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Yes, I’m a bit behind here. The year-end wrap up should have been wrapped up, oh, about 30 days ago, right?
Well, I missed posting my favorite books last month, and I’m not going to let the fact it’s February stop me. I love reading so much and if you do too, please let me know what’s on your nightstand so I can check it out. Sure, I already have an overflowing to-read list, but once you hit 2,000 on your Goodreads account, what’s one more?
In 2017, I made my way through 56 titles. Some were short ebooks while others could double as doorstops (hello Middlemarch!). Of them, here are the ones that garnered five stars from me:
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Oh, how this book tugs at the heartstrings. I read my two youngest kids this tale of a toy china rabbit who is unceremoniously (and literally) tossed from his life of privilege and sent on a journey that helps him understand the true meaning of love and devotion. I read this one once before and don’t remember being as moved as I was this time. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right stage of life to truly appreciate it before.
This is the last of the Emily of New Moon series by L.M. Montgomery, who is better known for Anne of Green Gables. I loved all three books in this trilogy although I think the second (Emily Climbs) might be my favorite. One reason I think I love these older books so much is that I long for a world in which we are not tied to our phones and computers, and these stories provide a glimpse at that magical place.
Family Feasts for $75 a Week
This was another re-read for me. It’s an older book, but the numbers in it aren’t as out of date as you might expect. I love this one for the practical suggestions in the early chapters as well as the affordable meals in the later chapters. Most everything I’ve made from this book has been well-received.
And Then There Were None
It seems like I must have read some Agatha Christie at some point in my life. I know I’ve certainly seen enough Miss Marple and Poirot on PBS. However, once I picked up this book, I realized I’d never read one of her books – at least, not that I can remember. Now that I’ve finished this one, I can see why she is the queen of mystery. And Then There Were None had an engaging plot that left me guessing right up to the very end.
The Memoir Project
Even if you aren’t a writer, this book is highly readable and engaging. I picked it up because at some point, I would like to write about death and grieving and when I do, I’d like to do it right.
The Secret Keeper
This book has been languishing on my to-read list for ages. I took it out from the library a few times in the past but was always put off by its rather boring cover. I finally forced myself to read it, and it was NOTHING like I anticipated. Some of the writing seemed a bit over-the-top at first, but it turned into a tightly woven story with a surprise twist at the end that came right out of left field for me.
Everything I Never Told You
Truly, this book made me want to be a better parent more than any non-fiction parenting book I’ve read. It’s a novel about parents who are wrapped up in their own experiences and expectations to the detriment of their kids. Please, let me never be them.
We round out my five-star books with another cookbook. This one is pure recipes with little introductory text. I loved the big photos and the accessible ingredients. The two meals I made were popular with the family too. However, be wary of small portion sizes here that might not satisfy any growing teens in your house.
I’m a bit stingy with my stars, and there were some really good four-star books worth mentioning as well. Overall, I gave 20 books four stars. Here are the ones I think are most notable.
Miracles on Maple Hill – Another chapter book I read to the kids. It’s a really sweet story of a simpler life.
A Moveable Feast – This was my first time reading Hemingway, and I loved getting a peek into the expat community in Paris as well as a look at how writers worked prior to the age of computers.
The Time in Between – Set in the time of the Spanish Civil War, this translated book about a seamstress working (and spying) in Morocco was captivating.
Middlemarch – There is no book I am more proud of reading in 2017 than Middlemarch. It’s the first Victorian novel I’ve read and at 912 pages, it wasn’t easy. However, it was worth it.
What is the best book you read last year and what are you reading now?