Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dec Reads and My Books of 2015

So it is already 3 days into 2016.  Enclosed is a synopsis of the December books I read and a quick overview from 2015.

December books:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (#5) by J.K. Rowling

I really enjoyed this one.  It was darker than the last and I've been forewarned by my favorite Harry Potter fan (oldest child) that it will get darker.  I was also kind of whining of about the length of the book and he said, "wait till you get to book 7".  I find the stories easy to read, but I swear that I think I read a lot of the book and look and feel like I haven't even made a dent into it.  Last night I watched the movie with my son and was disappointed that there was so much of the book left out of the movie, but I guess the movie would be like 4 hours+ if they tried to put everything in it.  I'm gearing up to read book 6- think it might be a January read.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
This is one of our book club reads for January Book Club.  The goal is to read both To Kill a Mockingbird and this one.  I decided to read this one first.  I have too much of the movie- To Kill a Mockingbird embedded in my head- so wanted to come to Go Set a Watchman with a clean slate.  I liked the book.  I was surprised with the switch, if you want to call it that, of Atticus Finch's character's views on African Americans.  I thought the book painted an accurate picture of how change occurs, be it segregation or other major cultural discussions: women's rights, current LBGQT, etc.  I thought the writing was very clean and precise and I thought well written.

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
This book was a book that stayed with me for awhile.  You know the kind of book that you think about days after you are done reading it.  I think that is a sign of a good book.  This one takes place mid 1940s- during the heart of WWII.  Three friends, two being husband and wife, travel to find the Lochness Monster.  When I read this story line I thought WHAT- who would go sight seeing for the Lochness Monster during the war- well as you read you discover the answer.  This book was well written and I felt like the character development was excellent.  I highly recommend this read!

Now onto the Best and Worst of 2015...

My favorite nonfiction book from 2015 is...
Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton.  I loved this book so much I read it and then I listened to it as an audiobook.  Glennon's voice was so genuine, honest, real and I just really took a lot from listening and reading this book. I liked her view on failure, religion, and being human. Highly Recommend It!

My favorite read with the kids in 2015 is...
One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibottson  This was a plus for both my kids: oldest likes mystery and it had that, youngest likes animals and specifically rescuing animals and it had that too.  Well written and enjoyable to read.

My favorite read with my husband in 2015 is...
10% Happier by Dan Harris.  This book sparked some good discussion and also some trial of implementing some mindfulness and meditation into our lives.

My favorite book club read of 2015 is...
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, with a close 2nd and 3rd: Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion and Descent by Tim Johnston.  All of these books very different.  The Light Between Oceans is a beautiful at times very sad love story.  I  compared other books to it throughout the book club year (particularly All the Light You Can Not See- which many people loved, but I just liked and said aloud "its not as good as The Light Between Oceans").  Rosie Project hilarious and I had somewhat forgotten that I planned to read the other two books in the trilogy- will do in 2016.  Descent was a gripping story, it wasn't my favorite because I struggled with Johnston's writing style in the beginning of the book, but then soon forgot or wasn't bothered by this style anymore because the story was go good.

Looking back at 2015 my least favorite book was For the Love by Jen Hatmaker.  I was so thoroughly disappointed with this book.  She has great blog posts, and I thought she was going to be similar to Glennon Doyle and hence her book would be like "Carry On, Warrior", but it wasn't.  It just didn't give me anything. 

I have many books on my "to read list" and many more not on my list, but on my bookshelves in the "reading room" at my home.  Looking forward to some plentiful reading in 2016. Would love to hear what your favorites were this past year.  













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