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Reader's Journal 2012


I have always wanted to keep track of all the books I read over the course of a year.    I only wish I started this, oh, about 40 years ago.  This is a record of the books I read mainly at night when I retired for the day.  It does not include the books I read for our school nor does it include the dozens of books I read only portions of.  Some I blogged about, most I did not.  The Bible, devotionals, CM's 6 volume series, or research stuff - none of that is included here. I learn something from everything I read but  I don't necessarily like everything I read. (In fact, I strongly disliked some of the titles in the list below.)

Here are some highlights followed by the list.

                              Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me

I loved this one.  The author takes you on her journey with books and her journey with God, which happen to be one and the same.  The title of the first chapter is "Books Promiscuously Read:  John Milton's Areopagitica".  It includes her sometimes beautiful and sometimes messy experiences.  If you love books and books about books, you will like this one.  If I were to write a memoir, I would steal this format.



Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring
Remnicent of Edith Schaeffer and Karen Mains, this book is spot-on when it comes to caring and hospitality.  I learned  much from it, especially since I was staying in the home of someone who lives this out while I was reading it.




Wings  by Gene Stratton-Porter
A series of 11 essays that I hadn't read by Gene Stratton-Porter, many that give the story-behind-the-story. A must-read for any of her fans.   Perusing it again makes me think I need to reread it. There was that amazing story of what she had to go through to get that kingfisher photo...


Pebble in a Pool: the Widening Circle of Dorothy Canfield Fisher's Life I have been discussing this again with my sister-in-law.  She reminded me of the reasons I enjoyed this biography and brought up many things I hadn't remembered.  I wrote about this book here. Dorothy was indeed a fascinating, strong woman and an advocate of Maria Montessori.

Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived by Penelope Lively  The fascinating memoir of an English writer who grew up in Egypt.  Historically, it was interesting.  But for me, the details of her PNEU education were the ticket.  (A Charlotte Mason education!  Well, it was supposed to be.)




Chronicles of Fairacre: Village School / Village Diary / Storm in the Village (The Fairacre Omnibus)  Here is where I began with the Miss Read books.  I tend to want the hardcovers and only the illustrations by John Goodall.  Sweet, satisfying reads. A nice break after some heavier lifting.




Books Read in 2012 
(*indicates a high recommendation!)
1.In the Country of Books: Commonplace Books and Other Readings by Richard Katzev*
2.Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages by Michael Popek
3.Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden*
4.Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis  by Lauren Winner
5.The Keeper of the Bees (Library of Indiana Classics)  by Gene Stratton Porter*
6.The Rossettis In Wonderland: A Victorian Family History  by Dinah Roe*
7.Wise Child by Monica Furlong
8.Pebble in a Pool: the Widening Circle of Dorothy Canfield Fisher's Life by Elizabeth Yates*
9. Sweeping Changes: Discovering the Joy of Zen in Everyday Tasks by Gary Thorp
10. Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen*
11.Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Ken Robinson*
12. Village School (The Fairacre Series #1)  by Miss Read*
13.Village Diary (The Fairacre Series #2) by Miss Read*
14.Storm in the Village (The Fairacre Series #3) by Miss Read*
15.Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived  by Penelope Lively*
16.Miss Clare Remembers and Emily Davis (The Fairacre Series 4 & 8) by Miss Read*
17. Early Days by Miss Read*
18.Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books (Unpacking My Library Series)  by Leah Price
19. Over the Gate (The Fairacre Series #5) by Miss Read*
20.Wings  by Gene Stratton-Porter*
21. Fairacre Festival  by Miss Read*
22. Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring  by Andi Ashworth*
23. Miss Clare Remembers and Emily Davis (The Fairacre Series 4 & 8) by Miss Read*
24.Tyler's Row (The Fairacre Series #9)  by Miss Read*
25.Farther Afield (The Fairacre Series #11)  by Miss Read*
26.No Holly for Miss Quinn (The Fairacre Series #12)  by Miss Read*
27.The Exact Place  by Margie L. Haack*
28.True Heroism in a World of Celebrity Counterfeits  by Dick Keyes*
29.Village Affairs (The Fairacre Series #13)  by Miss Read*
30.Village Centenary (The Fairacre Series #15)  by Miss Read*
31.The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel  by Diane Setterfield*
32. Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me  by Karen Swallow Prior*
33. Miss Read's Christmas: Village Christmas and Christmas Mouse (The Fairacre Christmas Omnibus)  by Miss Read*
34.Rock-Bottom Blessings: Discovering God's Abundance When All Seems Lost by Karen Beattie*
35.So Brave, Young, and Handsome: A Novel by Leif Enger
36.After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters  by N.T. Wright*
37.Peace Like a River  by Leif Enger*

Have you enjoyed any of these?  Disliked any of them?  Please link to your own 2012 list if you have one - I'd love to see what you read!

Take joy,
Nancy

25 comments:

  1. I had a list but then it got all out-dated and inaccurate so I deleted it. I miss looking at it! Maybe I will revamp it for posterity's sake. :) I too read a few Miss Read titles(reading Storm in the Village right now), Esolen's 10 Ways, Peace Like a River...I think my favorite RIGHT at this moment would be A City of Bells by Elizabeth Goudge - she is so beautifully descriptive...I'll let you know if I revamp my original list! :)

    Any info on LER out that I missed besides the dates? :)

    Amy

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    1. Nevermind. I see you will have some news at the end of January! ;)

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    2. Amy,
      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I LOVED City of Bells! I need to read more of her this upcoming year. Thanks for commenting!

      From joy to joy,
      Nancy

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  2. I don't have a list, but I did read Rumors of Water this year (which you recommended in a blog once). I loved it!

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    1. That IS a good one. I should revisit it soon.

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

      -Nancy

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  3. I don't have a list, either, but yours makes me want to start one! I have read several of the Miss Read books, and I love them. I have also read "Peace Like a River" and thought it was AMAZING. I have tried to read "So Brave, So Young, So Handsome" and just could not get into it. I tried twice. Do I need to try harder? Is there something about it that makes it worth finishing?

    I'm working on CM's "Ourselves," and have lots of the books on your list, on my wish list, because you told me about them, either at CLUSA or on your blog.

    I did read "A Tree for Peter" to my children, and it is a beautiful book. It makes me want to read everything by Kate Seredy.

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  4. I would agree with you about the Enger titles. I think they would both make for interesting movies some day.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
    Nancy

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  5. OK, I LOVE Miss Read. I have bought every book of hers that I could find. They definitely aren't 'on-the-edge-of-your-chair' books. They are delightful, de-stress, take a break and relax books. The reason I bought them is because they are one of the few books that you can (and want to) re-read again and again. I have read them many times over the years and it is a delight to re-visit the endearing characters and stories again and again. I particularly like to read these books when I need to de-stress or when I am sick (Miss Read and Anne of Green Gables books are a mainstay when sick!).

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    1. Thank you, honeybee, for sharing about your affinity for Miss Read! I totally agree with you.

      Happy New Year,
      Nancy

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  6. Thank you for sharing your list of books and recommendations! I keep a list of books I want to read (which is long and always growing), but have not kept a list or journal of books read. I think that makes for a great New Year's Resolution! (I would be interested in knowing which of the books on your list you strongly disliked!) Looking forward to the LER announcement in January.
    Have a blessed and Happy New Year!
    Tina

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    1. Tina,
      So good to hear from you! I didn't care for Still, Sweeping Changes, and Unpacking My Library.

      I hope you have a wonderful New Year, too. And try keeping a reading journal so we can see what you read!
      -Nancy

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  7. Nancy - I have (I think) been annoying my family with my endless comments about how much I love this time of year and the many "Best of..." book lists that come out (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, abebooks.com, people like you, newspapers, etc.)!!! Makes my heart sing!

    And the first title on your list will be one I will hunt for at Barnes & Noble and purchase with gift cards I received as Christmas gifts! (Imagine that??? MY VERY OWN B&N GIFT CARDS!!! I get to buy books for ME, and not the kids or for our homeschool. Joy!) I DO love books and I especially love books ABOUT books these days; memoirs especially. I got for Christmas and am reading "The End of Your Life Book Club" by Will Schwalb; sad obviously, but heartwarming given that it is books that really defined the author's relationship with his mother as she battled cancer (even more than they had prior to her diagnosis). So thank you for the first title.

    I personally loved "Peace Like a River". Beautiful writing, in my opinion. Would love to try the Miss Read titles; sound delightful!

    Don't have an updated blog list of my books read in 2012, but I do keep a paper list. Am going to try and be a bit more descriptive with it though....where the book came from (library, gift, etc.), why I decided to read it, reactions.

    Sorry for being lengthy, but you really tapped something for me with this post!!!

    Happy New Year! --Dani in SoDak.

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    1. Dani,
      Yay! Books for YOU! I heard Will Schwalb interviewed on MPR and decided from that to skip it. I might try it later on. Peace Like a River was very, very good. I love his style, but wasn't quite as thrilled with So Brave, Young and Handsome. I started with very detailed reviews in my journal but couldn't keep that up. It's a great idea, though. Maybe next year we can read your list!
      Happy New Year,
      Nancy

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  8. Thank you so much for this list, Nancy. I didn't do as much reading as I would have liked over the last year, so I'm trying to remedy that for 2013. I just put "Peace Like a River" on my Kindle to get me started.

    Happy New Year :-)

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    1. I hope you like it! Let me know what you think of it. And try and keep track, even if it is only a few books as it is so nice to be able to look back and see when you read something and what you thought of it.

      Happy New Year,
      Nancy

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  9. Nancy,

    Thank you for sharing your reads of 2012 and for inspiring me to publish mine (http://www.livingbookslibrary.com/2012/12/for-record.html). One of the great joys of being a reader is talking with others about books. When we find out the books we have in common, it makes a bond, a kindred spirit moment. Seeing those we have both read inspires me to read more that you recommend - adding to others on my list you have recommended in the past. Very fun sharing lists.

    Liz

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Liz! You have a great list, too.

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  10. I started making my own reading list of the year this year too. My list is at http://cultivatingchildhood.blogspot.com/2013/01/books-of-2012.html. I love getting ideas of books to read, and have already put a few holds at my library of ones you've mentioned here - so thanks!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your list! This is one habit I hope to keep up every year. Let me know what you think of some of them after you've read them!

      From joy to joy,
      Nancy

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  11. Here's my list of books (and reviews): http://casteluzzo.com/tag/books/. Have you considered joining goodreads? I check out many of the books I read from the library, so I love having an organized place to keep track of books I've read and my reviews, as well as the opportunity to chat with friends about the books they love.

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    1. Sarah,
      Fascinating list you have posted! I will need to take another look at goodreads.

      From joy to joy,
      Nancy

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  12. Your 2012 list reminded me that I didn't read any Miss Read books last year! Her books are wonderful. In the past several years, I've experimented with Karen Andreola's suggestion in "A Charlotte Mason Companion" to keep three books going at once: a stiff book, a moderately easy book, and a novel. Looking back at 2012, I seem to have favored the easy and diverting, with a few serious ones thrown in for stiffening.

    http://www.womanonwire.com/search/label/books
    http://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/266376

    I enjoy your book recommendations. Thank you for sharing your 2012 reading list!

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    1. Tracy,
      Your list is great, too! I might just have to try Mauve, The Wilder Life, Cranford, and Hedy's Folly.
      Thanks for sharing!

      From joy to joy,
      Nancy

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  13. Re Penelope Lively: The only thing that disappointed me about her description of her PNEU lessons (all right, there were a few things) was that she claimed to have little memory of reading Plutarch, and couldn't see what any child would have gotten out of him!

    I made a six-months list halfway through the year http://deweystreehouse.blogspot.ca/2012/06/mama-squirrels-reading-list-first-half.html, but in the second half of the year there were an embarrassing number of mysteries (mostly Brother Cadfael) and a lot of books sampled, but not much else actually finished. My New Year's resolution is to behave myself much better.

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  14. Dear Mama Squirrel,
    I hear you, Mama Squirrel. There were many, many issues that I had - but I think that the way the PNEU education was given to her was a problem. Mason talks about how if God isn't the first thing - the basis - you will end up agnostic. God seemed to be missing from her education and later in the book she states she is now...agnostic! Imagine not getting anything out of Plutarch...

    From joy to joy,
    Nancy

    Off to look at your list!

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