It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I love it when we share with one another what books we have finished. Here are my reads for the year, starting with my top picks. If you wrote a list of the books you read this year, please feel free to link to it in the comments below. (My list doesn’t include my Bible reading, CM’s 6 volumes, or the books I read in our school. ) Surely we will then have many ideas for some serious mother culture in the new year!
1. The Lighted Heart by Elizabeth Yates
Beloved author Elizabeth Yates writes the true story of her marriage to Bill and their exciting life. Bill went blind and everything changed – for the better! I thought this was a remarkable account of how a seeming tragedy opened up a full and beautiful life for both of them.
2. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and Murder of a President by Candice Millard
This book is a fascinating account of the life and assassination of my favorite president, James A. Garfield. (Doesn’t everyone have a favorite president?) Millard’s recounting of the brokered convention where Garfield is nominated was surprisingly one of the most suspenseful things I have read in a while. Real life usually is.
3.Silence by Shusaku Endo
This book changed me. It made me examine my faith and look at life differently. I am thankful that my husband read it, too, so that I could bounce my thoughts off of him as I read. There were times that I just had to put it down as it was too intense. I don’t know that I will see the movie as I am still reeling from the reading. Would make a great book discussion in Sunday Schools, quite frankly. Website for digging deeper and discussion!
4. Silence and Beauty by Makoto Fujimura
Perfect follow-up to Silence. Makoto takes us into Japan and helps us make some sense of the culture and traditions that were part of Silence and still relevant today. And I really did wonder why Anne of Green Gables was crazy-popular with the Japanese. Now I know. The first third of the book was a little slow but it picked up after that.
5. The Sacred Journey by Frederick Buechner
Loved this memoir. Especially the part about how the Wizard of Oz drew him to Christ. Really. I’ve been on a Buechner binge ever since reading this.
6. A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918 by Joseph Loconte
The title pretty much sums up what this book was about, but I loved it because it gave me the context and zeitgeist of when Charlotte Mason lived and wrote. The way she writes about heroism is challenging to me as our culture has changed so much. This book helped me understand this more clearly.
Here is the full list:
Destiny of the Republic by Millard
Charlotte Mason: Hidden Heritage and Educational Influence by Coombs
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt
River of Doubt by Millard
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Parables of the Cross by Lilias Trotter
Sabbath – Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest by Wayne Muller
Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright
A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich
Mrs. Appleyard and I by Louise Andrews Kent
Silence by Shusaku Endo
Pioneer Girl – The Annotated Autobiography editor Pamela Smith Hill
Silence and Beauty by Makoto Fujimura
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
The Daughter of Time by Joesphine Tey
The Lighted Heart by Elizabeth Yates
The Sacred Journey by Frederick Buechner
A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Loconte
Gold Cord – The Story of a Fellowship by Amy Carmichael
You Are What You Love – The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K.A. Smith
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Kelly
The Magnolia Story by Gaines