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Saturday Review of Books: March 1, 2014

“Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.” ~Hazel Rochman

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Welcome to the Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon. Here’s how it usually works. Find a book review on your blog posted sometime during the previous week. The review doesn’t have to be a formal sort of thing. You can link to your thoughts on a particular book, a few ideas inspired by reading the book, your evaluation, quotations, whatever.

Then on Friday night/Saturday, you post a link here at Semicolon in Mr. Linky to the specific post where you’ve written your book review. Don’t link to your main blog page because this kind of link makes it hard to find the book review, especially when people drop in later after you’ve added new content to your blog. In parentheses after your name, add the title of the book you’re reviewing. This addition will help people to find the reviews they’re most interested in reading.

After linking to your own reviews, you can spend as long as you want reading the reviews of other bloggers for the week and adding to your wishlist of books to read. That’s how my own TBR list has become completely unmanageable and the reason I can’t join any reading challenges. I have my own personal challenge that never ends.

The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller, sixth grade language arts and social studies teacher at Trinity Meadows Intermediate School in Keller, Texas.

Ms. Keller’s thesis can be summarized in two sentences: To make children into lifelong readers, surround them with books and let them read whatever they want to read. Treat them like readers, and they will become readers.

I’ve been following this plan in our homeschool for about twenty-five years now, with mixed results. Most of my eight children are readers. Several of them are voracious readers, the kind I am and the sort Ms. Miller describes herself as:

“I am a reader, a flashlight-under-the-covers, carries-a-book-everywhere-I-go, don’t-look-at-my-Amazon-bill reader. I choose purses based on whether I can cram a paperback into them, and my books are the first items I pack into a suitcase. I am the person whom family and friends call when they need a book recommendation or cannot remember who wrote Heidi. (It was Johanna Spyri.)”

However, even with all this reading environment and encouragement and, yes, pressure, I have one child who does not see herself as a reader (she reads, just says she hates to read) and another who has quit reading for pleasure for the last two or three years at least. Unfortunately, Ms. Miller’s book gave me very few ideas about how to re-awaken the love of reading in my son or how to instill a love for reading in my daughter. I already let them read pretty much anything they want to read. I already suggest books for them, buy books for them, borrow books for them, encourage them to read about subjects they love, and show them daily how much reading means to me by reading as much as I can, anywhere I can. Our house is full of good books.

The Book Whisperer is a very public school, teacher-ish, kind of book, but it is a good resource for teachers of reading in school settings. It did spark a couple of ideas in this homeschool mom mind of mine: I could have a time (half an hour? an hour?) each day when we participate in ye olde public school D.E.A.R (Drop Everything and READ). I could require them to read 40 books for the school year (a requirement Ms. Miller has for her sixth graders) and see what happens. I could keep giving my daughter piles of books that I think she might like until she finds one she loves. It hasn’t worked yet, but it might still click one day.

Saturday Review of Books SPECIAL EDITION: December 28, 2013

“The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.” ~Abraham Lincoln

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TODAY, SATURDAY December 28th (and all this week), is a special edition of the Saturday Review of Books especially for booklists. You can link to a list of your favorite books read in 2013, a list of all the books you read in 2013, a list of the books you plan to read in 2014, or any other end of the year or beginning of the year list of books. Whatever your list, it’s time for book lists. So link to yours, especially if I missed it and it’s not already here.

Welcome to the Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon. Here’s how it usually works. Find a book review on your blog posted sometime during the previous week. The review doesn’t have to be a formal sort of thing. You can link to your thoughts on a particular book, a few ideas inspired by reading the book, your evaluation, quotations, whatever.

Then on Friday night/Saturday, you post a link here at Semicolon in Mr. Linky to the specific post where you’ve written your book review. Don’t link to your main blog page because this kind of link makes it hard to find the book review, especially when people drop in later after you’ve added new content to your blog. In parentheses after your name, add the title of the book you’re reviewing. This addition will help people to find the reviews they’re most interested in reading.

However, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks gathering up some lists I could find and linking to them here. Scroll down to see the lists I’ve already linked to along with book advisory suggestions from yours truly. Perhaps you’ll see something in all these lists that will call to you and set your reading agenda for the next week or even year.

If I didn’t get your list linked ahead of time and if you leave your list in the linky below along with a comment, I’ll try to advise you, too, in the comments section of this post.


1. Amy @ Hope Is the Word (2013 read alouds & top picks)
2. Amy@Hope Is the Word (Books Read in 2013)
3. Carol in Oregon (Reading Year in Retrospect)
4. Becky (12 Books of the Month)
5. Alice@Supratentorial(2013 Books Read)
6. Alice@Supratentorial(2013 Read-Alouds)
7. Becky (Top Ten Georgette Heyer)
8. Amy @ Hope Is the Word (2013 top picks)
9. Barbara H. (Books read in 2013)
10. Barbara H. (Top 10 books read in 2013)
11. Becky @ Operation Actually (Books Read in 2013)
12. Carol History #4: Silent Night!
13. Jessica Snell (2013 highlights)
14. Hope (Favorite Books of 2013)
15. Lazygal (2013 Reading Roundup)
16. Harvee@ Book Dilettante
17. Glynn (Books I’m Not Recommending for Christmas)
18. Top 10 of ’13 @ Lisa notes
19. Sophie (Most Anticipated Reads of 2014)
20. Diane’s Top Ten List 2013
21. Black By Popular Demand (The Best Books I Read this Year)
22. Sarah @Delivering Grace (Books read and read alouds)
23. Alex @A Different Place (The Best Books I Read in 2013)
24. Shannon (Best Books of 2013)
25. Books to the Ceiling (Best Books of 2013)
26. Modern Mrs. Darcy (My favorite books of 2013)
27. Jamie Rubin (My favorite reads of 2013)
28. Boston Bibliophile (My Favorite Reads of 2013)
29. Mystica (Best Reads for 2013)
30. BermudaOnion (The Best of 2013)
31. Bibliophile by the Sea (Favorite Reads in 2013)
32. Books on the Nightstand (2013 Reading Review)
33. Seth@Collateral Bloggage (Reading Recap 2013)
34. Seth@Collateral Bloggage (2013 Favorites)
35. Pamela’s Picks The Best YA Books of 2013
36. dawn (Books Read 2013)
37. Welcome to My Tweendom Favorite Reads of 2013
38. Reading Rants 2013 Top Ten
39. Beckie @ ByTheBook (Best of 2013)
40. Eve Tushnet Best of 2013
41. Cindy@OrdoAmoris(Non-Fiction)
42. Cindy@OrdoAmoris(Series)
43. Sheila @ Dodging Raindrops (Best Books Read in 2013)
44. Pages Left Unturned (Top Books of 2013, as Labeled by TheTeaCat)
45. Ruth (Books I read in 2013)
46. ElizabethEsther Best Books of 2013
47. Sophie at Spark Favorite Books of 2013
48. BookTrail Top Ten
49. Tamara at Club Mom Best Books of 2013
50. The Quivering Pen (My Year of Books)
51. Annie Rim (5 Star Books of 2013)
52. Bridget of Arabia (Best Books of 2013)
53. Camels and Chocolate (What I Read 2013)
54. Mental multivitamin (the complete list)
55. Cindy@OrdoAmoris(the rest)
56. Ragdoll Books (Best Books of 2013)
57. Galavanting GIrl (Best Books I Read in 2013)
58. Sam at TIny Library (Best Books of 2013, Vol. 1)
59. Sam at Tiny Library (Best Books of 2013, Vol. 2)
60. Amanda@The Living Room (The 2013 Book List)
61. Hungry for Good Books (The Best Books of 2013)
62. Elizabeth Craft (Best Books I Read in 2013)
63. Rhapsody in Books (Top Ten-ish Books I Read in 2013)
64. Rainy Day Reading (Favorite-something books of 2013)
65. Marijo at TheGigglingGull
66. Marijo at TheGigglingGull (my reading plans for 2014)
67. georgianne (Books I Read in 2013)
68. georgianne (favorite books in 2013)
69. Pages Left Unturned (Most Anticipated Reads of 2014, as Labeled by TheTeaCat)
70. Janie 2013 Book Review
71. In This Corner (My Best Books of 2013)
72. Reader Bee (Best Books of 2013)
73. On books! (Best Books I Read in 2013)
74. Florence in Print (Best Books I Read in 2013)
75. Reading Envy (Best Books of 2013)
76. Kim (Top Ten YA Picks of 2013)
77. At A Hen’s Pace (Annotated List of 2013 Reads)
78. Lisa Spence (Favorite Reads of 2013)
79. Laura Fabiani (Best Books of 2013)
80. Maude and Mozart (2013 Best Books List)
81. Elizabeth Caulfield Felt (Best Books of 2013)
82. Better Hawaii (Best Books of 2013)
83. Carrie Gelson (Favorites of 2013)
84. In Media Res (The 5 Best Books I Read in 2013)
85. Tolle Lege (The Best Books I Read this Year)
86. Christian Chick (Best Books of 2013)
87. MeReader (Best Books of 2013)
88. Becky @ One Literature Nut (Best Books of 2013)
89. Anna @ Diary of an Eccentric (Best of 2013)
90. The Girl @ Diary of an Eccentric (Best of 2013)
91. Kara@Biblio-File (2013 Book List)
92. Staci Eastin (Most Intriguing Novels Read during 2013)
93. Barnabas (The Top Five Books I Read in 2013)
94. Teri Lynne (Best Books I Read in 2013)
95. Becky @ Becky’s Book Reviews
96. Art@Home (The Best Books of 2013)
97. Fountains of Home (The Best Books I Read in 2013)
98. Sara Dobie Bauer (Best Books of 2013)
99. Sharkbytes (Best Books Read in 2013)
100. Jamie’s Rabbits (Best Books I Read in 2013)
101. Rissi (2013′s Best in Fiction)
102. Alyssa (Top 13 Books I Read in 2013)
103. Cassie (My Favorite Reads of 2013)
104. Karen @ Candid Diversions
105. Stuck in a Book (Top 10 Books of 2013)

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Preview of 2013 Book Lists #1

SATURDAY December 28th, will be a special edition of the Saturday Review of Books especially for booklists. You can link to a list of your favorite books read in 2013, a list of all the books you read in 2013, a list of the books you plan to read in 2014, or any other end of the year or beginning of the year list of books. Whatever your list, it’s time for book lists. So come back on Saturday the 28th to link to yours, especially if I missed it and it’s not already here.

However, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks gathering up all the lists I could find and linking to them here. I’ll be posting off and on between now and the 28th a selection of end-of-the-year lists with my own comments. I’m also trying my hand at (unsolicited) book advisory by suggesting some possibilities for 2014 reading for each blogger whose list I link. I did this last year, and I don’t really know if anyone paid attention or not. If you did read a book I suggested for you last year, please leave a comment, either negative or positive, so that I’ll know how well I did. I do know that I enjoy exercising my book-recommending brain.

If I didn’t get your list linked ahead of time and if you leave your list in the linky on Saturday, December 28th, I’ll try to advise you, too, in a separate post.

Here are few early booklists I found while looking around the book blogs.

Ivory Owl Book Reviews: Best Books of 2013. I think Rhiannon would like Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield; both books are similar to the ones she has on her list, and both books are by female authors, which she she says reads almost exclusively.

Things I Can’t Say: Best and Worst Books of 2013. Shell is a fan of The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak and of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I’m recommending that she try Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, both Elizabeth Wein.

Life:merging: Best Books of 2013. Melissa, the librarian at this reader’s blog, enjoys animal stories and psychological thrillers and lots of other stuff. She should check out Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, because other books by those authors are on her “best of 2013″ list.

The Well-Read Readhead’s Best Books of 2013. I see some familiar names on Ms. Redhead’s list: Wally Lamb, Jodi Piccoult, Michael Pollan, Gillian Flynn. And I see some authors I may want to check out. Looking at Redhead’s TBR list, I highly recommend The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, Watership Down by Richard Adams, and she’s never read any Agatha Christie? What’s up with that? Do it: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

Delivering Grace: Best Books of 2013. SarahEizabeth Jones is a UK home educator, and for her I have a list of my favorite read-aloud books. For her own reading, SarahElizabeth might enjoy Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir by Carolyn Weber.

British author and blogger Tara Hanks: Best Books of 2013. I want to read Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of the Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell, one of the books on Ms. Hanks’ list of favorites. I wonder if Ms. Hanks might like to try Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior and/or something by one of Eldest Daughter’s favorite authors, Flannery O’Connor, perhaps Wise Blood or The Violent Bear It Away.

living read girl lists her favorite reads of 2013. I want to add a couple of these favorites to my TBR list, too, namely The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne and The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout. I’ll give “lady t” some book recommendations for her perusal: Crampton Hodnet or Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (because I think Pym is rather Austen-ish) Also “lady t” should check out Dorothy Dunnett’s The Lymond Chronicles, a series beginning with The Game of Kings. This series, set in the sixteenth century, is another of Eldest Daughter’s favorites. I haven’t read these yet, but I really plan to do so this year.

Be a Better Booktalker: My Favorite Children’s and Teen Books of 2013. Andrea Lipinski recommends Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington, which sounds like a middle grade novel that’s right up my alley. OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu sounds good, too. (What can I say? I read books about eccentric and mentally unbalanced people.) I’m not sure what to suggest for Andrea: maybe The Bronte Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne by Catherine Reef? Or Imperfect Spiral by Debbie Levy.

51IDqyyYbhL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Shelley Johannes: The Book Diaries. Best Children’s Picture Books of 2013. I want to read (and feast my eyes upon) all of Shelley’s picks. On the other hand, I really don’t know what to suggest to her since she’s an artist, that intimidating word, and seems to know all about the pictures. I will list a few of my favorite classic (and new) picture book illustrators, in case she hasn’t seen all of them: Peter Spier, Susan Jeffers, Roger Duviosin, Donald Crews, Trina Schart Hyman, Tasha Tudor, Lauren Child, Marcia Brown, Allen Say, Francoise Seignobosc, Robert McCloskey, Brett Helquist . . . wow, this list could go on and on. Who are your favorite children’s book illustrators?

Jared C. Wilson at Gospel Driven Church: 10 Best Books I Read This Year. I “know” Jared from way back: he’s been blogging at Gospel Driven Church and with the guys at The THinklings for a loooong time . . . almost as long as I’ve been blogging. One of his top ten for this year is a book that really impressed me, too, and made me cringe a little (and pray) every time I see Tom Cruise, namely Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and The Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright. However, for suggestions for Jared, I went back to his Top Ten Lists from previous years and saw that he read Pride and Prejudice a couple of years ago and really liked it a lot. I think it’s time for Jared to read Emma or Sense and Sensibility. I would also suggest the book we just finished studying in my Sunday School class, Echoes of Eden by Jerram Barrs.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all Happy Reading!

Suggestions for the Book Club

Camille who blogs at BookMoot was at KidLitCon in Austin last weekend, and I finally got to meet her after all these years! I found out that not only does she help facilitate and advocate for books and reading among the younger set, as a substitute librarian and all-round book recommender, but she also leads a book club for seniors at her church in which they discuss the faith aspects, in particular, of the books they read together. She told me some of the books they’ve read for the book club, which includes at least one member who is over ninety years of age.

They read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel over the summer. I applaud their persistence. I tried to read Wolf Hall when it first came out, and I don’t think I made it to the end. I found myself skimming, trying to just get through it, and I don’t remember a single thing about its portrayal of Thomas Cromwell–except that I couldn’t tell who was talking or thinking half the time, nor when it was, nor where the scene was set. Camille said the key is to listen to it (audiobook), and that the narrator changes voices to indicate

Anyway, after reading Wolf Hall, Camille and the ladies thought they needed something a little lighter, so they read The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, a book I am going to read very soon. I loved Schmidt’s Okay for Now, and I’m pretty sure I’ll fall for The Wednesday Wars, too. They’ve also read The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (another book on my TBR list), and The End of Your Life Book Club, I think. But Camille said she was working hard to figure out what the books for the spring of 2014 should be. So I jumped in and said I’d send her some recommendations.

So, here are my book club recommendations:

Nonfiction:
Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Prior. My mom, my sister , and I are reading this nonfiction literary memoir right now.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.
Unbroken by Lara Hillebrand. (If they haven’t already read it. It seems everyone has and loved it just as much as I did.)

Adult Fiction:
Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell.
Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin.
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns.
The Love Letters or The Severed Wasp by Madeleine L’Engle.
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. Russell Moore on why you should read Hannah Coulter.

Young Adult and Children’s Fiction:
The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcock.
My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay.

As I was making this list, I came across Melissa Wiley’s post at Here in the Bonny Glen about her “imaginary book club” and the books she’d like to discuss with an imaginary group of like-minded readers. And some other bloggers chimed in with their Imaginary Book Club reading lists:

Sarah at Knitting the Wind.
Sashwee at Post-haste.

If you have a list, leave a comment here or at Melissa’s blog and I’ll add your link to the list. I love book lists, and maybe Camille will find something she can use here or there or somewhere. Camille is particularly looking for books that have some “faith aspect” or for children’s and YA books that are engaging for adults, and/or for books that would be challenging for senior adults and their season of life. However, some of the ladies asked Camille for a break from books about death and dying, since they’ve read several and many of them are dealing with the same issue in their own lives. I may also choose some of the books on someone’s list for our family book club, since I’ve actually read the ones in my list and would like to suggest books for the family book club that I haven’t read already.

Saturday Review of Books: December 29, 2012

“The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.” ~Abraham Lincoln

SatReviewbutton

Welcome to the Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon. Here’s how it usually works. Find a book review on your blog posted sometime during the previous week. The review doesn’t have to be a formal sort of thing. You can link to your thoughts on a particular book, a few ideas inspired by reading the book, your evaluation, quotations, whatever.

Then on Friday night/Saturday, you post a link here at Semicolon in Mr. Linky to the specific post where you’ve written your book review. Don’t link to your main blog page because this kind of link makes it hard to find the book review, especially when people drop in later after you’ve added new content to your blog. In parentheses after your name, add the title of the book you’re reviewing. This addition will help people to find the reviews they’re most interested in reading.

TODAY, SATURDAY December 29th, is a special edition of the Saturday Review of Books especially for booklists. You can link to a list of your favorite books read in 2012, a list of all the books you read in 2012, a list of the books you plan to read in 2013, or any other end of the year or beginning of the year list of books. Whatever your list, it’s time for book lists. So link to yours, especially if I missed it and it’s not already here.

However, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks gathering up all the lists I could find and linking to them here. Scroll down to see the lists I’ve already linked to along with book advisory suggestions from yours truly. Perhaps you’ll see something in all these lists that will call to you and set your reading agenda for the next week or even year.

If I didn’t get your list linked ahead of time and if you leave your list in the linky below, I’ll try to advise you, too, in a separate post.


1. Amy @ Hope Is the Word (2012 list and top ten)
2. Amy @ Hope Is the Word (2012 read aloud list and top picks)
3. Glynn (Poetry I’m Not Recommending)
4. Glynn (Fiction I’m Not Recommending)
5. Glynn (Non-fiction I’m Not Recommending)
6. Barbara H (Books Read in 2012)
7. Becky @ Operation Actually Read Bible (Top Ten Nonfiction)
8. Becky @ Operation Actually Read Bible (Top Ten Fiction)
9. Barbara H (Top Books of 2012)
10. Shonya@Learning How Much I Don’t Know (Reading List)
11. Janet (Books Read in 2012)
12. Janet (The Discarded Image)
13. Melinda @ Wholesome Womanhood (Books from 2012)
14. SuziQoregon @ Whimpulsive (The Ridge)
15. Mental multivitamin
16. Alice@Supratentorial(2012 Book List)
17. Alice@Supratentorial(2012 Chapter Books)
18. Heather @ Lines from the Page (Books read in 2012)
19. Hope (Reading Year in Review)
20. Carol in Oregon (The 2012 List)
21. Bonnie @ Life With You
22. Seth@Collateral Bloggage (Favorite Science Books)
23. Seth@Collateral Bloggage (Favorite Reads of 2012)
24. Alex in Leeds (Contemporary Fiction)
25. Alex in Leeds (Older/Classic Fiction)
26. Nicola (2012 Books Read List: Total 343!!)
27. Lucybird’s Book Blog (Review of the year overview)
28. Lucybird’s Book Blog (Challenges round-up)
29. Lucybird’s Book Blog (Best fiction)
30. Lucybird’s Book Blog (Best non-fiction)
31. Beckie @ ByTheBook (Favorites from 2012)
32. ShaReKay (2012 Review)
33. Alex in Leeds (Non-Fiction)
34. Lazygal (Best Reads of 2012)
35. Thoughts of Joy (The Time Keeper)
36. utter randomonium (Found)
37. Shonya@Learning How Much I Don’t Know (Top Ten)
38. Annette’s Top Ten of 2012 (fiction & non-fiction)
39. Laura @ Musings (The Hare with Amber Eyes)
40. Laura @ Musings (Lady Rose and Mrs Memmary)
41. Sheila (Top 5 Books Read in 2012)
42. Seth@Collateral Bloggage (Everything I Read in 2012)
43. SmallWorld Reads (2012 in Review)
44. Joseph R. @ Zombie Parents Guide (2012 Review)
45. At A Hen’s Pace (Books Read in 2012, Annotated)
46. Thoughts of Joy (Collateral)
47. Angela (2012 Wrap Up and 2013 Plan)
48. Reading to Know (Favorite Books Read in 2012)
49. Susan @ Reading World (Circles of Time)
50. Susan @ Reading World (Crossing on the Paris)
51. Laurel Snyder (My Best Books of the Year)
52. Beth@Weavings
53. Thoughts of Joy (Best Reads of 2012)
54. Dani (Favorite Reads of 2012)
55. Becky @ Becky’s Book Reviews
56. utter randomonium (Year-end Book Round-up: 2012)
57. Melwyk @ Indextrious Reader
58. Ruth (2012 Book List)
59. dawn (2012 Books Read)
60. Norman’s Best Books of 2012
61. Eve Tushnet (2012 Best-of)
62. Anna @ Diary of an Eccentric (Best of 2012)
63. Seth@Collateral Bloggage (13 for 2013)
64. Equuschick (Best Book of Last Year)
65. Laurie C @ Bay State Reader’s Advisory
66. Sarah@Thoroughly Alive (Books of the Year)

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Preview of 2012 Book Lists #3

'A Christmas greeting (1892)' photo (c) 2012, CircaSassy - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

SATURDAY December 29th, will be a special edition of the Saturday Review of Books especially for booklists. You can link to a list of your favorite books read in 2012, a list of all the books you read in 2012, a list of the books you plan to read in 2013, or any other end of the year or beginning of the year list of books. Whatever your list, it’s time for book lists. So come back on Saturday the 29th to link to yours, especially if I missed it and it’s not already here.

However, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks gathering up all the lists I could find and linking to them here. I’ll be posting each day this week, leading up to Saturday the 29th, a selection of end-of-the-year lists with my own comments. I’m also trying my hand at (unsolicited) book advisory by suggesting some possibilities for 2013 reading for each blogger whose list I link. I did this last year, and I don’t really know if anyone paid attention or not. I do know that I enjoyed exercising my book-recommending brain.

If I didn’t get your list linked ahead of time and if you leave your list in the linky on Saturday, December 29th, I’ll try to advise you, too, in a separate post.

Book Chase: The Best Books of 2012. For Sam again just like last year, my picks are River of Doubt by Candice Millard and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. And I want to read several of his favorites from 2012, including Holy Ghost Girl, Wild, The End of Your Life Book Club, The Solitary House, and Malena.

Sandy at You’ve Gotta Read This! divides her list into three parts: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Audio. I can’t recommend audiobooks because I don’t have a very good auditory attention span unless I’m trapped in a car. But for reading, I’ll suggest one fiction and one nonfiction: One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni and For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder That Shocked Chicago by Simon Baatz.

Chrisbookarama: A Bookish Look Back at 2012.Chris read Les Miserables in 2012, and it seems to have been a favorite and also a monumental task. (I’m re-reading Les Miz now, and it is more of a task than I remember, but very rewarding.) Chris said last December that she hasn’t read any P.D. James. James’ mysteries would be a welcome contrast to Les Miserables, and Chris should try one, perhaps starting with the first one Cover her Face. For a Daphne Du Maurier fan, Anna’s Book by Barbara Vine might be a good fit.

Bookhooked Blog has several lists also: Best Fantasy and Speculative Fiction, Best Audiobooks, Best Adult Nonfiction, Best Adult Fiction, Best Faith-Related Literature. Julie makes me want to read almost every book on her multiple lists, and it easy to give her a couple of recommendations based on her choices: Walking from East to West by Ravi Zacharias and Have You Found Her by Janice Erlbaum, a memoir about a mentally ill teenager and the volunteer who tries to help her become stable and healthy.

Amanda at Dead White Guys, Etc. has a list of the finalists for the Morning News Tournament of Books, and she says she’s going to read every book on the list except the ONE I’ve already read (John Green’s The Fault in our Stars). Oh, well, looking at the list there’s at least one I would skip myself if I were going to read them all, Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. I tried Wolf Hall, and I hated it. Amanda’s going to be busy, so I won’t suggest any more reading for her. But I’ve heard really good things about at least one of the books on the list, HHhH by Laurent Binet.

The Book Lady’s 10 Best Books of 2012. Rebecca Schinsky reads “literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and some memoirs.” At the risk of aggravating Amanda (see above), but since Rebecca says she only read one YA novel this past year, I’ll suggest two YA novels from 2012: The Fault in our Stars by John Green and the one I just finished, Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow.

Justin Buzzard: Best Books of 2012. Mr. BUzzard is a pastor and an author, and his reading reflects those callings. I wonder, has he read A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins, an old favorite of mine, and Culture Making by Andy Crouch, a new favorite?

Readerbuzz: Best of 2012. Deb Nance, as one commenter said, reads a lot of books. And she reminisces about a lot of good reading from 2012. For Deb I suggest two books from my Cybils reading of Middle Grade Science Fiction and Fantasy: Deadly Pink by Vivian Vande Velde and The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde.

YA Librarian Tales: Sarah’s Favorite Books of 2012. For Sarah I’ll suggest The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman and Where I Belong by Gillian Cross.

Mental Multivitamin: Books Read in 2012. Madame MM-V, my blogging twin since we began blogging about the same time about nine years ago, read 136 works of literature in 2012. I’ll try to pick something that Ms. MM-V hasn’t already read, thought about and learned from to commend to her: perhaps a play, Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello, for fiction, The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, and for nonfiction, The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang and something by or about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, either his Cost of Discipleship or Eric Metaxis’ biography of Bonhoeffer.

That’s all for today. Come back tomorrow and the rest of the week for more links to book lists and more reader’s advisory from Semicolon.

Preview of 2012 Booklists #2

'Feliz Navidad' photo (c) 2010, Clyde Robinson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

SATURDAY December 29th, will be a special edition of the Saturday Review of Books especially for booklists. You can link to a list of your favorite books read in 2012, a list of all the books you read in 2012, a list of the books you plan to read in 2013, or any other end of the year or beginning of the year list of books. Whatever your list, it’s time for book lists. So come back on Saturday the 29th to link to yours, especially if I missed it and it’s not already here.

However, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks gathering up all the lists I could find and linking to them here. I’ll be posting each day this week and next, leading up to Saturday the 29th, a selection of end-of-the-year lists with my own comments. I’m also trying my hand at (unsolicited) book advisory by suggesting some possibilities for 2013 reading for each blogger whose list I link. I did this last year, and I don’t really know if anyone paid attention or not. I do know that I enjoyed exercising my book-recommending brain.

If I didn’t get your list linked ahead of time and if you leave your list in the linky on Saturday, December 29th, I’ll try to advise you, too, in a separate post.

Parchment and Pen Blog: Sam Storms’ Best Books of 2012. Mr. Storms is a pastor, and his list consists of mostly nonfiction in the areas of theology, Christian living, and biography and memoir. Mr. Storms might like to choose a books or two from this list that I made earlier this year, History and Heroes: 55 Recommended Books of Biography, Autobiography, Memoir,and History.

12 Books to Read in 2013. Mr. R.J. Moeller suggests 12 of his favorite books, mostly classics, for your reading enjoyment in 2013. I’m with him one almost all of his suggestions from Dostoyevsky to Moby Dick, with the exception of Ayn Rand. I would suggest that if he hasn’t already read it, he would like Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset, a chunky classic like Moby Dick well worth the time and energy it absorbs in the reading.

Book Addiction: Faves from 2012, Nonfiction. Audiobooks. Adult fiction. YA Fiction. Heather should try out Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (YA) and The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon.

CarrieK at Books and Movies does multiple end-of-the-year lists, too: Favorite crime fiction of 2012, Favorite contemporary fiction of 2012, Favorite historical fiction of 2012, Favorite Speculative Fiction of 2012, Favorite Audiobooks of 2012. I’m cheating on Carrie’s recommendations, voting and recommending at the same time in conjunction with her “I’ve Always Meant to Read the Book” Challenge. I’ll just say that I intend to read Bleak House this year, and 1984 by George Orwell and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro are both must-reads that I have enjoyed in the past. Well, 1984 is not so much enjoyable as thought-provoking and enlightening, but anyway, read both.

Tweendom’s Top Twelve of Twenty Twelve. Stacy Dillon, who has her own Tweendom, says it has been a phenomenal year for books. I’m going to suggest that she check out a couple of other books from 2012 that I read for my Cybils judging responsibilities: Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill and Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas are both stellar entries in the middle grade fantasy genre.

The other Carrie at Reading to Know has a list of Favorite Books Read in 2012. She also reminds me that I still need to read Bleak House. Last year I suggested for Carrie, Between Heaven and Hell by Peter Kreeft because I know she’s a C.S. Lewis fan. It’s an imaginary dialog between John F. Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, and Lewis, three famous men with very differing philosophies of life who died on the same day. I also think Carrie would like My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay, a book I very much appreciated when I read it in 2010. I still think she would enjoy those two, plus I’ll give her another tip: Edith Schaeffer’s The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

Devourer of Books lists 26 favorites out of 187 books reviewed in 2012. I’ve not read a single one of her favorites, which gives me a lot of recommendations to peruse but not much information to go on for reader’s advisory. I’m going to suggest a biography I enjoyed this year, Catherine the Great by Robert Massie and for fiction the wonderful Christy by Catherine Marshall.

Ben Myers at Faith and Theology: Best Books of 2012. Mr. Myers says he’s spent most of the year reading Augustine and Shakespeare; I wonder if he’s read A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 by James Shapiro? If not, he might enjoy the insights there. Also, fyi, my favorite Shakepeare play is As You Like It or maybe Much Ado About Nothing.

The Ink Slinger’s 2012 Year in Review: Nonfiction. Fiction. Oh, this young man has some good reading choices on his list: Dostoyevsky, Marilynne Robinson, George Orwell and several others. I would suggest that now that he’s read Crime and Punishment, he should also read The Brothers Karamazov. I also think he’d want to read the companion/sequel to Gilead, Home by Marilynne Robinson. For nonfiction, perhaps The Ink Slinger would like a book I just finished, Gray Matter by David Levy and Joel Kilpatrick.

Books in the City: Top Ten Books of 2012. Colleen reads her books in New York City, and I haven’t read any of her favorites from this year, although I did enjoy an almost-ran, Little Bee by Chris Cleave. Since Colleen likes books set in Ireland, I commend to her Stephen Lawhead’s Patrick, Son of Ireland and How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill.

That’s ten (or more) lists for today. Come back tomorrow for more, and don’t forget to to add your year-end booklist to the Saturday Review of Books on December 29th.

Preview of 2012 Book Lists #1

SATURDAY December 29th, will be a special edition of the Saturday Review of Books especially for booklists. You can link to a list of your favorite books read in 2012, a list of all the books you read in 2012, a list of the books you plan to read in 2013, or any other end of the year or beginning of the year list of books. Whatever your list, it’s time for book lists. So come back on Saturday the 29th to link to yours, if I missed it and it’s not already here.

However I’ve spent the past couple of weeks gathering up all the lists I could find and linking to them here. I’ll be posting each day this week and next, leading up to Saturday the 29th, a selection of end-of-the-year lists with my own comments. I’m also trying my hand at (unsolicited) book advisory by suggesting some possibilities for 2013 reading for each blogger whose list I link. I did this last year, and I don’t really know if anyone paid attention or not. I do know that I enjoyed exercising my book-recommending brain.

If I didn’t get your list linked ahead of time and if you leave your list in the linky on Saturday, December 29th, I’ll try to advise you, too, in a separate post.

Tim Challies: My Top Books of 2012. Mr. Challies likes biographies, history, and Christian practical theology. I’m going to suggest that he read a couple of my favorite narrative histories: Men to Match My Mountains by Irving Stone and, the book I suggested last year to Mr. Challies, The Shooting Salvationist (aka Apparent Danger) by David Stokes.

Largehearted Boy’s Favorite Novels of 2012. I’m sort of groping for recommendations here because I haven’t read a single one of largehearted boy’s favorites of 2012. However, he does seem to like literary fiction set in exotic or foreign parts. So I’m suggesting Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski.
Boy’s favorite non-fiction of 2012. And for nonfiction he should really read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (as should everyone else) and perhaps Walking from East to West by Ravi Zacharias.

Jackie at Farm Lane Books is looking forward to the books of 2013. She also has a continuing-to-be-updated list of her best books of 2012. I think Jackie would like a couple of my 2012 reads if she hasn’t read them already: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and perhaps The Summer of Katya by Trevanian.

Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner has a whole list of survey questions (and answers) for book bloggers to reminisce about their reading year. And there’s a linky so that you can see other people’s survey answers, too. Jamie is quite fond of YA dystopian and fantasy fiction, so I’m recommending Deadly Pink by Vivian Vande Velde and Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.

Tony Reinke, author of Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books, shares a list of the Top 12 Books of 2012 at John Piper’s Desiring God blog. Several of these sound really good, including Jared Wilson’s Gospel Deeps and Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything by Steve DeWitt. I hesitate to recommend anything to such a well-read author, but fools rush in. Perhaps Mr. Reinke would benefit from and enjoy a couple of books that have helped me this year: Equipped to Love by Norm Wakefield, an excellent teaching book on the contrast between idolatry and real love, and Phil Vischer’s memoir (which contains some choice nuggets of spiritual truth), Me, Myself, and Bob.

LitLove at Tales from the Reading Room has a Best Books of 2012 list that includes Willa Cather, Ann Patchett, Kate Summerscale, and Lianne Moriarity, among others. She might like the mystery I just finished, A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd, or as I suggested last year, something by Edna Ferber or Wendell Berry.

Sophisticated Dorkiness: My Picks in Book Riot’s Best Books of 2012. Kim was only allowed to pick two favorites in this exercise, and they’re both books that I need to get my hands on: Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Fooling Houdini by Alex Stone. Kim might like River of Doubt by Candace Millard; it’s not about Taft, but rather about an adventure in South America that Taft’s predecessor, Teddy Roosevelt went on. Kim also likes re-imagined fairy tales and precocious kids, so maybe The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin would be up her alley.

G Reads: My 2012 End of the Year Book Survey. Ginger’s Favorite New-to_me Authors of 2012. Ginger’s list/survey is a part of Perpetual Page Turner’s round-up of end of the year books and blogging surveys. If you want to see more survey-type lists, Jamie has a linky there. Ginger reads a lot of YA, and one of her newly discovered authors is Sara Zarr, so I’m recommending Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr and Where I Belong by Gillian Cross.

Ready When You Are C.B.: Favorite Reads of 2012, the Longlist. Because of Mr. James’ list and several others, I’m going to have to read HHhH by Laurent Binet, and I think something, probably Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. I’m going to go out on a limb and recommend The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky to Mr. James, based more on his favorites from 2009. That one ought to keep him busy for a while.

Book Diary: My Best Books of 2012. I saw several books on this list that I want to check out, too: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, Brain on Fire by Susanah Cahalan, and In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. I think Kathy might like The Mascot by Mark Kurzem (nonfiction) and My Enemy’s Cradle by Sara Young (Fiction, both set during World War II.

O.K. that’s ten (or more) lists for today. Come back tomorrow for more, and don’t forget to to add your year-end booklist to the Saturday Review of Books on December 29th.

Reading Questions

First of all, I have to quote the lovely and erudite Ms. Mental Multivitamin:

“In a perfect world, it is what I do all day long: Read. Talk about what I’m reading, what others are reading. Read about what I’m reading, what others are reading. Write, often about reading. Read some more. Sleep.”

1. What book (a classic?) do you hate? Oh, sad to say, I have several modern, twentieth century “classics” that I couldn’t stomach: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I read about a third of each of these novels, enough to be able to say I gave it a real chance.
Then, there are those two famous, acclaimed AMerican authors whose entire body of work I don’t much care for: John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway. I am intelligent enough to understand the attraction and the accolades; I just don’t share the love for either author. “Hate” may be a little too strong, but I wouldn’t give much more than a nickel for a novel by either man unless I was desperate for reading material. (I have been desperate before, and I have read my share of Steinbeck and Hemingway. I don’t have time for any more.)

2. To what extent do you judge people by what they read?
If any of the above are your favorites, I don’t judge you at all. I just figure you are privy to some information or understanding that I am not. If anything, I tend to judge myself lacking for not seeing what others see in various popular and acclaimed books.

3. What television series would you recommend as the literariest?
Literariest as in most thought-provoking: LOST or maybe John Adams (miniseries) or Pride and Prejudice (yes, the one with Colin Firth, of course).

4. Describe your ideal home library.
Bookcases line the walls from floor to ceiling. Couches and comfy chairs are in the middle. There’s at least one window with a window seat. I’ve always wanted a window seat. That’s about it.
I already have the floor to ceiling books. Our furnishings fall into the shabby-but-comfortable category. But I have no window seat.

5. Books or sex?
Really? Render unto Caesar. Each in its own place in its own time.

6. How do you decide what to read next?
I sort of wander around my house and look at the shelves, and then I look in my library basket. Then, I might check my Kindle to see what I have there that’s unread. And I just pick something.

7. How much do you talk about books in real life (outside of the blogging community)?
I talk about books a lot. Sometimes too much. I recommend books to people frequently. I give books to people. I try not to be obnoxious, but I probably am.