In 2017 I continued to make it a point to read in my spare moments. Looking back at my reading journal – a simple notebook where I write down a title once finished with any short thoughts – it looks like I finished 16 books last year. Not an amazing number, but at least it is something! I’ll highlight a few of the books that really stood out to me:
- Song of the Cardinal by Gene Stratton Porter – You’ve probably heard me rave about my favorite novels by Mrs. Porter before! (If you’ve never read Laddie or Girl of the Limberlost – go get them now! Trust me.) This short novel was new to me, very much about the world of the forest, with some human interaction tied in. Made me want to run out into the woods, pay attention to the birds, and praise God! :)
- The World of Jane Austen by Deirdre LeFaye – So, so good. Definitely a keeper. A very enjoyable and informative no-nonsense read about the historical setting of 18th-19th century England. Very good background if you enjoy the Jane Austen novels.
- Comfortable Troubles by Elizabeth Prentiss – very good, deep thoughts and encouragements woven into a thoughtful narrative. This reprinted Victorian novel is definitely worth reading, especially if you are a mother or daughter whose work is caring for others at home.
- Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne – A familiar setting – the Texas panhandle, where I grew up, and very interesting, but also very painful to read. I was very ready to be done with this book by the time I finished it. Lots of very interesting, enlightening detail, I felt it really fleshed out a lot of history I already know, and I had lots of ‘aha’ moments connecting dots in my mind to other former history studies and books. Not for young readers. Quite graphic. Also I found at least two instances of quite blatant false historical information, and the whole book had an obvious anti-Christian bias. However, this book will definitely stick in my mind for a long time, and gave me a lot to think about, especially as relates to the plight of early settlers.
- Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge – My first try at a novel by this author. Bizarre, aggravating but amazingly thought provoking. The life long narrative of two very different sisters who love the same man. This crazy story kept surprising me and making me rather angry! I basically stayed mad at most of the characters through the entire book. However, since finishing I have realized it really gave me a lot to chew on about motives in marriage, laying ones life down for another, and how small choices can affect the rest of your life. I am curious to know if the author built in the seeming allegories and marriage lessons, or if I am just imagining them. Anyway, not sure this will be a re-read, but I sure won’t forget it!
- The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt – SO GOOD. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I suppose it’s actually written for teens, but anyone who enjoys a good Medieval adventure story would love this. It was clean, page-turning (I couldn’t put it down) and believable – I highly recommend! (if you have reading age kids, they would love it too! It would make a fabulous read-aloud)
- The Life-Giving Home by Sally & Sarah Clarkson – this book did not disappoint. So much inspiration for creating and thriving within your home and family.
- Emma by Jane Austen – Jordan and I read this out loud to each other over the last few months, it was so enjoyable. I’d read it before, but not for years, so it was great fun going over it again and hearing Jordan’s thoughts as we went along. I included this book just to say – if you and your spouse have never read out loud together, you should! It’s seriously my favorite thing! Right now we are trying to decide what our next read aloud together should be.
Excited to see what the coming reading year will bring. I have many books already started that I want to finish, plus a lot more on my ‘want to read’ list. Below is a sampling of some of the ones on my wish list (if you have any recommendations for me, please do share in the comments!)