Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What I Read in 2015

Edited for corrections. I realized I forgot to add the one I read this summer with Bible Class at church, which brings my total to 52! I made it Lamb! Also, it was brought to my attention that the original post didn't include when I had finished Sarum, one of my books on my Friends challenge. These corrections have been made.

I finished the last book I'm reading in 2015 today, so I thought it time to finally return to my neglected blog with a list of all I read this year.

The total number was 52 books, which is low to some of my friends, and seems awfully high to me as I didn't think I had been reading all that much. There were so many lulls this year and I just couldn't get into a reading state of mind for much of this fall.

Here are the categories of books based on the reading challenges I chose to do.

Year of the Re-Read: 23 books
Overall I am happy with all I re-read this year, my self-proclaimed Year of the Re-Read. Like old friends, I enjoyed curling up with these books and re-living the magic and deepening my understanding of the stories. Since I loved re-reading all these books I have decided to make a list each year of books I want to re-read.

J.R.R. Tolkien:
The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings

C.S. Lewis:
The Chronicles of Narnia

Jane Austin:
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility

J.K. Rowling:
The Harry Potter Series

Lemony Snickett:
Only 2 from The Series of Unfortunate Events

2015 Help From My Friends (Jane's challenge): A total of 11 books
I listed 10 books and 5 alternates. I was afraid at the start of the year that I wouldn't find time to finish this one, but I surprised myself and succeeded. This year's list had some really good books and some real duds. Following is the list, when I finished, and if I thought they were good or a dud.

1. The Wreath (Kristin Lavransdatter, #1) by Sigrid Undset
Finished on March 31st. Good

2. The Wife (Kristin Lavransdatter, #2) by Sigrid Undset
Finished on April 9th. Good

3. The Cross (Kristin Lavransdatter, #3) by Sigrid Undset
Finished on May 17th. Good

4. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R. R. Martin
Finished July 24th. Good, but not enough to make me want to read the rest of the series.

5. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Finished on January 11th. Good

6. Sarum: The Novel of England by Edward Rutherford
Finished on December 3rd. Although I thought it was good, it was hard to keep reading.Because this was the whole history of England, every section was like starting over with new characters in a new novel. Yes, it wove together past families and events, but frankly I became bored half-way through and I had to force myself to finish.

7. The Pillars of the Earth (The Pillars of the Earth, #1) by Ken Follett
Finished June 18th. Really Good

8. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Finished June 10th. Started out with lots of potential, but in the end, a dud

9. Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Finished May 29th. Good

10. Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.
Finished June 26th. Really Good. Loved this interesting story
1. The Tenant of Wldfell Hall by Anne Brontë

2. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and William Weaver

3. In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Turnham and Dean Merill
Finished July 8th. Very interesting and made me wonder about the people I know who are missionaries.

4. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Started on September 26th but never finished. It seemed way to contrived and projecting today's feelings and attitudes on a former time.

5.Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1) by Hilary Mantel

Book Club: 8 books
This is a group of my homeschool moms who started reading through Susan Wise Bauer's list in "A Well-Educated Mind." I finally joined them and haven't regretted it for a single moment. Three of these I have read before, but I didn't count them in my Year of the Re-Read Challenge. Following is what we read.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: finished March 24th
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy: finished May 17th
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James: finished July 11th
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: finished August 11th
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane: finished August 31st
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: finished September 8th
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton: finished October 17th
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: finished November 16th

The remaining books I read included 1 I read with Nathan and Abby for schoolwork,
Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory: finished March 17th

1 I read as a Board member for Wittenberg Academy,
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

1 I read for Bible Class at church this summer
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

and 7 I picked up just on my own:
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
LadyLike: Living Biblically by Rebekah Curtis and Rose Adel
The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education by Leigh A. Bortins
The Question: Teaching Your Child the Essentials of Classical Education by Leigh A. Bortins
Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, Sugar--Your Brains' Silent Killers by David Perlmutter
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford

Overall, not to bad for a year I felt like I was never in the mood for reading. As I think ahead to challenges for 2016, I hope there will be more that make me love to read and not want to do anything else and fewer that I am just trying to get through. And maybe I should aim for a total of 52 books (could I do more?), on average, one per week, which I just made this year.