Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Books Read in 2014

I love to read. And each year I keep track of the books I've read. Part of it is because I'm OCD and keeping list is actually entertaining to me. Part of it is because I read so many books I forget sometimes if I've read a book or not. Part of it is because I set a goal (for no reason except the fun of it) to read 100 books in a year. And part of it is because I like to blog the list for all posterity - maybe you need a good book recommendation?

This year I read 73. Next to each book, I've written a yes/no/maybe as to whether I'd read again or recommend along with a quick synopsis. OCD remember? I'm also a book tabber . . . I'm not sure if that's a thing but it is now. I keep a little sticky tabby thing right next to my bed and if I read something that strikes me as funny or thought provoking or interesting, I tab it and when I've finished reading the book, copy the quote in a little notebook/journal. This year I thought it might be fun if I added a few quotes to the list of books. So . . . drum-roll . . . books read in 2014.

1. This Is Not The Story You Think It Is by Laura Munson - true story of a woman faced with husband's declaration at the beginning of the summer that he is not happy and wants to leave sets her on the path of self discovery when she refuses to give up (YES)

2. Death Be Not Proud by C.F. Dunn -  second in secret journal series in which Emma discovers Matthew has not aged for hundreds of years. (yes)

3. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp - true story of a woman challenged to write one thousand of the little daily blessings and is completely transformed (YES!!!)
"Sometimes you don't know when you're taking the first step through a door until you're already inside . . . they are just common things and maybe I don't even know they are gifts really until I write them down and that is really what they look like." (pg. 42)
"Feel thanks and it's absolutely impossible to feel angry. We can only experience one emotion a a time. And we get to choose - which emotion do we want to feel?" (pg. 136)
"Years of Christian discipleship, Bible study, church going had been about me thinking about God; practicing eucharisteo (the practice of giving thanks) was the very first time I had really considered at length what God thought of me." (pg. 205)

4. Deep by Susanna Vance - young girl is kidnapped and taken to a Caribbean island while another young girl sails the seas along (yes)

5. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell - an IT guys falls in love with a woman while reading her emails (maybe)

6. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jan Hatmaker - one of the funniest women I have ever read decides to address 7 areas in their life by pairing down (YES!!!) - and there are WAAAY to many quotes and stories that I tabbed and cracked up - you must must must read this book!
"There is something so nourishing about sharing your living space with people where they see your junk-mail pile and pee wee football schedule on the fridge and pile of shoes by the front door. Opening your home says 'You are welcome to my real life.' This square footage is where we laugh and hold family meetings and make homemade corn dogs and work through melt downs. Here is the railing our kids pulled out of the wall. This is the toilet paper we prefer to use. There are the pictures we frame, the books we're reading, the projects we're undertaking - the raw material of our family. It's unsanitized and truthful. We invite you into this intimate place, saturated with our family character." (pg. 176)

7. I Loved You All by Paul Sharp - two sisters go through the summer with their mom in treatment and a religious fanatic of a neighbor (no)

8. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett - scientist goes into the Amazon after hearing her co-worker died while in the field (maybe)

9. An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff - true story of an ad executive who passes by an 11 year old panhandler in NY and then turns back around to offer lunch at McDonalds and starts a life long mentor-ship/friendship in which they both learn a lot about life (YES!!)

10. A Simple Thing by Kathleen McCleary - a mom worried about the fast paced life and the affect it was having on her kids up and moves to an island for a year (after reading it, it inspired a super fun "no technology day at our house) (yes)

11. Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore - probably the third time I've read this book - through sharing her journey, this amazing book focuses on God's ability to plant your feet on solid rock (YES!!!)
"Don't let up when you are feeling better. Feeling better is not what we're after. The goal is freedom from the pit for the rest of your life." (pg. 205)

12. Swamplandia by Karen Russell - after the death of their mother, a family attempts to save their reptile themed island in their own ways. (NO)

13. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman - a couple who live alone on an island in Australia as light house keepers have a baby wash up on shore and decide to keep her as their own. (maybe)

14. The Body Book by Nancy Rue - read for Hannah - about growing up and body changes from God's perspective. (yes)

15. Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships by Jana, Jill, Jessa and Jinger (YES)
"Contentment is realizing that God has provided everything we need for our present happiness. Another key is recognizing the 'unchangeable' things in our life and choosing to live joyfully." (pg. 10)
"We all consider our home to be a ministry center that God has given us to use as a place where we can encourage others spiritually and enjoy special times of fellowship." (pg. 230)

16. Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker - the journey of a pastor's wife as she becomes convicted of our failings as a church - we need to stop doing church and be church (YES!!) - this book messed with my head and completely flipped things around - I've passed it on more times then I can count. A must must must read.

17. Why Shoot a Butler by Georgetter Heyer - a silly murder mystery written in 1933 (yes)

18. Things Pondered by Beth Moore - short stories and poems written about all stages of her life (yes)

19. The Very Picture of You by Isabel Wolff - a portrait painter falls in love with a subject who happens to be her future brother-in-law (yes)

20. Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg - mom of two young children tries to survive while her husband is in a coma (yes)
"She is turning into herself in these little ways. She is like stepping into the garden everyday when you know something is new, different from the day before. That's how children are, growing up in front of you the way they do. Sometimes its a barely noticeable thing, like a stem that's slightly taller. Sometimes it's a blossom that's burst forth obvious as a Vegas show girl. Wow - you think. I'd better not miss a day. I'd better be here." (pg. 87)
"My children love taking medicine, even when it tastes terrible. It's very unusual. I worry about it. They probably can't wait to grow up and be hypochondriacs." (pg. 163)

21. Also Known as Harper by Ann Haywood Leal - a single mom tries to keep her little family together while her older daughter finds solice in writing poems (maybe)

22. The Other Half of My Heart by Sundee Frazier - twins born - one white and one black - face their differences and similarities while competing in a pageant in the south (maybe)

23. The Missing Rose by Serdar Ozkan - upon her mothers death, Diana learns she has a twin and embarks on a journey to discover what was really herself (no)

24. Table for Seven by Whitney Gaskell - a monthly dinner club goes through lots of emotional and relational ups and downs - fluffy summer read (maybe)

25. Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpugo - old woman tells story of escaping Germany with her mom, brother, American soldier and an elephant (yes - and let Hannah read it when I was finished)

26. Flying by the Seat of My Pants by Marsha Marks - hilarious true stories of a women's career as a flight attendant (yes)

27. Until the Real Thing Comes Along by Elizabeth Berg - tired of waiting for marriage a women becomes pregnant by her long time friend (no)

28. Writing the Memoir by Judith Barrington - a college course in the ins and outs along with some writing exercises I can't wait to start (yes) - I've had a life long dream to be an author since I was a little girl - now, in a time of sitting and being asthmatic, is a great time to start no?!
"Rather than simply telling a story from her life, the memoirist both tells a story and muses upon it trying to unravel what it means in the light of her current knowledge." (pg. 20)

29. Open House by Elizabeth Berg - after her husband leaves her, a woman must rediscover what life and love really mean (maybe)

30. Patty Jane's House of Curl by Lorna Landvik - two sisters and their lives together with husbands, finances, a daughter and lots and lots of ups and downs all held together and surrounded by their in-home beauty shop (maybe)
"Remember Mom. I'm just a child!" "We all are hon. Some of us are just taller." (pg. 2)
"She liked to see the progress of time's march and felt an affinity with each day as she stood before the calendar with a black crayon; yes I spent you, you existed for me, thank you." (pg. 117)

31. Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg - 3 sisters spend WWII write letters to the troops (yes)

32. Secret Keeper by Dannah Gresh - guide for high school/middle school girls about the "delicate power of modesty" (yes)

33. Never Mind the Joneses: Building Core Christian Values in a way that fits your family by Tim Stafford (yes)
"Sometimes a compromise can be found through a heart-to-heart talk. In it, the parents say explicitly that they don't want to pry into private details of life but that they must first feel confidence that no destructive behavior is going on. That gives children a fair warning: if they want privacy they have to be forthcoming with the information their parents need in order to be good parents." (pg. 144)
"Grace speaks to regret and bitterness in the language of forgiveness. Sometimes we talk about forgiveness as though we understand it, as though it's a perfectly natural human interaction. Forgiveness is more like a miracle. How a person consumed by his own past failings can come to releases them like helium balloons, I do not understand. I see it happen but I cannot explain it. How someone whose mind helplessly plays and replays a long-ago hurt can come to release the bitterness is beyond me. But it happens when grace touches their lives." (pg. 195)

34. Fin and Lady by Cathleen Schine - after his mother died, an 11 year old boy moves in with his worldly 24 year old half sister (maybe)

35. The Time Keeper by Mitch Album - "Father Time" is forced to live forever until he fully understands what it means to focus not on life but on time left (maybe)

36. Bed Rest by Sarah Bilston - a funny and yet sometimes inappropriate in language 'diary' of a lawyer forced 3 months bed rest while pregnant (maybe)

37. The Handmaid and the Carpenter by Elizabeth Berg - fictional back story of Mary and Joseph before, during and after Jesus' birth and childhood (yes)

38. Escaping into the Open by Elizabeth Berg - her true story of how she became a writer and her writing process (YES)
"You need to be a home for yourself and your work. You need to be a safe place to present things to be admired and loved. Never mind what anyone else has to say about your work, be it good or bad. Know that its necessary that you love your work, and let yourself do that. Relish what you are doing; whether you succeed or fail in the eyes of the outer world has nothing to do with the fact that you are answering a calling and making art as best you can. The world is rich because of people who do what you do. Treat yourself and your pages with respect - you know how to do it. Do not think you cannot call yourself a writer until you've been published." (pg. 34)

39. The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty - 3 seemingly unconnected families have their paths crossed over an unsolved murder (maybe)

40. Divergent by Veronica Roth - in a world divided into factions, a 16 year old girl has to decide her future and the future of her family (maybe)

41. 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody - when a spoiled socialite crashes her new car into a convenience store, her dad makes her work a different minimum job a week for a year in order to earn her inheritance (yes)

42. Insurgent by Veronica Roth - second book in Divergent series in which factions start breaking apart and starting a war (maybe)

43. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - WWII told from narrator "death" following the story of a young girl who loves words and books and has an amazing journey stealing them throughout her life. (yes)
"There would be punishment and pain and there would be happiness too. That was writing." (pg. 535)

44. Allegiant by Veronica Roth - final in trilogy. Least favorite and frustrating ending (arrggg)

45. The View from Mount Joy by Lorna Landvik - story of high school boy through adulthood with all of lifes ups and downs - too many adult scenes - could have been toned down to make a better book (no)

46. Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife by Rebecca Kanner - long imagined story of Noah's family, preperations, flood, and restart of the world (no)

47. Wanderville by Wendy McClure - orphan children escape a work camp to build their own town in the woods (yes)

48. The Priority List by David Menasche - a teacher becomes almost blind and is dying of cancer decides to stop all treatment and find old students and check in (although quite narsassitic - yes)
"Power is the ability to effect change . . . but strength is endurance because all I ask for my remaining days is the strength to endure them." (pg. 217)

49. Hold up the Sky by Patricia Sprinkle - a summer in the south where a group of women learn about themselves, their families and each other (YES)
"Don't grow up so fast! Don't lose the wonder you have as a child. When you have passed through stormy years to become whoeve you will be I cannot promise you will find wonder waiting on the other side." (pg. 2)
"Katrina brought over additional merchandise. They sat in tennis visors sipping tea and cracking jokes. Watching your possessions disappear into other people's trucks could be hilarious, Margaret discovered, when shared with a friend." (pg. 166)
"The poor know the true blessing of God - that He is with us no matter what we face. No one can take that away. When you know that, nothing else matters and you will truly know God." (pg. 286)

50. Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Graberistein - a game creator makes an adventure out of finding the secret way out of his brand new public library (YES)

51. The Lemon Grove by Ali Hosseini - a twin brother returns o Iran after a stay in America and finds the country war torn, his brother missing and his brother's wife arrested (no)

52. Sarah's Key by Tatiana Rosnay - modern and historical stories collide as a new couple is moving into an apartment once inhabited by a Jewish family arrensted and encamped during WWII in France (yes)

53. The Deep Blue Sea by Luanne Rice - a daughter spends the summer in Italy with her mother who abandoned her ten years before (yes)

54. The Father's Tale by Michael O'Brien - a take on the prodigal son. A father travels to England, Russia, ends up in Sibiria, taken to China on a dangerous journey in attemp to rescue his son from a "cult" of intelectuals. Meets many people along the way who continue to grow his faith (yes . . . but 1072 pages!!)
"Maybe we don't need to be in such a rush to figure ourselves out. Just to exist as a human being is phenominal. Maybe all I need to know is what God allows me to see." (pg. 139)
"On every hunched shoulder was the message. Endurance. Endurance was engraved in the genetic code of all those who had survived." (pg. 331)
"Wait upon the Lord. Listen. Pray. Read sacred scriptures. Perhaps you need only sleep. For each person, it is a different experience. Sometimes the Lord merely wishes you to rest. At other times He will speak quietly; at times, not at all. Sometimes there is consolation; at other times there is struggle. Whatever occurs is a gift." (pg. 503)

55. Looking for Alaska by John Green - a girl dies in a car accident leaving behind close friends to wonder why and honor her legacy (no - language)

56. Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling - a funny memoir of growing up then working in comedy (maybe - launguage)

57. Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand - a daughter gets married and plans the whole wedding based off a notebook written by her mom before she died (maybe)

58. Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford - an orphan recognizes her mother from a movie poster and finds her to rediscover her past - set in Chinatown in Seattle in the 1920/30's (yes)

59. The Scribe by Francis Rivers - story of Silas from bible told in narrative from his perspective traveling with Paul etc. (maybe)

60. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty - after suffering a severe concussion a woman realizes she lost years of her memories (YES)

61. The One and Only Ivan by Katharine Applegate - based on a true story of a gorilla caged in a mall for 27 year. He plans an escape when a baby elephant joins the captured (YES)

62. Paper Towns by John Green - senior year a group of friends follow clues to find a girl who ran away (yes)

63. Dreaming Water by Gail Tsukiyama - a woman with Werners Syndrome in which you age rapidly lives with her aging mother a faces a difficult future (yes)

64. A Hidden Affair by Pam Jenoff - a CIA agent goes on an international hunt for her fiance when she finds out he faked his death (no)

65. Beyond Belief by Jenna Misgaive Hill - story growing up in scientology and eventual escape (maybe)

66. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - a college professor sets out to find a wife with a specific questionair (no for language - yes for story)

67. The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama - a young Chinese boy goes to live in Japan while he is recovering from a serious illness during the time of the Japenese invasion and he struggles to balance what he hears with the gently gardender he grows close to (yes)

68. The Kingdom of Wrenly series by Jordan Quinn - Haley's recommendation - this 3 part series is about a prince who goes on an adventure with a peasant friend and a pet dragon (yes)

69. The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne - true story of how man with tourettes finds himself and his purpose through books (YES)
"I'll never know everything about anything but I'll know something about almost everything and that's how I like to live." (pg. 3)
"To see the value of a library, ignore the adults. Find an inquisitive child who doesn't have an IPhone yet, take them to the library and tell them they can learn anything they want there." (pg. 217)

70. Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama - story of silk factories in China and the girls/women who worked there (maybe)

71. Who Wrote That: Shel Silverstein by Elisa Ludwig - short biography on the authors life (maybe)

72. The Novelist by Angela Hunt - challenged by a student to write something more personal an author begins a novella telling a modern day Eden/fall of man story in an attempt to reach her son (maybe)
"I used to think the creator tested me to discover how strong I was. Lately though I've begun to realize He has an entirely different purpose in mind. The Author of my life knows everything about me so He already knows how strong I am. The tests come to me - and to you - so we will know how strong the creator is when He carries me through what we can't handle alone." (pg. 292)

73. I'm Not Mad I Just Hate You by Roni Cohen and Michelle Silver - parenting advice on communicating effectively between mom and teen daughter (yes)
"When you listen to your daughter's arguments (not necessarily agreeing with them) you are encouraging her to reason. When you negotiate with her with you are building her problem solving skills." (pg. 103)
"Empower her - remind her of her strength, seek her input, teacher her to get information, give her coping strategies, and encourage problem solveing." (pg. 206)

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