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What I Read in 2015

What I Read in 2015

One thing I measurably improved upon this past year was starting and finishing more books. The key, for me, was balancing non-fiction with fiction: too much non-fiction, and I’d never finish what I started, leading to a pile of good but not necessarily page-turning works. Great fiction, though, helps me relax, escape life a bit (which is always nice at this stage of things!) and actually finish something for once. Oh, and joining an amazing book club has been immensely helpful, too!

Here’s what I read over the year, and my favorites are below! Many of the books I reviewed in more detail in previous posts here. 

Fiction:

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

China Court by Rumer Godden

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

The Greengage Summer by Rummer Godden

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers

Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather

Ida Elisabeth by Sigrid Undset

The Professor’s House by Willa Cather

Ward No. 6 by Anton Chekhov

The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki

In This House of Brede (read-aloud with Tom, third re-read for me) by Rumer Godden

Anne of the Island (multiple re-read aka comfort food) by L.M. Montgomery

Non-Fiction:

Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

Stars, Stripes, and Edelweiss by Mark and Niki Kalpakgian

Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Preschool Years by Elizabeth Hainstock

Seven Revolutions by Mike Aquilina (still unfinished)

Catherine of Siena (read-aloud with Tom, still unfinished) by Sigrid Undset

Holiness for Housewives by Hubert van Zeller

My Top Picks:

This is tough. I can easily spot the clear and absolute losers (ahem, Winter’s Tale, ughhhh– full scathing review here). Since Tom and I just wrapped up Brede together, it’s fresh in my mind, and my word, it is so, so good (Tom fully agrees). This is my third time through it, but I haven’t read it since early college, so it was both a comfort read as well as having all sorts of surprising things jump out at me this time around. Godden is just such a fantastic fiction writer, and clearly when I like an author I tend to go on a bit of spree!

My other top fiction would probably be Hannah Coulter (see here), Shadows on the Rock, and China Court (see here).

For non-fiction, I tore through Pioneer Girl and highly recommend (here). Holiness for Housewives was excellent spiritual refreshment, and while the name sounds kind of stodgy and old-school, I think it’s actually sound advice for absolutely anyone (man or woman) who lives an active life (i.e. not living in a monastery or cloister with the job of praying all day). I’ll be re-reading it this Lent and hopefully putting it more into practice!

 I’m planning to put up my list of books to be read in 2016…a little scary since I don’t like to fail publicly, and I may not have quite as much reading time/ability to stay awake with 3 babies, but still! I love to see other people’s lists so I will get mine up soon!

(Disclosure: the links here are affiliate, meaning if you click through them and purchase anything on Amazon, I will get a couple cents at no charge to you!)

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