The founding purpose of this blog was for me to continue to read. Blogging is one of the ways that I can stay accountable in my goals, especially living overseas from most of the people who keep me accountable, and reading is a huge priority for me. This year was crazy, so I didn’t actually take the time to write book reviews as often as I would have liked, but I did read. So, this post is a general remembrance, anamnesis, and review of the books I read this year as well as a view of what the future posts on books will be in 2016.
This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence by John Piper CLICK HERE for my original review from May 2015
I made a goal for 2015 to read 6 Marriage books, but only read this one. It was worth it for the whole year for me. This year our marriage had many opportunities to be shaken and challenged and in pain. We were separated for four months this year. Louis returned to Lebanon alone for two months beginning just days after Christmas Day, missing New Year’s and months 6 and 7 of my pregnancy. Through the pain of child birth and then the pain of insurance companies, we ended up separating again. This second time he took our two year old son, who did not handle the transition well, only to find that the surgery that was supposed to happen while he was in Lebanon had been postponed and cancelled. During that two month stint apart he missed our anniversary. Through it all we truly grew stronger and have the best marriage we had ever thought possible. This book does not get all the credit for the good place our marriage has landed this year, but it was instrumental in bringing me peace during a time of chaos. The truths here were foundational, and I highly recommend this book to anyone married or single. It is a foundational book whether or not you are in a relationship because the marriage relationship is founded on Christ’s relationship with the church.
The Secret Lives of Codebreakers: The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay
If you liked Imitation Game this is the book for you. This is the story behind the setting and point of what Alan Turing was working on in that movie. This book was also read by me early on. I might just have to read this book again because it was so fascinating. I loved it, and it made me realize that I should have had a second category of books in my goals for nonfiction. In addition, the fictional BBC series The Bletchley Circle is also phenomenal and has characters, mostly women, who were a part of the Bletchley Park codebreakers.
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley CLICK HERE for my original review from February 2015
This book is very high on the list because it was a fun read, a new author to me, and it inspired me to keep reading. This book and number 5 were both read early on in the year when I returned to the States and inspired me to keep reading because of how good they were. I loved that this book was written so well from beginning to end and even though there is a sequel coming out in June of 2016 (I already preordered a Kindle version), the book did not end with a sequel required, it was wrapped up well while leaving me excited to read more.
A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay
Yes, a cozy mystery made it into the top five. I read everything Jenn McKinlay writes, go to her sessions at the Tucson Book Festival, and receive her blog, which is why she appears twice in this top ten list. When we moved to Lebanon I was not able to stay up to date with her books because at the time they were not available in ebook form. When I got back to the States I immediately ordered all of her books from the library and had so much fun catching up on all of the series she has written. This is my favorite series, in which the heroine/detective is a librarian living in Maine.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore A Novel by Robin Sloan
Great book. Over time it has moved slightly down my list this year because the ending wasn’t as strong as I had hoped, but it was still amazing. I loved it, and it also was one of the books that drew me into reading this year. This book celebrates books, and it was fun to read and be caught up in the adventure. This is a book I recommend to anyone who likes to read at all, or not at all. The characters in this book were people I would like to meet.
The Hen of the Baskervilles by Donna Andrews
Donna Andrews is another person I will read anything she writes. This book comes from a cozy mystery series with bird pun names for titles. I love the characters and their quirkiness helps me feel like there is a place for everyone in the world. I feel like I could live next door to them, which would be awesome because she is a blacksmith and he is an actor/drama professor, with toddler twins, living on a farm land with llamas and emus and sheep and roosters and murder mysteries.
The Short Drop by Matthew Fitzsimmons
A great find this year after we accidentally signed up for Amazon Prime was Kindle First. These books are Editor’s Picks for the coming month and I get it delivered before it is even officially released. This book is a Suspense Thriller Mystery with depth and such writing. The main characters drew me in and appalled me and were so real. The book was definitely for adults only, just because of some of the disturbing topics related to a missing child. This book would have been higher on my list, since I loved the ending a lot more than number 5, but I just finished it a few days ago and want to give it more time.
The Green Ember by S.D. Smith
One of the blogs I receive had this posted in the free ebooks section, and then another blog mentioned it as well the same week. It turns out to be a very moral book, I believe it is Christian based, and it is probably going to be the chapter book I read first with my kids. It is on par with The Chronicles of Narnia as far as age groups that could enjoy it and talking animals and such. It was so much fun, and it was a great book for the beginning of our transition to Lebanon because the main characters suffer much loss and have to leave home and move somewhere else and so that resonated well with me. It shared the process of growing up and learning who we are going to be and how to accept that in ourselves and others.
Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy CLICK HERE for my original review from October 2015.
This was a book I grabbed at the library in between books I was waiting for, and it was such a good book. The main character is the manager of a manor, which is all administration, and I connected with her instantaneously. I also found myself loving manor life, as it is the next best thing to living in a castle as a princess. The idea of working at a manor has a similar appeal and this book drew on that instantly. I am looking forward to reading all she has in this series.
At the Drop of a Hat by Jenn McKinlay
As an anglophile, I have found Jenn McKinlay’s newest series, a cozy mystery set in Britain to be so fun. I didn’t realize until this year that I am an Anglophile, but now that I have admitted it I am going to be reading a lot more English literature. This series features an American who has moved to Britain where she has inherited half of a millinery, a hat shop. It is such a fun series and I was so happy to get back to America in time for the release!
In the coming months I will do a similar post each month to review the books I read this year as well as any I have read up to that point in several categories. To give you a taste I have made collages of the categories and every book I read this year in those categories. Yay visuals!
Adult Fiction I Read in 2015
Educational Books I Read in 2015
Children’s Books I Loved in 2015
I am looking forward to sharing these with you as well as reading in 2016.
I plan on being an AVID READER using this challenge. That’s 26 books this year (with Louis’ help on some).