Friday, January 6, 2012

Booklist 2011

Well, this is not a short list.  But there are some good things on here.
Books appear in the order they were read.
 And so without further ado: Here we go...

The Alchemist ~ Paul Coelho
This was a nice little story about one's purpose in life, and the power of the mind and the divine etc., etc. I can see why it's popular.  I should re-read it, perhaps, to really remember.

Gift from the Sea ~ Anne Morrow Lindburg
Anne has some lovely thoughts and ideas.  But for me as a mother of many small children I thought at times that her suggestions of solitude and it's fruits were nice and pipe-dreamy.  Maybe I'm just too lazy to pursue the deliberate thoughtful and meditative life.  But frankly at the moment it seems utterly impossible.  Maybe I just don't have enough friends with money who will offer me time at their beach houses to write profound thoughts.  

The Mysterious Benedict Society ~ Trenton Lee Stewart
Good fun.  

The Beyonders ~ Brandon Mull
Brandon creates an interesting world with a good plot, and fun characters.  A very different feel from his Fablehaven series; for a little older age group.

Book of 1000 Days ~ Shannon Hale
This is my favorite Shannon Hale book so far.  I have enjoyed her other books, but this story was well-crafted and well-told.  Very nicely done.

Peter& the Starcatchers / & the Shadowthieves / & the Secret of Rundoon / & the Sword of Mercy 
~ Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
All books were thoroughly enjoyable.  Lots of nice Dave Barry moments.  Lots of nice moments in general.  

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand ~ Helen Simonson
This was a rather charming book, exploring the idea of traditions we carry with us, what is valid and what is not.  It worked until the end, when Ms. Simonson falls into the trap of our current age -- over-exhorting for a new morality, in a scene that struck me as disingenuous due to the unnecessary ferocity of making her point.  I don't agree with her stance, but she can write as she writes; and disagree with her morals or not, I think she could have done a better job.

The Help ~ Kathryn Stockett
I haven't seen the movie, but I did enjoy this book.  The author does a nice job of pulling the reader into the time and place of the story.

Because of Winn-Dixie ~ Kate DiCamillo
Well, Kate is one of my favorite authors, hands down.  I want to be like her when I grow up.  This was a great little read.

Outliers ~ Malcolm Gladwell
Interesting as Mr. Gladwell always is.

Mountains Beyond Mountains ~ Tracey Kidder
Fascinating true story about a doctor who spends his life helping the poor, especially in Haiti.  Really great read.

Tuck Everlasting ~ Natalie Babbitt
A simple, sweet book from my childhood, but I don't remember if I read it, or just heard about it.  Like Kate DiCamillo, Natalie Babbitt tells a wonderful story with out flourishes or blots.  I really enjoyed this.

In the Company of Others ~ Jan Karon
The first of many Jan Karon novels I read  this year.  I needed the easy story, and enjoyed the blatant faith.  She is a good writer and I'm glad I picked this up at a bookstore going out of business.

The 39 Clues - Maze of Bones ~ Rick Riordan
Decent.  My daughter loves these books.  Not literature, but fun story.

Welcome to Holly Springs ~ Jan Karon
{see review above review for Ms. Karon's books}

At Home in Mitford - A Light in the Window - These High Green Hills - Out to Canaan - A New Song - A Common Life - In This Mountain - Shepherd's Abiding - Light from Heaven
~ Jan Karon
These books made me want to move to North Carolina.  (Do you think people in Mitford would welcome a Mormon in their midst? :)  (Sorry, it's the election.  It's getting to me.)

Jacob T. Marley ~ R. William Bennett
I generally avoid books that piggyback on the works of other authors, but Mr. Bennett did a nice job telling a story that runs parallel to A Christmas Carol.  I don't think Charles Dickens would mind.

Beyonders - Seeds of Rebellion ~ Brandon Mull
You can't actually read this one yet, because we got an advanced reader's copy,  ha ha!  It was good to get back into Lyrian and see what what going on.  The book has been passed around from my daughter to my husband to me.  With everyone reading when they could steal the book from someone else. You can read all about it in March 2012.  Brandon progresses the story nicely, and I am anxious to see what the final book brings.  

Death Comes to Pemberly ~ P.D. James
Like I said, I'm not  generally a fan of authors who piggyback, but P.D. James is a story teller in her own right.  I found this book equal parts amusing and annoying.  I guess my feeling is that I wouldn't tell you not to read it.  But read the forward apology from James to Jane Austen; I agree with the imagined sentiments of Jane, herself.


  1. If you had to pick a favorite could you? Or would you have to split them into categories?

  2. Well I've read five (or was it 4?) on your list. I saw the movie, Tuck Everlasting, so that doesn't quite count. I suppose I should post a list. I should I should I should . . .

  3. Quite a list! I'm feeling bibliodeprived!

  4. Me too! However are you able to get all that reading done. Makes me proud! (And a little chagrined...and somewhat jealous!)