the year in books


This was a year of memoirs and non-fiction for me.

A surprise: I love to lose myself in a good novel.

Books have long been a constant in my life, not only for distraction and entertainment but enlightenment.  A particular book at a particular time has many, many times served as a teacher when I needed to be taught, a comedian when I needed to laugh, or a soft arm of encouragement when I needed a boost out of sinking sands.

The memoirs that so gripped me this year were:

Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. my review

David Platt's Radical my review

Nicole Lea Helget's A Summer of Ordinary Ways my review

Seven by Jen Hatmaker my review


K.P. Yohannan's Revolution in World Missions, which for some reason I never wrote a goodreads review on but you can read about it here .


I dabbled in several reference books:

The Joy of Hobby Farming by Michael and Audrey Levatino

The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith

The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby {a Christmas present for Mr.MS}


The 2012 Christian Writer's Market Guide.


Historical Fiction that really impressed me, had me lost in my head for days in the jungles of Africa, in WWII in the French countryside, in woman's prisons during the American civil war, the cold frontier of Canada, of the American midwest, and in the 17th Century Dutch art world were as follows:

The Posion Wood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver my review

Five Quarters of an Orange by Joanne Harris  my review

Enemy Woman by Paulette Jiles my review

Mrs.Mike by Benidict and Nancy Freedman my review

The Life of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber my review {and I see that technically I read this at the end of 2011 but it merits a mention any way}


 Girl with a Pear Earring by Tracy Chevalier my review


And finally my surprise reads for 2012; books I did not think I would enjoy but really did were:

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzette Collins

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss my review

The Messanger of Magnolia Street by River Jordon my review


Chapter Books with the girls that we all enjoyed this year include:

Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis my review

The Fantastic Eyes of Peter Nimble by Jonathan Auxier my review

The Very Persistant Gapper's of Frip by George Saunders {read to my younger girls, their first night time chapter book instead of a picture book} my review

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett { I recommend  the edition with drawings done by Tasha Tudor, one of my favorite children's illustrator}.


Wild Wood by Colin Meloy .  Not quite finished with this one yet, but it has kept my own and my three girls' interest up for months now.  A full review will be coming in January and I am sure it will be a 4 or 5 star-er.


Looking back I will add that this year of reading stands out to me in that this is the year that I really started to listen to that weak voice in my head to start to write; with the intent to publish. 

It made me more selective in what I read.  I paid attention to exactly why a character, or storyline, or a single sentence impressed me; stuck with me.  I started more books to only slam them shut with a shrug more times than I ever have.  My "leisure" time is limited and precious, and is now coupled with writing-how inspiration: I can't waste my time on books that I just don't get, or that are written poorly.

Another thing that I started this year in my literary pursuits, is to start a "while I was reading" journal.  Simply a blank journal that I fill up with those underlined passages I mark as I read.  It's a good way to look back and recall how talented authors have impressed or awed you, for your own enjoyment, and to learn from their craft.

So here's to books!







And to keep pecking away doing your own writing!




3 thoughts on “the year in books

  1. Hi Leah! Blessings this new year!
    Thanks for visiting Ed’s blog – I’ll pass the comment along. Actually, he is still writing and filling up composition books with his studies in the Word, but I haven’t been able to keep the blog up – let alone my own! Rough season with teaching since September. Hoping to manage my prep time, teaching time, blogging time, art time, me time, homemaking time – better this year. Yeah – that list is already way too hectic!
    I made a resolution in 2011 to pleasure read since my life is full of books – but books for the purpose of work. So, I found a great cozy mystery series by Susan Wittig Albert about Beatrix Potter. There were 8 books in the series and I am so proud to say I completed all 8 within the year – and chatted with Susan about them on her blog, too!
    Unfortunately, 2012 pleasure reading was a bust. Only got through one. A biography about the Countess of Highclere Castle in England during the gilded age. Everything else has been work related and of historical and Biblical proportions.
    I don’t like contemporary works or settings – I prefer meaty 19th century writers and classics. For froth I like quiet cozies.
    Anyway – here’s to another pleasure reading “give-it-a-go” for 2013 – and more regular visits and posts in Blogland!


  2. Oh my…love it! Thank you for sharing!
    note to self–I need to start doing reviews just to keep straight in my head what I read 🙂
    I need to take another look at your list here to see what I should add to my list for 2013…
    All for Him with hugs to you,


  3. You and your reading are such a wonderful inspiration to me. I love reading your reviews and I think it’s terrific that there’s a voice telling you to write. You definitely should :). The “While I read” journal is a great idea, too. I had Girl with a Pearl Earring on my list then took it off after I read some reviews. But if you thought it was great I will put it back on :). I enjoyed Wildwood, and I haven’t read the 2nd yet but it will be on my list this year. History of Love was by far one of my favorite reads this year, along with The Other Boleyn Girl. Some stranger reads stayed with me like Kafka on the Shore and Hard Boiled Wonderland which I just finished. I also got into Kafka this year and some Anais Nin.
    I’m with you about not wasting time on books. I felt so guilty for quitting Prayer for Owen Meany, especially when so many people loved it. I have enjoyed John Irving’s books before but this one just did not stick with me, at all. Goodness, maybe I should write a post about this instead of writing a novel in your comment section.
    I hope you had a wonderful new year Leah!!! Thanks for the fun revisit into REading 2012!!


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