Thursday, January 2, 2014

Good Reads from 2013

When I stopped keeping up with this blog, the one thing I heard from several of you was, "At least update the book list!"  So I did and I'm coming back this year with a few faves and raves.  Not quite as much detail as years past, but I hope it helps you get a sense of some good books.

I read a lot less this year than usual--moving to a new city and starting a new business will do that to a girl.  And I didn't read any bad books this year, not because I chose so well but because when I got bored, I just quit reading instead of reading to the bitter end, thinking "It's got to get better."  Ain't got no time for that.

So here are a few of the best:

In the fiction category, everything I read was worth reading and I recommend them all.

Silence by Shusaku Endo had been on my list for a long time and when Mowgli challenged me to read some Asian writers, I accepted the challenge.  Deeply profound, this book explores the silence of God in the face of suffering in subtle and surprising ways.  Because it is translated from the Japanese, it's not an easy read and doesn't have the feel of western fiction but I'm so glad I read it.  It's the kind of book that stays with you and visits you in your dreams.

I didn't read much fiction this year because it took me awhile to get a library card and I don't usually buy fiction.  These books were all really good reads with the right balance of sad and inspiring and characters you care about and want to keep up with:

  • The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
What was really fun was rereading (for at least the tenth time) the Harmony series by Philip Gulley:

If you've lived the church life like I have, these books (all 9 or 10 of them) are hilarious and touching.  They follow the life of a Quaker pastor in a small town and really capture the blessing, the grace and the discouragement of  ministry life but with a very, very light touch.  Each character is someone I know in real life and they have always made me laugh out loud, even though I know them by heart.  I think I enjoyed rereading them so much because we left the pastorate this year and because this was such a stressful year from beginning to end and because reading them felt like sinking into a grandmother's hug.  They're not great literature but they are dear old friends and I really needed them this year.  Also, I read them by the pool--which is literally NEXT DOOR to my new house--and that didn't hurt.

Tomorrow:  some good nonfiction reads

1 comment:

Lisa Spence said...

You're the second to recommend The Unlikely Pilgrimmage of Harold Fry. I will definitely have to check it out! I also read And The Mountains Echoed this year. I liked it but not as well as A Thousand Splendid Suns. I too am dependent on library availability; I rarely spend money on fiction!