I’ve had a banner studying yr, the second time I’ve learn greater than 100 books in a yr since I began monitoring my studying in 2006.
Based on my stats on Goodreads, I’ve learn 124 books and 25,999 pages to date. (Perhaps I’ll end one thing tonight, after publishing this…??) The longest guide I learn was Vainness Truthful, by William Thackery, which clocked in at 912 pages (or round 31 hours of listening, which is how I consumed it).
The primary guide I completed this yr was Wanting for the King, by David C. Downing. The newest was Unveiling, by Suzanne M. Wolfe. Although neither of them made my lists under, you will discover glimpses into my studying life on Instagram (books solely at @booksandsarah and life at @sarahareinhard), together with my feedback on Unveiling.
Additionally fascinating (as a result of stats are): I learn so much of 5-star books. This doesn’t shock me: I’ve reached the purpose of feeling zero guilt about e-book abandonment, and I’m typically cautious to not learn books I gained’t like (these two-star books are books I needed to learn, both for evaluate or for analysis).
My Goodreads stats as a picture. As a result of certainly I’m not the one one who finds this fascinating.
So, now, let’s speak concerning the books I beloved this yr. I liked excess of what I’ve listed right here, and I attempted to restrict myself to only a couple in every class. I considered breaking nonfiction and fiction every into multiple class, however in the long run I ended. As a result of, really, sufficient is sufficient. And I learn lots this yr. (You’ll be able to see my full studying lists right here and comply with my bookstagramming right here.)
The Best of the Best
Some books simply stand on their very own, aside from the remaining. These are books value proudly owning two copies of, as a result of I’ll need to decide them up and randomly learn sections at any time. These are books slated for rereading sometime, any day.
The Energy of Silence: Towards the Dictatorship of Noise, by Cardinal Robert Sarah with Nicolas Diat. This was a e-book I couldn’t whip via, and but one which I savored and couldn’t put down. Reading it felt something however unintentional, that’s for positive. (I wrote about that right here.)
To Mild a Hearth on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age, by Robert E. Barron. My first inclination with this was to supply it to a brand new deacon at our parish, who, because it occurs, had already learn it. Barron has a method of boiling issues down and, but, additionally planting seeds that stick with you.
East of Eden, by John Steinbeck. This was an enormous novel I meant to learn years in the past. I began by listening to it, and tried to complement my listening with studying (as a result of I’ve the ebook). I simply couldn’t restrict my enjoyment of it to the occasions once I might hear it. The story was large and lengthy and fantastic in all of the methods I really like.
Jesus Approaches: What Modern Ladies Can Study Therapeutic, Freedom, and Pleasure from the Ladies of the New Testomony, by Elizabeth M. Kelly. Water is a recurring theme that Elizabeth Kelly makes use of all through this ebook, and it struck me all through. It started like an extended chilly drink on a scorching day: refreshing and soothing. It continued like a mug of steaming tea: comforting and snuggly. It traversed the paths of a moist washcloth on a scorching brow, a shared giggle over a glass of iced tea, a second collectively over the baptismal font. Kelly’s depth of perception and the attain of her knowledge went proper to my coronary heart, in each chapter. The ebook examines eight ladies from the New Testomony, they usually might not all be those you anticipate. Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mom of Jesus, Martha and Mary of Bethany: no shock there. However a shepherd woman who was there on Christmas night time? That caught me…and captured my creativeness. Kelly has a approach of doing that all through this guide, and it’s a lovely expertise.
I’ve all the time been a woman for fiction, and this yr has been a yr for a lot of pleasant novels in my studying.
Countless Water, Starless Sky, by Rosamund Hodge. That is the sequel to Shiny Smoke, Chilly Hearth. I’m not classically educated, however Hodge is. I do know, at some degree, that I miss an enormous quantity of her brilliance as a result of of my very own ignorance. And but, I’m hopelessly a fan of hers. Of the books she’s written, I feel these two could also be my favorites. I’d name this one of the best writing I learn all yr, judged on precise writing and on storytelling and on enjoyment degree.
Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1), by Neal Shusterman. I heard this referenced as somebody’s favourite guide, and that’s typically all it takes for me to run after a guide. I learn and beloved Shusterman’s so it stands to cause that I’ll like his different books. I simply…hadn’t gotten round to them. Although that is first in a collection, it stands alone. As soon as once more, Shusterman has taken an previous trope of a query and carved it right into a thoughts train of a ebook. There’s a plot, however there’s additionally the exploration of ethics and the good what-if. AI meets immortality meets scandal meets human nature. This can be a guide not simply to learn, however to debate and ponder.
The Eighth Arrow: Odysseus within the Underworld, a Novel, by Augustine Wetta, O.S.B. This ebook made me need to truly try Homer and another classics. (I’ve learn Dante, so I received these references.) And but, the guide made sense with none of that and solely a rudimentary information of what I knew have been deeper references. The journey was nice, peppered with humor. I couldn’t put it down, and I discovered myself considering of it within the occasions I wasn’t studying, which is, to me, all the time an indication of an amazing ebook.
Dying Comes for the Archbishop, by Willa Cather. I listened to this and located myself wanting to carry it and truly learn the phrases. Cather paints a picture of the Southwest that I might see as I listened.
A Canine’s Function, by W. Bruce Cameron. My teen daughter handed this to me, and I’ll be trustworthy: I used to be going to give up if it didn’t decide up or one thing. Cameron has his personal fashion, that’s for positive, and the premise behind the ebook didn’t make sense to me till I used to be a few third of the best way by way of. After which…hooked. The storytelling is fabulous, and also you’ll by no means take a look at a canine the identical means once more.
Clueless in Galilee: A Recent Tackle the Gospels, by Mac Barron. You’ll snigger, sure. (Quite a bit, in case you’re like me.) However you’ll additionally look in a different way at these Gospel tales that could be so previous hat that you simply don’t even hear them anymore. I really like Barron’s strategy to “riffing” on the Gospels, and I additionally respect his innate capability to problem readers to transcend.
One Lovely Dream: The Rollicking Story of Household Chaos, Private Passions, and Saying Sure to Them Each, by Jennifer Fulwiler. I’ve been following Fulwiler for fairly some time, and I’ve loved watching her arduous work repay in success. I learn this in a can’t-put-it-down sort of means and laughed so arduous, at occasions, that I used to be crying. She has a self-deprecating approach of writing and sharing her life that makes her approachable. This e-book additionally challenges readers to assume past their constraints — it’s equal elements memoir, humor, information, and good story.
The Fisherman’s Tomb: The True Story of the Vatican’s Secret Search, by John O’Neill. This reads like an journey in some ways, and but it’s true. O’Neill has a means of turning the dry details into fascinating tidbits, and the photographs don’t harm both. This can be a ebook you possibly can whip by means of after which end up saying, “Wait, what just happened? Was that real?”
I’d Relatively Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life, by Anne Bogel. I’ve develop into a late-to-the-recreation Anne Bogel fangirl. I listened to this, however I feel I’ll be getting a tough copy as a result of…fact. She speaks to me and evokes me together with her studying.
How Catholic Artwork Saved the Church: The Triumph of Magnificence and Fact in Counter-Reformation Artwork, by Elizabeth Lev. This ebook was such a present to learn. I didn’t imply to start out studying it, to be trustworthy. I used to be simply leafing by means of it, taking a look at it and admiring the photographs. I glanced over the desk of contents and the introduction caught my eye. I’ll learn absolutely anything, however this was GOOD. Elizabeth Lev is a grasp storyteller: She had me flipping to look at footage, smiling at what I learn, and completely having fun with each facet of this ebook. In fact, at the least half of that was as a result of of the gorgeous job Sophia Institute Press did with the precise e-book: thick, shiny paper and 4-shade, journal-high quality pictures. Really, this can be a e-book that’s an aesthetic delight on many ranges.
Rereads to Reread Once more
The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis. That is one of my all-time favourite books. It looks like I’ve learn it about even 18 months or so because the first time I learn it. Each time I decide it up, I discover some passage that was proper there for me. The premise: A satan writes letters to his nephew, crammed with recommendation and ideas for tempting extra successfully. Flip your expectations the wrong way up and put together to be wowed by Lewis’s fantastic writing.
The Cricket on the Fireside, by Charles Dickens. One other all-time favourite ebook, and one which impressed my deal with for a few years. This yr, it additionally impressed me to learn another Dickens. It’s a household story, in some ways, and a glimpse at life a few years in the past. I by no means noticed the film (which I heard was horrible), however Dot Peerybingle stays a favourite character of mine.
Pretty: How I Discovered to Embrace the Physique God Gave Me, by Amanda Martinez Beck. I learn this ebook for the primary time this yr (it’s a brand new launch, so I couldn’t have learn it sooner), after which I reread it. I feel, the truth is, I’ll be studying it a 3rd time in 2019 with a gaggle of associates. Beck begins robust and finishes stronger. I feel each lady in all probability must learn and reread this ebook.
Anne of Inexperienced Gables, by L.M. Montgomery. I listened to this by way of CraftLit and was then impressed to take heed to the remaining of the eight-e-book collection. After which, as a result of I couldn’t get sufficient, I listened to Earlier than Inexperienced Gables and Marilla of Inexperienced Gables. My women have each turned their noses up at Anne, however I feel I’ll be revisiting her very often.
What have been YOUR favourite reads this yr?
(As a result of I can’t not search for extra suggestions…)