Saturday, January 3, 2015

Book Review 2014

I love my book group and it has been going for 5 1/2 years now. Not too shabby in my estimation. My book group keeps me reading and I figure I am guaranteed to get 12 books read in a year.

Well...when we moved, I found an additional book club in our neighborhood, and being a sucker for that type of thing, I joined. That means with the two groups, I should be guaranteed 24 books read in a year.

It definitely keeps me hopping. Luckily there is some repeat books, and if I have ever read a book before, I happily skip it instead of reading it again. (There will be time to reread things someday...I hope.)

I had a great year of reading and managed 31 books. That is the most I have read in a given year since I started recording my reading in 2007. Go me! Let's look at all these books, in no particular order.

Wow, that is a lot of books. I did see that there were still a few children's books. I like to read some for Battle of the Books, but I count them. (Personally, I often like the children's books most of all.)

Now to pick the top five. Not surprisingly, this gets harder when there are more to chose from. I did my best.


5. Room by Emma Donoghue: This book was hard to read, and frankly scary. It is not often that I have to put down a book because I am so worried about what might happen next. The story is about a woman who is abducted and kept in a room for years. The story is told from the point of view of Jack, her son, who was born into this world of one room. Most frightening is the fact that this story was inspired by true events. Definitely an interesting read, but possibly not for everyone.

4. The White Mountains by John Christopher: I read this series when I was a kid and really enjoyed them, so it was fun to read these to the kids this summer. We read them during long car rides and Tyler and I would switch off and on. I feel bad leaving him to read the ending of book two without me. (There were many tears from the kids.) They are science fiction for sure, but they attest to the never-ending drive of man to obtain freedom at all costs.

3. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Carey: Loved this book! It is a true story told by the children of a family with 12 kids. Please forget everything you have seen in the 2003 movie version with Steve Martin. That show bears no resemblance to the book unless you count that both stories included 12 kids. That is where the similarities end. The book is hilarious and is worth reading and even the 1950 version of the movie is quite funny and included many of the stories from the book. It is laugh out loud funny and anyone with a few kids can find some useful tips.

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: There is a reason this book is a classic. I'm sure I enjoyed it more for having a household of girls myself, but I think anyone could love the characters in this book. What I love best is how they bring out the best characteristics of womanhood. The girls are continually molding themselves to be better people. There are good morals and touching stories throughout. It is a bit long, but worth the time.

1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: I don't know if I have ever admired a real-life character as much as Louis Zamperini. The true story follows his life from childhood, through an Olympic hopeful career, into the trenches of WWII. The title is fitting as Louis shows an unbreakable spirit throughout his life. This book was also one where I had to put it down from anxiety at certain points. It is hard to read at parts, but an amazing story that ends with a faith that can change hearts and lives. Definitely my favorite for the year. I hear the movie isn't bad, but doesn't follow the story to completion, leaving out many life lessons learned.

Other items:
*I am really enjoying the culinary mysteries, although I will admit that the main character gets slightly annoying at times.

*If you have any questions about any of these books, please let me know. I recommend many of them, but not all.

*I DO NOT recommend Ghost Girl. I thought it entirely too disturbing. It is a true story as well, but there is a point where I appreciate my naivete. This book crossed the line.

*Did you have a favorite book you read last year? I would love to know...


meganmushrat said...

I was amazed at how many of those books I have read - and how many I had never heard of before. I will definitely have to try Unbroken. I read another book by the author of "Ghost Child" and it was pretty disturbing too. My favorite book of the year was "Schooled" by Gordon Korman. You ought to choose it for one of your book clubs. I read it to Dad and he loved it too.

Scott and Svetlana said...

You go girl-hot-lookin-mama! I can't imagine reading that many books, oy, hold on, I did in last 2 years but not for enjoyment. I can say I've read all the Harry Potter books and Hunger Games last year. Much better than movies :) but everybody knows that.