Did anyone else read this article when it came out? I was well into my second year of reading and writing reviews on Goodreads, when my husband sent it to me (and yes, we always send each other news articles. It’s cute, ok?)
I nodded and nodded and nodded my head through it. Somewhere along the way of growing up, I too, had forgotten how to truly read. I had forgotten that there is an otherworldly joy of becoming absorbed in a delicious book that tucks you up inside and makes you want to laugh and cry. Life got busy and honestly, mindlessly watching Netflix is tons easier. But last year, I stumbled back into books. I started off with the always wonderful, Guide to Childbirth, by Ina Gaskin. Then I rediscovered my Goodreads account, set a goal of 25 books, that then become 50, and then 75. I finished the year with Come Let us Adore Him, a book on Advent. This year, I started out with the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, because I’m hopelessly behind on reading what’s popular, but I’ve truly found some fantastic books this year. Here’s what I’ve enjoyed the best….
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - It’s popular for all the right reasons and the book is FAR better than the movie, although I do have some mild historical quibbles about it. ;)
Anne of Green Gables series - Yes, I basically memorized these books as a child. I can still quote the movie and probably tell you what part of the soundtrack is playing as well. But nothing, NOTHING can you prepare you for rereading these books as an adult if you loved them as a child. Anne’s House of Dreams will forever be one of my favorites. I cried rereading the portion where she loses Joy, and I cried again at the end when she leaves her little House of Dreams. Perhaps, it’s because I can relate to where Anne was in that book and it touched a tender nerve, but it was one of the best books I’ve read this year.
The Blue Castle - Also, LM Montgomery, but such a fantastic book! Always worth a solid reread. It’s one of her lesser known novels, but about a girl who swaps her tediously mundane life for one of love and adventure. There are several unexpected twists, and overall, it’s a lovely feel-good story.
The Lost Words - It’s technically a kids book (but a massive one) but it’s beautiful. And the story behind it is even better. My toddler loves reading it with me and we all love looking at the beautiful pictures! Best Mention - Make Way for McCloskey - a collection of all of Robert McCloskey’s 7 stories and a bit of a bio on the man as well. My Mother-in-Law who knows my love of all books relating to New England got it for my daughter and I cherish it as all well. We’ve had great fun reading and rereading it!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - I waited until I found this book for £1 in a charity shop. #noshame. It was surprisingly good and touching. At points it seemed over the top, but the common theme of kindness was a wonderful reminder.
Becoming Michelle Obama - This book blew me away. I’m not sure if I had low expectations for it or what, but after reading it, I have the highest respect for Mrs. Obama and honestly for those women who are brave enough to stand by their husbands as First Lady. She showed tremendous growth through the book, and really nailed home to me the importance of forgiveness.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat - OK, I may be the last person on earth to have watched Samir Nosrat’s show on Netflix, but her book has single-handly revolutionized by cooking. Read it. Then eat. Maybe go buy a bunch of really good salt first, though.
It wasn’t my intention to name only women authors, but I have been more intentional about reading more books by women this year. Next up on my list is Wolf Hall, finishing the Harry Potter series and a The Weaker Vessel (a history of English women in the 17th century. Fascinating!), and whatever else wanders across my path.
Setting time aside to binge read, mostly in the evenings has probably been life changing for me. I love the example it sets to my kids, and I love becoming absorbed in a story. Books make so much more sense when read in one sitting or read in large clumps of time. I have to be careful though, because if I start reading too early in the day, I kinda slack off doing anything else profitable and then end up throwing some food to the kids and calling it good because ohmygosh I have to finish this book!
What good books have you read this year? (PS, come follow me over on Goodreads! I love to see what other people are reading and get book recommendations!)