Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 in Readables

Per usual, Abigail beat me to the punch with her 2013 Books-Read list, so if it looks like I'm being a copy-cat, fie upon that. This year was actually a rather productive year, reading-wise. I always forget to update my Goodreads page, preferring to keep a hand-written sheet of the titles I've read. There is something so much more satisfying about chalking up another one by hand over just typing in a few more words on my laptop.

Forty-Four, that page says. And forty-four good ones, I think.

Penelope Wilcock's Hawk & Dove trilogy
(I devoted an entire post and a guest-post to these books. Read them.)
Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers
(I need say very little more except that it is thoroughly underlined by now.)
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
(Read it and weep and hurt and love.)

I'm going to categorize the rest of the list. This was a good year, book-wise, and I would recommend pretty much any of the books I read as being clean if not terribly captivating. (Looking at you, Beverly Lewis ;) Of course you must use your own judgement, but as I'm not in the habit of reading Twilight or stupid Harlequin romances (and not much fluffery either) you can be pretty-well sure I'm not going to recommend trash. If you don't have time to read the whole list just pick your favorite category and have a look at the books I read there this year. :)

1066 And All That by RJ Yeatmen, W.C. Sellar
The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.
The Secret Armies by Albert Merrin
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

//Theology & Life//
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
A Sweet and Bitter Providence by John Piper
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
Every Living Thing by James Herriot

Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
P.D. James Talking About Detective Fiction

The Final Crumpet by Ron & Janet Benray
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
The Tuesday Club Murders by Agatha Christie
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy Sayers
The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie

//Historical Fiction//
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite d'Angeli
The Hawk & the Dove by Penelope Wilcock
God's Wounds by Penelope Wilcock
The Long Fall by Penelope Wilcock
The Hardest Thing to Do by Penelope Wilcock
The Hour Before Dawn by Penelope Wilcock
Remember Me by Penelope Wilcock

Songbird Under a German Moon by Tricia Goyer
The Covenant by Beverly Lewis
The Betrayal by Beverly Lewis
The Sacrifice by Beverly Lewis
Fire by Night by Lynn Austin

The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer
The Fellowship of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

//General Fiction//
Bertie Wooster Sees it Through by P.G. Wodehouse
Carry on, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
Spring Fever by P.G. Wodehouse
The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

Manalive by G.K. Chesterton
At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

As I look back on this year, the list pleases me. There are so many memories tied into the books themselves or my reading of them, and I am glad to see I have rather a balanced diet of weighty-to-fluff, though I am sad I didn't get to Dickens this year! For Christmas I was given Orthodoxy by Chesterton (at last!) and The Red House Mystery of A.A. Milne (thrilled about this one) along with a gorgeous hardbound, illustrated copy of The Hobbit by Tolkien, and I have promised to read Jill Willliamson's newest novel, Outcasts, by the end of January so my reading will continue! If I finish any others by the end of the December, I shall certainly let you know. :) What do your reading lists look like?


Abigail Hartman said...

I do a handwritten list and Goodreads, so that I can eke as much pleasure as possible out of having finished another book. Sometimes I do a review on Squeaky Clean Reviews, too, but I've been phenomenally lax about that lately...

Have you read Candle in the Darkness, also by Lynn Austin? It comes before Fire by Night. Though hardly ever a fan of Christian romances - or Christian-labeled anything - I very much enjoyed Candle in the Darkness. Admittedly, I had more issues with it when I reread it last year (or was it the year before?), but it was still a very enjoyable, sweet story. I was, however, disappointed by Fire by Night. What did you think of it?

Have you read The Red House Mystery before? It's not Winnie-the-Pooh and it's not Agatha Christie, but it's pretty darling all the same. I think that may be the best sort of mystery, because you're willing to read it again even though you know Who Dun It.

How was The Moonstone? I have it on my shelf and plan to read it eventually, but though I did very much enjoy The Woman in White, I wasn't so thoroughly thrilled by Mr. Collins (OTHER WAY, Mr. Collins...!) as to want to snatch up The Moonstone immediately.


Joy said...

Ah! Everyone is beating me to it, but ho hum! I see wonderfully productive you've been in this year's reading and I sort of give a flush of chagrin since my reading has been far less *sob*. School has a nasty way of confining the pleasure of the written word to long-car-drives and such. But if nothing else, I read GOOD books, and classics which makes me feel immensely better. I have met so many wonderful new favourites! I read Drangonwitch too this year, though! That book won me over to Stengl like a furry, and I was overly thrilled when Dad bought me Veiled Rose, Moonblood and Starflower for my BIRTHDAY (and Christmas all wrapped into one)! That, and oh - The Mind of the Maker which I am now really desperate to read.

A nice copy of The Hobbit - on that note, did you watch The Desolation of Smaug?

Rachel Heffington said...

Abigail: I have *not* read The Red House Mystery which is why I am so excited about it. I've decided to eke out the pleasure and am reading one chapter of it a night aloud to my sister...let us see how well this lasts if the mystery begins to drive at me.
As for The Moonstone, it was not terribly interesting. I appreciated the mystery aspect of it, but they spent altogether too much time investigating people for my tastes. It was the book that never ends (seemingly), but for the first mystery novel of its kind, it was well done.
Joy, I *have* seen The Desolation of Smaug and--having given over expectation that it would follow the book--took great delight in the portrayal of the dragon, Lake Town, the wood elves, and heck...even the little romance. :)

Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

I approve of any list that includes Milne and Wodehouse and Christie. :) And you got The Red House Mystery! It's so neat to be surprised with a book you wanted to read, isn't it?

I read The Woman in White a few years ago, and I think I was pretty literally glued to it all day. I can't say Collins' writing style is a particular favorite, but he sure knew how to keep up the suspense.

At The Back of the North Wind...I know that title, because the paperbacks of classic children's books that we had when I was younger had lists and synopses of other classics in the back. It's been fun to read some of those—What Katy Did, Five Children and It—years later and finally find out what they're like. And I'm rather interested in At The Back of the North Wind Now, since I've been reading a bunch of children's fantasies lately to gain inspiration for a new story idea spinning around in my head.

Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

Oh, wait, I got your post and comments mixed up. It was The Moonstone! I read that too; I liked The Woman in White a little better.