables series. Now my childhood is complete.
  2. I wish someone could teach business-book-writers how to present their good ideas in ways that you actually want to read them.
  3. I love books about food, and books written as compilations of letters.

So tell me, what have you been reading lately? I’m planning to tackle a stack already on my bookshelf, including War and Peace, so I can’t make any promises, but I still want to hear your recommendations for me this year.

Advertisements